- The Associated Press reports Assemblywoman Autumn Burke (D) is planning to introduce legislation to expand California's emissions-free vehicle mandate, with an eye towards requiring 15% of new sales in the state be electric by 2025.
- Currently, the state is targeting 1.5 million emissions-free vehicles on the road by 2025, but efforts to extend the goal are faltering.
- Around the country, utilities are cautiously dipping toes into the electric vehicle market by developing charging infrastructure. California has about 40% of the United States' plug-in fleet currently on the road.
Burke, who represents Los Angeles County, is expected this week to introduce legislation in California that would prod car manufacturers to sell more emissions-free vehicles. While the state is already a leader in that area and has an aggressive goal, the new law could help the industry move forward more rapidly by instigating penalties for missing targets.
AP reports manufacturers who do not sell enough EVs would either be hit with a fine from the state -- or could be required to make payments to rival car makers. "If we create more competition in the market, that automatically will trigger a more affordable vehicle," Burke told the outlet.
Plug-in hybrids, which now can get credit towards environmental goals, would not be eligible to meet the new mandate. That spurred criticism from those who see the proposal as a handout for Tesla, a leader in EV sales.
"Automakers are striving to meet California's long-term (zero-emission vehicle) program by providing consumers with innovative vehicles, so we oppose this last-minute, fundamental change to the program," Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers spokesman Wade Newton told AP. "Tesla shouldn't be able to rig the market for their own purposes."
In California, as elsewhere, the prevalence of charging stations is a key to getting more vehicles on the road. Regulators have reduced Southern California Edison’s $22 million Charge Ready pilot and San Diego Gas and Electric’s $45 million Power Your Drive program in final approvals. Pacific Gas and Electric proposed the most ambitious U.S. utility charger installation program, with regulators twice scaling it back, and is still awaiting a final ruling.