California passes six laws encouraging electric cars

Well, now, we're jealous.

On National Plug-In Day, California Gov. Jerry Brown, hoping to give a jolt to the electric vehicle industry, signed six bills to encourage drivers to buy electric cars.

According to a report on SFGate, the bills take several approaches, from extending programs that allow electric cars to use carpool lanes no matter how many passengers they carry, supporting more charging stations and requiring that they be included in new developments.

“Today, we reaffirm our commitment in California to an electric vehicle future,” Brown said when he signed the bills.

In addition to the other initiatives, the legislation provides $48 million to fund incentive programs to encourage electric-vehicle purchases and fleet modernization efforts.

California is already a leader in electric vehicles—more than a third of the plug-in vehicles in the country are in California, and the state has set a target of 1.5 million zero-emission vehicles in the state by 2025.

Here in Michigan, we have a lot more to gain from sensible public policies to encourage the growth of the electric-vehicle industry. There’s no reason we should take a back seat to California and there’s a lot our state legislators and local governments can do. What are we waiting for?