Diverse Organizations & Companies Stand Together in Support of the Innovative Clean Transit Measure at the California Air Resources Board

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The CalZEV Coalition is dedicated to moving California toward a 100 percent zero-emission transportation future for all

Californians for Zero Emission Vehicles (CalZEV), a coalition of public health, environmental and electric vehicle industry organizations, announced its strong support today for the Innovative Clean Transit (ICT) measure currently before the California Air Resources Board (CARB). Under the proposal, California transit agencies would be required to purchase 100 percent zero-emission buses by 2040 as they gradually phase out their dependence on buses that pollute the atmosphere.

“Transitioning to zero-emission vehicles will save lives,” said Michelle Romero, Deputy Director at Green For All. “Most people don't realize the serious health and safety issues associated with tailpipe pollution. It effects the health of millions of Californians every day, especially low-income communities and communities of color living near busy freeways and highways, which is why we support strong action on the Innovative Clean Transit measure.”

100 percent battery electric buses running on today’s California electric grid emit 70 percent fewer greenhouse gas emissions, a key driver of climate change, than both natural gas and diesel-powered buses, according to the Union of Concerned Scientists. An MIT study found that air pollution is responsible for 200,000 premature deaths in the United States every year. That’s higher than CDC estimates for annual deaths from accidents, strokes and lower chronic lower respiratory diseases. Meanwhile, electric buses are already more cost effective over the lifetime of the vehicle, compared to fossil fuel powered buses. Replacing a single dirty-fueled bus with a clean, zero-emission electric bus can save a transit authority as much as $448,000 in operational savings over a 12-year period.

“The Innovative Clean Transit initiative is a no-brainer, especially in California, which is a leader in both innovative technologies and the fight against climate change,” said Eddie Ahn, Executive Director of Brightline Defense. “There’s no reason we should be running dirty, polluting buses in our communities when we have better, cleaner options ready today.”

Electric mass transit benefits all Californians. Transitioning to an all-electric bus fleet is estimated to save California taxpayers more than half a billion dollars, while reducing deadly air pollution, and boosting the state’s economy. This advanced technology is ready for widespread use and will lead to cleaner air, especially in low-income communities disproportionately burdened by environmental pollution.

“People of color in California bear the most burdens from air pollution in the state,” said Adrian Martinez, staff attorney at Earthjustice. “Until California’s underserved communities become a high priority for the deployment of truly clean transportation, they will continue to feel the worst impacts of the transportation sector. California’s burgeoning heavy-duty electric vehicle sector presents a unique opportunity to combat pollution and climate change, while at the same time providing Californians an opportunity to grow clean energy jobs.”

With California being the country’s hub for electric bus manufacturing, with four different companies manufacturing electric buses in state, the Innovative Clean Transit initiative will also create local jobs. And, electric buses are cheaper to operate, leading to economic savings for taxpayers.

“Simply put, this policy will create good California jobs,” said Eileen Wenger Tutt, executive director at California Electric Transportation Coalition. “When you consider the benefits to Golden State workers and environmental benefits to communities, we cannot afford any further delay.”

The California Air Resources Board is expected to make a decision on the Innovative Clean Transit measure in September 2018. Take action now and tell CARB you support clean air and zero-emission transit for all here.

About Californians for Zero Emissions Vehicles (CalZEV)
Californians for Zero Emissions Vehicles is a coalition of more than ten organizations and companies, including: AxleTech International, Inc., Brightline Defense, California Electric Transportation Coalition, Coltura, Green for All, Green Power Bus, EVgo, The Lion Electric Co., Motiv Power, Plug In America, Proterra and Zoox. For more information, visit http://www.calzev.org and follow us on Twitter @Cal4ZEV.

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Lauren Burke
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