31 January 2018

California to have 5 million zero-emission vehicles on its roads by 2030

Governor Jerry Brown strikes again as a US climate leader after signing an executive order mandating the state of California to deploy at least 5 million zero-emission cars by 2030.

The transport sector accounts for 50 percent of California’s emissions and almost 80 percent of smog-forming pollutants. Thus, it is seen as a crucial sector to be addressed if California’s climate targets are to be met.

Governor Jerry Brown has pledged to exceed the existing 2025 zero-emission vehicle goals by boosting the availability of charging and refueling stations and other necessary infrastructure.

The executive order does not only address fully electric vehicles, as it also incorporates hydrogen fuelled ones too- a sector which has potential, but is still at a very niche level. The Governor, therefore, ordered state and private actors to spur the construction of 200 hydrogen and fuelling stations and 250,000 charging stations- including 10,000 fast chargers, by 2025.

The new target is significantly scaling up ambition, as up until now the target was to deploy at least 1.5 million zero-emission vehicles by 2025.

California currently has 14,000 charging stations and 1,500 high-speed ones, which means that the number will need to increase by a factor of thousands in just 12 years.

To achieve these targets, the 8-year plan will see the state spend $2.5 billion on charging infrastructure alone.

During the presentation of the new order at the annual State of the State event last week, Governor Brown said: “The goal is to make our neighbourhoods and farms healthier, our vehicles cleaner — zero emission the sooner the better — and all of our technologies increasingly lowering their carbon output”.

“We’ve all got a lot of work. And think of all the jobs, and how much cleaner our air will be then”, he added.

Simon Mui, a Senior Scientist from the Natural Resources Defence Council, observed: “The governor is basically going big before he goes home”.

“What he’s laying out is a foundation to move California away from fossil fuels and internal combustion engines” he added commenting on the fact that will be leaving his office next year.

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