MIAMI – The climate decade is now.
The entire planet is on an urgent mission to cut global emissions in half by 2030 in order to keep temperature rises under 1.5 degrees Celsius.
For years the auto industry has been reading the tea leaves on this and is responding in a huge way.
Welcome to the electric vehicle revolution.
“We’re going to see 200 electric vehicles come to market over the next two years,” said Nik Miles with OurAutoExpert.com. “General Motors talking about turning their entire fleet electric by 2035, that’s in 15 years’ time.”
GM isn’t the only one.
Every major automaker has pledged to dramatically increase their EV (electric vehicle) production in the next five years. The EV market is about to explode.
“Electric cars perform better than gasoline cars,” Miles said. “Electric cars can go better zero to 60, get better fuel economy and are more exciting to drive than any gas vehicle you’ve ever driven, and that’s what’s exciting about them.”
It’s also what the planet desperately needs right now.
President Joe Biden rejoined the Paris Climate Accord, pledging to replace the government’s entire fleet of cars and trucks with electric vehicles made in the USA.
“By 2050 The United states will be 100 percent clean energy economy with net zero emissions,” Biden said earlier this year.
It sent a strong message to the auto industry, and South Florida dealerships are ready.
“Clearly the auto industry is responding. We at Auto Nation are ecstatic about it,” said Marc Cannon, Executive VP at Auto Nation. “South Florida has become a very good EV market.”
Currently, Florida has about 60,000 electric vehicles on the road. That number is expected to double in the next 10 years, and it’s not just luxury brands like the Tesla. EVs are becoming a lot more affordable.
“You have to come down to vehicles that are $20,000 a year if you want people to get off gasoline and buy electric,” said Miles.
That is happening.
Ford, Toyota, Nissan and Chevrolet are aggressively courting that price minded consumer.
“The Chevy Bolt is something that’s a medium priced vehicle,” Cannon said.
Prices are coming down, and by 2030 analysts predict six percent of all vehicles on the road will be electric.
The South Florida market is red hot. Last year the Sunshine State ranked number two in the country in EV sales, second only to California.
“It’s extremely important,” said Yoca Arditi-Rocha, Executive Director of the CLEO Institute. “Around 28 percent of our emissions come from the transportation sector here alone in the US. The biggest sources of those trapping warming gases that create global warming.”
Local leaders are also ready, rapidly improving infrastructure needed to support the coming EV roll out.
Broward County has over 163 charging stations with over 400 chargers available, while Miami-Dade has 342 charging stations, that’s roughly 12 hundred chargers, and more are coming.
In 2019, then-commissioner Daniella Levine Cava, now Miami-Dade County’s mayor, sponsored an ordinance that mandates all new construction projects with 10 or more parking spaces must equip 10 percent of those spaces with EV chargers before 2022.
After 2022, the requirement increases to 20 percent, boosting consumer confidence for those afraid of potentially running out of battery power with no place to charge their car.
For most who’ve already made the switch, they’re never going back.
“I don’t have to go to a gas station,” said Gingi Beltran, who owns a Tesla. “It’s the best car I’ve ever owned. I’m never driving anything else.”
It’s a sign of the times, some say.
“It just shows you that the technology and this revolution is on its way and there’s no turning back,” said Arditi-Rocha.
It’s not the private sector responding, either. In just the past three years, 90 global companies like Ikea have already begun converting their entire fleet of vehicles to electric, showing that EVs are great for business and, more importantly, great for the climate.