What Does Real Leadership Look Like?


What Does Real Leadership Look Like?

With all of the uncertainty coming from Washington the past few weeks, one very significant announcement failed to get much news coverage. Mary Nichols, Chair of the California Air Resources Board, speaking at the annual VerdeXchange conference in Los Angeles, announced that California was pursuing a goal of 100% light-duty, zero emission vehicles.

Run that by me again? That means that California is planning to completely eliminate gasoline-powered cars. The birthplace of American car culture is going fully electric. That is a big deal. California pushes the standards for new technology that everyone else eventually adopts. Unlike Vegas, whatever happens in California generally doesn’t just stay there.

That is some bold leadership, but it is not inconsistent with the wave of technological change sweeping the auto industry. Battery technology is getting cheaper and more powerful at a faster pace than anyone could have predicted. All major automakers are already making large investments in electric technology. Just this week, Audi warned dealers that within ten years the industry would be dominated by battery electric vehicles and that they needed to be ready for it.

Imagine what a world with 100% electric vehicles will look like.

Imagine what a world with 100% electric vehicles will look like. For starters, it’ll be a lot more fun to drive, as EV drivers already know. We’ll be sending less money overseas to pay for imported oil. Consumers will save billions on fuel and maintenance. The money they do spend on fuel will be put to use locally, producing domestic electricity. Fewer children will be bringing inhalers to school. And the view from my office window will be a lot bluer.

But this kind of change is not a spectator sport. We need more charging stations. We need more people driving these cars – and support at the federal level is critical to achieving our goals. Both Congress and the new Administration need to hear that this is a big deal, it’s widely supported, benefits all citizens, and that this is not a technology of the future – these cars are here TODAY.

Now is the time to set things in motion and let our voice be heard. Please use this link to send a message to your Representative and Senators telling them that you support electric vehicles—and there are a lot of good reasons that they should support them too. And please pass this along to your EV friends so they can do the same.

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