California Governor Jerry Brown’s Office and state agencies issued a 2013 Zero-emission Vehicle (ZEV) Action Plan. The Action Plan follows on Governor Brown’s Executive Order (B-16-2012) released March 2012, which set required milestones for state government to enable 1.5 million zero-emission vehicles on California roadways by 2025. (Earlier post.) The Action Plan details concrete actions that state agencies are taking to help accelerate the market for plug-in electric vehicles and fuel cell electric vehicles.
For the purposes of the executive order and action plan, ZEVs include hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs), battery electric vehicles (BEVs), and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs). They also address light-duty passenger vehicles and heavier vehicles such as freight trucks and public buses.
The action plan—which will be adjusted over time to address changing market conditions—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 input from outside stakeholders, including the California Plug-in Electric Vehicle Collaborative (PEVC) and the California Fuel Cell Partnership (CaFCP). The Governor’s Executive Order specifically directs collaboration with these two organizations.
The Executive Order established several milestones organized into three time periods: by 2015, by 2020, and by 2025. The Executive Order also directs state government to begin purchasing ZEVs. In 2015, 10% of state departments’ light-duty fleet purchases must be ZEVs, climbing to 25% of light duty purchases by 2020.
The Action Plan outlines actions grouped under four broad goals that state government is currently taking or plans to take to help expand the ZEV market:
- Complete needed infrastructure and planning
- Expand consumer awareness and demand
- Transform fleets
- Grow jobs and investment in the private sector
Complete needed infrastructure and planning. This action plan is intended to help provide sufficient infrastructure to support up to 1 million ZEVs by 2020. Further actions beyond 2020 will likely be necessary to reach the Executive Order’s target of 1.5 million vehicles by 2025, the plan notes. Due to the changing nature of the ZEV market, the action plan does not address infrastructure and planning-related actions after 2020.
The 45 detailed actions under this goal are grouped into 13 areas:
- Provide crucial early funding for ZEV charging and fueling infrastructure.
- Support ZEV infrastructure planning and investment by public and private entities.
- Enable universal access to ZEV infrastructure for California drivers.
- Ensure pricing transparency for ZEV charging and fueling.
- Expand appropriate ZEV-related signage on highway corridors and surface streets.
- Support local government efforts to prepare communities for increased PEV usage and the coming commercialization of FCEVs.
- Ensure that hydrogen and electricity can legally be sold as a retail transportation fuel.
- Make it easier to locate and install public PEV infrastructure.
- Ensure a minimum network of hydrogen stations for the commercial launch of fuel cell vehicles between 2015 and 2017.
- Streamline permitting of hydrogen stations.
- Plan for and integrate peak vehicle demand for electricity into the state’s energy grid.
- Establish consistent statewide codes and standards for ZEV infrastructure.
- Coordinate with other “Section 177 states” that have adopted California’s ZEV mandate to learn from each other’s innovations and enable a seamless consumer experience for ZEV drivers across the country.
Expand consumer awareness and demand. The action plan includes several strategies to help expand consumer awareness and interest in ZEVs, including reducing upfront purchase and operating costs, promoting consumer awareness and strengthening the connection between ZEVs and renewable energy. The 30 actions are grouped into seven areas:
- Reduce up-front purchase costs for ZEVs.
- Encourage and support auto dealers to increase sales and leases of ZEVs.
- Reduce operating costs for ZEVs.
- Develop and maintain attractive non-monetary incentives for use of ZEVs.
- Strengthen connections between research institutions and auto makers to better understand how ZEVs are being used.
- ￼Promote consumer awareness of ZEVs through public education, outreach and direct driving experiences.
- Provide plug-in vehicle (PEV) drivers with options to connect PEV charging with energy efficiency and renewable energy.
Transform fleets. The Governor’s Executive Order aims to expand ZEVs in both public and private vehicle fleets. The order specifically directs DGS and state departments to increase the share of ZEVs in their own fleets through the normal course of fleet replacement. The action plan also calls for expanded ZEV deployment within private vehicle fleets, including public transportation and freight transport.
The plan identifies a range of actions that state government should take to encourage increased ZEV deployment in private fleets including providing funding support, keeping fueling affordable, and increasing coordination and communication among fleet users.
For both state and private fleet, the plan outlines 30 actions grouped into 10 areas:
- Incorporate ZEVs into state vehicle fleet.
- Identify funding to expand fleet purchases of ZEVs and ZEV infrastructure.
- Track benefits of fleets’ transition to ZEVs to the extent practicable.
- Complete necessary infrastructure to allow for 10% ZEV purchases by 2015.
- Maximize use of ZEVs in state-sponsored car rentals.
- Ensure that state vehicles can benefit from evolving benefits associated with ZEVs and position state vehicle fleets to participate in technology demonstrations.
- Expand use of ZEVs for private light- and medium-duty fleets.
- Help to expand ZEVs within bus fleets.
- Reduce cost barriers to ZEV adoption for freight vehicles.
- Integrate ZEVs into freight planning.
Grow jobs and investment in the private sector. While state government continues to provide publicly funded financial incentives to expand the consumer market for ZEVs, the state’s actions are intended ultimately to build a ZEV market that is sustainable without public subsidies through growing consumer demand and private investment.
The plan outlines 15 actions grouped into four areas:
- Leverage tools to support business attraction, retention and expansion of ZEV companies.
- Support demonstration and commercialization of ZEV-related technologies by California companies.
- Support R&D activities at California universities and research institutions.
- Prepare California workers to participate in ZEV-related jobs.