CLAREMONT, CA – Today, college students, faculty and members of the greater Claremont community participated in the first ever Claremont Colleges Electric Vehicle Day, test driving ten different electric cars available on the market today and learning about how electric vehicles can reduce air pollution, improve health and save working Californians money.
The Electric Vehicle Day provided many students with a first-time opportunity to get behind the wheel of an electric car, to learn about rebates, loans and financing options, and to envision a clean air future for their generation. Students also had an opportunity to meet and hear from Claremont Mayor Joe Lyons, who spoke to the students about the importance of sustainable solutions and who encouraged the students to get involved in political advocacy for greater adoption of clean vehicles in California.
The event was coordinated by Pitzer College senior Shannon Leap, who is interning with Environment California Research & Policy Center, one of the organizations leading the Charge Ahead California campaign to educate the public on the importance of rapidly transitioning our vehicle fleet to clean electric vehicles in order to halt climate change and clean up our air.
“Given that California’s transportation sector is the state’s #1 source of global warming pollution, we need to revolutionize the way we drive, rapidly transitioning to electric vehicles,” said Leap. “As my generation starts working and buying our first cars, we have an opportunity—responsibility even—to choose clean electric vehicles.”
The Charge Ahead California campaign achieved an important victory last month, when Governor Jerry Brown signed into law legislation, authored by Pitzer College alumnus and the new Senate President pro Tempore Kevin De León, which will put one million electric vehicles on California roads in the next decade and ensure that low-income communities, which are disproportionately impacted by air pollution, benefit from the transition to zero tailpipe emissions.
“It’s great to see young people embracing electric vehicles as our future because we cannot leave the health of our planet and our communities to chance,” said Michelle Kinman, clean energy advocate with Environment California Research & Policy Center. “It’s time to charge ahead, break our dependence on oil, clean up our air, improve our health and protect our climate.”
The electric cars for the event were provided by BMW of Monrovia, Claremont Toyota, Fiat of Puente Hills, Ford of Upland, Metro Honda, Mountain View Chevrolet, Nissan Montclaire, and PenskeSmart Center of West Covina. Electric scooters and bikes were provided by GenZe.
“It is time to move to electric transportation and enjoy the benefits of a more stable, sustainable and less expensive energy supply” said Jim McCarty, president of the Electric Vehicle Association of Southern California, which helped to coordinate the vehicles for the event.
The Charge Ahead California campaign is led by the Coalition for Clean Air, Communities for a Better Environment, Environment California/Environment California Research & Policy Center, The Greenlining Institute and the Natural Resources Defense Council.
For more information, please visit www.chargeahead.org.