A wave of electric cars and trucks is coming. But are we ready for it?

THE ELECTRIFICATION of the automobile is entering Ludicrous Mode, to borrow a Tesla-via-spaceballs-ism. This year, it has become increasingly clear that a surge of electric vehicles will overtake the dominance of internal combustion sooner than anyone thought. Was the tipping point Joe Biden test-driving the plug-in Ford F-150 Lightning at a proving ground in Detroit? We’re sure Diamond Joe thinks so.

Across the globe, governments are intervening in pursuit of the 1.5° C Paris Agreement goal. Germany has announced it will end the sale of internal combustion engine vehicles in 2030. The U.K. wants all its vehicles “zero emissions capable” by 2035. Canada’s emissions-free mandate is geared for the same year. In the States, Biden has signed an executive order aimed at making half of all vehicle sales electric by 2030.

Automakers have seen the writing on the wall. GM alone has committed to rolling out 30 new global electric vehicles by 2025. Even Dodge, of fossil-fuel-soaked Hellcat infamy, will build an electric muscle car by 2024. Sure, internal combustion engines have been downsized and turbocharged for better efficiency, but their ceiling is near. EV potential, on the other hand, is huge in terms of added range and power—not to mention its market share stakes in the great EV reshuffle.

But while all these EVS are surely coming down the pike, how prepared are we, really? Will our power grids hold up? Where are the chargers? What are the chances Washington, D.C., can clear the path forward with sensible legislation? And what are the hidden costs? Peeking under the hood, here’s what’s working—and what we need to fix very fast.

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