18 September 2018
California Governor Brown Signs Eight Bills to Support ZEV Uptake
Photo by IISD/ENB | Kiara Worth
story highlights

The bills aim to support the state’s goal of achieving 5 million ZEVs on California’s roads by 2025.

Measures introduced include a rebate programme for replacement batteries and fuel cell components, opening of carpool lanes for low-income drivers of used ZEVs, ensuring that incentive programmes benefit all communities, and assessing the adequacy of the state’s charging network to encourage ZEV adoption.

Together, the bills take ZEV policy to the next level encouraging larger-scale uptake of ZEVs.

14 September 2014: Participating in the first trip of a hybrid electric ferry through San Francisco Bay, California Governor Jerry Brown signed into law a package of bills designed to maintain the state’s leading position in adopting zero emission vehicles (ZEV).

The broader uptake of ZEVs is limited by a number of barriers, such as the lower range of battery electric vehicles, limited charging infrastructure, or ZEVs’ higher cost. To address these concerns, governments have put into place incentive programmes and other legislation to encourage automakers to develop ZEVs and customers to buy them. However, most of these polices are designed to encourage early adoption of a limited number of ZEVs rather than a large-scale transition. On the occasion of Global Climate Action Summit (GCAS), Governor Brown signed into law a package of measures addressing the next phase of the ZEV transition.

The bills aim to support the state’s goal of achieving 5 million ZEVs on California’s roads by 2025 in order to reduce pollution from the transport sector, which currently accounts for approximately 50% of the state’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and 80% of smog-forming pollutants. The eight bills:

  • establish a rebate programme for the purchase of replacement batteries to assure buyers of used ZEVs that replacing batteries or fuel cell components will not burden low-income consumers;
  • establish an agricultural worker van pool programme aiming to replace old passenger vehicles;
  • require the state to assess whether charging infrastructure is sufficient to encourage ZEV adoption and require equal access of plug-in electric vehicles and ZEVs to charging infrastructure;
  • confirm the authority of the California Energy Commission to assess the need for charging infrastructure for ZEV adoption;
  • require the California Air Resources Board (CARB) to reach out to low-income households and prioritize applications for rebates from such households to ensure that California’s incentive programmes serve all communities;
  • open car pool lanes to low-income drivers of used clean air vehicles;
  • require ride-hailing services to develop emissions reduction targets; and
  • require CARB to develop three-year investment plans to incentivize the adoption of zero and near-zero emission heavy duty vehicles and equipment, including school buses.

Governor Brown also signed another package of bills on climate change that aim to promote zero net energy buildings, reduce dangerous gases in refrigerants, and increase penalties for “glider trucks” that have older, higher-polluting engines installed. [GCAS Press Release] [GCAS Website]

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