Statement by Environment California Research & Policy Center’s Clean Energy Advocate Michelle Kinman:
“As Governor Jerry Brown puts the finishing touches on his final State of the State address, we urge him to use this platform to announce how California will facilitate the rapid deployment of electric vehicle (EV) charging throughout the state. We will be tuning in on Thursday in the hopes of hearing Governor Brown make a strong plug for plugging in.
“Electric vehicles have the potential to address critical public health and environmental challenges, and are essential for California to meet its climate goals. Governor Brown’s Interagency Working Group on Zero-Emission Vehicles estimates that California will not be able to meet the state’s long-term climate goals unless nearly all vehicles sold by mid-century are electric.
“The good news is that the number of electric vehicles on California’s roads is at an all-time high and rising fast. By the end of 2017, more than 360,000 EVs had been sold to-date in California, making up nearly half of the total number of electric vehicles in the country. Technological gains that allow electric vehicles to drive farther, charge faster, and be produced more affordably are revolutionizing the vehicle market and EVs are poised for explosive growth.
“The growing demand for electric cars will require comprehensive plans to ensure that all Californians can reliably charge their vehicles—at home, work, school, the grocery store, and in countless locations throughout the state. Imagine a future where EV charging is more commonplace than Starbucks.
“There are a number of innovative programs already underway or soon to be launched by utilities, cities and others to facilitate the deployment of charging infrastructure across the state. Yet if California hopes to facilitate more widespread adoption so that nearly every car sold in the state is electric by mid-century, greater coordination and investment is needed.
“Governor Brown has often included in his previous State of the State addresses mention of the California’s leadership on electric vehicle adoption and the imperative to ramp up EV deployment to achieve our clean air and climate goals. This year, we urge Governor Brown to specifically address the companion to electric vehicles—the charging infrastructure. The Governor has a tremendous opportunity between now and his Global Climate Action Summit in September to bring together automakers, utilities, charging infrastructure companies, city leaders, developers, environmentalists and more to make an aggressive commitment to ensuring that Californians can plug into the electric vehicle revolution.”