Today, about half of California’s greenhouse gas emissions and toxic air pollution come from carbon-powered transportation. Air pollution, whether from vehicle emissions or industrial emissions, kills 5 million people around the world annually. This past year, California suffered through an unprecedented number of wildfires. At one point in 2020, San Francisco recorded the worst air quality in the world. These issues that we are facing today — not some distant future — are a direct result of climate change and a stark reminder that urgent action is needed to build a future free of CO2 emissions.
Today, I am glad to share with you that Cruise filed a project application to build one of the largest electric vehicle charging stations in North America to help power an all-electric, shared, zero-emissions future. By building this charging station, Cruise is showing its support for state and local goals designed to phase out gas-powered vehicles. Additionally, we are continuing to take incremental steps towards building a reliable, sustainable transportation alternative for all San Franciscans.
Cities across California are taking steps to create 100 percent greenhouse gas-free transportation systems that can benefit all communities. However, in order for fleets like ours to grow at the rate needed to help outpace climate change, we must address our EV infrastructure crisis. Studies show that 88 out of the top 100 U.S. cities have less than half the necessary charging infrastructure needed to handle electrification at scale. We believe we can do better and lead by example, starting right here in our hometown of San Francisco.
Reducing, and ultimately reversing the impacts of climate change, is why Cruise has chosen, from day one, to operate only all-electric vehicles (EV). Today, Cruise AVs are the only self-driving fleet in the world powered by 100 percent renewable energy. We are committed to building a service that can be part of a long-term climate change solution, and we believe that our zero-emission, self-driving vehicles can play a significant role. We believe that by making zero-emission rides available and affordable for everyone we can help San Francisco, California, and our country meet their ambitious climate goals. We believe that an urgent, fundamental shift away from the fossil fuel burning internal combustion engine is crucial to tackling climate change and cleaning our air.
Last week, we issued a Clean Mile Challenge to our industry peers. We’re calling on all AV companies to commit to only deploying clean energy vehicles and reporting their clean miles to the community. In order for the life-changing impact of widespread electrification to overcome the inertia of the status quo, we need urgent action, investment, and support to build the infrastructure that is the bedrock on which our better future will stand. We believe that investing in and building this charging station, with the support of the San Francisco community, is a part of that bedrock and the beginning of that action.
Cruise will always seek community feedback and opportunities to collaborate on any project we take on — this effort will be no different. We know this project will include many of our local stakeholders, and we plan to work side-by-side with the community, merchants, and the City to make this project, and its progress, an inclusive and shared enterprise. We invite you to reach out to us at email@example.com to provide us with any feedback or if you have any questions.
Although we’re still in the beginning stage of this process, we couldn’t be more excited to work with all of you to move further towards providing our hometown with greater access to clean transportation options while helping to take us one step closer to a zero-emissions, clean energy future.