The US state of Wyoming is considering banning the sale of electric cars by 2035 in order to “stabilize” its oil and gas industry.
On Friday, a group of lawmakers led by Sen. Jim Anderson, He introduced Senate Joint Resolution 4 (SJ4) – Entitled “Phasing Out Sales of New Electric Vehicles by 2035” – urges citizens and businesses in the state to voluntarily limit the buying and selling of electric vehicles.
The bill is co-sponsored by Senators Brian Boehner, Ed Cooper, and Dan Dockstadder, and Representatives Donald Burkhardt Jr. and Bill Henderson, and it has already received significant support from members of the Wyoming House and Senate.
The bill’s legislators argue that oil and gas production has long been a pillar of Wyoming’s economy, generating countless jobs and revenue for Wyoming throughout the state’s history.
In 2021, Wyoming produced 85.43 million barrels of crude oil, ranking it eighth among all other states in terms of oil production.
The resolution explicitly states that the oil and gas sector provides jobs for thousands of Wyoming residents and says the shift to electric vehicles threatens those jobs.
Supporters of the bill also contend that Wyoming’s lack of charging infrastructure means widespread use of electric vehicles would be “impractical.” Wyoming, with a population of 577,000, is the least populous of the fifty US states.
In order to “keep the electric vehicle misadventure in check,” they stated, Wyoming would have to create massive amounts of additional power generation.
However, passing the resolution would be purely symbolic. In fact, rather than outright banning electric cars, the goal is to convey a message to supporters of electric cars. It could also be seen as part of the Republican-controlled state’s strategy to not cooperate with the Biden administration.
To that effect, the final section of SJ4 directs the Wyoming Secretary of State to send copies of the resolution to President Biden and California Governor Gavin Newsom.
President Joe Biden has focused on electric vehicles and building a nationwide charging infrastructure, while California has been one of the most prominent states in promoting the electrification of transportation.
By rejecting electric cars, Wyoming is ignoring auto trends, which are experiencing a rapid transition to electric vehicles globally.
According to a study published in February 2022 by Allied Market Research, the value of the electric vehicle market worldwide will increase five times by 2030. The electric vehicle market was valued at $163.01 billion in 2020; By 2030, the new study projects, it will reach $823.74 billion.
The price of electric vehicle batteries has fallen rapidly
The US Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Vehicle Technologies estimates the cost of a lithium-ion battery pack for an electric vehicle by 89% between 2008 and 2022 (using constant $2022).
On a usable basis, the 2022 estimate is $153/kWh for production at a scale of at least 100,000 units per year. In 2008, the cost per kWh was $1,355.
The cost reduction has been attributed to advances in battery technology, as well as increased production volumes.
By 2030, Georgia, Kentucky and Michigan will produce the majority of electric vehicle batteries in the United States, each producing between 97 and 136 GWh of EV batteries annually, according to the US Department of Energy.
Estimated capacity based on Argonne National Laboratory study dated November 2022.
According to the Department of Energy, Kansas, North Carolina, Ohio and Tennessee will also be significant contributors, with a projected 46 to 97 GWh of electric vehicle battery manufacturing capacity annually by 2030.