Consumers ask and we answer questions about the growing electric car industry : Up First This week the EPA released new rules for vehicle emissions, which will push the auto industry to speed up the transition to electric vehicles. It's expected that electric vehicles will make up over 50% of new cars by 2032. For now EVs account for less than 10% of vehicle sales and drivers still have lots of questions about them and how they really affect the environment.

We asked The Sunday Story listeners to share their questions about EVs and the response was overwhelming. So to answer those many questions, host Ayesha Rascoe turns to NPR's business desk correspondent, Camila Domonoske, who covers cars and energy.

The Sunday Story: Answering Your Questions About Electric Vehicles

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AYESHA RASCOE, HOST:

I'm Ayesha Rascoe, and this is the Sunday Story. A lot of people are thinking about electric vehicles right now, considering them, open to them in theory, but...

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UNIDENTIFIED PERSON #1: I look at them, but I'm not going to buy them.

CAMILA DOMONOSKE, BYLINE: Why not?

UNIDENTIFIED PERSON #1: Just because of the hassles with charging, and the second thing is cost.

RASCOE: Looking but not buying. Lots of people are in this situation, and it marks a potential turning point because whether the EV-curious take the plunge, it really matters. It matters to the auto industry, which is spending billions to build more electric vehicles, but also to the world because a rapid pivot to EVs is one key part of plans to fight climate change. Today, we're breaking from our usual format to take a closer look at electric vehicles and not from the point of view of a specific car or the Biden administration or the latest sales data but from the perspective of ordinary drivers. We asked the Sunday Story listeners to send in their questions about electric vehicles, and the response was overwhelming. After the break, we'll dig into those listener questions and get some experts to weigh in.

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RASCOE: We're back with the Sunday Story. Today, we're answering listener questions about electric vehicles, with the help of NPR's Business Desk correspondent Camila Domonoske, who covers cars and energy. Camila, welcome to the podcast.

DOMONOSKE: Thank you so much. I'm so happy to be here. And, you know, Ayesha, I know you have a lot of questions for me, but I wanted to start with one for you because I know, before you were a host, you once covered energy. You covered the BP oil spill, right?

RASCOE: Yeah, yeah, many, many moons ago.

DOMONOSKE: Did covering the oil industry affect how you think about your personal use of oil and gas?

RASCOE: It didn't affect my actual use, right? You know, I know a lot more about it. I have a lot more knowledge of it. So I have the information, but did I put it to use? Not really. You know, it's just like how you may know how to eat healthy, but you don't do it. (Laughter).

DOMONOSKE: Hypothetically (laughter).

RASCOE: Hypothetically. It's the gap between knowing and doing. I think what I also know, though, from covering energy and energy policy for a long time is that it is a complicated issue because people have different ideas about what's best for the environment and the best way to transition from fossil fuels. So when it comes to electric vehicles, I think there are a lot of questions about, are they the solution to climate change? We got so many questions from people about this theme of, you know, the environment.

UNIDENTIFIED PERSON #2: What is the environmental impact of making all of these batteries for electric vehicles?

UNIDENTIFIED PERSON #3: Is the lithium even better for the environment, or is it partly worse?

UNIDENTIFIED PERSON #4: How environmentally friendly are electric vehicles at this point?

DOMONOSKE: Yeah, I was honestly surprised by how many questions we got along this line, but people have seen a lot of stories about the environmental impact of electric vehicles, right? There's a lot of conversation about it, and I think it's raised this question in a lot of people's minds about whether this whole thing is maybe kind of a greenwashing scam, and EVs actually aren't any cleaner at all. So to answer this sort of big, overarching theme in the questions, I called up Georg Bieker. He's with the International Council on Clean Transportation. These are the people - a few years ago, when Volkswagen got caught cheating on their emissions tests, the whole Dieselgate scandal, the ICCT is the people who busted them. So I started off my conversation with Georg by just asking, like, to be clear...

In terms of who you are, like, if the auto industry were pulling a big con with EVs being actually bad for the environment, like, y'all would not hesitate to call them out for it, right?

GEORG BIEKER: Absolutely, yeah. I mean, that's that's actually why we did the study.

DOMONOSKE: So he's talking about a study they did that looked at the life cycle of electric vehicles, and that includes everything - mining, manufacturing the batteries, recycling or disposing of the batteries, the power to charge the vehicles - and compared that to the life cycle, everything involved in making and powering gas-powered cars.

