The million-mile battery is coming. Here’s why it matters

by David Ferris, E&E News


  • Tesla, General Motors, and Contemporary Amperex Technology are attempting to make car batteries that can last one million miles
  • The batteries have been tested in labs, but have not been manufactured and tested
  • Electric vehicles could hypothetically last forever with the advent of this ultra-long range battery
  • However, many factors such as temperature, frequent charging, and age all still play a role in how well the battery lasts over time
  • EV’s last much longer than traditional combustion engine vehicles and require less maintenance
  • Long-range vehicles could be utilized most by ride-hailing services such as Uber or Lyft since cars used in this industry face more servicing needs
  • Batteries could be utilized to shift renewable energy from one part of the day to another

The Climate Center’s Climate-Safe California campaign calls for investments and bold policies to support clean mobility, including a phase-out of all gas-powered vehicles.

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Washington State looks to a ban on new gas vehicles

by Danny Westneat, Seattle Times


The idea of banning new gas cars, formerly seen as too aggressive and radical, is picking up steam in Washington state:

  • Ten Washington legislators introduced House Bill 2515, which aims to ban the registration of any new gas-powered passenger or light-duty trucks, starting ten years from now, in 2030
  • The bill excludes emergency vehicles and equipment over 10,000 lbs
  • HB 2515  allows the reselling of older model gas powered vehicles in 2030 and after

Transitioning from internal combustion engine cars to electric vehicles is a key component of The Climate Center’s sustainable mobility work.

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GM CEO Mary Barra

GM and Honda unveil electric self-driving car with no steering wheel or pedals

by Matt McFarland, CNN Business, January 22, 2020


  • GM and Honda have engineered a new 6-seat electric vehicle, the Origin, that drives itself
  • The self-driving car isn’t for sale but is rather available for rides through a ride-share app
  • The six-seat electric vehicle has no steering wheel, brake or accelerator pedals, windshield wipers or rearview mirror. Its doors slide rather than swing open. There’s no obvious front or back, like a typical car.
  • The new car will need additional approval from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration due to its unique car components

Electric vehicles that offer ride-sharing through carpools are an important part of sustainable mobility.

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Buddy Burch talks of personal experience with electric vehicle

by Buddy Burch, CCP

A few weeks ago, I finally took the plunge and purchased my first electric vehicle (EV). I had begun to seriously consider the switch at the end of 2017 when I moved back to Santa Rosa and started working at The Climate Center. My first assignment was to produce a survey of global actions being taken to phase out internal combustion engine vehicles. After spending months on this topic, my conscience cried for an EV.

The reason I jumped in and purchased my Nissan Leaf at Jim Bone Nissan of Santa Rosa was Sonoma Clean Power’s Drive EV rebate program. I’m currently applying to grad school, so there were several factors at play for me. Obviously, I wanted to reduce my emissions on the road. At the same time, I’m looking at the cost of school for two years for a master’s degree, and I’m still paying off some student loans from undergrad. All of that said, I’ve been working for a few years, I’ve saved some money, and now was possibly the best time for me to invest in something that would last me through (and past) grad school. The rebate (and finding out that I could have a reasonable monthly payment after spending some time developing my credit score) was the tipping point in making the investment affordable.

I wanted to write this blog post to encourage younger people to really weigh the options about the purchases we make as we enter adulthood. While I cannot stress enough that we live in a system that does not favor climate-friendly choices, making them inconvenient or unaffordable, we should still try to make decisions that reduce our carbon footprint and get us closer to mitigating climate change. Even more important, we must demand climate mitigation solutions from our leaders at every level through elections and policy campaigns so that green technologies become the most affordable and available. Policies can change the cars we drive and the health of our planet.

As EV sales explode, Sonoma County is a model for ramping up incentives

by Doron Amiran, CCP

The growth of EVs is exploding worldwide. With Over 4 million EVs sold to date, the question is not will combustion cars go the way of the landline, but when. A recent report by Bloomberg Financial shows that while the first million EVs took over 5 years to sell, the 4th million took only six months. Six months!

This tells us that we are clearly moving up the “hockey stick” of the growth curve, and EV ownership is shifting from tech-savvy innovators, to true early adopters. It is only a matter of time before we see a mass replacement of combustion cars. After all, why drive a more expensive, more polluting, and more prone-to-breakdown combustion car when there is a better car out there?

Here in Sonoma County we can see this every day on our roads, as Nissan Leafs and Tesla Model 3s, among others, become increasingly common. As we approach our goal of 10,000 EVs on the road in Sonoma County by 2020, 100,000 by 2030, and 100% EV sales soon after that, there are a variety of rebates, incentives and tools available to Sonoma and Mendocino County residents who want to enjoy the benefits of clean, cheap and almost maintenance-free electric cars.

Especially alluring is the third and final iteration of Sonoma Clean Power’s Drive Evergreen program, which provides local residents with thousands of dollars in discounts and rebates, on top of State and Federal dollars, to make new and used EVs available at the lowest possible cost. There are a wide variety of vehicles available under the program, including minivans and SUVs, as well as regular cars. The program runs through November 15th.

If you still have questions, or want to find out more about EVs in general, The Climate Center, together with our local partners at the Regional Climate Protection  Authority, is pleased to announce the launch of a new tool that has all the answers. EV 101, housed on the Sonoma Clean Power website, is designed to put all the info you need in one simple and comprehensive location. Click here to get your questions answered, then go get an EV. Once you have enjoyed the low cost and incredible performance of an EV, you will wonder, as we do, why are we still burning gas at all?