San Anselmo adopts electric vehicle goal By ADRIAN RODRIGUEZ | firstname.lastname@example.org| Marin Independent Journal PUBLISHED: February 18, 2019 at 11:39 am | UPDATED: February 18, 2019 at 11:40 am San Anselmo has adopted an electric vehicle goal, aiming to have 3,000 electric vehicles in town by 2030.
The San Anselmo Town Council last week unanimously approved the strategy and amended its general plan, adding goals to encourage zero-emission vehicles.
“There is a really good opportunity to set a policy direction and policy leadership in Marin County with this document,” Councilman Brian Colbert said at the Tuesday meeting. “I’m usually a little bit skeptical about that, but I think there’s an opportunity around EVs for San Anselmo to really sort of set the tone and change the conversation.”
Likewise, Councilman John Wright said he is normally nervous about San Anselmo taking the lead on things.
“But on this topic, I’m actually happy that we are because I do think it’s the right direction,” he said.
Kurt Johnson, chairman of the town’s Sustainability Commission, which drafted the EV strategy, said there is a climate emergency.
“Transportation is the largest source of greenhouse gas emissions in our town and also in California and the U.S.,” he said. “So if we’re serious about climate, we need to radically rethink transportation through electrification.”
According to greenhouse gas emissions data from the Marin Climate and Energy Partnership, transportation contributes to 55 percent of all emissions in San Anselmo.
Johnson said the decision comes on the heels of an urgent push to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, as noted in recent federal and United Nations climate change reports.
Johnson also pointed out that former governor Jerry Brown established a goal of 5 million electric vehicles in the state by 2030. He noted that the town’s EV strategy is consistent with the state and county climate change goals.
The town’s strategy has three main components: increase the number of publicly available EV charging stations; raise awareness of the vehicles; and electrify the town’s fleet.
The town has 13 public charging stations. There are 377 EVs in San Anselmo out of 12,879 vehicles, according to data provided by the Department of Motor Vehicles.
Johnson said that if the public is more aware of the effects of emissions and the benefits of electric vehicles, then more people might consider an EV for their next purchase.
Johnson said the DMV can provide the data to the town so it can track that progress.
Carleen Cullen, executive director of Cool the Earth, a Marin-based nonprofit organization, said she applauds the town’s efforts.
“The San Anselmo Town Council took a historic step in the fight against climate change,” she said in a statement. “We hope other towns and cities in Marin will follow San Anselmo’s lead.”
Other jurisdictions in Marin have made efforts to encourage EV use as part of broader climate change initiatives. Belvedere, Larkspur, Mill Valley, Novato, San Rafael and the county have installed, or plan to install, dozens of public charging stations, according to the Marin Climate and Energy Partnership.
The county’s effort has included the installation of 10 charging stations at the Civic Center garage for the county vehicle fleet.
More information on San Anselmo’s plan is available online at bit.ly/2X4QTkt.
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