Are you noticing more and more electric vehicles on the road lately? It would make sense! The Utah Division of Motor Vehicles reports EV registrations are up an astounding 560% from 2017. This year about 16,407 EVs have been registered compared to just 2,485 in 2017. Hybrid vehicles have slowed, but continue to be popular, with an increase of about 84% in the last five years. Most EV registration increases are seen along the Wasatch Front, which is where vehicle pollution is at its peak in our state.
These numbers are great news for Utah, but we’re not one of the 12 Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) states, which are states that have adopted regulations requiring a certain amount of vehicle sales to be zero emissions. California leads this initiative, which is not much of a surprise considering their announcement of their ambitious plan to ban all new gas-powered automobiles by 2035. If you’ve been waiting on your EV to arrive, like some Tesla purchasers have been reporting, this initiative could be why it’s taking so long—many EV manufacturers are sending cars to ZEV states first. Utah is working on infrastructure funding for EV charging and access, and advocacy groups hope to see improvements in availability for Utahns looking for cleaner cars.
Nationwide, the push for EV continues. Earlier this year, The Guardian reported that the switch to EV could save over 100,000 lives by 2050, stating: “swapping gas vehicles for zero-emission new cars and trucks in the US would lead to 110,000 fewer deaths, 2.8m fewer asthma attacks and avoid 13.4m sick days by 2050.” They also mention that the shift would minimize greenhouse gases by 92%, which would bring about numerous climate benefits. Unhealthy air not only affects the environment, but it’s a health hazard as well. Air pollution is a risk factor for increases in asthma attacks, lung cancers, heart attacks, strokes, premature deaths, and impaired cognitive functioning. The President and CEO of the American Lung Association (ALA), Harold Wimmer, told the Guardian: “Zero-emission transportation is a win-win for public health.”
With technological improvements for clean energy, it gets easier every day to be green. If you have an EV, consider going the next step and get solar panels on your home to charge it more environmentally friendly. Many of us shy away from the topic of green living because there is a fear of having to drastically change behaviors to make a difference. This is far from the truth. You don’t have to radically change your expectations of a comfortable life to be more environmentally conscious. Solar panels reduce the use of water and reduces air pollution compared to grid electricity. EV vehicles are doing their part to reduce greenhouse gases, even if you’re charging from the grid, but using solar to charge these vehicles is even better. As we see an increase in funding, regulations, and personal commitment to reduce greenhouse gases and overall pollution in our state, the push for solar energy will need to keep up. If you have any questions or concerns about using solar in your home, reach out to our experts for current and relevant advice.