By Suzanne Potter
This story was originally published by Public News Service.
LAS VEGAS — The future of transportation in Clark County, particularly electrifying the sector, will be the hot topic at a panel discussion of experts and policymakers tonight in Las Vegas. The state is gearing up as big money from the bipartisan infrastructure law is making its way to Nevada.
Andrew Sierra, political and organizing director for the Nevada Conservation League, said the focus will be transportation, which generates more than a third of emissions, in Clark County and statewide.
“We’ve been able to secure millions of dollars for the next few years,” Sierra pointed out. “Specifically going not just toward our electric grid, but more specifically going to the expansion of a nationwide electric-vehicle charger network.”
In recent years, Nevada lawmakers passed clean-car standards, set goals on renewable energy, joined a federal effort to phase out dirty trucks, and moved forward on plans for a high-speed train from southern California.
Also today, Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland is visiting Las Vegas to promote new permits for renewable energy on federal land.
Justin Jones, Clark County commissioner and vice chair of the Regional Transportation Commission, said the clean-cars bill prioritizes equity, so low-income families can afford to switch to hybrid or fully electric vehicles.
“That bill will allow for conversion of current vehicles or allow them to replace their polluting vehicle with a clean vehicle,” Jones explained.
The panel discussion will take place at Motional, a company planning to run a fleet of driverless electric robotaxis to ferry people from the airport to the Vegas Strip. In addition, The Boring Company is building out the Vegas Loop tunnel, which will use electric trams to move people around downtown. And local bus fleets are transitioning to electric and hydrogen fuel-cell models.