BIEKER: The results were clearer than we thought, actually. Electric cars have only one-third of the climate impact of combustion engine cars, so they are much better.

DOMONOSKE: Now, a third is not zero, right? There's no free lunch, as a lot of analysts told me as I was making calls to answer these questions. But it's dramatic. That's a significant difference, and electric vehicles are cleaner than gas cars even in places like China and India, where their power grids rely overwhelmingly on coal. That's the big picture, but people had a lot of specific questions, too, so let's go ahead and let's dig into the details.

RASCOE: Yes, let's do that. Let's start with this question about lithium mining. It came from our listener Austin Kampen from Augusta, Mo.

AUSTIN KAMPEN: I hear from a lot of folks that the mining of the lithium needed for some of these car batteries is causing ecological issues. Is this true? And if so, how does this environmental impact compare to vehicles that run on fossil fuel?

DOMONOSKE: Yeah, so I said at the top that you can look at the greenhouse gas footprint, and the difference is clear, but Austin's asking about ecological issues which could be broader, right? So I called up Thea Riofrancos. She's a political scientist. She focuses on the impacts from these kinds of mines. And here's what she had to say to Austin.

THEA RIOFRANCOS: So that's such an excellent question. And the answer is yes, it's true. Yes, lithium mining and cobalt mining and nickel mining and all of the mining that goes into standard batteries has environmental impacts.

DOMONOSKE: All mining, in fact, has environmental impacts and human impacts, right? Lots of people had questions about cobalt and the child labor that happens in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. And all cars require mining, but EVs take more mining upfront to build them. And Riofrancos - this is something she is deeply worried about, but the second part of Austin's excellent question...

RIOFRANCOS: How does this compare to fossil fuels? A traditional car needs mining every day, needs mining every time it's used. It needs the whole extraction complex of fossil fuels in order to power it, and the extraction of the crude and the refining of the crude into gasoline is itself environmentally impactful and produces emissions and is energy-intensive. And then burning that every time, you know, we turn on the ignition and accelerate the car is producing a mix of climate impacts from the emissions and then local particulate matter, as well, that harms the air kind of around the car.

DOMONOSKE: So she says if you consider all of these impacts upfront and the life of the vehicle, the mining, the pollution that goes on, fossil fuel vehicles are overall worse for the environment than EVs, though she gave the caveat that for larger EVs, the difference does get smaller. One other quick note I'll make here, Ayesha, if I can. We got so many questions about cobalt. I just want to flag that there are different kinds of batteries with different kinds of chemistries. And one big trend in automaking right now is to actually use batteries that don't have cobalt. So you can go out today and you can buy an EV that has a battery - it's called an LFP battery. It doesn't use cobalt. So it can get complicated - right? - unpacking the different kinds of mining, but big picture, yes, absolutely, there are impacts. But if you're comparing to fossil fuel vehicles, it's relatively smaller.

RASCOE: OK, so that's building the battery, but what about the disposing of the battery? Like, that was what was on the mind of listener Erica Mills.

ERICA MILLS: Just wondering what the deal is with recycling the batteries because I always thought this was, like, a really big barrier we hadn't figured out yet. But my friend, who just bought a Tesla, said she read on their website that all their batteries are recyclable at the end of the life of the car.

DOMONOSKE: Yeah, this is directly related to the mining question, actually, because the minerals that go into a battery don't get used up over the life of the car. They're still just as good at the end, and the more they can be recycled, that means the less we would have to mine in the future. That's a really big difference between these batteries and gasoline that we just burn, and it's gone forever, right? Except, as Erica noted, there used to be this big question mark about recycling, so I called up someone who knows firsthand what's happening with EV battery recycling right now.

ALEXIS GEORGESON: At Redwood, we can - do already today take in about 10 gigawatt hours annually, which would equate to about 100,000 vehicles a year, of batteries. And we can recycle those, and we can recover between 95 to 98% of the critical minerals like nickel and cobalt and lithium and copper and then remanufacture those back into battery components here in the U.S.

