Biden Administration Wants Electric Vehicles To Replace Gas Guzzlers

Automatic TRANSCRIPT

President biden's administration has ideas to get gas powered cars off the road. The government could pay people scrambled vehicles. This happened during the great recession. And a program called cash for clunkers. npr's camilla domino reports. President biden has embraced senator. Chuck schumer's idea to pay people to turn in gas cars and by electric ones like cash for clunkers battery powered edition and when josh lynn. I heard about it. He was surprised. I thought all the research including my own had sort of killed the comeback. He's a professor at the university of maryland. And he's one of many economists who found out that the original cash for clunkers just wasn't that effective it was supposed to be an economic boost for auto companies and in eco friendly initiative to get rid of old cars with gas mileage. Every check sent a clunker the crusher and a customer dealership floors. At least theoretically in fact it did cut emissions a little but despite spending billions of dollars in overall didn't affect total new vehicle sales all that much many people who participated in the program probably would have bought a new vehicle anyway so not much bang for the tax payers buck and that's the big concern about trying this tactic again that it just won't do very much in which case why spend hundreds of billions of dollars on it unique. Consider if the money can be used for something else sebestyen custody. Janos is the lead researcher at the new urban mobility alliance. He says why not send that cash to public transit or bikes on the other hand. Maybe a cash for clunkers approach could be improved by giving it a laser focus on getting rid of the cars that pollute the most in california's san joaquin valley. Air quality is a huge problem so the valley air district is trying to get the oldest polluting vehicles off the road. Drome mayfield use to drive one of those eighty nine chevy truck old truck. It was raggedy hog. It often needed a jump and no it did not pass california's smog. Tests but after twenty five years it's still ran mayfield's feels heard about the program writing big checks to get low income drivers to chuckled clunkers. Like that truck. So he gave it a look. He says his truck was actually smoking. A little when he drove up to find out more there that they will give me nine thousand five hundred dollars toward the down payment electric car. And i said why mayfield hadn't ever thought about electric cars. Let alone thought he could afford one. But a subsidy like that meet a used nissan leaf not just affordable but irresistible are got and they were driving so good passing a barbeque gas as you. I didn't have to put the oil in and used charge back a cellphone. So happy getting mayfield. Out of his raggedy old truck was a big upgrade to his life. Having a reliable vehicle is huge and his part of the local pollution. Problem went from significant zilch five years later. That leaf is still zipping. That thing is a jet. The pilot program in the san joaquin valley was so successful that it was expanded and lynn economist says focusing on the cars that pollute the most could make a national program more effective at fighting climate. Change to yes he says. The original cash for clunkers was not an efficient use of money but instead of giving up on it maybe we can learn from it. Camilo domino npr news.

Coming up next