"Our long-term goal is very simple," said California Gov. Gray Davis (D) outside the state capitol in Sacramento in April 1999. "Zero emissions in the air. Zero. Nada. Nothing. Zip." A crowd had gathered to hear Davis announce a major new state initiative, and to see the latest non-polluting automobiles to be unveiled by DaimlerChrysler and Ford. Running on electricity, the peppy performance of these cars dazzled the spectators. The two auto giants promised to have them in commercial production around 2003 or 2004. A new era of environmentally friendly transportation had begun. Read more in Koppel's book: Powering the …
Get Grist in Your Inbox
Tom Koppel is a freelance writer from Salt Spring Island, British Columbia, and author of Powering the Future.
Go on, steal a bike — the San Francisco police dare you
The secret life of Rust Belt beekeepers
Here’s how the media is getting the story on cities & millennials wrong
Wanna know what’s happened to the Gulf Coast since the BP spill? Read this blog, now
Why you should be skeptical of Walmart’s cheap organic food