Assemblywoman Nguyen, Commissioner Jones, and Motional, Inc. examine intersecting challenges of transportation, climate change, communities, and emerging technology
LAS VEGAS, Nev. — Yesterday, the Nevada Conservation League and Motional, a driverless technology company, hosted a discussion alongside Assemblywoman Rochelle Nguyen and Clark County Commissioner Justin Jones about initiatives that will modernize Nevada’s transportation sector. The discussion emphasized the need for investments in technology that better meets the challenges posed by the climate crisis, population growth, and gaps in equity and access for underserved communities. Following the discussion, attendees toured Motional’s technical center, where the company is developing fully driverless, all-electric robotaxis that will first launch in Las Vegas in 2023.
The transportation sector is the largest contributor to greenhouse gas emissions in the state, accounting for 36% of the emissions in Nevada in 2019. Electrifying transportation will play a significant role in reducing climate-warming emissions as the state works to reach net-zero emissions by 2050.
“Planning for the future of transportation is not only about rebuilding our roads and bridges, but also about rebuilding our environment for the health and safety of our communities,” said Assemblywoman Rochelle Nguyen. “I’m proud to support environmentally friendly and sustainable policy solutions that will advance the electrification of our cars, trucks, and buses so we can reduce dangerous climate emissions, improve air quality, especially for communities riddled with tailpipe pollution, and support a thriving economy. This will require collaboration with governments, businesses, and community members to bring clean energy transportation solutions that will help us meet our climate goals.”
”Our cities and neighborhoods are changing and growing, and transportation must keep up with these demands,” said Clark County County Commissioner Justin Jones. “While we build the roadmap for a sustainable transportation future, policy solutions, infrastructure investments, and emerging mobility options must work to address harmful greenhouse gas emissions in a manner that centers communities that have been left behind for decades. Nevada needs to envision a transportation system that focuses on equity, accessibility, and sustainability.”
Assemblywoman Nguyen served as the Chair of the Health and Human Services Committee during the 2021 Nevada Legislative Session and Commissioner Jones serves as the Vice-Chair for the Regional Transportation Commissioner.
Motional is a global leader in driverless technology, working to redefine transportation with autonomous vehicles that complement existing transportation infrastructure to provide more accessible, reliable, and affordable mobility options.
“The state of Nevada, with collaboration across the public and private sectors, has taken great strides to be a leader in sustainable transportation,” said Motional Chief Operating Officer Abe Ghabra. “Motional is proud to be part of this mission, and contribute to Nevada’s mobility ecosystem with our all-electric fleet of IONIQ 5 robotaxis. We look forward to continued partnership with the State, and organizations like the Conservation League.”
The company’s latest consumer report shows many Americans recognize that their communities haven’t done enough to increase transportation equity and feel AVs will help improve mobility.
While investments are increasing the number of electric vehicle charging stations and recent clean car standards are providing consumers with more options to purchase electric vehicles, there are concerns about access to clean energy benefits
“Communities of color and low-income communities are disproportionately exposed to transportation pollution that exacerbates intersecting issues of climate injustice,” said Nevada Conservation League Political and Organizing Director, Andrew Sierra. “We all deserve to take part in the benefits of clean energy. Modernizing our cars, trucks, and buses to run on clean energy will be key to reducing toxic pollution in these neighborhoods, and will require us to work closely with all levels of government and community stakeholders to target investments to disadvantaged communities.”
Nevada has made major strides in transportation electrification. In 2021, Governor Sisolak signed into law clean energy legislation to expand electric vehicle charging infrastructure, invest in energy efficiency programs, and strengthen the state’s transmission grid. This year, Nevada joined a multi-state agreement to accelerate the electrification of medium and heavy-duty vehicles by 2050.
Federal investments play an integral role in advancing Nevada’s leadership on clean energy. President Biden’s Infrastructure Investments and Jobs Act includes a total of $7.5 billion to build out a nationwide network of 500,000 electric vehicle chargers. Nevada is set to receive $38 million over five years from those funds, to build out electric-vehicle charging networks in the state. Additionally, $5 billion will go to the EPA’s new Clean School Bus Program over the next five years to help schools make the switch from diesel school buses to zero-emission and low-emission models.