BC promotes Zero Emission development and awareness

Raul Padilla, Features Editor

On Tuesday Feb. 8, BC held a Zoom webinar in its ongoing series of events that are focused on education and awareness around zero emission vehicles and technology.

It is the fifth webinar so far in its series to work with BC and the community on zero emission and environment friendly alternatives to energy.

Three guest speakers were invited to speak on the event. Rocky Carlisle a Smog Operations manager working for Valley Clean Air Now, John Pitre, a director of the Greater Bakersfield New Car Dealers Association, and Adan Zamora, a senior director at WattEV.

Rocky Carlisle was the first to speak, giving a presentation towards a new course planned to be given within BC. The course is an electric vehicle maintenance curriculum designed to educate both normal students as well as those in the technical field about the benefits of electric vehicles.

So far, they’ve been partnering with five other different colleges throughout the state to deliver this course free of charge for those who are interested. It will be a four-unit course with an introductory and advanced course planned to be available this Fall.

John Pitre spoke next, detailing the advances on zero emission vehicles and the gradual goal to shift towards electric over time.

“I want to remind everyone that the transportation system in California is more than just privately owned vehicles… everything from a train to a scooter can be changed by electrification.” John Pitre stated.

So far, California is the third largest market for electric vehicles in the world, with 20% of vehicle sales being electric. With about 475,000 sales in the country, California makes up 8% on its own.

In reaction to this growth, the plan is to help increase the number of electric vehicle technicians to keep up with the growing number. The hope is to fully convert California to electric vehicles within the next 25 years.

As an example of this change, Adan Zamora spoke about WattEV, a group that is working to convert the country’s truck transport system to electric.

Bakersfield’s 21st Century Truck Stop is their first milestone, being the nation’s first dedicated zero emission truck stop. Their plan is to continue to expand and provide more stops throughout the country to help facilitate this shift to a better, cleaner transportation network.