The long road to electric cars

Entry type: Single project

Country/area: United States

Publishing organisation: Reuters

Organisation size: Big

Publication date: 2022-02-07

Language: English

Authors: Feilding Cage


Feilding Cage is a visual journalist and editor at Retuers with a focus on enterprise storytelling. He previously led the visuals team at the Guardian. His work has been cited with the Pulitzer Prize three times.

Project description:

Project uses fleet turnover modeling to explore how long the transition to a fully-electric fleet could take in the U.S. and the impact of measures under consideration by Congress to speed up that transition.

Impact reached:

Project has been cited by planning/consulting firms consulting for state and local governments to help explain and advocate for additional EV purchase credits and to build out local charging stations.

Techniques/technologies used:

A basic fleet turnover model was use for big picture analsysis. Then, with consultation from an MIT professor studying the auto industry, we were able to break out a few key policy measures to explore their impact of EV adotion.

Context about the project:

This project published during then window when it looked as though Biden’s infrastrcutre package could not make it through Congress. This project helps put into context the need for additional charging infrstructure and supplementing the purchase price of EVs. In the first example, it shows how just because you can make a shiny new eco-friendly car does not mean people will just buy them. As we’ve seen in the last decade, the adoption of even hybrid cars has been slow and there’s still hesitation among consumers to a chance of a higher-priced EV.

What can other journalists learn from this project?

An example of working with a model for illustrative purposes, and writing about it, in a way that does not take the reader to a ficticious land or require them to make numerous selections as if it were a calculator. This narrows down an endless configuration of options preseneted in the model to create simple, easy to understand snapshops of concepts debated in Congress and by consumers.

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