The U.S. has been largely absent from the global shift to electric vehicles ( EVs) to reduce harmful tailpipe emissions. At some point this will likely change in the future.
Ranking Democratic Senator Chuck Schumer just recently announced a plan to make a massive shift from internal combustion engine ( gas ) powered vehicles to EVs. In a New York Times editorial he wrote that he would introduce a bill in the U.S. senate if the Democrats win the senate in 2020. The plan would bring together environmentals, automotive manufacturers and unions to make a signficant shift to EVs.
The stated goal is to have 63 million EVs replace gas powered vehicles by 2030. If implemented and successful the plan would require a large amount of nickel ( and other metals ) for the lithium ion batteries to power the EVs.
China and Europe have aggressively pushed for reduction in vehicle emissions In China it is most likely because in many large Chinese cities the air quality is so bad that the citizens are demanding some action. In Europe there is broad consensus that a shift to electric vehicles is the right thing to do over the next 20 years to fight climate change. While the U.S. has lagged, the shift when it does occur could be dramatic.
The current policy initiative by the U.S. President is to attempt to roll back emissions standards ( which is opposed by many states and even the automotive companies ) However, it seems more likley that in the medium term the U.S. will become part of the switch to EVs.
It will be interesting to see how this plays out. As President Trump is fond of saying… “we’ll see what happens”.