When President Donald Trump announced that the United States was leaving the Paris Accords, a few governors pledged to keep their states to their commitments. Among them was California Governor Jerry Brown. In his last state of the State he promised actions to do so, The next day he signed an Executive Order that does the following:
To continue to meet California’s climate goals and clean air standards, California must go even further to accelerate the market for zero-emission vehicles. Today’s executive order implements the Governor’s call for a new target of 5 million ZEVs in California by 2030, announced in his State of the State address yesterday, and will help significantly expand vehicle charging infrastructure.
The Administration is also proposing a new eight-year initiative to continue the state’s clean vehicle rebates and spur more infrastructure investments. This $2.5 billion initiative will help bring 250,000 vehicle charging stations and 200 hydrogen fueling stations to California by 2025.
These investments are going to be essential since our technological economy needs an energy transfer. We need to move from fossil fuels, ranging from carbon to oil, to a backbone of solar, wind, wave and thermal energy. This new basket will be a zero emissions backbone for an advanced global economy. However, since Trump came to office last year, the federal government is trying its level best to slow down the development of electric vehicles, and other alternative energy sources. The State of California, among others, is doing what the rest of the world is doing. They are moving on.
Regarding the rise of zero emission vehicles, El Financiero in Mexico published this:
This emergence of electric vehicles in the vehicle market was not spontaneous, nor because of a genius with electric motors. It was developed in the American continent, Asia and Africa, as a consequence of research and development efforts in 29 countries and the European Union as part of the International Energy Agency (IAE), created in 1994. These are nations who have reacted positively to the United Nations call, in 1992, to reduce emissions of carbon dioxide. This strategy was cemented at COP 21, (the Paris Accords), celebrated in Paris, France in December of 2015. The objective is to reduce global temperatures by 2 degrees centigrade (3.6 F), with lower CO2 emissions.
The objective of 20 million vehicles by 2020 worldwide is in response to the Paris accords. It is part of the of the electric mobility initiative, and an answer to climate change. The real goal is the deployment of 100 electric vehicles and 400 million electric bikes and trikes by 2030. (Author’s translation.)
This is a critical global objective to reduce green house gas emissions, which trap heat in the atmosphere. This means that new technologies need to be deployed. The future for the car industry is no longer the internal combustion engine of the 20th century. It is in highly technological units that can run on electric energy, or with hydrogen units. Two examples of these are the Teslas that we are increasingly seeing in California. Or for Hydrogen Cell the Toyota Mirai. California Silicon Valley is at the forefront of this. The leadership is moving from Detroit and the big three (who are also building hybrid and electric units, such as the Focus and the Volt), and Tesla has global penetration.
This year’s legislative season will see the introduction of legislation to ban new gas vehicles by 2040 in California. This is not the left coast of the United States. It is part of a global trend. The Dutch government has confirmed that they will ban the sale of new gas vehicles by 2030. This matters for the future of Tesla, and other vehicle companies that produce zero emission vehicles. Electrek writes that in Holland:
Tesla dominates the electric car market in the country. Model S and Model X are respectively the first and second best-selling EVs in the country, followed by the more recently launched Hyundai Ioniq Electric, which will grow even more soon with a new fleet in Amsterdam, and the BMW i3 in the fourth place.
Mexico, as part of its pledges to first Kyoto, and now the Paris Accords, started equipping police forces with both electric vehicles and Hybrids. The former are Nissan Leafs that will join the police in the city of Merida in the State of Yucatán. The Mexico City police has received 100 Ford Fusion Hybrid Patrol vehicles.
The “Ford Fusion patrol” are under testing in the United States with the Michigan State Police and should be rated as police interceptors if the field testing goes well. The side benefit for police departments around the world that deploy them is a savings in fuel costs of about 50 percent, in the case of the hybrids. That was the estimate from Mexico City Mayor Enrique Mancera when he presented the vehicles during a ceremony. These are significant savings for any agency’s budget.
Unlike the United States, where the Michigan State Patrol test appeared in a specialized magazine, this was done in a media event at the Mexico City Zocalo. The other thing that the city is starting to use, are electric taxis. During that same ceremony these were introduced. The city is also transforming part of it’s public transportation fleet, like the City of San Diego, to hydrogen cell units.
When President Trump announced the United States was leaving the Paris accords, he placed a heavy bet on the past. The future is electric and other technologies, This future includes American companies such as Ford and Tesla which have global reach, and they will continue to develop zero emission vehicles because their markets are demanding it. The law of supply and demand is placing old technologies on the ultimate chopping block. It is not just a bad for American leadership in the world. It is also an incredibly bad business decision.
The fourth industrial revolution will not be fueled by fossil fuels.