California Steams Ahead for Carbon-Free Power Sources, Will Help EVs Grow

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【Summary】With California’s state legislature approving a bill that requires the state to get 100 percent of its electricity from carbon-free sources by 2045, the state is putting itself in a good position to allow electric cars to thrive.

Original Vineeth Joel Patel    Oct 16, 2018 9:00 AM PT
California Steams Ahead for Carbon-Free Power Sources, Will Help EVs Grow

California has positioned itself as being a leader in alternative power sources. It's one of the reasons why automakers and technology companies have chosen the state as the prime location for the roll out of alternative fuel vehicles. In a recent decision by California's state legislatures, the state is looking to more zero-carbon power sources, which could boost the popularity of electric vehicles in the state. 

Going From 29 To 100 Percent In 27 Years

According to a report from Bloomberg, California currently gets 29 percent of its electricity from zero-carbon sources. Those sources include things like wind, solar, geothermal, and biomass energy. While 29 percent is a great figure for 2018 that's helped the state reduce its greenhouse gas emissions back to levels from the early ‘90s, California is looking to make it 100 percent by 2045. 

To reach that figure, California's state legislature approved a bill with the aforementioned requirements that is waiting on Governor Jerry Brown's signature. If Governor Brown were to sign the bill, it would transform the way the state gets its energy and help the growth of electric cars. As Bloomberg reports, automotive emissions are some of California's largest emitters of greenhouse gases. And those levels, according to the outlet, have barely budged in a century. 

With California moving towards zero-carbon sources of energy, it only makes sense that the state it putting an emphasis on clean vehicles, especially battery-powered ones. The electric car push is a vital part of California's equation on curbing emissions and the increasing market requires a lot of attention, as developments are continually taking place. 

EVs Are Becoming More Popular Every Month

As the outlet points out, electric vehicles are becoming more popular in the state and in the country. In the first six months of 2018, EVs accounted for approximately 10 percent of new vehicle sales in the state. That percentage of new car sales refers to plug-in hybrids, fully electric cars, and regular hybrids without charging plugs, as well. That's a large increase from 2012 when those vehicles accounted for roughly 7.5 percent of new car sales. It's also roughly 0.8 percent more than last year's total of 9.4 percent. 

Bloomberg's data also reveals a few more trends in the way consumers in California purchase electrified vehicles. In 2012, traditional hybrids accounted for the majority of electrified new car vehicle sales in the state. The breakdown was 6.25 percent for regular hybrids, 1 percent of plug-in hybrids, and 0.3 percent for battery-powered electric cars. For 2018, the breakdown is a lot different, as hybrids accounted for 4 percent, plug-in hybrids for 2.9 percent, and EVs for 3.3 percent. Traditional hybrids were once the most popular electrified cars on the market, but that's changed, as battery-powered vehicles and plug-in hybrids have started to catch up. 

A similar trend happened in Norway, claims Bloomberg, where the country took 10 years to reach a point where electric vehicles hit 6 percent of total car sales. After that, it only took five years for EVs to go from 6 percent to 47 percent. Sure, Norway may have a lot of incentives and rebates that make electric cars really attractive, but California could be heading down the same patch with the move to opt for cleaner electricity solutions. 

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