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Coalition of health and environmental groups wants 100% electric vehicles by 2030

A Jaguar I-Pace, the first electric vehicle from the premium carmaker, charges during an event in Barcelona, Spain, in May.
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A Jaguar I-Pace, the first electric vehicle from the premium carmaker, charges during an event in Barcelona, Spain, in May.

A coalition of health and environmental groups is calling on the state legislature to set an ambitious target for electric vehicles. The group says Michigan should set a goal of 100-percent emissions-free new car sales by 2030.

Amy Rogghe is chair of the Michigan Electric Vehicle Alliance. It's one of the groups in the coalition.

She says switching to EV-only sales will dramatically reduce the state's greenhouse gas emissions, and that EVs are swiftly becoming more available and more affordable.

"And the price of electricity is vastly more steady compared to the price of gas as we've all seen in the last 6 months obviously," Rogghe said.

Kareem Scales heads the the Greater Grand Rapids NAACP. He says the goal, and a plan to reach it, will help protect people's health.

Scales says that's especially true for Black and brown Michiganders who often live in the state's most polluted neighborhoods.

"Although better than 30 years ago, it's not clean enough, not for families living next to freeways, and for anyone who has to breath in dirty air caused by gas powered cars," Scales said. "We're not asking to give up cars, we're just asking for cars to be emission free."

The group is just calling for a goal, not a mandate. That's unlike California, which plans to ban sales of gas powered new cars by 2035.

Tracy Samilton covers the auto beat for Michigan Radio. She has worked for the station for 12 years, and started out as an intern before becoming a part-time and, later, a full-time reporter. Tracy's reports on the auto industry can frequently be heard on Morning Edition and All Things Considered, as well as on Michigan Radio. She considers her coverage of the landmark lawsuit against the University of Michigan for its use of affirmative action a highlight of her reporting career.