Oct 3, 2018

Auto giants and California team up for electric vehicle push

Ben Geman, author of Generate

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.

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