California leads the nation in the number of zero-emission cars on the road (54.5 percent of the U.S. market), and also in investment in their development. From Tesla to Google to the electric bus manufacturer BYD, private-sector companies are investing billions in clean-car development and manufacturing in California. This is the future of transportation: Vehicles that will reduce fuel costs for consumers, produce healthier air and help move the world toward meeting the climate goals embodied in the Paris agreement.
It is easy – and exciting – to envision a not-too-distant future in which communities are dotted not with “gas stations” but rather “fueling stations” that provide an array of transportation fuels to meet the individual needs of consumers who drive an assortment of vehicles powered by biofuels, hydrogen, electricity and other non-petroleum fuels.
There is much to do if we are to meet California’s goal of having 1.5 million zero-emission vehicles on the road by 2025. This year, I am authoring bills to help us meet that goal and send a strong signal to the marketplace that California will remain the place to invest in the future. SB 1402 would establish a low-carbon fuel incentive program to encourage commercial-scale production of low-carbon fuels at in-state facilities. SB 1405 seeks to ramp up consumers’ exposure to zero-emission vehicles by expanding their use by ride-sharing companies, rental car agencies, taxi fleets and other transportation systems.
It’s time for California to speed up its progress on the road ahead.