Below is an email that I recently sent to my state representatives (links not included in the email were added before publishing):


"Honorable Representative


It appears that is unstoppably upon us. Some people tout the several benefits of going electric, including benefits to the environment. Personally, I think electric drive makes the most sense because it is a superior consumer product.

Some people think it is needful to hasten the adoption of electric vehicles. They look to agencies, including the government, to provide incentives to push people to adopt electric vehicles in greater numbers and sooner rather than later. Perhaps there is something to be said for this. Perhaps the right kind of incentives may be a good idea.

If incentives are going to be employed, personally I am partial to finding incentives that don't lower the impact on the government's revenues. Some would propose . I am not a big fan of these, especially when those incentives favor those who could most easily afford to pay taxes and do little or nothing for those of us who could benefit the most from the incentives. Besides, I believe there are other equally effective solutions available to encourage the desired behaviors and outcomes.

Some time ago I saw an idea posted online, which I thought was quite smart. It is simple, comparatively low cost, and yet could be quite effective over time.

What might the impact be on electric vehicle adoption if the state of Utah exercised its authority to regulate highway and freeway speeds and allowed all-electric drive vehicles to continue to travel at a top speed of 70 mph but restricted all pure internal combustion vehicles to a top speed of 60 mph?

One advantage of this program is that the program could be rolled out one area at a time (perhaps starting with the Salt Lake City corridor). As such, the cost of the program could be spread out over time. Additionally, the overall cost of changing the signage could be low when compared to other possible incentives. Also, it would be a one-time investment. Once the signage is changed, no additional funds are required (at least for a good number of years).

To be sure, there would be opposition to this policy, particularly in the first year or so. However, I think that over time it would become accepted and would become a powerful incentive for motorists to make the switch to electric drive.

Of course, the benefit of cleaner air is a clear rationale for moving to electric vehicles, especially along the Wasatch Front. Inversions often make air quality rather poor in the Salt Lake, Ogden, and Provo valleys. However, an economic rationale for this policy can also easily be given. EVs are many times more efficient than internal combustion engine (ICE) cars. Slowing down ICE cars would allow them to use less energy per mile.

Now, I have to defer to you as to whether Utah is ready for or heading toward wanting to encourage the adoption of electric vehicles. If today is not the time to propose this idea, then perhaps it is an idea that you can mull over and bring up in the future when that discussion becomes more important and relevant.

Anyway, that is my two cents for now.


Thank you for your service

Geoff Shelley"

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