DOMONOSKE: That's Alexis Georgeson. She's an executive at Redwood. That's a company started by a former Tesla founder to recycle EV batteries. And one thing I'll note about the fact that these batteries are getting recycled - they're actually valuable, right? So people are worried about the risk of batteries ending up in a landfill, but there's one really good reason why they wouldn't, which is that they are worth money to companies like Redwood as a raw material to build new batteries out of. I also called up the Union of Concerned Scientists because we got some questions that were asking about the environmental footprint of recycling itself. And the Union of Concerned Scientists, which obviously is not standing to make money off of recycling - but they said that it used to be the only practices for recycling lithium batteries were very dirty but that they've gotten significantly cleaner over time and that they're still getting cleaner. So they're very optimistic about that.

And another interesting thing the Union of Concerned Scientists said was actually that batteries can outlive the car that they're in. They're seeing that with some of the older vehicles, where they're no longer worth driving, but the battery still has juice in it. And so some of them get a second life as stationary storage. You stack them up somewhere to store power when it comes off of a solar panel or a wind farm. And actually, they can go for years even before they need to be recycled. They can last even longer than the car. So that was another interesting note.

RASCOE: Yeah, I mean, it's very interesting to, like, break down all these pieces of what goes into an electric vehicle and whether those pieces are environmentally sound. I want to - you know, you mentioned solar panels. We know that you got to use power to charge these batteries in the electric vehicles, and that power comes from someplace. So we got a question from Analina Tunnell from Austin, Texas.

ANALINA TUNNELL: I know that a good deal of our electricity is still powered by fossil fuels, so how much research do I need to do on where my local electricity is coming from in order to see if it's worth it to get an EV?

DOMONOSKE: So your local electricity mix - it could be really different depending on where you are in the country. That's where this question is coming from, right? Some parts of the country are relatively very clean, and some are still using a lot of coal. The good news, if you're a little overwhelmed with all of this, is that you don't actually have to do the research in order to know whether an EV will be cleaner than a gas car. Jessika Trancik is at MIT. She has done this math extensively, and here she is summing up the takeaway.

JESSIKA TRANCIK: The good news is, if you're interested in an EV, you can be confident that making that switch if you're living in the U.S., if you're switching from an internal combustion engine vehicle, is going to be beneficial.

DOMONOSKE: Now, you can do the research to see how beneficial it will be. Trancik has actually made a tool. It's called Carbon Counter. You can go to www.carboncounter.com, put in your state. You can look at individual vehicle models and see on today's grid just how big of an impact it has. Usually, it's going to vary between 30 to 60%, she says, roughly. But across the country, it is cleaner than a gas car everywhere. And that's just because it's a more efficient use of energy, putting it in a power plant and then in a battery versus a gasoline engine, which is - they're actually pretty inefficient. They waste a lot of power. So long story short, you can look up your local energy. That's great. You can research it. You can see how big the impact is, but if you don't really want to do that, you don't have to because everywhere in the country, it is cleaner today. And the grid is getting cleaner, so EVs will get even cleaner over time.

RASCOE: So OK, that makes sense for a new car, but what about if you have a car right now, and it's running just fine? Is it worth dumping your gasoline-powered car for a new vehicle? Here's a question from Ali Mercural from Portland, Ore.

ALI MERCURAL: I've been told that the biggest environmental impact of a car is in the manufacturing. So what I want to know is, is it better from an environmental standpoint to buy an electric vehicle now? Or is it better to keep driving the car that you have, even if it uses gas, and wait until you definitely need a new car before buying an EV?

DOMONOSKE: It's a super common question. I want to start with the first bit because that's a really common misconception. Actually, most of the impact of a vehicle, particularly a gas-powered vehicle, is from running the vehicle, not from building it. And this just goes, I think, to the fact that we in America - we drive so much, we use so much gasoline that it's it's kind of normalized. You can kind of forget how big of an impact it has. I talked to Jonathan Foley from Project Drawdown, which is a group that's focused on climate solutions.

JONATHAN FOLEY: Pick up a gallon of gasoline in your hands. It weighs about 7 pounds. But you take the carbon in that gasoline and mix it with air and burn it in a carburetor - it actually becomes 20lb of CO2 gas for every gallon you burn. So you burn 1 gallon of gas driving to work, let's say, and back. That's 20 pounds of pollution you put in the atmosphere that will last for centuries, if not millennia, for every single gallon. Now, do that over 15,000 miles a year.

