In the News

Ethan Elkind in the news:

Will Calif.’s ambitious policies to promote electric vehicles sell in other states?

Ethan Elkind quoted on ClimateWire, July 15, 2015

“Incentives have put California in a leadership position,” Elkind said. “I don’t know if we’ve inspired other states, but certainly other states have looked at our incentives. By changing it now to be income-based, we’ll see if that’s an area that boosts adoption.”

From a gas tax to a mile-based fee

Ethan Elkind interviewed by KQED-FM, March 26, 2015

“There should be a basic principle of fairness that if you drive five miles of roads, you should pay for those five miles. It shouldn’t depend on how much gas you’re using.”

Researchers encourage California policymakers to expand environmentally sustainable transportation

Ethan Elkind quoted in The Daily Californian, February 25, 2015

“We‘ve got crumbling roads … and transit systems that are overcrowded,” said Ethan Elkind. “We have too much traffic in general … and nowhere for people who are biking or walking.”

State must spend smarter on roads and ‘fix it first’

Ethan Elkind writes for The Sacramento Bee, February 19, 2015

Too often, decision-makers would rather fund new road and highway projects instead of improving our existing infrastructure and providing more affordable and convenient transportation options.

Improving customer access to energy data can cut costs, protect environment

Ethan Elkind quoted on, January 23, 2015

“Facilitating access to energy and market data—which can now be anonymized and aggregated without compromising customer privacy—can enable a host of more efficient and cleaner energy solutions, while also making it more economical for California to reach Gov. Brown’s climate change goals.”

Law shouldn’t be encouraging sprawl

Ethan Elkind writes for Daily Journal (registration required), December 12, 2014

“When it comes to analyzing transportation impacts, the current regime perversely penalizes transit-oriented infill projects and instead rewards outlying sprawl projects.”

Renewable energy farms spread throughout California deserts

Ethan Elkind quoted in Newsweek, November 24, 2014

But now, the phrase “China’s not doing anything” is off the table, says Ethan Elkind. … “The fact that China has committed to this puts the whole global effort [toward emissions reduction] into a new gear.”

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.”