Despite sharp growth in electric cars, vehicle emissions keep rising

Updated: May 20, 2020

By Julie Cart, CALMatters

Significant inroads have been made in nudging California toward its near-term goal of about 1 million electric cars by 2023. But there’s the added goal of 5 million zero-emission vehicles seven years later. It’s a glass-half-full calculation whether the 570,000 electric cars on the road today in California­–less than 3% of passenger vehicles—reflects a policy that’s off to a good start or one that is stalled at the gate.

The state’s stunning goal of electrifying all vehicles that move us and the goods we need—think of buses, trucking, rail freight, ships and airplanes—requires disruption of a sector whose last game-changing innovation was high-speed rail in the mid-1960s (one California struggles with even today).

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