Bloomberg Revs Up Electric-Vehicle Plan for 2020 Campaign

OAKLAND, Calif. (CN) — Democratic presidential candidate Mike Bloomberg wants all passenger vehicles to be electric by 2035, releasing a transportation plan Friday that builds on his previously stated goal of cutting carbon pollution economy-wide by 50%.

Underscoring his promotion of electric vehicles, the former New York City mayor pledges to create a network of charging stations along federal highways and tax credits that will make the switch more of an economical option for families. 

Democratic presidential candidate and former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg speaks during a press conference at the Lucy Craft Laney Museum in Augusta, Ga., on Dec. 6, 2019. (Michael Holahan/The Augusta Chronicle via AP)

Bloomberg’s plan calls for additional investments into battery technology, which would increase capacity and decrease cost, and he pledged to convert the government vehicle fleet to all-electric.

Transportation makes up 29% of the country’s carbon dioxide emissions, according to an Environmental Protection Agency report that covered 1990-2017. In recent years, as more coal plants have shut down, transportation has become the leading contributor to greenhouse emissions.

Aside from all electric passenger vehicles, Bloomberg’s plan seeks to convert 15% of the nation’s industrial vehicles to electric by 2030.

“In the last decade, we’ve closed hundreds of coal plants and moved to cleaner, renewable sources of energy,” the billionaire media mogul said in a statement. “And I know we can transition to clean, pollution-free vehicles, too. My plan will ensure that electric vehicles and charging infrastructure are affordable and accessible to all Americans. I’ll roll back President Trump’s efforts to weaken emissions standards, create more clean energy jobs, and drive us toward a healthier, carbon-free future.”

Bloomberg would also reinstate mileage requirements from the Obama administration that President Donald Trump has since repealed.

“We already know that our transportation contributes to our air pollution – hitting lower-income communities and people of color hardest — the good news is, we now have the technology and know-how to change that,” Sam Liccardo, the mayor of San Jose, California, said in a statement. “In San Jose, we brought equity to the forefront of all our transportation planning and appreciate Mike’s comprehensive approach to preserve our planet for future generations.”

Liccardo endorsed Bloomberg in early December and was named co-chair of the Bloomberg campaign in California.

Top-tier contenders Senator Bernie Sanders, Senator Elizabeth Warren, Vice President Joe Biden and Mayor Pete Buttigieg have pledged tax incentives for the purchase of electric vehicles.

In his own Green New Deal last summer, Sanders pledged to build a national infrastructure for electric car charging.

Biden’s environmental plan also calls for an expansion of electric vehicle charging stations.

Warren pledged an all-electric federal vehicle fleet by 2024, with all passenger vehicles, trucks and buses going all-electric by 2030.

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