California Expands Zero-Emission Transportation Sector with $1.9B Investment

california street with palm trees and cars with mountain in background

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by | Feb 20, 2024

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California is investing in its zero-emission transportation sector with $1.9 billion in funding targeting electric vehicle charging and hydrogen refueling goals.

The California Energy Commission approved the investment amount, which will help deploy infrastructure for light, medium and heavy-duty zero-emission vehicles across the state. According to the department, the plan will create the most extensive charging and hydrogen refueling network across the country, with 40,000 new chargers statewide.

The plan includes more than 50% of the $1.9 billion, which will be spent over the next four years, to benefit priority populations. The funding is part of the $48 billion California Climate Commitment, including $10 billion for zero-emission vehicles and zero-emission vehicle infrastructure.

California currently has 94,000 public and shared private chargers. With the new investment plan, plus other funding from the Biden administration, utilities, and other programs, the Golden State expects to reach 250,000 chargers in the next few years.

The funding will be available to projects over the next four years through grants, including direct incentive and rebate programs for businesses, non-profit organizations, tribes, and public agencies.

“We need to make sure that this is zero emission refueling infrastructure for everybody,” said CEC’s Lead Commissioner for Transportation Patty Monahan. “By investing a bulk of funds to benefit low-income and disadvantaged communities, the state is making sure communities most in need have better access to chargers and less pollution from trucks and buses.”

The push in California comes as more heavy lifting for EV infrastructure is needed for widespread adoption. Infrastructure is a major barrier to EV success, requiring billions of dollars of investment.

Recently, several industry leaders created a new, cross-industry coalition, Powering America’s Commercial Transportation, that aims to accelerate the deployment of zero-emission vehicle infrastructure and enhance national climate policies to address the needs of medium- and heavy-duty ZEVs. The coalition includes Daimler Truck North America, Navistar, and Volvo Group North America.

California has been ahead of the curve of the rest of the United States when it comes to decarbonizing roadways. The state is the leader in available public EV charging ports.

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