Elected officials from across the country show support for electric vehicles in new video

Media Contacts
Eve Lukens-Day

Josh Chetwynd

Leaders from Florida to Oregon speak out in favor of EVs and charging infrastructure as part of National Drive Electric week.

Environment America

WASHINGTON — Elected officials and leaders from across the country joined Environment America to release a video Wednesday in support of electric vehicles (EVs) and charging infrastructure. Transportation is the number one source of climate emissions in the United States, and the majority of those emissions come from everyday cars and trucks.

Speakers were:

  • U.S. Sen. Jeff Merkley (Oregon)

  • U.S. Rep. Abigail Spanberger (Virginia)

  • U.S. Rep. Andy Levin (Michigan)

  • Pennsylvania State Rep. Chris Rabb 

  • Mayor Daniella Levine Cava of Miami-Dade County, Florida

  • Mayor Lucy Vinis of Eugene, Oregon

  • Los Angeles Chief Officer of Sustainability Lauren Faber O’Connor

The officials explained the importance of EVs in improving our transportation system.

“We have to keep being aggressive to fight climate change and electrify transportation,” Faber O’Connor said on the video.

In every part of the country, electric cars have a smaller carbon footprint even when powered from the current electricity mix. But, as renewable energy shares increase, those emissions will continue to drop. 

“Particularly in Eugene, where approximately 90% of our electricity comes from renewable sources, increasing the number of EVs will reduce our community’s impact on climate change,” said Mayor Vinis.

Gas-powered cars are also major emitters of toxic air pollutants that are linked to respiratory and cardiac illnesses. In contrast, electric vehicles have zero tailpipe emissions. 

“Along with lower fuel prices, as well as minimal maintenance and repair costs, my car is free of the toxic and climate polluting emissions that come from gas powered vehicles,” said State Rep. Chris Rabb.

With improving technology, electric cars are also experiencing increasing range on a single charge. As Mayor Levine Cava said in the video, she “can travel almost 300 miles between charges” in her EV.

However, higher upfront costs for EVs can still inhibit consumers from buying them. Tax incentives have been a proven tool to both increase affordability of EVs and spur adoption.

“We have to have the subsidies in place to accelerate the transition [to electric vehicles],” said Sen. Merkely.

Along with increasing access to electric vehicles, speakers highlighted the need to expand charging infrastructure across the U.S.

“I support high-speed charging infrastructure for our whole country,” stated Rep. Levin, adding that this is essential in eliminating “range anxiety” and making charging available to “people who may not have a place to charge on their own.” 

In the coming weeks, this kind of national charging network may become a reality. Last month, the Senate passed the Bipartisan Infrastructure Framework which included $7.5 billion to build out up to 250,000 charging stations across the country. This funding will be especially critical to building out charging stations in hard to reach areas.

“For [suburban and urban] communities like those I represent,” said Rep. Spanberger, “the rollout of EV charging infrastructure means a future of cheaper commutes driven by vehicles with drastically lower maintenance and fuel costs.”