Author: Zachary Shahan
Originally Published: February 21, 2021
Having spoken with several battery mineral experts about this, 100% electric vehicle sales by 2030 globally seems impossible, and Elon Musk himself recently estimated that the market would probably be a bit over 50% by around 2030. However, leaders are leaders, and that can go for cities and states as well as automakers. California has long been an electric vehicle leader, but one of its cities says that it’s time to step it up.
The City of Richmond has just passed a resolution (unanimously) that California should set a 100% Zero-Emissions Vehicle Standard for 2030.
Volta charging station in Richmond, California. Photo courtesy of Volta.
Notably, this did come a few days after the Chevron Refinery in Richmond had an oil spill that threatened the San Francisco Bay. A nonprofit organization focused on this target, ZEV2030, added: “This goal is consistent with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) guidance that we have until 2030 to transform our economy and the way we live to avoid the most catastrophic and irreversible effects of the climate crisis.” This resolution was the first major step the organization was involved in to push for its mission.
“Richmond has experienced firsthand the devastating public health and environmental
consequences that come with fossil fuel extraction, so it’s only fitting that we lead the
state in creating something better: a 100% ZEV standard by 2030,” said Richmond
Councilmember and former Mayor Gayle McLaughlin. “Let us strive to live to see the
world’s last oil spill. As vehicles are the #1 contributor of greenhouse gases in
California, we must start there.”
The 100% ZEV mandate would be for new vehicle sales. ZEV2030’s next steps, already underway of course, are to convince other Californian cities to pass essentially the same resolution and then to get Governor Gavin Newsom, the state legislature, and the California Air Resources Board (CARB) to adopt the 100% ZEV by 2030 standard.
“Greening our cars is an effective, large scale way to reduce our greenhouse gases —
by replacing gasoline with renewably generated electricity, we can eliminate up to 40%
of our current emissions,” said Doug Linney, the Founder and Executive Director of
ZEV2030.org. “California always leads the way, and it’s time we showed the rest of the
country that a 100% ZEV 2030 target is both achievable as a practical matter and
necessary to prevent climate calamity.”
The organization is also working with carmakers and suppliers to try to get them onboard. You can learn more at ZEV2030.org and you can email Molly Yoon at firstname.lastname@example.org if you want to get involved yourself.