Nevada’s New Clean Car Standards and Solar

RENO, NEVADA
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Solar and NV Clean Car Standards

Nevada has elected to accelerate initiatives to eliminate climate concerns and improve public health. The Clean Cars Nevada initiative is one way the state plans to reduce air pollutants. 

This initiative will evaluate and adopt regulations that encourage dealerships to offer more zero and low-emission vehicle options by 2024. It will also provide other clean and efficient transportation options throughout the state.

Throughout 2021 Nevada has, and will continue to, seek input from the general public, businesses, and industry partners. This input should result in a plan proposal that meets the needs of all Nevadans. 

Reno Electric Cars and Car Pollution

Electric cars offer several advantages that conventional-engine vehicles can’t while improving Nevadans’ health and the environment—a major concern for the Silver State.

Current Car Pollution: Nevada Emissions

The Nevada Division of Environmental Protection 2019 report found that the transportation sector is the leading source of greenhouse gas emissions and air pollutants in Nevada. It constitutes 30 percent of emissions in the state. 

To make matters worse, recent studies indicate that high-pollution areas contribute to higher COVID-19 death rates. Nevada carbon pollution has become a climate threat. Thankfully, Nevada has a response plan.

The Impact of Electric Cars

If you’ve noticed an influx in interest surrounding electric cars, it’s not just you. EV purchases have risen because of the money-saving and carbon-reducing benefits. 

Electric cars save 50 percent on maintenance costs, and they cost less to fuel/power. Both provide enticing benefits to car owners. 

EV’s, however, also provide benefits for the entire nation by reducing reliance on petroleum. Fuel-efficient cars emit significantly less greenhouse gas and air pollutants into the atmosphere. 

Reducing air pollutants also alleviates ground-level ozone, a component of smog. It doesn’t help that high temperatures contribute to smog formation, which is bad news for warm climates like Nevada. Those most susceptible to air pollution include children, the elderly, and those with pre-existing respiratory issues. 

Clean Cars Nevada: An Analysis of The Report

In 2020, Governor Sisolak unveiled his ambitious plan — known as Clean Cars Nevada — to confront Nevada’s transportation emissions problems and adopt regulations curbing the consequences. The report explains how Clean Car Nevada regulations will help the state reach its emission-reduction goals

This report proposes reaching Nevada’s emissions goals by reducing smog-forming pollution and greenhouse gas emissions and promoting clean vehicles. The report also addresses how it will reduce pollution, save money and expand vehicle choices.   

Reducing Smog-forming Pollution 

The report suggests increasing pollutant standards for 2025 car models. These cars would emit 75 percent less than cars made in 2012 through low emission vehicle (LEV) and zero-emission (ZEV) programs.

This strategy helps reduce smog-forming pollution by mandating cars have higher standards without forcing Nevadans to upgrade. This approach helps Nevada without punishing those who don’t want or need a new car.

Greenhouse Gas Emission Reduction 

This plan proposes cutting gas emissions annually by 11.8 million tons in 2050. Greenhouse gas emission regulations would decrease the 2025 car models’ emissions by 40 percent. Again, these new standards would decrease the impact of future cars.

Expanding Clean Vehicle Options

The last leg of this plan requires auto manufacturers to deliver a certain number of clean cars. The 2025 models have a savings projection of $1,200 over the vehicle’s lifespan, while the 2030 models project saving customers $1,300. This approach forces the manufacturers to push innovation in clean vehicle options, increasing the likelihood that Nevadans will invest in clean cars.

The Positive Impact of Solar Charging

Electric vehicles help eliminate the challenges related to global warming. However, EVs don’t eliminate reliance on fossil fuels on their own. While electric cars don’t use as much or any gas, the electricity generation process isn’t always clean. Thankfully, there’s a solution in how these cars are powered with solar energy.

Pollution of Electric Car Charging Stations

Many utilities have invested in renewable energy. However, car charging stations still use fossil fuels about two-thirds of the time. Home charging stations only use renewable energy if the homeowner pays the utility extra to opt into its renewable energy program. Unless Nevadans have residential solar, charging a car with renewable power still costs more.  

Residential Solar and Car Charging for Nevadans

Residential solar generates electricity directly from the sun, eliminating the car’s reliance on fossil fuels. However, relying on solar power for car charging instead of fossil fuels also saves money. 

Reno solar homeowners with EVs avoid paying Nevada Energy between $443.62 and $638.82 per year for car charging. Solar homes can significantly reduce your EV carbon footprint through high offsets, battery backup and solar-plus technology, like the Nest smart thermostats.  

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