What Does Real Leadership Look Like?
02.05.2017 - by Joel Levin
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.

7 comments on “What Does Real Leadership Look Like?”
  1. Gary says:

    Did you jump you the conclusion that CA will be all EV? I thought that CA’s “official” plan is for almost all Hydrogen fuel … but, H2 is not the best plan, I think.

  2. Mark Roest says:

    Hurray! This is the perfect answer to Ford’s CEO calling on Trump to discontinue the 2009 California exemption that lets us set our own emission standards, and lets states choose to follow us or the feds. If we write the law well, we can step around the watered-down federal standard even if Ford gets its way. We can use the health and safety powers to do it.

    1. John Cangany says:

      Hi, this is John Cangany from Ford Communications. To be clear, we are for improving fuel economy and reducing CO2 in our vehicles, and we are for One National Program. We hope that CARB, NHTSA and EPA will work together in getting the data-driven One National Program back on track.

  3. David Gabay says:

    Joel, Mensch!
    I’m all for a 100% electric transportation future, but you forgot to include how will we pay for maintaining the roads where we will drive our electric cars.

  4. Michael Silverberg says:

    This is good news, Joel. But as we all press for expansion of ZEVs let’s not forget the Hydrogen powered vehicles. In addition to more charging stations we will need more H2 fueling stations. And, just as battery technology has been improving, so will the production and distribution of H2 become more mainstream.

    My wife and I are owners of a Toyota Mirai. With a range of about 300 miles per tank, a refueling time of about 5 minutes, and a very comfortable, stable ride, what’s not to like? We absolutely love the car and are anxious to have others share the joy we get from it. It’s exciting to see more auto manufacturers make a commitment to H2 and we look forward to the expansion of the technology. Please don’t forget us.

  5. Cynthia Wilcox-Rittgers says:

    I have bern driving an EV for almost a year now. I like ve it. Driving is so much more fun! But I believe we need an infrastructure of supercharger stations and stations that convert solar power to car power.

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