Kansas may miss electric revolution

Although significant dollars have been allocated to facilitate the conversion to renewables, Kansas may watch as this opportunity passes by.

By

Opinion

July 19, 2021 - 8:57 AM

WASHINGTON, DC - APRIL 22: Electric vehicles are displayed before a news conference with White House Climate Adviser Gina McCarthy and U.S. Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg about the American Jobs Plan and to highlight electric vehicles at Union Station near Capitol Hill on April 22, 2021 in Washington, DC. The Biden administration has proposed over $170 billion in spending to boost the production of zero-emission buses and cars and increase the number of EV charging stations. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

One of the core components of President Joe Biden’s infrastructure bill is adequately preparing the country for the electric vehicle revolution. The Biden Administration has earmarked $174 billion for transportation electrification, which has sparked a flurry of investment from auto manufacturers.

GM announced it will open a $2.3 billion plant in 2023 to manufacture 500,000 EV batteries, Honda has committed to only sell EVs by 2040, Hyundai will invest $7 billion for U.S. EV production, and Ford has announced that half of all Lincolns produced could soon be emissionless. Even here in Kansas, EV consumers in Olathe can now charge their vehicles for free at the Indian Creek Library.

But unfortunately for consumers in Kansas, poor policy at the state level is acting as a major hurdle. Kansas, which currently ranks tied for last in the U.S. Electric Vehicle Accessibility Index, is actively discouraging the purchase of EVs with its ban on direct-to-consumer sales, and its disproportionate licensing fee for electric and hybrid vehicles.

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