California's EV strategy opens a portal to America’s future | RenewEconomy

California’s EV strategy opens a portal to America’s future

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California is poised to open a portal to America’s future, shoving Big Oil off the highways to make room for cleaner transportation alternatives.

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Several models of electric cars are now affordable, with post-incentive prices under $20,000 for a few of them. When you consider the fact that driving on electricity is like driving on $1/gallon gasoline, that can equal big savings.

It appears many Californians have figured this one out, as it is one of the leading electric car markets in the world, and it may soon get even better. Max Baumhefner’s blog for Switchboard NRDC points this out: “California is poised to open a portal to America’s future, shoving Big Oil off the highways to make room for cleaner transportation alternatives that will improve the nation’s health and provide drivers with much-needed relief from pain at the pump.”

Baumhefner continues: “the California Legislature gave final passage to the Charge Ahead California Initiative to put 1 million electric vehicles on the road within 10 years and sent it to Governor Jerry Brown for his signature.”


The legislation is the first in the nation to try to place 1 million electric cars, trucks, and buses on a state’s streets within a decade. (There are currently ~100,000 electric cars on California’s roads.)

Modern society has so many ills, one being that 19.3% Of the United States population lives near a high-volume road. That’s about one-fifth of the population. Baumhefner points out: California’s even worse. “With four-in-ten Californians living dangerously close to pollution-choked highways, resulting in more premature deaths associated with traffic pollution than from traffic accidents, the transition to near-zero and zero emission vehicles is desperately needed.”

The Charge Ahead legislation also addresses lower-income needs and increases the moderate income family’s ability to make the switch. The bill has credit enhancement programs to help families with credit deficiency. Once the change is made, money saved at the pump makes a great difference for these families. The bill also includes vouchers for transit passes and car-sharing programs.

The Charge Ahead California Initiative (Senate Bill 1275) is sponsored by the Coalition for Clean Air, Communities for a Better Environment, Environment California, The Greenlining Institute, and the Natural Resources Defense Council.


One more thing to note about electric cars before closing is that electricity prices are much more stable than gasoline prices. Look at the graph above for a good visual of that. It shows both historical prices and price forecasts. Staggering how much of a difference there is.

I hope the rest of the country will take note and jump into the portal of change that is cutting smog and global warming emissions.

As Mike Barnard points out in a previous CleanTechnica article on the benefits of electric vehicles: “As the grid decarbonizes, dominantly due to increased renewables, the CO2 balance will change.” Many of us will be breathing fresher air rather than air heavy with particulates that create illness. I appreciate California’s lead in this important health matter.


Source: CleanTechnica. Reproduced with permission.

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1 Comment
  1. Mark Roest 6 years ago

    It would be really educational (and help with both marketing and politics) to add a line for the true historical and expected cost of production and distribution of motor fuels to the graph, making sure NOT to include costs for setting reserves aside for further exploration and development (since we need to leave it in the ground), and being sure TO reduce it by the effective subsidies like depletion allowances, military spending primarily to control oil supplies, etc. (let’s show both lines, so we can see how much we are giving them on top of their windfall profits!).

    Actually, the line for electricity prices going into the future should start to decline radically, about 5 to 10 years after we have started making major headway in pushing both oil off the road, and coal and natural gas out of the power plant. Why? Because that is how long it will take to amortize the renewable energy generation and battery storage equipment that will be available within the next two to five years. After each piece of equipment is amortized through savings, its output costs less than a third as much, after costing in operations and maintenance, plus a reserve fund for decommissioning and replacement at end of life.

    How much subsidy is included in the new bill per family that benefits from it?

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