University of California, San Diego had an unusual sight on its typically pedestrian-graced Warren Mall. Three environmentally friendly cars were parked outside of the Geisel Library for students to learn about and take photos with to advocate for clean energy.
One Tesla and two BMWs were parked on campus on April 26 by the California Student Public Interest Research Group (CALPIRG Students) to advocate for two clean transportation bills that are currently in the California Legislature. Bill AB40, proposed by Assembly Member Phil Ting (D-San Francisco) in December 2018, would require the California Air Resources Board to develop a strategy to reach complete electrification of the transportation sector by the year 2040.
The other bill proposed by Assembly Member David Chiu (D-San Francisco), AB1418, would set a framework for California school districts to build fleets of zero-emission school buses to eliminate the use of diesel school buses.
Lofty goals, but ones that CALPIRG Students Chapter Chair Sophie Haddad believes are worth fighting for.
“We know, especially as students, that climate change is one of the most pressing issues affecting our generation,” said Haddad, who also serves on the CALPIRG Students statewide board. "We want to stop the dependence on fossil fuels and transition to a 100% clean energy future.”
In order to work towards that clean energy future, CALPIRG Students hosted a clean car show to demonstrate how electric cars could help turn that vision into a reality. With the cars lined up on Warren Mall, students stopped by to learn how to take action against the impacts of climate change and how to support the two current clean energy bills. Representatives from Telsa and BMW were also there to answer any questions about the cars and other sustainability practices.
“The vision for the Clean Car Show is to bring together several electric cars from around San Diego,” Maya Lu, organizer of the show, said in a press release. “This will showcase to UCSD students and faculty the feasibility and potential of a future with all-electric vehicles.”
CALPIRG Students is a state-wide, student-run nonprofit organization that is currently active on eight UC campuses. According to Haddad, the group "advocates to protect the environment, make college more affordable and fight poverty.” CALPIRG Students’ continued campaign for clean transportation comes after the passing of SB100, which puts California on the path to 100% clean electricity by 2045.
For more information about CALPIRG Students, visit calpirg.org.