Reality Pulls the Plug on Even a Modest EV Fleet Target

Excellent work by Jim Hummel of the Hummel Report with this investigative report, published on the front page of yesterday’s Providence Journal, pertaining to a state mandate that 25% of its vehicles be electric; i.e., zero emission.

The goal was to make one quarter of the state’s light duty vehicle fleet EV’s by 2025.  So already excluded from that calculation is all of the state’s medium and heavy duty vehicles – plow trucks, dump trucks, etc. Seems like a reasonable, even modest, goal.

Apparently not. From Hummel’s investigative report:

The state has struggled to reach zero-emission goals for its own fleet of vehicles, as cost, supply and unwillingness by some departments to purchase all-electric and hybrid vehicles have left Rhode Island significantly short of hitting its initial target.


McKee quietly issued a new executive order in May giving the state five more years to reach the 25% goal, although the administration insists it wasn’t moving the goalposts

Interesting.  So it turns out that it isn’t just the private sector who finds electric cars costly and impractical.  In fact, it came to light a couple of weeks ago that even US Energy Secretary Granholm couldn’t make one work for a summer road trip without a staffer in a fossil fuel vehicle acting as an advance team at the next charging station(s).

No criticism of McKee here.  The initiative that mandated the state’s fleet be 25% EV, called “Lead by Example” (gosh, its name is sure turning out to be inadvertently prescient), is not Governor McKee’s but his predecessor’s, Governor Gina Raimondo, via an Executive Order that she signed in 2015.

The push from certain isolated quarters to change from fossil fueled to electric vehicles is a huge proposition and one that is fraught with … um, challenges, to put it mildly.  As we are seeing in real time, you cannot ignore the reality of those challenges and make it happen by rigid, blind order – even a modest one.

In pushing the goal back, Governor McKee simply took action that is grounded in reality; in stark contrast with the basis of Governor Raimondo’s 2015 Executive Order.

The fact that a state government, with all of its power and resources, could not achieve even a 25% change-over to electric vehicles in a ten year timeframe speaks volumes about the practicality of the proposal.

Rhode Island via the Department of Environmental Management will soon hold hearings on new “clean air” regulations, Advanced Clean Cars II (ACCII) and Advanced Clean Trucks (ACT), that would effectively phase out the sale of all new fossil fuel cars and 75% of fossil fuel trucks in Rhode Island by 2035.

Nowhere in the draft regulation does it guarantee that manufacturers will have adequate inventory to supply the state.  Nowhere in the draft regulation does it explain how Rhode Islander consumers and businesses will be able to pay for an EV, notoriously more expensive than fossil fueled ones.

In short, the draft ACCII and ACT regulation has no more grounding in reality than Governor Raimondo’s 2015 “Lead by Example”.

The infrastructure, production and affordability of electric vehicles is nowhere close to real world applicability.  Issuance of another government mandate based in fantasy is not going to bring that about, as we are seeing play out in real time with the prior governor’s Executive Order.

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Tom Letourneau
Tom Letourneau
9 months ago

And despite her (Queenie) non-stop Incompetence, especially during Covid, Biden appoints her to continue on being Incompetent as his Secretary of Commerce!!!!

Rhett Hardwick
Rhett Hardwick
9 months ago

Rolls Royce just announced that its future cars will be electric. I cannot understand what is driving this.

Rhett Hardwick
Rhett Hardwick
9 months ago

An aside to Sec. Grenholm’s trip: “The letter specifically mentions an incident during the trip in which a staffer reportedly blocked off an EV charger in Georgia to reserve it for Granholm’s use. A family seeking to use the charger called the police during the episode, although blocking off a charger is not illegal under Georgia law.”

Ken Williamson
Ken Williamson
9 months ago

Monique, the Big problem with Rhode Island renewable energy, greenhouse gas and climate change endeavors is it is being pushed by politicians who have no idea of the broader picture but it makes good politics and gets them re-elected by the tree huggers!

Way back when President W. George Bush realized State of Hawaii was 100% fully dependent on imported oil he asked U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to work with Hawaii to ween the state off imported oil onto renewable energy as a model to other 49 states. It was a full military U.S.A. safety decision; not political nor tree hugger.Hawaii stands as advanced deterrent protecting the U.S.A. West Coast.

When Hawaii announced it would become 100% electrical and 70% renewable energy powered vehicles by year 2045 all the other states jumped on the band wagon to beat Hawaii.

I live on a 30 mi. by 40 mi. island and a circle Island drive is 250 miles so if I purchase a EV it needs to have a range of 300 miles! I drive a plug-in hybrid with an EPA rating of 133 MPG costing me $10/Mo in gasoline with total EPA milage rating of 640 miles. No range anxiety!

It will not be till after year 2025 that car manufactures will be switching to non flammable solid state EV and plug-in hybrid batteries with higher charge capacity, faster charge times and lighter weight

Ken Williamson
Ken Williamson
9 months ago

Oh sorry, I forgot to mention, Gov. Gina and now Gov. Dan and current Director of RI Office of Enregy Resources has thrown all the eggs into one basket as in offshore wind! We all know what happens when you do that!!!

According to Department of Energy, land based and offshore wind turbines are set to shut down and feather turbine blades when winds exceeded 55 MPH. According to RI Office of Energy Latest annual report it is expected to purchase up to 50% of RI total electrical needs fro offshore wind farms.

People will say Block Island offshore wind farms stops and lights still stay on? However as I’ve indicated before you bought into a scam as the wind farm sends power directly to RI mainland not the island. The island is powered by an undersea cable. BTW; the 5 offshore turbines are set to stop operating when wind exceeds 50 MPH.

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