The bill was overwhelmingly approved by the Senate and will be considered by the Assembly Transportation Committee today, (June 21).
California, in the midst of an extreme drought and at high risk for more devastating wildfires, is already experiencing the effects of climate change. The transportation sector generates the largest share of greenhouse gas emissions nationwide. California is already beginning to change this course by approving the nation’s first Clean Miles Standard to transition ride-hailing fleets to zero-emission vehicles.
With SB 500, the state can take early action to ensure the emerging AV industry moves California closer to a zero emission future - and creates good-paying union jobs. Electrifying the autonomous vehicle fleet will generate job opportunities that support the development of public charging infrastructure.
The Union of Concerned Scientists is joined by California State Association of Electrical Workers, the Coalition of California Utility Employees, Cruise and Nuro in urging California Assemblymembers to demonstrate leadership and put the state on the path to a cleaner energy future.
“This proposed legislation will ensure that the autonomous vehicle industry, from the outset, pairs innovations in sensors and software with zero emission technology” said Elizabeth Irvin, a senior transportation analyst at UCS. “To deliver on their promise of a more efficient future, autonomous vehicle companies must electrify their fleets as they come into widespread use. California legislators can demonstrate true leadership toward reducing pollution and cleaning our air by passing this bill. This effort is essential to get us to the clean transportation system of the future.”
Prashanthi Raman, Director of Global Government Affairs at Cruise, added that California has a momentous opportunity to ensure that sustainability is a priority for the future of transportation given that AVs represent the leading edge of the transportation sector.
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