California governor Jerry Brown has signed a series of environmental bills in a direct challenge to the Trump administration, which aim to boost EV use among economically challenged groups and reinforce the state’s climate action.
The programmes include a variety of environmental issues and directions, including forcing companies to embrace emissions-free fleets and provide additional incentives for private citizens who are looking to purchase used EVs.
Citing that “nearly half of the state’s greenhouse gas emissions [come] from the transportation sector”, money was also set aside to expand the network of charging stations and to provide rebates for purchasing EVs. “Whether we travel by car, bus, or boat the need to move to zero-emission transportation is urgent. These bills will help get more clean cars on the road and reduce harmful emissions,” Brown said in a statement.
Among the total of 16 measures signed were:
▪ Senate Bill 1014, which gives state regulators authority to establish emissions reduction targets for ride-hailing services like Uber and Lyft. The bill originally would have required the companies to provide all of their rides in zero-emission vehicles by 2029, but it was scaled back amid opposition from the tech industry.
▪ Assembly Bill 2885, which directs the state to prioritise low-income applicants for electric vehicle rebates.
▪ Senate Bill 957,, which allows low-income Californians to obtain carpool lane stickers for clean cars bought secondhand.
▪ Assembly Bill 193, which provides rebates for replacement batteries and fuel cells in used vehicles.
Further bills included efforts to ban dangerous pollutants in industry and research methods to cut down on greenhouse gas emissions from residential and commercial buildings.
Critics of the governor allege that he is too closely tied to the oil industry, and that the measures are purely symbolic and too little, too late. Protesters demanded that the governor place a limit on oil production in California, which they claim would do more to improve the environment in the state than the electrification measures enacted. Brown defended his actions, stating “Without a doubt, California has the most aggressive green energy plans in the Western Hemisphere.”