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Electric Cars Could Put A Charge In California's Economy, Study Finds

An electric car outside the County Administration Building for a free drive Clean Air Day event on Oct. 2, 2019.
Erik Anderson
An electric car outside the County Administration Building for a free drive Clean Air Day event on Oct. 2, 2019.

California’s economy could get a major boost if a significant number of drivers switched to electric vehicles, according to a recent study.

The study comes from the nonpartisan think tank Next 10 which asked UC Berkeley economist David Roland Holst to look into the situation.

He found widespread adoption of electric cars and trucks could generate $140 billion for the state’s economy in just 10 years.

The analysis examined the effect of drivers making the switch from petroleum fuels.

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“Californians spend about $60 billion a year on gasoline and redirecting a significant amount of the expenditure to the other things that households want to buy, the goods and services they want to buy could be a really potent stimulus for the state economy,” Roland Holst said.

That economic stimulus could also generate 400,000 to 500,000 jobs as the shift away from fossil fuels happens.

“Half of the gross state product is coming from household spending on very job intensive, in-state goods and services and if you can divert money that’s being spent on carbon fuels, to that kind of spending. The net increase in employment would be substantial,” Roland Holst said.

The economic benefits will continue to multiply as more people exchange their fossil-fuel-powered vehicles for electric cars and trucks.

California’s disadvantaged communities stand to gain the more because they would have extra money and cleaner air.

Electric Cars Could Put A Charge In California's Economy, Study Finds
Listen to this story by Erik Anderson.