May 7, 2019

The inherent brakes on electric vehicle growth

Photo: David Young/picture alliance via Getty Images

A new piece in The Conversation puts some eye-opening numbers behind why it will take so long to wring carbon emissions out of the country's car and truck fleet even though EVs are growing fast.

Why it matters: Transportation has surpassed electricity as the largest source of U.S. carbon emissions. A number of cities and states are promoting policies to boost adoption of zero-emissions vehicles, which are now a tiny fraction of new car sales.

By the numbers: Here's part of the piece by MIT profs David Keith and Christopher Knittel...

  • "We’ve determined that the average American car, truck and SUV remains in use for 16.6 years with many logging 200,000 miles or more."
  • "When we researched how fast the nation’s entire fleet turns over, we found that even if every U.S. vehicle sold were electric starting today, it would take until 2040 for 90% of vehicles in use to be electric."

What's next: The authors offer several policy ideas — around infrastructure and more — that would go further than current EV purchase tax credits (which are currently capped at 200,000 vehicles per manufacturer).

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Trump weighs quarantine of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

President Trump said on Saturday he is considering a "short term" quarantine of New York, New Jersey and parts of Connecticut — states that have already taken steps to quarantine residents and promote social distancing.

The big picture: With 112,000 people infected, the U.S. has the most COVID-19 cases in the world, exceeding China and Italy, per data from Johns Hopkins. A second wave of American cities, including Boston, Detroit, New Orleans and Philadelphia, are reporting influxes of cases.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 10 mins ago - Health

Q&A: Minimizing your coronavirus risk

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

As the coronavirus continues to spread throughout the U.S., Axios is answering readers' questions about the pandemic — how it spreads, who's at risk, and what you can do to stay safe.

What's new: This week, we answer five questions on smokers' vulnerability, food safety, visiting older parents, hair cut needs, and rural vs. urban impact.

The other coronavirus test we need

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Researchers are racing to develop tests that detect whether someone may have developed immunity to the coronavirus, which could help society return to normal faster.

Why it matters: These tests could help people know if they are able to go back to work, as well as aid researchers in tracking the scale and death rate of the disease — key data for current and future pandemic policies.

Go deeperArrow38 mins ago - Health