The governor of the state of California, Jerry Brown, is targeting to have 1.5 million zero-emission cars on the roads in the next decade as part of his charge against climate change. Brown has already signed 11 bills related to global warming into laws – adding 15,000 permits allowing such vehicles to use car-pool lanes.
The new laws also provides rebates to low-income residents to entice them to purchase cleaner cars while require cities and counties to speed up permits for residential solar-panel installations. The laws also require the state to concoct a plan to fight short-lived pollutants like methane. Brian Wynne, the president of the Electric Drive Transportation Association, told in a phone interview that Brown has taken the fight against climate change to heart.
As he targets to get his fourth term as California governor, Brown has been taking on global challenges like climate change. He was even scheduled to lay out his climate-change priorities at a United Nations summit this week in New York. In July, Brown inked a bilateral pact with Mexico that would lead to more cross-border investments in renewable energy, biofuels and other clean energy technologies.
In 2011, Brown signed into law a bill requires power companies in California to obtain at least a third of their electricity from renewable sources like solar and wind by 2020. He has also made his priorities the endorsement of electric vehicles in the state.
In an interview with Bloomberg earlier this month, he noted that California is “No. 1 buyer” of Tesla and every other electric car, thanks to state incentives that encourage residents to buy zero-emission vehicles.
California offers up to $5,000 in rebates for the purchase or lease of new zero-emission and plug-in hybrid light-duty vehicles. The total amount provided for so far has reached over $158 million since 2010. The incentives have led to a 110-percent surge in the number of hybrid cars in California has grown 110 percent 337,881 in 2009 to 709,766 in 2013.
The administration of United States President Barack Obama has an agreement with California and the auto industry to double the fleet-wide fuel economy of cars and light trucks to an average of 54.5 mpg by the 2025 model year – otherwise known as the Corporate Average Fuel Economy, or CAFÉ, rule --thereby resulting to changes in the design of cars and light trucks.
Obama released the final version of CAFE rule in August 2012. According to the White House, the CAFE rule is meant to cut US oil consumption by around 12 billion barrels and lead to fuel savings of more than $8,000 by 2025 over the life of a vehicle. [source: Bloomberg.com]