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More zero-emission vehicles will mean better air quality, Gov. Jerry Brown promises while signing new laws

 (Los Angeles Times)
(Los Angeles Times)

Touting them as a way to further loosen California's reliance on automobiles powered by fossil fuel, Gov. Jerry Brown signed a dozen laws on Tuesday aimed at boosting the use and sale of zero-emission vehicles.

The laws cover a variety of programs encouraging the use of vehicles that don't produce greenhouse gases, promoted as necessary elements in helping the state hit its ambitious pollution reduction targets in the coming years.

State agencies will be directed to buy more clean-burning cars and trucks over the next decade and a half under a pair of bills signed by Brown, in both cases expanding goals that were put in place just a few years ago.

The governor also signed a law that extends access to carpool lanes through fall 2025 for some alternative fuel vehicles with only a single occupant. The bill's legislative analysis cites a UCLA study that found access to high-occupancy vehicle lanes has helped spark the purchase of 24,000 plug-in electric cars and hybrids.

And he signed legislation that will authorize pilot programs for electric vehicle charging stations at California state parks and beaches, though in a signing statement Brown urged lawmakers to "evaluate the effectiveness" of similar programs before passing additional legislation.

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