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Newsom injects $6.1B to speed shift to zero-emission vehicles

Governor proposes additional funds to support more affordable, clean transportation

Gov. Gavin Newsom discusses the state's zero-emissions and climate goals in the parking lot outside of the Ford Greenfield Labs in Palo Alto on Jan. 26, 2022. Photo by Magali Gauthier.

Standing outside the Ford Greenfield Labs in Palo Alto on Wednesday, Gov. Gavin Newsom spoke about his vision for fast forwarding the state's zero-emissions economy and climate goals.

Newsom's budget proposal, dubbed the California Blueprint, is proposing an additional $6.1 billion to build electric-vehicle infrastructure and offer rebates for purchasing alternative vehicles to residents in the next few years. The proposal includes tax incentives for manufacturers.

The $6.1 billion would increase the total in the climate budget to $10 billion, which would specifically support electric-vehicle transformation, he said. Of that total, $665 million would be set aside for direct rebates to low-income residents to replace gas-guzzling cars with alternative vehicles, he said.

The $10 billion is part of a broader $37.6 billion plan that Newsom's announced to address climate change in the coming years.

"Electric vehicles are one of the state's biggest exports," he said, standing amid the Stanford Research Park, where not only Ford but Tesla have set up business. Palo Alto and Silicon Valley are playing a direct role in developing electric vehicles and will be "a big part of the future."

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Making such an investment is "imperative for the state in particular" to meet its climate goals. California is the first state to require all new vehicles to be alternatives to gasoline engines by 2035, he said.

More than 50% of the state's carbon dioxide emission comes from oil extraction and/or tailpipes, according to Newsom. The state can't be serious about addressing climate change without thinking about reducing vehicle emissions, he said.

The $6.1 billion would help support more affordable, clean cars, trucks and buses and expand access to zero-emission vehicles and zero-emission vehicle infrastructure in low-income communities.

State Assembly member Marc Berman, whose district includes Palo Alto, said Silicon Valley is inextricably linked to these innovations and would lead the way.

Palo Alto Mayor Pat Burt discusses the city's climate goals at a news conference in the parking lot outside the Ford Greenfield Labs in Palo Alto on Jan. 26, 2022. Photo by Magali Gauthier.

Palo Alto Mayor Pat Burt noted that the city has been a leader in working to meet the governor's climate goals. The city has the highest electric-vehicle sales, with one-third of new car sales being electric. He noted that the 2020 catastrophic CZU August Lightning Complex fires, which were linked to climate change, came close to jumping the mountain ridges into Palo Alto, making climate protection a dedicated goal of the city.

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Ford has started making high-volume, all-electric vehicles, including the E-Transit van and the F-150 Lightning Pro pickup truck, the latter of which will be available by the middle of this year, according to its website. Its Mustang Mach-E SUV is the first all-electric vehicle to pass the Michigan State Police vehicle tests, including for acceleration, braking and high-speed vehicle pursuits.

Ford Greenfield Labs in Palo Alto, located at 3251 Hillview Ave., is one of the largest automotive manufacturing research centers in the region, according to its website. It employs nearly 300 researchers, engineers, designers and scientists in 182,000 square feet of work and lab space.

Wendy Zhao, head of growth at Ford Pro Charging, watches Gov. Gavin Newsom plug a charger into an electric Mustang Mach-E SUV in the parking lot outside the Ford Greenfield Labs in Palo Alto on Jan. 26, 2022. Photo by Magali Gauthier.

Ford Pro, the automaker's global vehicle services and distribution business, is dedicated to serving commercial and business customers.

The new business — the first of its kind among automakers – focuses on end-to-end services for cars, software, charging stations, financing and repair to help companies convert their vehicle fleets to electric. It currently has 70,000 Blue Oval chargeports throughout the country, said Wendy Zhao, head of growth for Ford Motors' Pro Charging, a section of Ford Pro.

"Fleets are a vital part of helping California and the world meet its ambitious climate goals," she said, adding that a robust charging network would be essential to making the transition.

