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California governor backs new ZEVs mandate

Street traffic in Los Angeles, California.

California Governor Jerry Brown signs a new executive order calling for 5 million zero-emission vehicles (ZEVs) on state roads by 2030

California, already the spiritual home of the electric car, is now pushing for an even more aggressive uptake of zero-emission vehicles (ZEVs).

State governor Edmund Brown last week signed an executive order aimed at increasing the use of ZEVs and the fast-charging and refuelling stations available in California. The measures will be supported by US$1.25 billion in cap-and-trade auction proceeds, as part of a wider climate investment plan.

“This executive order aims to curb carbon pollution from cars and trucks and boost the number of zero-emission vehicles driven in California,” said Governor Brown. “In addition, the cap-and-trade investments will, in varying degrees, reduce California’s carbon footprint and improve the quality of life for all.”

The order calls for a new target to ensure the state has 5 million ZEVs on the roads by 2030, a measure that was telegraphed in Brown’s State of the State speech a day prior to the signing. In a demonstration of how quickly the sector has progressed, Brown’s new target expands the state’s previous goal of 1.5 million by 2025 by than threefold.

That said, this is still a major increase from the 300,000 EVs on its roads at present.

According to Brown, his administration is also proposing a new eight-year initiative which would extend the state’s clean vehicle rebates and encourage additional investment in infrastructure. This US$2.5 billion initiative would establish 250,000 vehicle charging stations and 200 hydrogen fuelling stations in California by 2025.

Meanwhile, projects which will benefit from funds raised by cap-and-trade auctions will also include new renewable energy, public transportation, zero-emission vehicles, environmental restoration, sustainable agriculture and recycling.

Brown’s executive order follows a series of bills signed into law last year, which included measures to boost the percentage of light-duty EVs in the state’s fleet and to low-emissions and clean fuel vehicles access to California’s carpool lanes.


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