California seeks to preserve its place as the greenest state in America with more cleantech leadership. On January 26, governor Jerry Brown signed an executive order that commits the state to a goal of having 5 million zero-emissions cars on its roads by 2030.
The previous goal was 1.5 million ZEVs by 2025. Battery electric cars and hydrogen fuel cell cars are zero emissions by the definition. The latter will irritate some EV fans, who see hydrogen vehicles as a big #fail.
“The goal is to make our neighborhoods and farms healthier, our vehicles cleaner — zero emission the sooner the better — and all of our technologies increasingly lowering their carbon output,” Brown said in his annual State of the State address last week. As reported by the San Jose Mercury, he told the state legislature, “We’ve all got a lot of work. And think of all the jobs, and how much cleaner our air will be then.”
To reach the goal, California will spend $2.5 billion between now and 2025 to install more charging stations and hydrogen fueling stations throughout the state. It will also beef up its incentives and rebate programs for people who buy zero emissions cars. Right now, there are about 350,000 zero-emissions vehicles on the road in California. Increasing the number 15 fold in 12 years will be a daunting task.
The plan calls for expanding the number of EV charging stations in the state from 14,000 today to 250,000. Fast charging stations will increase from 1,500 to 10,000 and hydrogen refueling stations will jump from 31 today to 200. Some of the cost of expanding the charging infrastructure will be paid for money Volkswagen has agreed to pay to settle claims connected to its diesel cheating scandal. Proceeds from California’s cap & trade carbon emissions will also pay part of the cost.
The state’s utility companies will be part of the push for more electric chargers as well. This week, San Diego Gas & Electric announced it is adding charging equipment for heavy-duty vehicles at the Port of San Diego, San Diego International Airport, and freight handling hubs. Those new facilities will meet the charging needs of electric tractor trailers, forklifts, and other medium- to heavy-duty equipment. It will also add public chargers at four Park & Ride commuter lots in the area. The expansion program was approved January 11 by the California Public Utilities Commission, according to Electric Cars Report.