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?

Sonoma County Emissions Down in 2011

Greenhouse Gas Emissions Have Fallen 14% in Three Years

Santa Rosa – Sonoma County greenhouse gas emissions totaled 3.8 million tons in 2011, according to a new report by the Climate Protection Campaign. This marks a reduction of 170,000 tons from the previous year and 600,000 tons from the county’s high mark in 2008.

“We might actually make it to our 2015 target, but it’s going to take a lot of dedication and work,” said Climate Protection Campaign Executive Director Ann Hancock.

In 2005, Sonoma County and its nine cities each pledged to reduce the emissions that cause climate change by 25 percent below the 1990 level by 2015, the most aggressive target in the U.S. at the time.

The study covers the past twelve years of emissions from four sectors – electricity, transportation, natural gas and solid waste. The biggest reduction in the past year was in the electricity sector, where a cleaner electricity mix led to less pollution.  Increased output from large hydropower stations due to more rain, more renewable energy, and reduced electricity consumption appear to be the major factors driving emission reductions. Transportation emissions were down slightly as well, likely due to people responding to high gas prices by driving less.

“From this report we can see the powerful impact of taking fossil fuel out of our electricity generation – a harbinger of the huge opportunity with Sonoma Clean Power, our top initiative,” noted Hancock. “Using green energy to rebuild our economy is the future. Continuing to reduce emissions can boost our economic rebound.”

The new data analysis by the Climate Protection Campaign also included the agricultural sector for the first time. Livestock were responsible for about 430,000 tons of the County’s greenhouse gas emissions.

Hancock also made the caveat that emission calculations at the community scale, while based on accepted protocol, are imprecise. Nonetheless they still reveal large trends.

The Climate Protection Campaign released the data at the Sonoma County Strategies for Sustainability conference.

Since 2001 the Climate Protection Campaign has worked with government, business, youth and the broader community to advance practical, science-based solutions for significant greenhouse gas reductions. We create model programs for communities everywhere.

For the Press Democrat story on this report: Greenhouse gas emissions down again in Sonoma County

Posted: November 13, 2012

For More Information:
Ann Hancock