Electric cars can advance environmental justice — here’s how

The global auto industry has begun a historic shift from gas- and diesel-fueled cars to electric vehicles. President Joe Biden’s infrastructure plan seeks to speed up this transition by requesting billions of dollars to modernize the electric grid and build 500,000 electric vehicle charging stations.

Evidence shows that many Americans are eager to transition to EVs and participate in a clean energy economy. In a recent nationally representative consumer survey, 71 percent of drivers surveyed said they were interested in getting an electric car. But 48 percent said that lack of access to public charging infrastructure was holding them back, and 43 percent cited vehicle cost as a disincentive.

My research focuses on ways to make cities more sustainable, healthy and equitable places to live. In my view, making EVs and charging infrastructure accessible to all drivers is crucial for achieving clean transportation and energy justice.