California has always been the most forward-thinking and forward-acting state in the U.S. They were the first to legalize marijuana and recognize and act on allowing rest periods (a.k.a., naps) for employees during their day shifts. They are also one of the first states to promote EVs, or electric vehicles, over gasoline-powered cars.
That particular fact is evident when you see the increased number of electric vehicles driving everywhere in California. The number of EVs has grown each year, from 1990 on when the California Air Resources Board created and promoted the ZEV, or zero-emissions vehicle, program. In 2014, just twenty-four years after the program started, California was home to half of the entire nation’s electric and hybrid vehicles. The other facts surrounding EV use in California are equally jaw-dropping.
California Drives up Sales of EVs Last Year
In 2019, sales for EV vehicles in California outpaced sales in all other states. Since 2011, Californians reportedly purchased 570,000 electric and hybrid cars, more than any other state before or since. Those numbers continue to climb, and with it, the number of charging stations and locations all over California. It’s never been easier to find an EV charging station near downtown Los Angeles and along the coastline. Because of the ever-increasing numbers of electric vehicles, more and more stations must keep consumers’ vehicles fully charged.
Borrow an Electric Car and Drive
An even greater part of the drive towards electric vehicles in many of California’s major cities and the capital itself is the “unlock and drive” program. Consumers who don’t have a car can download an app, use it to locate an EV car parked and charged, pay to use it for a certain number of hours, and then return it to a charging station. This car-share program operates through an app known as “Gig.” It proves to be quite promising, profitable, and super-eco-friendly.
The Biggest Reason for the Push to EVs in California
Governor Newsom signed into law a mandate that all vehicles on California roads had to be zero-emission by 2035. Those that already drive electric cars are ahead of the game, but those that don’t have an EV will eventually have to make that transition. In the next fifteen years, the plan is to completely convert the whole state of California over to EVs, which is why you will see charging stations in every city and town in the state. Right now, only about 1.2 percent of all vehicle owners in the state own an electric vehicle, which will change dramatically under this legislation as the years tick off to 2035.
If You Drive an EV, You’ll Be Right at Home in California
If you own an EV and plan to take a road trip to California, you will find yourself quite at home. It won’t be a problem at all to find a charging station or parking garage with a charging station for your vehicle. You could tour all of this state and never lack for a place to plug in your car and charge it up.
The same can’t be said for any other state, which isn’t surprising when you consider California’s forward-thinking and pro-active history. Any place you stay or shop will have parking spots dedicated to recharging EVs as they are parked there, and that’s motivating enough to visit this state.