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California will spend $2.9 billion building out its network of electric vehicle chargers and hydrogen fueling stations as the state moves to phase out fossil fuel-burning cars and trucks.
The California Energy Commission approved the funding Wednesday, saying it would more than double the 80,000 public chargers already deployed across the state and keep California on track to reach its goal of 250,000 chargers by 2025. The largest chunk of funding — $1.7 billion — will go toward supporting zero-emission trucks.
California has long been the nation’s largest market for electric cars, with more than 872,000 pure-electric vehicles and 417,000 plug-in hybrids registered in the state. Regulations adopted in August will end sales of new gas-burning models in California in 2035. It’s a key step toward the state’s goal of eliminating net greenhouse gas emissions by 2045.
But the state still needs more publicly accessible chargers to convince potential EV buyers they won’t run out of electricity on the road. The spending devotes $900 million to charging cars and light-duty trucks, $90 million for hydrogen fueling stations, $118 million to zero-emission vehicle manufacturing and $97 million to exploring new ways to power planes, trains and marine vessels. The money comes from a 14-year California program for zero-emission transportation projects, with more than $1 billion spent to date.
“California is bringing our roads and highways into the 21st Century with electric vehicle chargers in every community, in every corner of our state,” Governor Gavin Newsom said in a press release Wednesday.
(By David R. Baker)
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