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Photo: Smith Collection/Gado/Getty Images

Major automakers are joining with California officials and big power companies to launch a multi-million dollar campaign aimed at speeding up adoption of electric vehicles in the state.

Why it matters: California, the world's fifth-largest economy, is by far the country's largest auto market. However, while EV deployment there is growing, carbon emissions from transportation are still rising in the state.

What's happening: Wednesday saw the official launch of a non-profit organization called Veloz and the group's first project called "Electric For All," which is billed as "the largest multi-stakeholder, multi-million dollar public awareness campaign in North America."

  • California state officials have an existing goal set under Gov. Jerry Brown of having 5 million electric vehicles on the state's roads by 2030, but the new initiative is a recognition of barriers that need addressing.
  • The initiative also comes as the Trump administration is seeking to roll back federal auto efficiency and emissions mandates.

The companies, state agencies and others involved include:

  • GM, Honda, Nissan and other automakers.
  • Officials from the California Air Resources Board, the California Energy Commission and other state agencies.
  • Pacific Gas and Electric, Southern California Edison and other power companies.
  • EV charging companies, including EVgo, Electrify America (which is a unit of VW) and Greenlots.
  • Environmental and advocacy groups like the Sierra Club and the World Resources Institute.

What they're saying: "Pollution from cars and trucks poses a critical threat to public health, planet and profits. Veloz will spark a virtuous cycle of desire, demand, more makes, models and charging stations to make electric for all a reality," the group's website states.

Go deeper

John Kerry: U.S.-China climate cooperation is a "critical standalone issue"

President Biden's special climate envoy John Kerry said Wednesday that the U.S. must deal with China on climate change as a "critical standalone issue," but stressed that Beijing's human rights and trade abuses "will never be traded" for climate cooperation.

Why it matters: The last few years have brought about a bipartisan consensus on the need for the U.S. to confront China's aggression. But as the world's largest greenhouse gas emitter, China will be a vital player if the world is going to come close to reining in emissions on the scale needed to meet the Paris Agreement goals of limiting warming to 2°C above pre-industrial levels.

In cyber espionage, U.S. is both hunted and hunter

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

American outrage over foreign cyber espionage, like Russia's SolarWinds hack, obscures the uncomfortable reality that the U.S. secretly does just the same thing to other countries.

Why it matters: Secrecy is often necessary in cyber spying to protect sources and methods, preserve strategic edges that may stem from purloined information, and prevent diplomatic incidents.

1 hour ago - Politics & Policy
Scoop

White House plots "full-court press" for $1.9 trillion relief plan

National Economic Council director Brian Deese speaks during a White House news briefing. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

The Biden White House is deploying top officials to get a wide ideological spectrum of lawmakers, governors and mayors on board with the president’s $1.9 trillion COVID relief proposal, according to people familiar with the matter.

Why it matters: The broad, choreographed effort shows just how crucially Biden views the stimulus to the nation's recovery and his own political success.