Reviewing the facts about an EV mandate

March 31, 2023

A recently published letter to the editor supported the Carney Administration's efforts to ban the sale of all new gasoline and diesel cars, trucks and SUVs in our state. Regrettably, the remarks focused on demonizing Republican lawmakers and ignored the factual concerns raised by thousands of Delawareans.

Under California's Advanced Clean Car II regulations, which Gov. John Carney has directed our state to adopt, 35% of all new light vehicles sold in Delaware will be mandated to be zero-emission vehicles starting in fall 2025. The percentage of mandated ZEV sales – predominately battery-electric vehicles – rises sharply each following year. By fall 2034, the proposed rules would require all new vehicle sales to be ZEVs.

Proponents of this mandate maintain that we must do this to reduce pollution. However, a review of regional data indicates that air quality has improved dramatically and steadily over the last 40 years and currently meets federal standards in most instances.

In his June 2018 opinion column, Gov. Carney stated that "90% of Delaware's air pollution comes from beyond our borders." He cited the cause as out-of-state power plants. 

Ironically, it is this energy that would support Delaware's EVs. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, 60.5% of the electricity generated in the nation is derived from burning fossil fuels. Another 19% is produced via nuclear energy, which, while having no emissions, produces highly radioactive waste for which there is still no long-term storage solution.

In 2021, there were 967,400 cars, trucks and SUVs registered in Delaware, constituting less than 0.0008% of all light-duty vehicles on the planet. Even if all Delaware light vehicles were eliminated tomorrow, there would be no appreciable difference in worldwide CO2 emissions or any other pollutant associated with global warming or climate change.

Electric vehicles are a reasonable option for many Delaware families and businesses, but they are not the best choice for every citizen in all situations. Continuing to improve the environment while allowing Delawareans to retain the freedom to choose the vehicles that best meet their needs and means should not be mutually exclusive things.

Rep. Danny Short


  • A letter to the editor expresses a reader's opinion and, as such, is not reflective of the editorial opinions of this newspaper.

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