Why Greater Sacramento is leading in clean mobility
Shaping the future of clean mobility
California continues to be a global leader in innovation for zero emission vehicles. What does this mean for the future of the state as it relates to clean mobility? Greater Sacramento, the state capital, is paving the way: creating assets, policies and initiatives to advance the green economy and technology.
Since 2018, the Greater Sacramento Economic Council (GSEC), Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD), City of Sacramento, Sacramento County, California Air Quality Management District (CARB), Sacramento State, UC Davis, Terzo Power Systems, SACOG, Los Rios Community Colleges in partnership with PEM Motion out of Germany worked on building a world-class facility called the California Mobility Center (CMC) to help electric vehicle companies commercialize and help early-stage companies go to scale.
The CMC will be a leader in helping companies take their ideas to concept as innovators need a pathway to develop their technology, test products, access capital, launch and then go to scale. We are shaping the future of e-mobility and are ripe for success with Governor Newsom announcing $100 billion in an economic recovery plan called “California Roars Back,” including $3.2 billion toward zero emission initiatives. The largest initiative of its kind in state history.
The center of clean innovation
Enlightened policy leadership, powerful incentive programs and a strong tradition of embracing new and environmentally friendly technologies have all contributed to California’s status as the hub for zero-emission vehicles (ZEVs) in the Western Hemisphere.
Within California, the main nexus for clean mobility development and deployment is the I-80 corridor. Bookended by Tesla facilities on both ends, the 240 miles from the East Bay to Reno is home to a plethora of companies, universities and public sector power players unrivalled in the industry. Greater Sacramento and the CMC sit in the exact midpoint of all this activity.
It is no surprise that companies such as Lion Electric select the Greater Sacramento region for their U.S. headquarters, drawn to the area by abundant talent, willing state and local government partners and the opportunity to influence ZEV policy of the future.
With the CMC’s orchestration, SMUD recently announced a partnership with the EV truck company Zeus to be its launch customer. “Not only does this agreement showcase the future of electric vehicles and the ability to transition a large fleet to all-electric, but it also reduces our operating costs and greenhouses gases – helping us meet our goal of zero carbon by 2030,” said Paul Lau about the partnership.
State capital leads the conversation on clean mobility
California is a global leader in developing policies to advance the green economy and technology, including within the clean mobility industry. Home of the state capital, Greater Sacramento is at the forefront of the decision-making process. The state’s Zero-Emission Vehicle Market Development Strategy is accelerating large-scale, affordable and equitable ZEV market development.
In fall 2020, Governor Gavin Newsom signed Executive Order N-79-20, setting the following zero-emission vehicle targets for California:
- 100% of in-state sales of new passenger cars and light-duty trucks will be zero-emission by 2035,
- 100% zero-emission medium- and heavy-duty vehicles in the state by 2045, where feasible, and by 2035 for drayage trucks and
- 100% zero-emission off-road vehicles and equipment operations by 2035, where feasible.
The ZEV Strategy, already in implementation, is aligning state agencies and industry stakeholders in meeting these targets.
In addition to these targets, California has the following intermediate goals:
- 5 million ZEVs on California roads by 2030,
- 250,000 public and shared charging stations by 2025 and
- 200 hydrogen fueling stations by 2025.
As of fall 2020, 763,816 passenger ZEVs and more than 3,000 medium- and heavy-duty ZEVs have been sold in the state. There are also more than 67,343 shared charging stations, including 4,818 direct current (DC) Fast Chargers, and 44 retail hydrogen stations.
No other state in the U.S. has the strategy, policy, technology, capital and market to support the development of the e-mobility industry.
Proximity to global decision makers
The CMC and Greater Sacramento provide industry leaders the unique opportunity to engage policymakers designing strategies to advance e-mobility and the green economy. Nearly 30 state agencies are working together and with the industry to advance the clean mobility market development through regulations, incentives, workforce development, infrastructure and more.
Examples of agency efforts to advance the industry:
- The California Air Resources Board recently adopted its Advanced Clean Truck regulation, following the Innovative Clean Transit and Airport Shuttle regulations, which will help grow the medium-, heavy-duty and off-road markets, following years of public and private investment.
- The California Public Utilities Commission is focusing on policy and program innovation in utility investments, utility rate design and vehicle-grid integration. It is also encouraging private investment in ZEV infrastructure and exploring integrating hydrogen into existing or new pipeline networks.
- The California Department of Transportation is working to strategically open state land to public and private e-mobility infrastructure development, incentivizing zero-emission freight and making ZEVs integral to freight approaches, exploring opportunities for zero-emission rail and more.
- The California Infrastructure and Economic Development Bank (IBank) and the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development (GO-Biz) provide resources to businesses growing in the e-mobility and ZEV industries. IBank is developing a Climate Catalyst Fund to issue loans and financial products to private, nonprofit and public borrowers to create a truly full-service “green bank” functionality for the state. The Climate Catalyst Fund, in addition to several financing programs, supports business growth like the California Lending for Environmental Needs Program, which offers a broad range of technologies and projects, including ZEVs and infrastructure.
By locating in the Greater Sacramento region and in partnership with the CMC, businesses will be proximate to global leading policy making designed to accelerate the e-mobility and ZEV industries.
How GSEC helps clean mobility companies succeed with world-class talent
GSEC considers clean mobility a key industry of the future, and our team is ready to help any company within the industry evaluate the Greater Sacramento region for investment.
The CMC is also creating the workforce of the future for mobility companies: its model creates opportunities for inclusive workforce development in partnership with Los Rios Community College, as well as real-life laboratory conditions for emerging R&D engineering talent out of Sacramento State and UC Davis.
The CMC’s wraparound service model provides a key advantage as a landing spot for firms. For those looking to set up standalone operations, our seasoned team can assist with identifying real estate, talent and incentives opportunities. Through our extensive network we also ensure that any company choosing the region gets connected into the existing ecosystem.
MyFloraDNA combines DNA technology with high-throughput data management, using their Real Time Dashboard MyFloraCLOUD. This effective tool enables their clients to manage their data from tested samples. This app also uploads the Molecular ID information of the sequenced strain to the Blockchain (in case the client requires it) to protect the information as much as possible.
Origin Materials was founded in West Sacramento by two UC Davis graduates who met while studying chemical engineering. Today, Origin is the world’s leading carbon negative materials company, boasting partnerships with the likes of Mitsubishi and LVMH Beauty.
Michael Moore is the Managing Director, Tax Credits & Investment Advisory Services at Ernst & Young and a member of GSEC’s Competitiveness Council. Learn more about why he values economic development, working with GSEC and living and working in the Greater Sacramento region.