Last week, eight governors "joined hands" in support of zero emissions vehicles (ZEVs) in California's state capital. That's a good start, but there are seven governors of states that have worked with California on tough emissions rules in the past who were missing. It appeared the split was mostly along party lines.
Governors from Connecticut, Maryland, Massachusetts, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island and Vermont met with California Gov. Jerry Brown in Sacramento October 24. Collectively, they agreed to bring 3.3 million ZEVs – battery electric vehicles, plug-in hybrids and fuel cell electric vehicles – to their roads by 2025. Their meeting was coordinated with a review of the California Air Resources Board's ZEV mandates. All of the eight governors are members of the Democratic party.
As we said, there were seven other states that had previously committed to following California's tough emission guidelines. When it comes to EVs, though, they are conspicuously missing. Of the seven, six are led by Republican governors – Arizona, Florida, Maine, New Jersey, New Mexico and Pennsylvania. The other state – Washington – is led by Democrat Jay Inslee, a governor known for supporting electric vehicles. Perhaps Inslee was concerned about taking jabs from EV advocates for the state's recently imposed $100 annual fee on EVs?
Plug In Cars' Brad Berman looked at the case in Maine, and wondered if the governor stayed away from Sacramento because the Northeastern state lacks the resources to move EVs and charging into the mainstream at this point in time. Maine's Department of Environmental Protection spokeswoman Jessamine Logan told the McClatchy-Tribune Regional News that when the state coalition's memo came to state officials, it included "an action plan that was well beyond our ability to undertake it." Maine is a geographically large rural state whose population is spread out, Logan said. It will make more sense down the road after market conditions develop, she said.