According to Bloomberg, California regulators want 100% of the cars on its roads to be emission free by 2030. Car makers are up in arms, citing financial losses, much like when the catalytic converter was introduced — a feature now in all modern cars to reduce pollution. Despite the strong resistance, California can push back however, because "its voters actually want the government to address global warming."
Both Brown and Nichols emphasize that California must inspire and support action in other states and countries if there's any chance to slow or stop climate change. "If the federal government can't get it right, we in California are going to take care of business," Brown said in an April speech.
Next year, Nichols will be a key player, along with Obama administration officials, in a review and update that will set the course for the national mileage standards and her own ZEV quotas. "This review will shape the next 20 years of transportation technology worldwide," says Diarmuid O'Connell, vice president of business development at Tesla Motors. Elon Musk's company, devoted exclusively to electric cars, is an exception among automakers in pushing Nichols to move more aggressively.
California has a leadership position not just because of its size and fabled car culture but because its voters actually want the government to address global warming, says Brown, a Democrat. "We're working against time," he says.
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