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California Moves Toward a Zero Emission Future as Governor Newsom Signs SB 500, with Support of Autonomous Vehicle Leaders and Scientists

September 24, 2021

Cruise, Nuro, Zoox and the Union of Concerned Scientists strongly supported SB 500 to help state meet ambitious emission-reduction goals.

Sacramento — Autonomous vehicle leaders Cruise, Nuro, and Zoox, along with the Union of Concerned Scientists, applaud Governor Newsom for signing SB 500, a bill introduced by Senator Dave Min that will advance the state’s ambitious emissions-reduction goals by requiring all new, light-duty autonomous vehicles (AVs) under 8,501 lbs to be zero emission by 2030. Governor Newsom’s signature follows strong votes of support from both the California State Senate and Assembly.

Transportation is the largest source of greenhouse gas emissions in California, accounting for 40% of the state’s total emissions. To address this head on, the state is taking action to build a sustainable transportation future, including: a pledge to put five million zero emission vehicles on the road by 2030; a requirement that all new passenger vehicles sold in the state be zero emission by 2035; and, the approval of the nation’s first Clean Miles Standard that will transition ride-hailing fleets to zero-emission vehicles. With SB 500 now law, the state takes another critical step to make the transportation sector more sustainable by ensuring that the emerging AV industry supports California’s zero emission future.

Cruise, Nuro, Zoox and the Union of Concerned Scientists commend the Governor, Senator Min, and the Legislature for their leadership in putting the state firmly on the path to a clean energy future.

“Cruise is proud to have operated a zero-emission fleet from our beginning, and we are grateful for Governor Newsom and Senator Min’s leadership in ensuring this will be the industry standard,” said Prashanthi Raman, Senior Director of Global Government Affairs at Cruise. “With SB 500 now law, the AV industry is primed to continue its leadership in reducing greenhouse gas emissions.”

“We applaud Governor Newsom and Senator Min for their efforts to accelerate the transition to clean energy and advance zero-emission vehicles through the signing of SB 500," said Matthew Lipka, Head of Policy at Nuro. "Autonomous vehicles, like Nuro’s R2, can pave the way to a greener and healthier future."

“One of the central promises of autonomous driving technology is its potential to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and Zoox has built a fully autonomous vehicle that delivers on this promise," said Bert Kaufman, Head of Corporate and Regulatory Affairs at Zoox. "We are grateful to Senator Min and Governor Newsom for their leadership, and we are proud to have supported this effort.”

“UCS commends Gov. Newsom for signing SB 500 into law today,” said Jason Barbose, Interim Western States Director with the Union of Concerned Scientists. “The governor understands that the future of transportation is all-electric and by signing SB 500 he is pushing California closer to that future.”