By Kayla Brandt, communications intern
If you’re considering taking the plunge and buying an electric vehicle (EV), making the switch is about to become easier. Many prospective EV-buyers, however, are rightfully concerned about vehicle range and charging accessibility — if there’s nowhere to charge, there’s nowhere to go.
Fortunately, more charging stations are coming soon to California.
What happened: On Aug. 31, the California State Legislature passed a bill (A.B. 841) that would accelerate and support the approval and funding processes for charging infrastructure projects through the Public Utilities Commission (PUC). Environment California’s Destination: Zero Carbon team is urging Gov. Gavin Newsom to sign this bill into law as soon as possible.
And in the meantime, the governor is continuing to make headway. On Sept. 23, Gov. Newsom signed an executive order that calls for a ban on the sale of gasoline-powered cars and other passenger vehicles in our state by 2035.
Why it matters: As we know, EVs are the key to a future that’s healthy and fossil fuel-free. Traditional gasoline-powered vehicles are a major source of air pollution, accounting for 55 percent of the United States’ total nitrogen oxides emissions. This pollutant helps make up what we call smog, which contributes to higher rates of asthma and respiratory infections in our communities.
Transportation is also America’s No. 1 source of global warming pollution, which is driving climate change and contributing to the environmental disasters we’re seeing today. In California, it’s responsible for 41 percent of our greenhouse gas emissions.
The big picture: California has set its sights on putting five million EVs on the road by 2030, with an additional goal of installing 250,000 public charging stations by 2025. But with five years to go, the state is projected to come up short by 80,000 chargers. This latest bill will be crucial to helping our state reach its EV goals.
But while this new bill is just the latest step, we need to make the EV infrastructure that’s already out there even better. To improve on the systems already in place, Environment California will continue to advocate for policies to make existing EVs and charging stations more accessible and usable throughout our state.
That means we’re going to keep pushing for policies that expand public charging capacity, ensure EV spaces are open for EVs, and increase the visibility and price transparency of public charging stations. But in order to do so, we need your help.
What you can do about it: Contact Gov. Newsom and urge him to sign bill AB 841 and expand EV charging capacity throughout California.
Deputy Editor, Editorial & Creative Team, The Public Interest Network
Katrina creates and edits materials with the Creative Team for The Public Interest Network that tell the stories of our campaigns to protect the environment, stand up for the public interest, and more. Katrina lives in Boston, where she enjoys running, hiking and trivia.