Watch the full press conference:

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Sue Dremann is a veteran journalist who joined the Palo Alto Weekly in 2001. She is a breaking news and general assignment reporter who also covers the regional environmental, health and crime beats. Read more >>

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Newsom injects $6.1B to speed shift to zero-emission vehicles

Governor proposes additional funds to support more affordable, clean transportation

by / Palo Alto Weekly

Uploaded: Wed, Jan 26, 2022, 1:57 pm

Standing outside the Ford Greenfield Labs in Palo Alto on Wednesday, Gov. Gavin Newsom spoke about his vision for fast forwarding the state's zero-emissions economy and climate goals.

Newsom's budget proposal, dubbed the California Blueprint, is proposing an additional $6.1 billion to build electric-vehicle infrastructure and offer rebates for purchasing alternative vehicles to residents in the next few years. The proposal includes tax incentives for manufacturers.

The $6.1 billion would increase the total in the climate budget to $10 billion, which would specifically support electric-vehicle transformation, he said. Of that total, $665 million would be set aside for direct rebates to low-income residents to replace gas-guzzling cars with alternative vehicles, he said.

The $10 billion is part of a broader $37.6 billion plan that Newsom's announced to address climate change in the coming years.

"Electric vehicles are one of the state's biggest exports," he said, standing amid the Stanford Research Park, where not only Ford but Tesla have set up business. Palo Alto and Silicon Valley are playing a direct role in developing electric vehicles and will be "a big part of the future."

Making such an investment is "imperative for the state in particular" to meet its climate goals. California is the first state to require all new vehicles to be alternatives to gasoline engines by 2035, he said.

More than 50% of the state's carbon dioxide emission comes from oil extraction and/or tailpipes, according to Newsom. The state can't be serious about addressing climate change without thinking about reducing vehicle emissions, he said.

The $6.1 billion would help support more affordable, clean cars, trucks and buses and expand access to zero-emission vehicles and zero-emission vehicle infrastructure in low-income communities.

State Assembly member Marc Berman, whose district includes Palo Alto, said Silicon Valley is inextricably linked to these innovations and would lead the way.

Palo Alto Mayor Pat Burt noted that the city has been a leader in working to meet the governor's climate goals. The city has the highest electric-vehicle sales, with one-third of new car sales being electric. He noted that the 2020 catastrophic CZU August Lightning Complex fires, which were linked to climate change, came close to jumping the mountain ridges into Palo Alto, making climate protection a dedicated goal of the city.

Ford has started making high-volume, all-electric vehicles, including the E-Transit van and the F-150 Lightning Pro pickup truck, the latter of which will be available by the middle of this year, according to its website. Its Mustang Mach-E SUV is the first all-electric vehicle to pass the Michigan State Police vehicle tests, including for acceleration, braking and high-speed vehicle pursuits.

Ford Greenfield Labs in Palo Alto, located at 3251 Hillview Ave., is one of the largest automotive manufacturing research centers in the region, according to its website. It employs nearly 300 researchers, engineers, designers and scientists in 182,000 square feet of work and lab space.

Ford Pro, the automaker's global vehicle services and distribution business, is dedicated to serving commercial and business customers.

The new business — the first of its kind among automakers – focuses on end-to-end services for cars, software, charging stations, financing and repair to help companies convert their vehicle fleets to electric. It currently has 70,000 Blue Oval chargeports throughout the country, said Wendy Zhao, head of growth for Ford Motors' Pro Charging, a section of Ford Pro.

"Fleets are a vital part of helping California and the world meet its ambitious climate goals," she said, adding that a robust charging network would be essential to making the transition.

Watch the full press conference:

Comments

Nayeli
Registered user
Midtown
on Jan 26, 2022 at 11:50 pm
Nayeli, Midtown
Registered user
on Jan 26, 2022 at 11:50 pm

So, the budget for climate will be increased to $10 Billion per year in order to get more cleaner vehicles to replace gas guzzlers on the road. Yet, less than 7% of this would go to actually replacing gas guzzlers. Where does the other 93.25% of the money go?

