Imagine cars with no tailpipes and no direct carbon emissions into our atmosphere — powered by an electrical energy system getting cleaner by the year through Renewable Portfolio Standards in effect in California and across the nation — creating hundreds of thousands of new green jobs.
The mayors of the Bay Area with San Francisco leading the way unveiled ambitious plans to become the EV capital of the U.S.
Today, as a powerful symbolic gesture, San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom announced the installation of three electric vehicle charging stations in front of City Hall. The stations will be used by plug-in electric vehicles already in San Francisco’s municipal fleet, along with plug-in electric hybrids owned by car-sharing organizations City CarShare and Zipcar.
The charging stations were provided for a two-year public demonstration by “Smartlet” manufacturer Coulomb Technologies—one of the few companies vying for primacy in the business of building or supplying EV charging stations.
“Electric vehicles are the future of transportation and the Bay Area is the testing ground for the technology. We began using plug-in hybrids in the city’s fleet last year. Now, for the first time the public can plug-in to the next generation of cars through car sharing organizations and take them for a drive in San Francisco.”
-Gavin Newsom, Mayor of San Francisco
Commercial availability of EVs is targeted to begin in 2010. GM plans to begin selling its long awaited Volt in San Francisco next year. A number of other manufacturers have electric vehicles in development, including BMW, Ford, Nissan, Toyota and Volkswagen.
In the meantime, plans are to roll out charging stations across the Bay Area. The city fleet manager is discussing the purchase of plug-in vehicles with other Bay Area cities, which are in talks with major auto companies about acquiring EVs. By making greener driving choices, San Franciscans and the Bay Area neighbors can set an example for people across the nation.
The time for dramatic change is here. In the United States, transportation accounts for about 40 percent of all greenhouse gas emissions; and in San Francisco, that figure is greater than 50 percent. Pollution is changing our climate, damaging the air we breathe and threatening our food and water supplies. Our dependence on foreign oil is costing us billions of dollars annually. Electric vehicles have the possibility to transform our economy, revive our car industry, and improve our environment. To make sure electric vehicles succeed this time around we need to invest hundreds of millions of dollars in battery technology and the infrastructure.
Credits: New York Times, gas2.org, serengreenity