Growth on the urban periphery, while a boon for housing affordability, comes with environmental costs, chewing up farmland and perpetuating the car-centric lifestyles that are a significant contributor to climate change. California, for instance, has a goal to cut greenhouse gas emissions 40 percent below 1990 levels by 2030, but has found it increasingly out of reach as home prices have pushed workers farther from the urban core, where they drive more. In theory, if more people work from home, even in if more people work from home, even in a hybrid capacity, it would offset some of those emissions by cutting down daily commutes. But the farther people get from the urban density and public transportation, the more dependent they become on cars even for short trips.
As per previous posts on this blog, fiber delivered advanced telecom is the essential utility for knowledge workers migrating to the exurbs. That replaces the need for long commutes and related carbon emissions. But as this NYT piece points out, personal vehicles are still needed for short trips — a need that can be met with EVs.