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CT Begins Transition to Electric Vehicles


Monday, October 3, 2022   

The United States is seeing a national push from the federal government and car companies to pivot toward electric vehicles, and Connecticut is riding the trend.

The Inflation Reduction Act includes incentives for buyers of electric vehicles, and elected officials are taking this call to action in stride. Connecticut passed its own Clean Air Act, which requires all state vehicles to be electric by 2030. It also offers incentives for anyone to buy zero-emission vehicles.

Sen. William Haskell, D-Westport, who worked on the bill, feels it was born of the necessity to rid Connecticut of harmful carbon emissions.

"My state saw 21 days of unhealthy levels of ozone in 2021," Haskell reported. "That was the highest in New England, and five of our eight counties got 'F' grades from the American Lung Association. The American Lung Association weighs in because worse air pollution can create aggravated, serious lung conditions, including asthma and emphysema."

Numerous rebates will be available for electric vehicle purchases, to help make it easier for families and small business owners to do so. Connecticut will also give rebates of up to $500 for electric bikes.

Haskell hopes the moves will help the state meet its carbon goals by the end of the decade.

Some elected officials are pushing the Biden Administration to take on even more stringent policies, such as California's new rules prohibiting the sale of gas-powered vehicles by 2035.

Haskell added he would like to see the influx of money for infrastructure updates be spent on the most climate-friendly projects.

"We're living in this historic moment where there's more money being spent on infrastructure than has been there since the Eisenhower administration," Haskell observed. "The problem is, if we don't spend that money wisely, it could actually worsen the crisis of climate change, not make it better."

One point eliminated from Connecticut's Clean Air Act, which Haskell would like to see in the future, is the state implementing a "carbon budget." He argued it would force the state to evaluate projects based on whether they'd increase or decrease carbon emissions.

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