California wants 5 million 'green' cars on roads by 2030

A file photo of vehicles on the 405 freeway during rush hour in Los Angeles, on California, Oct 3, 2007. PHOTO: REUTERS

LOS ANGELES (AFP) - California Governor Jerry Brown Friday (Jan 26) signed an executive order detailing aims to have five million electric cars on the state's roads by 2030 - by accelerating the production of such vehicles using financial incentives and rebates.

The US$2.5 billion (S$3.3 billion), eight-year plan also involves the installation of 250,000 electric vehicle charging stations and 200 hydrogen fueling stations by 2025.

"To continue to meet California's climate goals and clean air standards, California must go even further to accelerate the market for zero-emission vehicles," the governor's office said in a statement.

The order aims to "dramatically reduce carbon emissions from transportation - a sector that accounts for 50 per cent of the state's greenhouse gas emissions and 80 percent of smog-forming pollutants," it added.

The previous target, from 2012, aimed to get 1.5 million "green" vehicles on the roads of the most populated US state - which boasts the biggest automobile market, with around 14.5 million vehicles for 40 million people.

California, where the number of zero emissions vehicles has risen by 1,300 percent in six years according to the order, will need to maintain similarly exponential growth to meet its latest goal.

Currently, eco-friendly vehicle sales represent five percent of sales in the state.

Two years ago, California also adopted a goal of cutting CO2 emissions to 40 per cent below the 1990 level by 2030.

The "Golden State," a leading force in the fight against climate change in the US, also aims to obtain half of its electricity from renewable sources by 2030.

The order also includes a US$1.25 billion investment in California's own carbon market.

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