Cleaner Air Should Not Require Sheltering in Place
by Joan Fitzgerald, The American Prospect
European Space Agency satellite images published in The New York Times on March 24 show dramatic reductions in air pollution in Los Angeles, New York, and Seattle due to so many vehicles being off the road as people shelter in place. What a shame it took a pandemic. These images show us how much more livable and healthier our cities would be if we electrified transportation.
What would it take to switch most vehicles used in cities to electric? It’s a chicken-and-egg problem. Experience from world leaders in electrifying transportation, in countries such as Norway, tells us that it takes three things: subsidies for purchasing electric vehicles, creation of an extensive charging infrastructure—and then we need to connect vehicle electrification to renewable energy and an upgraded grid that can handle it.