The poor and middle classes are the ones who need help in replacing their vehicles. For many poor and middle class families, they cannot even fathom buying a new car right now -- because the prices have skyrocketed over the last decade. Which affordable "alternative fuel" vehicles can a person earning $31,960 per year (the median individual income in California) actually afford?

Besides, wasn't the big gas tax increase -- resulting in higher fuel costs to EVERYONE (rich and poor alike) -- supposed to go toward climate initiatives?


Book Em
Registered user
Palo Verde School
on Jan 27, 2022 at 8:12 am
Book Em, Palo Verde School
Registered user
on Jan 27, 2022 at 8:12 am

So, Gavin Newsom shows up in Palo Alto to lavish love on Ford who has zero manufacturing presence and a small outpost of engineers, and who also had Zero interest in electric vehicles before Tesla came along and established that electric vehicles are both technically and economically viable.

It’s this type of political expedience and disrespect that encouraged Tesla to move HQ to TX. Those Tesla jobs up the hill and in Fremont are significant. Very little actual manufacturing goes on in CA right now but Tesla has done its part to significantly break that trend.

That $6B would have been better spent on building an effective state mental health infrastructure that would clearly improve California by addressing homelessness and drug abuse as well as reducing crime.

I wonder how many $$$ Ford dropped into Gavin's campaign chest to get the media spotlight.


Bystander
Registered user
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jan 27, 2022 at 8:41 am
Bystander, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
Registered user
on Jan 27, 2022 at 8:41 am

Interesting that Newsom came to Palo Alto to discuss this since Tesla was a Palo Alto company and moved away from California because of Newsom's policies to businesses.


Wendy
Registered user
Midtown
on Jan 27, 2022 at 10:06 am
Wendy, Midtown
Registered user
on Jan 27, 2022 at 10:06 am

The nonprofit where I work helps income-qualified Bay Area residents apply for grants and other incentives programs that make cleaner electric cars much more affordable. You can learn more about these resources by searching for "Acterra financial incentives clinics electric vehicles" or visiting acterra.org/goev . Electrified mobility shouldn't be limited to those with more affluence, but needs to be available to all. And it's important to note that maintenance and fueling costs are much lower for electric vehicles than for gas powered vehicles.


Linda
Registered user
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jan 27, 2022 at 9:13 pm
Linda, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
Registered user
on Jan 27, 2022 at 9:13 pm

I'm happy that Gov. Newsom understands the essential role that electric vehicles play in stabilizing our climate and reducing air pollution--and that he's directing funding to support the vital transition to electrified transportation.

Now we need him to step up his leadership by insisting that residents of apartments and condos are given the same access to affordable, at-home EV charging as single-family residents enjoy. At the very least, new multi-family housing should be built EV Ready, to avoid hugely costly and onerous retrofits in the near future.

[Portion removed.]


Bob Wenzlau
Registered user
Crescent Park
on Jan 28, 2022 at 7:33 am
Bob Wenzlau, Crescent Park
Registered user
on Jan 28, 2022 at 7:33 am

I am delighted to see our community's leadership celebrating Ford's innovation - this validates that climate is good for business and good for Palo Alto. We went all electric on our vehicles, and never looked back. That said, a bike is still best, and anything to avoid a car - gas or electric - should be furthered.


Resident 1-Adobe Meadows
Registered user
Adobe-Meadow
on Jan 29, 2022 at 1:11 am
Resident 1-Adobe Meadows, Adobe-Meadow
Registered user
on Jan 29, 2022 at 1:11 am

Where is the state treasurer here? I don't get the feeling that what the taxpayers want is listened to. That is not his money - it is our money. We need our infrastructure fixed. Read Mr. Roadshow in the papers - he consolidates opinions with what is actually happening. People want another lane on I-5. People want the roads fixed. People want more bridges to reduce traffic. People want our dams fixed - they are all old and not earthquake safe. The basic requirements are not being attended to. Focus on safety for everyone. The car companies are doing their job - producing cars. Not the governors job.


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