California Leads the Way When It Comes to Going Green
California Governor Jerry Brown has always put the "pro" in "progressive." And once again, he is showing his most proactive self. He knows from the California experience that zero emission vehicles are way of the future in terms of air quality, energy costs and environmental concerns.
Of the 165,000 zero emission cars and trucks currently on the roads across America, it is estimated that nearly a third of these (or about 50,000) are in California.
Today the Governor's office announced that Brown is joining the top executives of six other states -- Connecticut, Maryland, Massachusetts, Oregon, Rhode Island and Vermont -- entering into an agreement intended to put about 3,300,000 - that's 3.3 million --electric and hybrid electric vehicles into the stream of traffic before 2025. To achieve this goal of increasing the market share of what are known as "zero emission" vehicles, the state leaders are focussing on two things consumers demand: financial incentives and convenience. So, Brown and his colleagues are proposing a comprehensive package of legislation as diverse as cash rebates, tax breaks and even changes in the building codes to encourage plug-in infrastructure.
"This is not just an agreement, but a serious and profoundly important commitment," insisted Governor Brown. "From coast to coast, we're charging ahead to get millions of the world's cleanest vehicles on our roads."
It is critical that California lead this charge. At some point soon, "going green" will not be merely a political statement, but an economic advantage. When the incentives cause a tipping point in demand, automakers will be ready and waiting to provide the supply. Right now, electric cars are still considered something of a luxury. And, the absence of electric charging stations in public places and highways is frequently cited as the largest deterrent for consumers to take the leap from gas to electric.
It looks like all that is about to change.