DOMONOSKE: And that's why it doesn't take all that long, compared to the lifespan of a vehicle, to make up for the emissions from building a new car. Now, that said, Ayesha, Foley says it totally makes sense to wait until you're ready for a new car to buy a car. And that's not from an emissions standpoint but just from a practical one because cars are super expensive, right? Financially, if you're happy with your current car, it's probably not going to be a good choice to swap it out for an EV unless you have, you know, buy-a-car-for-fun money.

RASCOE: OK, well, it's nice if you do. There are always going to be people who are going to say, look - I mean, if the climate is at stake, should we be buying cars at all? Like, maybe we should just not be doing this because of the emissions that are related to it. We got this question from Thomas Guffey of Los Angeles.

THOMAS GUFFEY: Wouldn't it just be better to design cities around mass transit and use mass transit than trying to get everyone to convert over to electric vehicles? I don't know if that's a real question or not.

DOMONOSKE: That's totally a real question, and the answer is yes, like, full stop. That is a lower impact on the environment. I'll also note we got some questions from listeners about e-bikes. Similarly, yes, e-bikes have a significantly smaller impact, like, much smaller than buying a big, full-sized car, right? Those are cleaner things. And those are also necessary, right? In order to meet climate goals, we will need to build cities so that they're more walkable and have better mass transit and support bike infrastructure. And even with all of that, we will still need cars. And EVs are definitely cleaner than a similar gas car, and they're definitely not as clean as not having a car at all. But within the world of electric vehicles, you can also reduce the impact of buying a vehicle by getting the smallest car that you can, for instance.

RASCOE: OK. I mean, that - we went through a whole lot just tackling those environmental questions. but Camila, stay with us because we've also got a lot of practical questions for you to answer after the break.

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RASCOE: We're back with the Sunday Story, talking to NPR's Camila Domonoske and answering listener questions about electric vehicles. So Camila, you know, getting back to talking about the size of EVs, you know, one listener had a question about this, Arvind Srinivasan.

ARVIND SRINIVASAN: Why aren't more automakers offering smaller, cheaper electric vehicles versus selling larger, more expensive electric pickup trucks and SUVs that are unaffordable to the average consumer?

DOMONOSKE: Yeah. So where are the cheaper electric vehicles, right? So the short answer to this is that it is easier for the automakers to make money on a more expensive electric vehicle. There's a longer answer. We could talk about consumer preferences in the U.S. We could talk about the way that vehicle regulations work and sometimes incentivize larger vehicles. But the economics of it are a huge part of what's happening. And I will note, the automakers are very well aware that there is demand for cheaper vehicles and cheaper electric vehicles. Tesla has been trying, is continuing to try to make a significantly cheaper mass-market EV. Ford recently announced they have, like, a secret elite task force that's working on how to make a smaller, cheaper car.

RASCOE: But is it secret if we know about it?

DOMONOSKE: They just announced that they've been doing it for two years and hadn't told...

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RASCOE: OK. So it was a secret that's no longer a secret.

DOMONOSKE: That's what they said. Yeah. They've they've been focusing on this gigantic F-150 Lightning and recently kind of struggling with it. So suddenly, they announced that they had this secret team working on a smaller vehicle. And they know that they have to do this because people want to buy them. And globally, there are companies in China that are making very compelling, high-tech, popular and affordable vehicles. This is something - these vehicles aren't for sale in the U.S. for the most part because of big tariffs. And I'll note the Biden administration has recently started raising concerns about spying by vehicles made in China, which might be another way they try to keep Chinese vehicles out of the U.S. market.

But cheaper Chinese vehicles have upended the market in Europe. They are changing the way that the market works globally and really putting pressure on companies to make smaller and cheaper vehicles in the years ahead. And another thing to flag here is that right now, gasoline-powered SUVs and trucks are significantly more profitable for your big legacy automakers. They also know that they need to make EVs in the future. And so they are looking ahead at a few years where they're going to be figuring out how quickly to make EVs, how many of them they can sell, how much it'll cost. It's going to be messy for these companies. They want to sell more EVs, but they don't want to sell them too fast because they're not making much money on them yet, and they don't want to sell them for too cheap because, again, they want to make as much profit as they can.

RASCOE: But, I mean, for the people buying the cars, cheap sounds pretty good. And cars are really expensive right now. So let's talk a bit more about these prices. We got questions about whether lease vehicles get the same tax rebates.

