New Initiative Accelerates Global Transition to Zero-Emission Vehicles

For Immediate Release

August 20, 2015
Contact: Alex Barnum, (916) 324-9670


SACRAMENTO— California, The Netherlands and Québec today announced they are launching the International Zero-Emission Vehicle Alliance (ZEV Alliance) to accelerate global adoption of ZEVs. The three partners also committed to recruiting other countries and sub-national jurisdictions to join them as founders of the alliance.

Large-scale adoption of electric-drive vehicles (called zero-emission vehicles, or ZEVs, and including battery-electric, plug-in hybrid, and fuel cell electric vehicles) is essential for progress on improving air quality, limiting climate change, ending oil dependence, and growing the low-carbon economy. International collaboration will accelerate adoption, create economies of scale and unlock ZEVs’ benefits.

As participants in the ZEV Alliance, leadership countries and sub-nationals will promote innovation and investment, and raise international awareness of expanding ZEV markets and opportunities. They will make greater deployment possible, through exchanges of best practices and jointly encouraging ambition in policies that drive ZEV adoption.

“We will only achieve our long-term climate objectives with a change to cleaner, more energy efficient vehicles,” said Matt Rodriquez, California Secretary for Environmental Protection. “We’re pleased to expand our partnerships with The Netherlands and Québec and encourage other countries, states, and provinces to work with us to put more and more drivers from all income levels at the wheel of zero emission vehicles.”

California and The Netherlands are leaders in global ZEV deployment. California is home to about one in every six ZEVs sold in the world, while in The Netherlands, ZEVs are approaching 5 percent of the share of new cars sold. The two jurisdictions have a history of environmental collaboration starting in October 2013 when Wilma Mansveld, the Dutch Minister for the Environment, and Secretary Rodriquez signed a Letter of Intent to cooperate on policies in climate, energy and sustainable transportation. This led to the signing of a Memorandum of Cooperation regarding the initiation of the ZEV Alliance.

“The cooperation with California on zero-emission transportation, which we started through the Coast to Coast e-Mobility program in 2013, has led to Solar Team Eindhoven winning the prestigious Tech Crunch Award for their Stella Solar car and to many other tangible results of which I am very proud,” said Minister Mansveld. “The next phase is crucial, where we invite the rest of the world to join us and build upon our successful ZEV cooperation.”

For its part, Québec has the largest ZEV fleet in Canada and presently accounts for close to 50 percent of the country’s market. Québec and California have been partners in developing the Western Climate Initiative carbon market since 2008, linking their respective cap-and-trade programs on January 1, 2014, thereby creating the largest carbon market in North America and the first to be operated by states from different countries. In December 2014, they decided to extend this partnership to ZEV strategies in order to learn from each other’s best practices in this promising field of technology development and zero carbon transportation.

“The deployment of ZEVs is one of Québec’s main strategies to reduce its carbon footprint in the transportation sector. It also represents interesting opportunities for Québec businesses which have a solid expertise on EV batteries, electric motorization, charging stations and other components of ZEVs,” said David Heurtel, Québec’s Minister for Sustainable Development, the Environment and the Fight against Climate Change. “Our participation in the Alliance will allow us to show the many benefits for our societies of opting for clean transportation, starting with air quality in the cities to the creation of new jobs in this promising field of economic development. Together, we can fight climate change and ensure a quality of life for our children.”

California is working toward a goal of 1.5 million ZEVs on the road by 2025. In May 2014, California joined Connecticut, Maryland, Massachusetts, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, and Vermont in unveiling the Multi-State ZEV Action Plan to increase clean cars across the nation. Key actions include encouraging fleets to acquire ZEVs, planning and investing in ZEV infrastructure such as charging stations, and tracking progress toward the goal to get a combined 3.3 million ZEVs on U.S. highways by 2025. The International ZEV Alliance is the next step in California’s commitment to accelerating the deployment of zero-emission vehicles.

The Netherlands already has the world’s largest network of public electric vehicle charging stations, and is ready for expanded use of electric and other zero emission vehicles on its roads. Through its Coast to Coast e-Mobility program, it has initiated collaboration with California on knowledge exchange, innovation and business development. Important players like Tesla Motors, Zero Motorcycles and Greenlots have chosen The Netherlands as their jumping-off point into Europe.

Public charging infrastructure in Québec, developed in collaboration with over 100 public and private partners, is now well established in every region of the province. Government policies have been a key component in this progress by providing incentives to purchase ZEVs and to install charging stations at home and in the workplace. ZEV deployment is thus progressing rapidly in Québec as the number of ZEVs registered has increased by 134 percent over the last 16 months. With close to 100 percent of its electricity coming from local sources of renewable energy such as hydro and wind energy, ZEVs are a sensible choice for reducing Québec’s GHG emissions.

Contacts:

California: Alex Barnum, (916) 324-9670
The Netherlands: Peter van Deventer, (831) 295-9120
Québec: Guillaume Bérubé, (418) 521-3911

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