Love them or hate them, there is no doubt that the Californian authorities are good to their words and do whatever they think is best - not taking into account neighbouring states. This is a state which has been at the forefront of the EV revolution and while some suggest it is all PR, others believe the state is playing a major role in the EV revolution. So what have the authorities decided to do this time?
New building codes
While nothing is set in stone as yet, the Californian authorities are considering introducing new building codes which would require builders to include plug-in electric vehicle infrastructure charging systems. This would be a major step forward, especially when you bear in mind the often prohibitive cost of upgrading existing systems against a potential cost of just $50 if the systems were added as the property was built.
Even though many other states and countries around the world make look at this particular development with surprise, this is something which the state of California has been moving towards for some time. Indeed not only would the new regulations cover new home builds but they would also take into account larger parking lots where many electric plug-in vehicles could be recharged.
Giving power to the people
Earlier in 2014 the Californian authorities tweaked tenant laws for commercial and residential properties, which now allow tenants to install electric vehicle charging stations at their own cost. In many ways this overrides the rights of landlords to refuse such requests and is yet again seen as a positive by the EV industry going forward.
Quote from ElectricForum.com: "Tesla seems to be dominating the EV market at the moment. Who is the biggest threat to Tesla in the future?"
In a perfect world you would hope that developments in California would be replicated in other states across the US and indeed other countries. However history shows us that while California can be revolutionary and ahead of its time, there is no guarantee that others will follow suit. Indeed the EV1 debacle perfectly illustrates this fact so while we should be encouraged we should take nothing for granted.
Are electric vehicles really the future?
As we have touched on many times, electric vehicles have been around in some shape or form for decades now. There are many reasons for developing this technology: there is growing demand and the long-term cost benefits are there for all to see. There is reluctance in some areas of commerce to invest the funds required to push the EV market further forward at a faster pace. However, government pressure and government finance could be the key to reversing this trend in the short-term.
You only need to look at the growing sales of EVs, the long-term cost benefits and the ever-growing problem of pollution in the world today. While government incentives to switch to electric vehicles have turned the heads of many, and perhaps lowered the cost of electronic vehicles beyond realistic short-term levels, it does seem as though we have crossed the threshold. Unlike similar episodes in years gone by, with governments publicly pushing electric vehicles but behind-the-scenes holding them back, we do appear to have now gone beyond the point of no return.
Will California be the state and the power behind the future electric vehicle industry?