Late last year, car shoppers in California hit a milestone for the sales of electric vehicles — 1 million EVs purchased.
The state is the first to reach such a milestone, and it took a decade to accomplish.
California also recently unveiled a far-reaching proposal requiring a ramp-up in the sale of zero-emission cars, culminating in a ban on new gasoline-powered vehicles by 2035.
This latest proposal could be seen as a crucial step in California’s goals to tackle climate change and poor air quality. If adopted by the California Air Resources Board this summer, the regulations would be the first in the world and could pave the way for nationwide standards.
While California did hit a milestone in EV purchases, experts are left to wonder if the state is on pace to reach its additional goal of 5 million EVs by 2030, with 100% zero-emission vehicle sales by 2035.
Veloz is a nonprofit organization that tracks EV sales for the state. Executive Director Josh Boone spoke with CapRadio’s Randol White to discuss how the state is doing with purchases and what to expect.
This interview has been edited for clarity and length.
On changes in the EV market that could sell more vehicles
I mean, 11 years ago, that was when we were expecting in California the very first two electric vehicles. So that’s when the Nissan Leaf was coming to the California market, and that is when the Chevrolet Volt was coming.
But today, in California, there are over 85 battery electric vehicles, plug-in hybrid, electric vehicles and fuel cell electric vehicles available to Californians.
So what we’ve seen is a massive increase in consumer choice and availability, and we anticipate that to only grow in the coming five to 10 years.
On the status of electric charging in California
Today we’re reporting almost 80,000 chargers in California — so that is both public and public-shared chargers.
So certainly, we’ve seen an exponential increase in the availability of chargers, but in order to really get all Californians in electric vehicles, we need a lot more charging.
On if higher gas prices are affecting the EV market
We’re certainly seeing that, but there has been a surge in electric vehicle interest for the last 15 to 20 months, even through a global pandemic.
But there is an increased interest in not only getting into an EV from a cheaper fuel perspective, but there’s also an interest in many people just getting off oil, so kind of energy independence, so to speak.
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