IKEA doesn't just want to take the pain out of assembling furniture... it wants to eliminate the environmental impact of receiving that furniture. The company recently pledged to offer emissions-free home delivery in five major inner cities (Amsterdam, Los Angeles, New York City, Paris and Shanghai) by 2020. Order an EKTORP sofa and an electric vehicle or a similarly Earth-friendly machine will roll up to your door. IKEA had already hoped to transition to zero-emissions delivery, but it's picking up the pace to set a "strong example" for urban transport. The Swedish retailer hopes that 25 percent of its overall deliveries will rely on emissions-free vehicles that same year, and wants completely clean deliveries by 2025.
California isn't just interested in taking fossil fuel cars off the streets -- it wants to clean up buses, too. The state's Air Resources Board has voted to require that all buses are emissions-free by 2040. The transition will start in earnest in 2029, when California will require that all new buses ditch fossil fuels. Transit agencies will have access to subsidies (plus funds from the state's settlement with VW over Dieselgate) to help soften the blow of upgrading their fleets. This is no mean feat when zero-emissions vehicles currently represent just 153 out of the 12,000 buses serving Californians.
The ambitious proposal to transform California's car culture comes as Brown begins his final year in office and works to set the stage for his environmental legacy to continue under his successor. The Democratic governor has positioned California as a global leader in fighting climate change amid President Donald Trump's decision to pull the U.S. out of the Paris climate accord.
Toyota recently hinted that it was finally ready to embrace pure electric cars, and now we have a better sense of what that commitment entails. The automaker has outlined its goals for low- and zero-emission cars in the next decade, and it expects to field "more than 10" EVs worldwide by the early 2020s, starting with China before spreading to markets like Europe, Japan and the US. And by 2025, every Toyota and Lexus will either be EV-only or have an electrified option like a hybrid or hydrogen fuel cell.
How can the state kick-start EV sales and hit its target of 1.5 million zero-emissions vehicles? To Assemblyman Phil Ting (D-San Francisco), the answer is simple: Spend $3 billion on dramatically higher state rebates -- as in, upping the state's ante from $2,500 to $10,000 or more per vehicle. Under Ting's proposal, AB 1184, the state rebate program would be redesigned to make the cost of a compact electric vehicle comparable to a similar gas-powered one. The bill directs the California Air Resources Board to develop the specifics, but as an example, the gap now between the Chevy Bolt EV and a base-model Honda Civic is nearly $18,000. The $7,500 federal tax credit would cut the difference to roughly $10,500, and presumably the state rebate would cover the rest.