Not long ago, I wrote about a sticking point I’ve had for a long time – it’s not all about California electric vehicle sales for bringing zero emission vehicles to US roads. Well, I may have been wrong about some of it……. California does lead the way in collaborative projects between government, industry, and non-profits organizations. Here are a few clear examples………….
The governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development (GO-Biz) and the Japanese government organization New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO) agreed last week to conduct a feasibility study for an electric vehicle (EV) demonstration project to develop new fast charging EV stations in California. During the roughly half-year feasibility study, NEDO in coordination with GO-Biz will develop a detailed plan for the possible demonstration project. It comes from a memorandum signed by the two governments in September on climate change, renewable energy, vehicles, and other issues.
The County of Los Angeles has deployed 82 EVlink charging stations at 34 locations, including hospitals, sheriff stations, and the LA Civic Center. Users will get free charging up to four hours during the first year of the pilot program. Schneider Electric makes the EVlink stations and it makes a lot of sense to work with that county. “LA County is leading the way in providing their communities with EV charging solutions,” said Mike Calise, Senior Director of Electric Vehicle Solutions, for Schneider Electric. “We hope other counties will take this lead and pursue similar projects, since the sum of multiple county involvements will create a tipping point for the state.”
Major utility NRG’s eVgo company has installed what it says is the largest corporate deployment of EV charging stations in Southern California – 60 Level 2 workplace charging stations at Sony Pictures Entertainment’s historic facility in Culver City. Sony began offering incentives to employees in 2008 to buy EVs, and so far 300 employees have done so. The Ready for Electric Vehicle (REV) program provides Sony and other workplaces with turnkey EV charging solutions, providing charger maintenance and driver support.
An impressive meeting took place Thursday at the South Coast Air Quality Management District office in Diamond Bar. Officials from eight states say their country is on track to have 3.3 million zero-emission vehicles on the road by 2025 – with about 1.5 million of them in California. Beyond a vivid display of a wide range of Evs in its parking lot, officials from members of the multi-state EV task force praised California and talked about what’s been accomplished in their states. A commissioner with the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection said that Evs are playing a vital role in his state’s goal of dropping green house gas emissions to 25 percent below 1990 levels by 2020.
While I would still love to see other states embrace EVs, California is leading the way. That’s also true for natural gas vehicles, hybrids, and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles (which fall under the zero-emission vehicle category). I think there are three other reasons why California is leading the pack: plentiful funding programs through California Energy Commision and other state sources; university think tanks such as the UC Davis Plug-in Hybrid & Electric Vehicle Research Center with its excellent study on dealerships and EVs; and California Air Resources Board is up there with the US Environmental Protection Agency for certification standards governing OEMs in alternative fuel vehicles including natural gas and propane autogas.