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California - A perfect market for electric vehicles

California continues to lead the nation in terms of renewable energy development. Solar, wind, geothermal - all these energy sources are becoming increasingly important in "The Golden State" but there is also one other important sector contributing to clean energy goals, namely electric vehicles.

California has more electric vehicles than any other U.S. state, around 350,000, and this number could increase 15 fold by 2030 if California Gov. Jerry Brown's new environmental initiative reaches its planned targets.

According to this initiative the state set a goal of 5 million zero-emission vehicles on the road by 2030, major increase from a previous target of 1.5 million by 2025, and a plan to spend $2.5 billion in new funding to buy cleaner vehicles. The state's eight-year plan is to spend $2.5 billion between now and 2025, expanding the number of electric-vehicle charging stations from roughly 14,000 now to 250,000.

Since transportation is still the largest source of greenhouse gases in California, accounting for about 39 percent of the total, going for more clean vehicles looks like the safest bet to significantly reduce state's greenhouse gas emissions.

Brown said in his speech that "the goal is to make our neighborhoods and farms healthier, our vehicles cleaner — zero emission the sooner the better — and all of our technologies increasingly lowering their carbon output." He already signed laws committing the state to generate 50 percent of its electricity from renewable energy sources by 2030, and reducing greenhouse gas emissions 40 percent from 1990 levels by 2030.

Adding more renewable energy sources to energy mix is certainly a step in the right direction for state to achieve its clean energy goals. But as James Sweeney, director of the Precourt Energy Efficiency Center at Stanford University said "There is no way on Earth they can reach their greenhouse-gas goals unless they do something to force a lot more electric vehicles in the mix”.

Hopefully, vehicles like Nissan Leafs, Teslas and other electric cars will become even more commonplace on California's highways in years to come.



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