Earlier this month, in their seven-hour climate town hall, CNN had its anchors put the same incredulous question to the 2020 Democratic presidential candidates: Are we all going to have to drive electric cars now?
The short answer was: Yes, indeed, and quickly. “We have to take combustion engines vehicles off the road as rapidly as we can,” Vice President Joe Biden said. Senator Bernie Sanders called for “heavily subsidizing the [electric vehicle] industry.” Senator Elizabeth Warren expressed her goal to switch all light-duty cars and trucks to electric power by 2030, following the blueprint laid out by erstwhile climate candidate Governor Jay Inslee. (Senator Kamala Harris sets her EV objective to 2045.) And entrepreneur Andrew Yang responded to Wolf Blitzer’s question with his typical techno-optimism. “Electric cars, it’s not something you have to do. It’s awesome,” Yang said. “You feel like you’re driving the future. And I did not just say that because Elon Musk endorsed me just the other week.”