Nevada’s electric vehicle market projected to boom, combat climate change | Nevada | News

As the Earth warms from the burning of fossil fuels, electric cars may be part of Nevada’s antidote.

The nonprofit Environmental Defense Fund highlighted new statistics at a news conference Wednesday that show the Biden-Harris administration’s push for electric vehicles is stimulating a booming micro-economy in the Silver State, with 12,400 new jobs and $15.4 billion in private sector funding for battery manufacturing and charging stations.

Nevada is No. 5 when it comes to investments made into producing electric vehicles, the nonprofit’s leaders said.

Transitioning to electric vehicles has been a central goal of Clark County’s plan to address climate change locally, with a lofty goal of slashing carbon emissions to achieve “net-zero” by 2050.

That would mean the amount of carbon emitted into the atmosphere is offset by the amount taken out of it. Road transportation accounts for 23 percent of Clark County’s greenhouse gas emissions, according to a 2019 assessment.

“The future is electric,” said David Kieve, the president of EDF Action. “And it’s working for Nevada.”

New cars, new jobs

Part of the challenge for Nevada’s electrification is in how we inhabit the state.

With two major urban areas of Reno and Las Vegas and not much else in between except public land, electric cars with an often-limited battery life make traveling across the state implausible. So-called “range anxiety,” or the fear of your car dying before you can reach a charging station, can prevent electric vehicle sales.

Cost shouldn’t be a deterrent, though. There are several affordable options to buy, Kieve said, including 12 electric vehicle models available for less than $35,000.

“Good-natured people have legitimate concerns about if they buy an electric car, truck or SUV — will they be able to get around? Will they be able to charge it?” Kieve said. “That answer is going to be yes.”

In the Las Vegas Valley, there are more than 200 charging stations at locations everywhere from Strip hotels like the Bellagio to apartment complexes and government buildings.

“We’re doing everything that we can to improve our electric vehicle infrastructure,” said Clark County Commissioner William McCurdy.

He said that means motorists are not going to have to travel more than 50 miles to find a charging station.

And that mission ties in to the projected increase in jobs across the state.

Hunter Stern, assistant business manager for the Nevada and California chapter of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, said efforts are underway to train a workforce to staff this growing industry.

The electric vehicle market is new. To date, Stern said, 1,000 new workers have been trained to work on charging infrastructure. A recent study predicted that the need for charging stations will create 160,000 jobs across the country by 2032.

The organization has the capacity to train 5,000 new electricians a year, Stern said.

“We haven’t gotten to that point yet,” he said. “But we’d be happy if we did.”

Contact Alan at Follow @AlanHalaly on X.


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