It’s full steam ahead for the Newsom administration’s zero-emission vehicle strategy. But this enthusiasm for a new generation of automobile technology may degrade the very roads they drive upon.
The governor kicked his clean car initiative into high gear last September with an executive order requiring all new cars and passenger trucks sold in California be zero-emission by 2035. He went further in January by earmarking nearly $1.5 billion of one-time and future revenues to increase the pace and scale of new electric vehicle charging and hydrogen fueling stations, and provide subsidies for new and used zero-emission vehicles and equipment.
These carrot-and-stick policies may substantially advance the sales and use of zero-emission vehicles. But for every gasoline- or diesel-powered vehicle retired and not replaced, California’s enormous transportation network will get a little grittier.
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