In the News


Ethan Elkind in the news:



The past, present and future of Metro rail in Southern California

Ethan Elkind interviewed on KPCC-FM, Airtalk October 9, 2014

“The way the rail system starts is that first you have to have the political maneuverings to get the funding, and, in the case of Los Angeles, you have an enormous county. … You have to develop a program that is going to meet the needs of that enormous constituency.”


Repurposing used EV batteries

Ethan Elkind interviewed on KCBS-AM, September 27, 2014

“Having this inexpensive energy storage available to people can really be a game-changer in terms of cleaning up our electricity supply and also generating a lot of jobs, potentially here in California. … There’s a lot of money at stake here, and a lot of environmental good to be done.”


Brown signs electric vehicle bills

Ethan Elkind interviewed on KCRW-FM, September 22, 2014

“The bill directs the California air resources board … to come up with a financing plan, basically looking at the market for electric vehicles going forward, knowing that the state has a goal of about 1.5 million electric vehicles on the road by 2025.”


Used EV batteries and California’s energy storage needs

Ethan Elkind quoted in Charged Electric Vehicles Magazine, September 22, 2014

“Most batteries will retain much of their capacity and value after the use of the car,” said report author Ethan Elkind. “As a result, repurposing them can absorb excess renewable energy and dispatch it when the sun isn’t shining and the wind isn’t blowing.”


Used batteries might help California store renewable energy

Ethan Elkind quoted in Scientific American, September 19, 2014

“California is perfectly positioned to be the leader in the country, if not the world,” Elkind said. About 40 percent of the nation’s electric vehicles are in California. The state just passed 100,000 registered plug-in EVs. There’s a need for storage because of the growing amount of renewable power, and utilities must comply with the storage mandate, he said.


Even without Tesla, electric car batteries can boost state

Ethan Elkind writes for The Sacramento Bee, September 17, 2014

While Californians will eventually benefit from Tesla’s success with the Nevada gigafactory, we shouldn’t grow complacent about the possibilities here. The opportunities from repurposed batteries are simply too important for both our economic and environmental bottom line.


How do we want our waterfront to change?

Ethan Elkind interviewed on KALW-FM, City Visions, August 25, 2014

“Things are getting pretty dire. Especially when the ice sheets melt, that’s going to mean sea level rise all across the world and, of course, in San Francisco and the Bay Area in general, if not all across California and beyond. That’s going to make major impacts, especially on infrastructure like the port. We have to worry about things like our airports, the delta, as well as coastal ground water resources.”


Transit projects shouldn’t take longer to finish in 2014 than they did in 1925

Ethan Elkind quoted in City Lab, August 11, 2014

“We’re told relief is on the way, from new rapid-bus and rail-transit lines to high-speed rail. But unless ‘decades from now’ is your idea of right around the corner, Californians have to exercise extreme patience waiting through the interminable planning and construction processes associated with major new transit projects.”


Bill seeks to limit electric vehicle rebates to low-income Californians

Ethan Elkind interviewed by KPCC, August 7, 2014

“[The bill] could actually have a very positive effect if we focused on low-income communities because they’re the ones who potentially could stand to gain the most economically in terms of fuel savings, if they switched from a fossil fuel-based car to an electric vehicle. It really depends on how it’s structured, though.”


How to speed up public transit projects: get the public involved, UCLA report says

Ethan Elkind interviewed by KPCC, August 6, 2014

Elkind urges Southern California commuters to demand answers about slow transit projects from public agencies and public officials…. Elkind also favors lowering the threshold for voter initiatives that fund transit projects, from two-thirds to 55 percent.


California’s slow ride to new transit

Ethan Elkind writes for San Francisco Chronicle, August 6, 2014

While we want to ensure careful transit planning with proper community input, safety and cost-effectiveness, the multiyear processes are unnecessary and counterproductive. We must accelerate high-priority transit projects, which are vital for our economic competitiveness, quality of life, and environment.


The California high-speed rail debate—kicking things off

Ethan Elkind report cited in The Atlantic, July 9, 2014

Here are three analyses worth a serious read…an analysis by law school teams from UCLA and Berkeley, which concentrated on the project’s effects in the poorest and most polluted part of the state, the central San Joaquin Valley.


Solar power: from the roof to the ground

Ethan Elkind interviewed by KCRW To the Point, May 12, 2014

“These are tried and true technologies. Solar panels have been around for decades, and there is a lot of environmental analysis done on solar installations everywhere. The notion that solar panels are dangerous has been looked at, and was sort of put to bed decades ago.”


Linking the Los Angeles airport

Ethan Elkind quoted in The New York Times, April 21, 2014

Ethan N. Elkind, author of “Railtown,” which chronicles the push for a modern rail system in Los Angeles, said in an interview that a connection would be unlikely to transform the way Angelenos travel to the airport. “It would be more of a psychological victory, a way to reshape the image of Los Angeles,” said Mr. Elkind.


Plug-in vehicles edge toward the mainstream

Ethan Elkind interviewed by KALW-FM, City Visions, April 7, 2014

There was a push in the ‘90s that got some of the first versions of electric vehicles on the road. But, more recently, it has a lot to do with California policies. California has been a leader in air quality issues in general, but has also made zero-emissions vehicles a priority.


Can LA kick its driving habit?

Ethan Elkind quoted in Politico Magazine, March 5, 2014

But money alone cannot ensure success, notes Ethan Elkind, the author of Railtown, a history of Los Angeles’s troubled transit past. “Despite the multibillion-dollar investment, it took specific policies to make development happen,” Elkind says. “You can’t just build the line and assume people will come.”


Rail alone can’t reinvent LA

Ethan Elkind writes for the Los Angeles Times, January 27, 2014
Finally, rail-accessible development can create convenient, walkable neighborhoods that meet the growing demand among millennials, childless professionals and empty nesters to move “back to the city” — as many recent urban success stories attest.


Making sure renewable energy produces clean energy

Ethan Elkind writes for UCLA Today, November 25, 2013

Californians can certainly brag about the state’s leading role in deploying renewable energy from the sun and wind. In-state renewable energy generation has spiked in the past few years, prices have come down significantly, and we appear to be well on our way to meeting the goal of 33 percent of our electricity from renewable sources by 2020. But will this renewable energy boom actually mean cleaner air and less greenhouse gas pollution?


Viewpoints: Making sure renewable energy produces clean energy

Ethan Elkind writes for the Sacramento Bee, November 24, 2013

Most of us assume that renewable means clean. But the intermittent nature of much of this power – since the sun doesn’t always shine and the wind doesn’t always blow – may lead grid operators to rely on more fossil fuel-based power to fill gaps in the renewable sources.


Molokai electric vehicle movement

Ethan Elkind quoted in The Molokai Dispatch, September 18, 2013

“Molokai is an absolutely perfect fit for electric vehicles,” said Ethan Elkind, an EV expert and climate policy associate…. Compared to the 1.4 million people that visit Hawaii each year, Elkind said Molokai attracts a specific kind of person likely to request an EV rental car. “[Tourists on Molokai] are more into eco-tourism than other islands would get,” said Elkind.