Zero-Emission Vehicles Act passed in British Columbia
An act has passed in British Columbia to ensure the continued take-up of clean energy vehicles.
The Zero-Emission Vehicles Act (ZEVA), which passed on the 29th of May, will mean that all new light-duty cars and trucks sold in British Columbia will be clean energy by 2040.
George Heyman, Minister of Environment and Climate Change Strategy, said: "By requiring that a percentage of vehicle sales in B.C. be zero-emission models, automakers will respond to the demand by offering consumers more choices. Along with greener options like transit, the increased adoption of zero-emission vehicles will help lower emissions in our transportation sector."
The definition of zero-emission vehicles includes battery electric, plug-in hybrid and hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles. The government said that such vehicles already made up over 6% of new light-duty vehicle sales in British Columbia. British Columbians were said to buy the most zero-emission vehicles per capita in Canada, aided by the existence of government rebates.
"With federal and provincial rebates now in place, switching to an electric vehicle is more affordable than ever," said Michelle Mungall, Minister of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources. "The Zero-Emission Vehicles Act will make sure British Columbia continues to be on the forefront of the clean energy revolution."
The act’s targets will ramp up over time. 10% of sales by 2025, 30% by 2030 and 100% by 2040. The act is based on similar laws instituted in Quebec and in 10 U.S. states.
How innovation is transforming government
According to Washington Technology’s Top 100 list, Leidos is the largest IT provider to the government. But as Lieutenant General William J. Bender explains, “that barely scratches the surface” of the company’s portfolio and drive for innovation.
Bender, who spent three and a half decades in the military, including a stint as the U.S. Air Force’s Chief Information Officer (CIO), has seen action in the field and in technology during that time, and it runs in the family. Bender’s son is an F-16 instructor pilot. So it stands to reason Bender Senior intends to ensure a thriving technological base for the U.S. Air Force. “What we’re really doing here is transforming the federal government from the industrial age into the information age and doing it hand-in-hand with industry,” he says.
The significant changes that have taken place in the wider technology world are precisely the capabilities Leidos is trying to pilot the U.S. Air Force through. It boils down to developing cyberspace as a new domain of battle, globally connected and constantly challenged by the threat of cybersecurity attacks.
“We recognize the importance of the U.S. Air Force’s missions,” says Bender, “and making sure they achieve those missions. We sit side-by-side with the air combat command, intelligence surveillance, and reconnaissance infrastructure across the Air Force. There are multiple large programs where the Air Force is partnering with Leidos to ensure their mission is successfully accomplished 24/7/365. In this company, we’re all in on making sure there’s no drop in capability.”
That partnership relies on a shared understanding of delivering successful national security outcomes, really understanding the mission at hand, and Leidos’ long-standing relationship of over 50 years with the federal government.
To look at where technology is going, Bender thinks it is important to look back at the last 10 to 15 years. “What we’ve seen is a complete shift in how technology gets developed,” he says. “It used to be that the government invested aggressively in research and development, and some of those technologies, once they were launched in a military context, would find their way into the commercial space. That has shifted almost a hundred percent now, where the bulk of the research and development dollars and the development of tech-explicit technologies takes place in the commercial sector.”
“There’s a long-standing desire to adopt commercial technology into defense applications, but it’s had a hard time crossing the ‘valley of death’ [government slang for commercial technologies and partnerships that fail to effectively transition into government missions]. Increasingly we’re able to do that. We need to look at open architectures and open systems for a true plug-and-play capability. Instead of buying it now and trying to guess what it’s going to be used for 12 years from now, it should be evolving iteratively.”