California Gov. Gavin Newsom applauded clean car standards announced Aug. 5 by U.S. President Joe Biden’s administration, which will build on the California Framework Agreements to reduce emissions in the state.
The standards include an “ambitious” goal to make zero-emission vehicles half of all new vehicles sold in the United States in 2030, according to a White House press release. In addition, the president plans to invest in electric vehicle charging stations and domestic manufacturing, working with California as a “leading” state in reducing emissions.
“We look forward to continuing our decades-long collaboration with federal partners to build on California’s clean car leadership and deliver the investments needed to support the nationwide build-out of clean vehicle infrastructure,” Newsom said in a press release.
The California Framework Agreements, announced in 2019, create terms between major automobile companies and the state to reduce emissions, according to the governor’s press release.
In addition, Newsom signed an executive order in 2020 to require all new passenger vehicles sold in the state to be zero-emission vehicles by 2035. The order also requires state agencies to work with the private sector in making electric vehicles affordable to all Californians. According to the press release for the order, the requirements will reduce emissions by more than 35% in the state.
“This is the most impactful step our state can take to fight climate change,” Newsom said in a press release for the order. “For too many decades, we have allowed cars to pollute the air that our children and families breathe.”
Well before Biden’s announcement, the city of Berkeley had already outlined its own goals to achieve net-zero emissions in the future.
In its Electric Vehicle Roadmap published in 2020, the city announced a “vision for inclusive electric mobility,” including a commitment to 100% renewable electricity by 2045. According to the roadmap, transportation accounts for about 60% of Berkeley’s emissions, but the city does not want to simply replace all current vehicles with electric ones.
“Getting people out of cars improves health and quality of life,” the roadmap reads. “The City and community partners continue to work to improve walking, biking, and public transportation options in Berkeley.”
Likewise, the city’s Facilities, Infrastructure, Transportation, Environment and Sustainability Committee also discussed electric vehicle infrastructure in March.
A presentation to the committee from Public Works and Planning staff identified several strategies to improve access to electric vehicles, including installing charging stations on public and private property. As of October 2020, there were 146 public charging ports in Berkeley, according to the presentation.
“This effort will not be easy,” the roadmap reads. “Over the next five to ten years, the City and its stakeholders will collaborate to implement these strategies, monitor progress, and adjust course as needed.”