Monday, December 7, 2009

Southern California to become electric car-friendly



Last Tuesday at the Greater Los Angeles Auto Show, Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa announced a new Southern California Regional Plug-In Electric Vehicle Plan. The "PEV" plan, as it is known, "is a collaboration between cities, utilities, automakers and others in the Southern California region who will work actively to support the region and build the necessary infrastructure for the commercial launch of electric vehicles, which is scheduled for Fall 2010."

Specifically, the PEV plan would include the deployment of charging stations for electric vehicles, the acquisition of electric vehicles for use as official city vehicles, incentives for consumers and landlords to install electric vehicle charging stations, consumer education programs, and more.

Mayor Villaraigosa's announcement follows similar programs contained in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, a/k/a the "Stimulus Bill," that President Obama signed into law earlier this year. Pursuant to the Stimulus Bill, the Department of Energy has given out over $2 billion in grants to bring electric vehicles and charging stations to several U.S. cities, including San Diego, Seattle, and Phoenix. These programs are designed to work in conjunction with Nissan's unveiling of its LEAF electric car. Other electric cars and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles, such as the Chevrolet Volt, are also on their way to California showrooms.

It remains to be seen whether the incentives provided in the Southern California PEV plan and the Stimulus Bill will spur rapid deployment of electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles, or whether a different technology, such as the current self-generating hybrids, or hydrogen fuel cells, will power most cars and trucks in coming years. But for now, the federal government and our local government are putting effort and resources into the electric car.

source: examiner