Calif. forms alliance to promote zero-emission cars

Source: Anne C. Mulkern, E&E reporter • Posted: Friday, August 21, 2015

California, the Netherlands and Quebec will cooperate to promote cars with zero tailpipe emissions, they said today.

California EPA announced the launch of the International Zero-Emission Vehicle Alliance. The three partners said they also want to recruit other countries and sub-national jurisdictions to join the effort.

As members in the ZEV Alliance, the countries and sub-nationals will promote innovation and investment and raise international awareness of expanding ZEV markets and opportunities, California EPA said. They will make greater deployment possible through exchanging information and jointly encouraging adoption of policies that boost the number of ZEVs on the roads.

“We will only achieve our long-term climate objectives with a change to cleaner, more energy-efficient vehicles,” said Matt Rodriquez, California secretary for environmental protection. “We’re pleased to expand our partnerships with the Netherlands and Quebec and encourage other countries, states and provinces to work with us to put more and more drivers from all income levels at the wheel of zero-emission vehicles.”

About one in every six ZEVs sold in the world is in California. The state has a goal of putting 1.5 million ZEVs on the road by 2025.

Last year, the Golden State joined Connecticut, Maryland, Massachusetts, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island and Vermont in rolling out their Multi-State ZEV Action Plan. Actions in it included encouraging fleets to acquire ZEVs, planning and investing in ZEV infrastructure such as charging stations, and tracking progress toward a goal of a combined 3.3 million ZEVs on U.S. highways by 2025.

In the Netherlands, ZEVs are approaching 5 percent of the share of new cars sold, California EPA said. The Netherlands has the world’s largest network of public electric vehicle charging stations.

California and the Netherlands have collaborated since October 2013, when Wilma Mansveld, the Dutch environment minister, and Rodriquez signed a letter of intent to cooperate on policies in climate, energy and sustainable transportation. This led to the signing of a memorandum of cooperation regarding the initiation of the ZEV Alliance.

Quebec has the largest ZEV fleet in Canada. It accounts for close to half the country’s market, California EPA said. Quebec and the Golden State were partners in developing the Western Climate Initiative Inc. carbon market starting in 2008. They linked their carbon emissions cap-and-trade programs last year, creating the largest carbon market in North America.

“Deployment of ZEVs is one of Quebec’s main strategies to reduce its carbon footprint in the transportation sector,” David Heurtel, Quebec’s minister for sustainable development, the environment and the fight against climate change, said in a statement. “It also represents interesting opportunities for Quebec businesses which have a solid expertise on EV batteries, electric motorization, charging stations and other components of ZEVs.”