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California on path to meet goal of 1.5 million electric cars, but charging stations lag behind

By in Press Enterprise on February 5, 2018

By Steve Scauzillo

Buoyed by an exceptional sales year in 2017, the state’s electric vehicle market will continue to grow this year and will reach 1.5 million zero-emission vehicles by 2025, an earlier target set by Gov. Jerry Brown.

That rosy forecast is according to a report released Tuesday by the Silicon Valley-based think tank Next 10 and Beacon Economics in Los Angeles. The joint report, “The Road Ahead for Zero-Emission Vehicles in California: Market Trends & Policy Analysis,” said 2018 sales will piggyback on a 29.1 percent increase of zero-emission vehicle sales in California in 2017, a turning point year.

Currently, 337,483 zero-emission vehicles have been sold in California, reaching nearly 5 percent of the state’s market share, accelerating from 3.6 percent in 2016, Beacon reported. Global passenger electric vehicle sales reached 1 million by the end of 2017, up from 500,000 in 2015.

By far, California has the most of any state, and Brown wants to speed sales even more. Last week, he set a new goal of 5 million zero-emission vehicles by 2030, a number the report said will be a challenge to meet unless more charging infrastructure is built.

“The trends in California are all good for the continued increase in sales of electric vehicles,” Noel Perry, founder of Next 10, a group that examines the nexus of the economy, environment and climate change, said during an interview Wednesday.

“We talk about how smartphones became ubiquitous in a short period of time. It is possible ZEVs can go the route of smartphones by 2040,” Perry said.

Prices of ZEVs (battery-electric, hydrogen-powered and plug-in hybrids) are becoming competitive with gasoline-powered cars, in part because battery costs have dropped from $1,000 to $209 per kilowatt-hour from 2010-2016, the report noted. Also, the percentage of electric cars in the world will grow in 2018 as more […]    

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