DOMONOSKE: Yeah. So there are big federal tax incentives for buying electric vehicles right now, set up to $7,500. There might also be state tax credits, depending on where you live, right? The federal tax credits, though - they're limited to cars that are made in North America and source their battery components from the U.S. or allied countries, which really reduces the number of vehicles that qualify right now. And so the listener who wrote in to ask about leases - yes, leases are totally different. All leased electric vehicles currently qualify for this tax credit, which reduces the cost significantly on leased electric vehicles. We have a guide to the federal tax credits, which can be a little complicated, on npr.org, if you want to read thousands of words about exactly how it works. But the short answer is you have to qualify on income and the vehicle if you're buying it. Everyone currently gets that tax credit on a lease. And on the point of prices, I will also note it is in almost every case, if you're charging at home, it's going to be cheaper to charge an EV than to run a car off of gasoline. So that does save money in the long term, although it doesn't necessarily help with the upfront costs.

RASCOE: OK, so let's talk about charging, since you brought it up. We got a question via email from Russ Prechtel, who owns a Tesla and asked about charging. Like, what's the progress? When will we see more charging infrastructure available?

DOMONOSKE: Yeah. So to answer this question, I dug into some of the data from the Department of Energy, called up some analysts. And I'm going to start by sort of breaking down the levels of charging, right? There's level one, which is how you charge into, like, a standard outlet. This is actually how I charge my electric vehicle at home. It's very slow, but if you don't drive very much, it's perfectly fine. So people do that at home. We're also starting to see those chargers get added at airports, where you're parked for a long time. Then there's level two charging. These are chargers that can completely refill a battery, say, overnight or in the course of a work day. So these are chargers that are at places where you work. They're at hotels. That's level two chargers. And then there's fast chargers. Fast chargers are the ones you use on road trips. Most people are charging their vehicles most of the time level one or level two. Fast chargers you only use when you're on a long trip. But they get a ton of attention because Americans - it's really important psychologically that we feel like we can go anywhere at any time, right? This is really important to car buyers.

RASCOE: Yes.

DOMONOSKE: So fast chargers infrastructure is improving. One huge thing that's happening right now is the Tesla Supercharger network, which is bigger and more reliable and faster than most other charges out there. It's opening up to non-Teslas. This is a brand-new, currently happening situation. It's going to be complicated over the next few years with lots of adapters going out and figuring out how exactly it works. But more people are going to be able to use the Supercharger network. And automakers and the federal government are also putting billions of dollars towards building more fast chargers along freeways. Now, this has been under way for a couple of years. If you're an EV driver who's, like, where are these billions of dollars going? Because I'm not seeing it. The money goes through the states before it goes into projects, and some of it's going pretty slow so far. I talked to Nick Nigro. He's with Atlas Public Policy, a group that is tracking charger deployment really closely.

NICK NIGRO: It takes a while to set up these programs. And, you know, in some cases, it's taken more than a year or so to do that. But once they get going - one thing transportation agencies are very good at doing is putting money out into the field and building infrastructure.

DOMONOSKE: So he says, yeah, he gets it if it's felt slow, but it's going to get faster. And this money, just the federal money alone, he expects to double or triple the overall size of the fast charger network. And that's not counting money from the automakers themselves. Level two chargers - these are the chargers that you use while you're doing other things. You know, if having fast chargers is really important to people who are thinking about buying an EV, having a lot of level two chargers is really important to people who have an EV right now because it's so much more practical to charge while you're doing something you're doing anyway instead of stopping at a fast charger. So this is something - there's tax credits to support building out these chargers. They are being added not as quickly relative to how many of them are out there as DC fast chargers. It's not growing percentage-wise as much.

You know, big picture, EVs have increased in sales enormously, right? There's been a lot of concern in the last few months about sales leveling off because the growth rate slowed, but last year, sales of EVs increased by 50%, which is huge. So there are a lot more EVs on the road now than there used to be, which means chargers are getting built. They're being deployed, hundreds of them every week, but they're not growing as quickly as the number of EVs on the road are growing. So charger growth needs to increase significantly in order to keep pace with how quickly EVs are selling.

RASCOE: Well, you know, I mean, there is this idea in the U.S. that people want to be able to get in their car and make a run for it if they have to, you know (laughter)? And so there's this range anxiety because there's this idea that if you - you know, even though, yeah, you may only go 15 miles in your day, you know, normally, if that, but what if the zombie apocalypse happens or something happens? You've got to get in the car and go. People have range anxiety, right? You know, so we have our listener, John Little. He's been thinking about this, especially in the winter, because that affects charging. Here's his question.

