Energy Exchange

California is proposing a major investment in electric vehicle infrastructure: Here’s what you need to know

This summer, California made national news by adopting a rule that will require all new passenger vehicle sales to be zero emission by 2035. At the same time, the state is also considering a complementary rule to replace medium- and heavy-duty trucks and buses to also be zero emissions. To support this transition, California will need to make a major investment in electric vehicle charging infrastructure.

The California Energy Commission estimates that by 2030 California may need up to 1.2 million EV chargers to support an estimated eight million passenger electric vehicles and an additional 157,000 chargers to support non-passenger vehicles, such as trucks and buses. There are currently over 1.2 million electric passenger vehicles on California’s roads, and significantly fewer chargers than will be needed in 2030. The charging needs of trucks and buses are vastly different from those of private cars — in terms of power demands, locations and access — just to name a few. Unlocking both private and public charging for these vehicles will be a foundational investment to ensure the transition to zero-emission vehicles happens as quickly as possible.

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Also posted in Electric Vehicles / Language: / Comments are closed

How to stop worrying about gas prices for good: Act quickly to fully decarbonize the economy

By: Katelyn Roedner Sutter and Michael Colvin

This past summer, Californians have been hit hard by inflation: rising food costs, utility bills and nowhere more obviously than at the gas pump. The cost to fill up a tank has many potential causes and lots of experts are weighing in — see here, here and here. Regardless of the cause, those with the tightest budgets are being hit hardest.

Last week, Gov. Newsom called a special session of the legislature to address high gas prices, and the state began sending direct rebates to Californians to help provide some immediate relief. In the longer term, we need to remember that while sending checks is helpful, the lasting solution to ending this gas price madness is a swift transition to a 100% clean economy.

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Also posted in Climate, Electric Vehicles / Language: / Comments are closed

The Advanced Clean Fleets rule explained

By Lauren Navarro and Tom Cackette

The Advanced Clean Fleets rule is a purchase requirement for medium and heavy-duty fleets to adopt an increasing percentage of zero-emission trucks. It will complement the previously adopted Advanced Clean Trucks regulation requiring manufacturers to sell ZEV trucks. Together the two regulations are the most important means of achieving Gov. Newsom’s executive order requiring 100% of heavy-duty truck fleets in the state to be zero-emission, wherever feasible, by 2045.

We need these rules because heavy-duty trucks currently account for 26% of all smog-forming nitrogen oxide emissions in California and about a third of mobile diesel fine particulate matter emissions. They are also major producers of climate change emissions (about 8%) at a time when our planet cannot take any more climate change. Heavy-duty truck emissions are not evenly distributed — they tend to be concentrated in underserved communities, which are often located near warehouses, distribution centers, ports and major roadways.

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Also posted in Electric Vehicles / Language: / Comments are closed

EPA must protect California’s life-saving clean truck rules

By Larissa Koehler and Alice Henderson

This week, the Environmental Protection Agency is hearing from scientists, mothers, healthcare professionals, public health and environmental advocates – including EDF – and many others who submitted comments in support of California clean truck standards.

As EPA works toward finalizing federal heavy-duty emission standards proposed earlier this year, the agency has been accepting public comment on its notices considering Clean Air Act preemption waivers for California clean truck standards, including the Advanced Clean Trucks and Heavy-Duty Omnibus NOx (low-NOx) standards. Several other states have already adopted these standards in recent years to reduce health-harming pollution from new freight trucks and buses. The ACT requires an increasing percentage of new trucks and buses to be zero-emission through 2035, while the low-NOx standards aim to reduce nitrogen oxides from new diesel trucks.

Taken together, these protections will prevent almost 5,000 premature deaths, save California billions of dollars in health care costs and create thousands of new jobs by 2035. But the Truck & Engine Manufacturers Association — a trade group of the nation’s largest engine manufacturers, including Volvo and Daimler — has opposed these safeguards at the state and federal level, and is now challenging in court California’s ability to implement the low-NOx emission standards.

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Also posted in Air Quality, Electric Vehicles / Language: / Comments are closed

Now is the time for California to go bold on electric trucks and buses

There is no single fix to the climate, air quality, political and economic challenges facing California, but the state’s early action to electrify its fleet of medium- and heavy-duty vehicles is one example of smart policy that can move us in a positive direction. As California’s legislative session concludes in August, lawmakers and the California Air Resources Board should take the next steps to implement the electric transportation transition with tools that are right at their fingertips.

Nationally, the transportation sector is the largest source of climate emissions and a primary contributor to local air pollution and the negative health and economic impacts that go along with it. Medium- and heavy- duty vehicles – the trucks and buses that move our goods and people – make up a small portion of total wheels on the road, but they produce an outsized portion of all emissions. In California, MHD vehicles make up just 6% of vehicles on the road, but produce 72% of the state’s health-harming nitrogen oxide emissions and 21% of all transportation climate emissions. Transitioning these vehicles to zero-emission models would make a big difference for air quality and the manufacturing economy, a sector where California is becoming a leader.

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Also posted in Air Quality, Electric Vehicles / Language: / Comments are closed

Rogue methane leaks from idle wells carry four big takeaways for policymakers

An ongoing methane leak involving several long-term idle wells in Southern California is raising safety concerns for nearby residents and highlights an important climate issue. Southern California has some of the worst air quality in the country, and leaks like these compound the negative impacts on some of the country’s most vulnerable populations. Both in California and across the country, many hundreds of thousands of end-of-life oil and gas wells are idle. That means that they are just sitting around awaiting proper site closure, which involves plugging the wells with cement to prevent gases or liquids from escaping and threatening the environment and public health.

Several such wells were recently found to be leaking methane — a powerful greenhouse gas that often escapes from oil and gas facilities alongside other toxic pollutants — in the Morningstar section of Bakersfield, CA. Local residents are concerned about the possibility of subsurface methane migration to homes and other structures in the vicinity.

While CalGEM and other agencies work to investigate and remediate the situation, four takeaways are already emerging:

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Also posted in Air Quality, Methane, Natural Gas / Language: / Comments are closed