Zero-Emission Vehicles

Zero-emission vehicles (ZEVs) promise to transform California by offering residents and visitors new transportation choices. Across the state, ZEVs are improving air quality by reducing local pollution and greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) while saving consumers money and helping new companies grow and create jobs. California cities and towns are already home to over 400,000 plug-in electric vehicles (PEVs) and 14,500 public charging stations. As of 2018 the state represents 45 to 50 percent of the national PEV market.

Accelerating the market for ZEVs, which include both PEVs and fuel cell electric vehicles, is a cornerstone of California’s long-term transportation strategy. Shifting to ZEVs will reduce transportation GHG emissions, a sector that in 2017 produced 41% of California’s GHG emissions.  In January of 2018, Executive Order B-48-18 was signed to “boost the supply of zero-emission vehicles and charging and refueling stations in California.” The Executive Order directs state government to meet a series of milestones toward a long-term target of 1.5 million ZEVs on California’s roadways by 2025 and 5 million by 2030. Additionally, Assembly Bill 1236 (Chiu, 2015) requires all cities and counties to develop a streamlined permitting process for EV charging stations.

The Governor’s Office of Planning and Research (OPR) provides support towards the deployment of ZEVs by providing resources to local jurisdictions and the public, such as the ZEV Community Readiness Guidebook. The Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development (GO-Biz) Zero Emission Vehicles Infrastructure Unit has compiled EV incentives, resources, executive order implementation progress, and the latest infrastructure information.

Numerous state agencies and ZEV experts have collaborated to prepare the ZEV Community Readiness Guidebook which provides helpful information to local and regional governments, community leaders and residents. Its purpose is to help communities across the state support their residents and businesses in making the switch to ZEVs.

The guidebook highlights many aspects of ZEV readiness, including necessary infrastructure, planning and zoning, permitting guidelines, greening local fleets and encouraging consumers through incentives and outreach. It also includes a number of tools and templates, which are provided below in Microsoft Word format for convenience.

The ZEV Action Plan identifies specific strategies and actions that state agencies will take to meet the milestones of the Executive Order B-48-18.The actions outlined by the plan are grouped under  six broad goals that state government is currently taking or plans to take to help expand the ZEV market. These goals are:

  • Achieve mainstream consumer awareness of ZEV options and benefits
  • Make ZEVs an affordable and attractive option for drivers
  • Ensure convenient charging and fueling infrastructure for greatly expanded use of ZEVs
  • Maximize economic and job opportunities from ZEV technologies
  • Bolster ZEV market growth outside of California
  • Lead by example integrating ZEVs in to state government

The action plan is intended to serve as a “roadmap” that clearly communicates state government’s efforts to advance ZEVs. It is also intended to serve as a “to-do” list for the Governor’s Office and state agencies that enhances coordination on state actions moving forward.

The action plan is the product of an interagency working group led by the Governor’s Office that includes several state agencies and associated entities, and builds upon significant work already undertaken by these agencies. The action plan also benefits from extensive input from outside stakeholders, including Veloz and the California Fuel Cell Partnership.