Bay Bridge of San Francisco, USA

In what has been an 11-year effort, California has officially registered more than 1 million plug-in vehicles. Understandably, this represents a major milestone in the push towards an all-electric future and, notably, almost one-quarter of these vehicles arrived in 2021 alone.

As of December 31, California drivers had reportedly registered 663,014 EVs, and 379,125 plug-in hybrids which, together, accounted for more than 12 per cent of all light-duty vehicles sold in the state in 2021. In fact, by the end of September last year, California had more than eight times as many battery electric and plug-in hybrid cars as the next closest state, Florida.

Read more: California to spend US$1.4 billion for EV chargers, hydrogen stations

California’s progress speaks to a larger trend, as key markets around the world switch gears to focus on increased EV adoption. At the same time, countless legacy automakers have announced plans to offer fully electric fleets by 2030. According to Bloomberg NEF, the inflection point at which EV sales will truly take off will happen once they represent “at least 10 per cent of new car sales.” In markets like China and Europe, that goalpost has already been reached.

In 2020, California Governor Gavin Newsom solidified his vision for state-wide EV adoption as he signed an executive order to end sales of new, gas-powered vehicles in the state by 2035. California also offers consumers rebates for purchasing EVs or plug-in hybrid vehicles, and EV drivers are also granted a decal that allows them to drive solo in carpool lanes.

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