Last year the provincial government of Ontario, Canada canceled their generous zero-emission vehicle rebates causing sales of electric vehicles (EV) to plummet. The cancellation of this incentive program lead to Ontario being the only Canadian province to see a decrease in sales.
Shortly after closing the doors in Lordstown, OH, GM is in discussions to sell the facility to an Electric Truck company named Workhorse. GM made the decision in November to close down four U.S. based production plants, one of which was located in Lordstown, OH and home of the Chevrolet Cruze Sedan. According to Tom Colton, head of investor relations for Workhorse, the talks are still in the preliminary stages. There is no time table for speculation of the potential returning jobs to the area. The United Autoworkers Union (UAW) has a different agenda in mind. The UAW is trying to push for a reemergence of a petrol powered vehicle plant in the old GM facility, speculated to harbor more employees than Workhorse.
New big rig player, Nikola Motors, is looking to add their mark in the transportation industry. Nikola is a startup operation based in Arizona that is “all in” on Hydrogen powered semi-trucks. While the theory of Hydrogen powered transportation has proven to be enticing, the actuality has eluded engineers over the past 50 years. The largest hold back in the eyes of Nikola Motor, is that the tank sizes necessary for passenger vehicle operation has proven to be bulky and inefficient. Nikola Motors is thinking around the scenario. If you can’t condense the storage, increase the vehicle size.
Governor Wolf is attempting to “clean up” Pennsylvania’s emissions. His new Executive Order will require 25% of government vehicles to be replaced by electric vehicle by 2025. The big push for this change is mostly financially motivated, as it is projected to gain the state just under 3 billion dollars in subsidies due to a reduction in vehicular and greenhouse gas emissions. Major cities such as Pittsburgh and Philadelphia are doing their best to stay ahead of the curve. Other benefits include lower greenhouse gas emissions and a speculation that respiratory disease might be reduced.