The Mayors of San Francisco, Oakland and San Jose got together Thursday afternoon to declare their intention to morph their collective communities into the “Electric Vehicle Capital of the US.”
The mayors’ Nine-Point Plan was bolstered by Palo Alto start-up Better Place’s announcement that they would begin building the commercial infrastructure that will be necessary in the region by the time EVs begin to hit the market in 2011.
With Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger’s influential advisor David Crane showing their support for strategy, there appears to be a commitment at the local, state and federal levels to make the Bay Area a key player in what some—including Germany’s Foreign Minister—are optimistically calling President-elect Barack Obama’s “Green Deal.”
“This type of public-private partnership is exactly what I envisioned when we created the first ever low carbon fuel standard and when the state enacted the zero emissions vehicle program,” Governor Schwarzenegger said in a statement celebrating the plan. Schwarzenegger's zero emissions vehicle program was stifled in the courts last year as the result of a lawsuit introduced the Bush Administration.
But with a new administration intent on pushing alt fuels, local governments will certainly be throwing elbows in hopes of being in the right spot when and if the federal money spout turns on.
In fact, just a day earlier the city of Portland, Oregon said that it would be working with Renault-Nissan and Pacific Gas and Electric to build a network of EV charging stations with the goal of becoming a “global leader” in zero-emission vehicles.
While it’s all well and good to declare oneself a “global leader” or the “EV capital of the US” at a press conference, hopefully very soon these long-delayed alt-fuel-infrastructure initiatives will become more blasé and harder to sell as giant steps for mankind.
Photo by Flickr user internets_dairy.