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Nathaniel Bullard

Electric Vehicles’ Day Will Come, and It Might Come Suddenly

California’s push for zero-carbon power exempts the major culprit: transportation. But the market is shifting to electric anyway.

At the trough.

At the trough.

Photographer: Stefan Wermuth/Bloomberg

This week, California’s state legislature approved a bill requiring the state to get 100 percent of its electricity from carbon-free sources by the year 2045. It’s a landmark for power sector decarbonization, and if Governor Jerry Brown signs the bill, it will require a transformation of the state’s energy system.

California already gets 29 percent of its electricity from zero-carbon wind, solar, biomass and geothermal energy, and it has already reduced statewide greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels. As I highlighted in July, though, emissions in the state’s biggest emitting sector, transportation, have barely budged this century.