EGEB: California governor earmarks $3.2B to boost EV adoption

In today’s Electrek Green Energy Brief (EGEB):

  • California governor Gavin Newsom’s new proposal devotes $3.2 billion to boost EV adoption goals.
  • John Kerry says technology to reduce emissions hasn’t been invented yet. He’s wrong.
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California’s EV budget boost

Governor Gavin Newsom (D-CA) debuted a $100 billion economic recovery package called “California Roars Back” on Friday. $3.2 billion of that package is devoted to boosting California’s zero-emission vehicle (ZEVs) goals. In September 2020, California announced a ban of the sale of new gasoline-powered vehicles from 2035.

In 2020, ZEVs became the state’s number-one export, according to the full budget summary.

Newsom said on Friday:

The Biden administration’s been talking a lot about this, they’re hoping to do something with the Senate, but we’re doing it. We’re not waiting around.

The summary states that the $3.2 billion ZEV acceleration budget over the next three years includes:

  • $1.4 billion to deploy over 1,000 zero emission drayage trucks, 1,000 zero emission transit buses, and 1,000 zero emission school buses in underserved rural school districts.
  • $650 million one-time General Fund over the next three years to invest in consumer adoption of ZEVs through the Clean Vehicle Rebate Project and statewide expansion of Clean Cars 4 All, with a focus on low-income and disadvantaged communities. This funding is in addition to $150 million provided in the Governor’s Budget Cap and Trade Expenditure Plan.
  • $250 million General Fund one-time over two years for manufacturing and supply chain grants to expand California’s ZEV manufacturing footprint, administered by the Clean Transportation Program. This investment may be coupled with High Road Training Partnerships to increase access to high-quality jobs for workers, and increase the level of highly skilled employees for employers.
  • $5 million one-time General Fund to accelerate implementation of the ZEV Market Development Strategy’s focus on increasing awareness and access to ZEVs in the hardest-to-reach communities and expanding tools that help convert this awareness into decisions to drive or ride in ZEVs.

If the state legislature, which must meet the state’s June 15 constitutional deadline, approves the California Roars Back budget, it would be the largest recovery plan in the state’s history.

Kerry, we have the clean energy technology

US climate envoy John Kerry is being criticized for saying yesterday on the BBC’s Andrew Marr show that technology needed to reduce emissions hasn’t been invented yet:

I’m told by scientists that 50% of the reductions we have to make (to get to near zero emissions) by 2050 or 2045 are going to come from technologies we don’t yet have.

Spoiler alert: We already have it.

As Carbon Brief’s daily newsletter points out, “Last year, the International Energy Agency set out the state of technology readiness for reaching climate goals, finding many needed after 2030 were currently at the demonstration or early prototype stage.”

Climate scientist Michael Mann, the director of the Earth System Science Center at Penn State University, responded to Kerry’s statement in a later BBC interview:

This is a misguided statement and I hope it’s not the premise for the policy they’re going to be putting forward to reduce our carbon emissions. The reality is that we have the technology now… it simply needs to be scaled up. We need policies that will incentivize the shift that we need to see away from fossil fuels. This idea that we have to rely on future tech to decarbonize our economy unfortunately plays into this notion that we can just kick the can down the road…

[I think Kerry is talking about] carbon capture, or CCS… it’s really expensive, it’s really difficult to do. It’s much cheaper to just stop putting carbon pollution into the atmosphere. So I think they are buying into this fallacy that we will be able to deploy those sorts of technologies at scale on the time frame that’s necessary. The existing technology for doing so-called CCS doesn’t work very well.

… We just need political will.

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Avatar for Michelle Lewis Michelle Lewis

Michelle Lewis is a writer and editor on Electrek and an editor on DroneDJ, 9to5Mac, and 9to5Google. She lives in White River Junction, Vermont. She has previously worked for Fast Company, the Guardian, News Deeply, Time, and others. Message Michelle on Twitter or at Check out her personal blog.