JOHN LITTLE: I'm in Vermont. I'm curious about the cold weather affecting my ability for the battery to charge up fully. And if I'm driving around with heat on and my radio listening to Sunday Story, what's that going to do to my actual range?

DOMONOSKE: Yeah, so cold weather does affect electric vehicle range. I spoke to Nils Sodal in Norway. He's with a group that every winter sends electric vehicles up into the mountains north of Oslo to see how they do.

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DOMONOSKE: This is what that sounds like. It's pretty cold and miserable. He says they've done this for years, and different vehicles do differently.

NILS SODAL: We have tested this in the winter. The best had only 4% loss of range and the worst is 36 and a lot in between.

DOMONOSKE: So, you know, ballpark, you can figure you'll lose 25% of your range in the winter. It might be worse if it's really, really cold, you know, negative digits. It does vary by car, so you'll want to research that specifically, how you drive. A couple quick tips here for people in cold climates on the practical side. If you get a vehicle that has a heat pump to heat the vehicle, that helps a lot. It's more efficient. If you have heated seats, then you can run the heated seats instead of the heater. It's actually - heated seats is not a luxury. It's a really practical element if you have an EV in a cold climate. You'll also want an EV that can precondition the battery, which just means warm it up before you charge it because the batteries like to be warm when they charge. And, you know, if you want to improve your range in an electric vehicle, in general, slowing down is going to be the thing that helps the most. If you don't speed, go the speed limit or even a little under, your range will increase a lot. But the radio, pleased to report, not a significant draw of energy, so please keep the Sunday Story playing.

RASCOE: Please keep it playing. We really need you to keep listening (laughter). This has all been really helpful to understand this growing industry. And everything you're saying - it feels like we're really at a pivotal time for electric vehicles.

DOMONOSKE: Yeah, absolutely. This is a pivotal moment, and it's also, I would say, a really interesting moment because we're going from a market of early adopters who were super enthusiastic about electric vehicles. They wanted an EV specifically. They love the zip. The instant torque. They wanted to not have to buy gasoline. They were enthusiastic about the technology, how quiet these vehicles are. And they researched EVs a lot.

And now you have the mainstream market, buyers who just want a good car and are open to EVs, but they're wondering, you know, can I afford them? Is the charging going to work for me? And as all of these individual buyers are making these shopping decisions, the industry is making its decisions about what kind of vehicle lineup they're going to have in the years ahead. You have regulators making decisions. California and a bunch of other states have mandated that by 2035, 100% of new vehicles be zero emission. And federally, just this week, the EPA finalized vehicle emission standards that are designed to accelerate EVs. And they moderated the timeline a little bit, looking at the market right now.

So everyone is looking at how these cars are selling right now to decide how fast it's possible for this transition to happen, which means that consumer decisions are kind of being amplified because they're sending a signal to policymakers and to industry about what's possible. Big picture, the auto industry mostly agrees that electric vehicles are their future, but the question is how quickly that happens.

And there's a lot at stake because one of the things that's going to determine how bad climate change gets in the future is how quickly things like transportation decarbonize, how quickly they go electric. So these decisions that everyone is making one by one for their families, for all their personal reasons - they add up to what's going to be happening decades from now, how expensive it's going to be to deal with climate change, how deadly it's going to be. All these little individual decisions, they add up to a really big collective one.

RASCOE: I mean, that puts a lot of weight onto a decision that some people might not put a lot of thought into, which is the car that they're going to drive. Well, they might not think of the larger implications outside of their own driving and their own family or what have you. So thank you for coming in and sharing all these insights with us and with our listeners.

DOMONOSKE: Thank you so much for having me.

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RASCOE: This episode of the Sunday Story was produced by Andrew Mambo and Sylvie Douglis. It was edited by Jenny Schmidt, Meghan Keane and Rafael Nam. The engineer for this episode was James Willets. Our team includes Liana Simstrom and Justine Yan. Irene Noguchi is our executive producer. We always love hearing from you, so feel free to reach out to us at thesundaystory@npr.org. I'm Ayesha Rascoe. UP FIRST is back in your feed tomorrow with all the news you need to start your week. Until then, enjoy the rest of your weekend.

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