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Gov. Brown signs raft of California ZEV bills

Street traffic in Los Angeles, California.

50% of California light duty fleet and 15% of heavy vehicle fleet to be electric by 2025

Already one of the most ambitious political forces in terms of EV adoption, California is putting even further legislative power behind zero-emission technologies. October 10 saw State Governor Jerry Brown sign 11 bills with various methods of driving uptake through incentives, minimum fleet electrification targets, new charging infrastructure and much more.

In a press release, the governor’s office noted that Brown has signed off on the following pieces of legislation:

  • SB 498 by Senator Nancy Skinner (D-Berkeley) – Requires at least 50% of the state’s light-duty vehicle (LDV) fleet to be zero-emission by 2025, up from the current goal of 25% by 2020.
  • AB 188 by Assemblymember Rudy Salas Jr. (D-Bakersfield) – Strengthens California’s program to remove the most polluting vehicles from the road by allowing certain LD trucks to qualify as a replacement vehicle so long as the truck meets higher vehicle efficiency standards.
  • AB 544 by Assemblymember Richard H. Bloom (D-Santa Monica) – Extends California’s program to allow certain clean alternative fuel vehicles to use high-occupancy vehicle (carpool) lanes.
  • AB 615 by Assemblymember Jim Cooper (D-Elk Grove) – Extends the income caps for the Clean Vehicle Rebate Project to continue providing air quality and greenhouse gas emissions reduction benefits through programs that encourage the purchase of zero-emissions vehicles.
  • AB 630 by Assemblymember Jim Cooper (D-Elk Grove) – Codifies a clean-car program that benefits low-income residents by helping them replace high-polluting vehicles with cleaner and more efficient vehicles.
  • AB 739 by Assemblymember Ed Chau (D-Monterey Park) – Requires at least 15% of specified heavy-duty vehicles (HDVs) newly purchased by state agencies to be zero-emission beginning in 2025, and at least 30% of those vehicles to be ZEV beginning in 2030.
  • AB 1073 by Assemblymember Eduardo Garcia (D-Coachella) – Extends the requirement for funding of early deployment of clean heavy-duty trucks as part of California’s Clean Truck, Bus and Off-Road Vehicle program.
  • AB 1082 and AB 1083 by Assemblymember Autumn R. Burke (D-Inglewood) – Authorise pilot programs to allow for new electric vehicle charging stations at state parks and beaches. A signing message for the bills can be found here.
  • AB 1274 by Assemblymember Patrick O’Donnell (D-Long Beach) – Temporarily expands the smog check exemption to vehicles eight model years old or newer while increasing the smog abatement fee to strengthen air quality programs.
  • AB 1317 by Assemblymember Adam Gray (D-Merced) – Adds stationary irrigation or water conveyance engines to the list of equipment eligible for air quality incentives.
  • AB 1452 by Assemblymember Al Muratsuchi (D-Torrance) – Authorizes local jurisdictions to dedicate on-street parking spaces on public streets for the exclusive purpose of charging a parked electric vehicle, provided appropriate signage is installed.

A full text of the bills, is available at: http://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov

Certainly some are more wide-reaching than others. Perhaps most important is the commitment to fleet electrification; given that the state operates nearly 50,000 vehicles in total, including HDVs and LDVs, ensuring that almost half of them are electric by 2030 will be a major undertaking – and one with sizable rewards for automakers.

Incentives such as use of carpool lanes also give an indication of the kind of perks that may be retained for electric drivers even after larger grants and rebates are rolled back. It is encouraging therefore that policies are being put in place to ensure continued adoption.

There’s still a long way to go, but many of these progressive bills suggest other states and nations have much to learn from California’s approach to EV adoption.


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