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Navigating California’s New EV Mandate

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Electric Vehicles
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Navigating California’s New EV Mandate

September 21st, 2022

California’s going all in on electric. On August 25th, Governor Gavin Newsom made a very important announcement concerning the future of transportation in the Golden State: “We can solve this climate crisis if we focus on the big, bold steps necessary to cut pollution. California now has a groundbreaking, world-leading plan to achieve 100 percent zero-emission vehicle sales by 2035.” Big and bold, indeed. And while highly encouraging, it brings up a number of questions moving forward.

What Does the Regulation Say Exactly?

According to the California Air Resources Board, which approved the officially named “Advanced Clean Cars II” rule, implementation will be in stages. Target one is to achieve 35% ZEV sales by 2026. Target two is 68% ZEV sales by 2030. And target three is 100% by 2035. This encompasses all new cars, SUV’s and light duty trucks, with requirements on larger, diesel-burning trucks coming 10 years later. Included in CARB’s definition of “ZEV” are plug-in hybrids with battery ranges of 50 miles or more. Used cars and cars bought out of state are exempt.

How Does This Benefit California?

CARB claims the regulation will reduce smog-inducing pollution 25% or more by 2037, allowing it to meet federal air quality standards. This is thanks to 9.5 million fewer ICE vehicles on the road by 2035. Per their website, “From 2026 through 2040, the regulation will result in cumulative avoided health impacts worth nearly $13 billion, including 1,290 fewer cardiopulmonary deaths, 460 fewer hospital admissions for cardiovascular or respiratory illness, and 650 fewer emergency room visits for asthma.” Benefits will also extend beyond the state, as California has become a trailblazer in the realm of electric mobility, with several other states including Washington, Oregon, Massachusetts and Virginia agreeing to base their own state’s laws on CARB rules.

What Does This Mean for Automakers?

Expert Neal Boudette’s recent New York Times piece, “California E.V. Mandate Finds a Receptive Auto Industry,” states that California was initially prodding carmakers to go along with the electric revolution, but now the tables have turned. “Even before state regulators acted Thursday to ban sales of new internal-combustion vehicles by 2035,” writes Boudette, “Detroit’s Big 3 and their international rivals were setting increasingly aggressive targets for exclusively electric product lines.” The fact that carmakers are already moving full steam ahead, including investing in supply chains and the acquisition of battery materials, means they should be well positioned for achieving California’s targets. “To move everything to EVs in California doesn’t seem [so] outlandish and unattainable right now,” says Jessica Caldwell, Executive Director of Insights at Edmunds.

What Does This Mean for Drivers?

The aggressive push toward a zero-emission future by both state and federal governments as well as auto manufacturers means drivers in every location, vocation and income level can find a ZEV that’s right for them. Options will increase across the board, and increased competition will drive down prices, eventually phasing out the need for subsidies. Dependence on fossil fuels will decrease, pricey gas bills will be a thing of the past and drivers will rest easy knowing they’ve done their part to help leave a cleaner planet for future generations.

What Does This Mean for EVCS?

Infrastructure is more important than ever, especially as the state works on shoring up its sometimes-spotty power grid while continuing the transition to renewables. However, for its part, EVCS has already shown it’s ready for the task, installing over 550 chargers in California alone. Moreover, our chargers are some of the fastest, most durable on the market, boasting high efficiency levels, dual ports, 15-inch color displays, RFID contactless payment, advanced app-to-unit network technology and the most reliable customer service team in the industry. Recent private and state-level investments have allowed us to ramp up installation efforts as we lead the way in increasing the number of chargers from the current 80,000 to the nearly 1.2 million needed by 2030. In short, we’re bringing new meaning to the term “take charge.” Stay posted here for further updates on our progress.

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