The US is eyeing 2030 as the halfway point for a full transition to electric vehicle (EV) sales. An executive order signed by President Biden in August outlined what the White House described as an “ambitious target” for 50% of all new passenger car sales to be zero emissions by the end of the decade. The administration says this will help to position the US as a leader in clean cars and trucks.
Attention should be paid to the fine print, which states that the sale of plug-in hybrids (PHEVs) will be allowed alongside battery electric and hydrogen fuel cell variants. PHEVs typically offer around 30 miles of electric driving, and while some models promise upwards of 50 miles on a charge, they are only zero emissions if they are charged up. Some research groups have flagged that PHEVs can be more polluting than standard internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles if not recharged regularly, and various climate groups believe the technology is not a long-term option.