Legislation would create California EV boss

Source: By Anne C. Mulkern, E&E News reporter • Posted: Thursday, July 30, 2020

Proposed legislation aims to speed the adoption of electric vehicles in California.

A bill being drafted by state Sen. Henry Stern (D) would create the California Electric Vehicle Authority in the governor’s office. It would help find funding to move the nation’s most populous state to a “zero emissions transportation system” and coordinate work among the state, local and regional governments toward accomplishing the goal.

Right now, EVs comprise about 9% of new car sales in a state with about 15 million cars on its roads.

California, which has some of the most ambitious EV goals in the country, aims to have 1.5 million zero-emissions vehicles in use by 2025 and 5 million by 2030. To support that, the state wants to grow the number of hydrogen refueling and EV charging stations.

“We aren’t moving fast enough to a clean transportation system, which threatens [California] to meet its statutory climate goals,” said Matt Petersen, chair of the Transportation Electrification Partnership.

The group is an alliance of cities, utilities, carmakers and a clean tech incubator that’s working to scale up EV adoption. It urged Stern to propose the legislation.

The legislation, which is still being drafted, would create a senior position in the governor’s office to coordinate funding for EV projects.

“Transportation is by far the largest source of [carbon dioxide] emissions as well as deadly air pollutants,” Petersen said. “By accelerating that transition, we’ll not only assure we meet our climate goals but will kick-start [California’s] economy and make it the worldwide leader in EV technology and supply chains.”