I went car shopping this past week. My wife and I were looking for an all-electric Chevy Bolt with its 238 miles per charge.
The timing was good. One, we need a car. Two, Congress didn’t wipe out the electric vehicle tax credit in the tax bill. Three, California has a number of programs — thanks in large part to the Charge Ahead California Initiative — that incentivize the purchase of electric vehicles.
But here’s the catch: we found no Bolts. We drove to a local Chevy dealership in Sacramento, only to learn they were sold out and had been for weeks. We called around Sacramento to discover that no other dealer had a Bolt. One salesman said his last Bolt was sold on November 28.
We called the Bay area and received the same answer — all sold out. Some were saying/hoping they would receive new Bolts “any day.”
One dealer suggested that consumer demand was high (obviously). Another speculated that the Tesla 3 was creating excitement, and rather than wait in line, consumers were flocking to other electric cars.
The bad news in this story is that I’m not (yet) an owner of a zero emission car. The good news? Despite some car makers telling us there isn’t a demand for electric cars, there’s strong evidence in northern California that consumers are gobbling them up. With air pollution, global warming, and the like, that’s good news for all of us, and manufacturers as a whole should do more to make, market and supply these clean cars.
Senior Director, Conservation America Campaign, Environment America
Steve directs Environment America’s efforts to protect our public lands and waters and the species that depend on them. He led our successful campaign to win full and permanent funding for our nation’s best conservation and recreation program, the Land and Water Conservation Fund. He previously oversaw U.S. PIRG’s public health campaigns. Steve lives in Sacramento, California, with his family, where he enjoys biking and exploring Northern California.