Thursday, November 5, 2009

California Moves From Silicon Valley To Truck Electric Ladyland

State Ambitious to Promote and Develop New Commercial Vehicle Technology
Shipping News Feature

CALFORNIA – US – The news this week that Electric Vehicles International, formerly of Austin, Texas was moving to Stockton will come as no surprise to watchers of electric truck development. The Golden State has always been the place most associated with both technological and environmental matters and the newest industry combines both in a neat package.

The outlook of a typical Californian with regard to improving the environment has predated most other communities and we have seen lots of anti pollution moves emanating from there prior to becoming normal procedure elsewhere. In 1990, the city of San Luis Obispo became the first city in the world to ban indoor smoking at all public places, a trend which has spread world wide. The California Air Resources Board (CARB) moved against ships polluting off the coast in 2008 and more stringent acts are envisioned. We have reported on the states ports restrictions on trucks emissions previously.

With the availability of Federal tax credits for all electric vehicles and the rapidly improving technology, a marriage between technically savvy Californians, a vehemently anti pollution Governor, and a population keen to be world leaders in the field of clean vehicles this would appear to be a marriage made in heaven.

With the latest technology now available the boundaries are being extended at an alarming rate. US group Tesla, who work closely with Lotus in the UK on development of their all electric cars have a new model out in 2011, the S, with seating for 7 and roomy storage space, a slight design change would put it in the small van market and this is a vehicle that has a 300 mile range, 0-60 to blow your socks off, 125mph top speed, 45 minute charge period and retails for less than $50,000. But the key point about these new vehicles is that you can charge them using only solar power, and California is the ideal test bed for such a system.

Other electric vehicle companies with bases in the state include Phoenix, Zap, Acropropulsion and since 1967 it has been home to the Electric Auto Association and, more recently, the Southern California Edison’s Electric Vehicle (EV) Technical Center with more industry related businesses opening up regularly.

Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger holds strong views on the developments. "We want to create a green Valley," he said."These are the kind of things that get me excited."