If you were to draw up a listof places least in need of encouraging towards the use of electric cars, California would probably be right up there. As well as being the home of companies such as Tesla Motors and Coda Automotive, many EV manufacturers usually pick at least one city in the State to launch their vehicles in. Indeed, the first two 2011 Nissan LEAFs delivered to customers have been in San Francisco and San Diego, respectively.
Still, perhaps as one of the places most suited to EV ownership, California also needs the most assistance to keep everything running smoothly. This is one of the aims of the 35-member California Plug-In Electric Vehicle Collaborative, a group made up of auto executives, California state legislators, public utility officials and other interested parties.
The idea behind the group is to address some of the concerns that members of the public may have towards electric cars - typical questions such as range anxiety, the suitability of power grids to handle mass charging, and other similar concerns. Addressing these concerns, as well as public education about EVs and increasing co-ordination between government and industry, will all go towards making owning an EV easier and cheaper.
Chairman, Diane Wittenberg, has previously served as executive director of the Climate Registry, a nonprofit group promoting the standard reporting of emissions information. She describes their mission statement: “We’re determined to pave the way for healthier, cleaner and cheaper transportation options for the 21st century... it must be simple, simple, simple for consumers to choose plug-in electric vehicles".
Other members of the group include Nancy Gioia from Ford, Robert Babik from GM, and Tracy Woodard from Nissan, who have experience in electrification, vehicle emissions and government affairs respectively.
The Collaborative is the latest in a strong collection of organizations making running an EV in California as easy and pleasurable as possible. Southern California Edison launched a new EV consumer website at the recent LA Auto Show, also with the aim of raising awareness and improving education on electric cars.
Many other companies are doing their bit to install charging points too, so California is certainly well served for electric car usage.