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SF Bay Area plugs inThe mayors of the San Francisco Bay Area's three largest cities gathered Thursday to announce their ambitious new initiatives to make the region the electric vehicle capital of the country. CNET's Kara Tsuboi has this report.
^M00:00:01 [ Music ] ^M00:00:04 >> Mayor Newsom: We're here to re-establish and re-affirm our desire to be the electric vehicle capital in the United States of America. >> Karen Tsuboi: On Thursday, San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom along with the Mayors of Oakland and San Jose outlined their plans to firmly establish the San Francisco Bay area as a leader in sustainability. >> We're working with Tesla Motors to build a factory in San Jose to produce the world's most exciting electric vehicle. We're working with Kalune [assumed spelling] to try to turn our streetlights into charging stations. >> Prepare to work as diligently as possible to make sure that we come together with a comprehensive effort to make this region the EV capital of America. >> Karen Tsuboi: Beginning in summer of 2008, the Mayors have committed to working on nine major policy initiatives to promote the use of electric vehicles. >> One of the initiatives the Mayors announced today was expedited insulation and permitting for electric vehicle charging stations; an issue that even Mayor Gavin Newsom said he has a problem with. >> Mayor Newsom: I am one that is struggling to get my Homeowner's Association to allow me to get my 220 volt capacity for my new electric car that's coming in and they have said no and now I'm working around it. So I'm someone that takes this issue personally as well from the prospective as Mayor professionally. >> Karen Tsuboi: Coinciding with this new issue is better places announcement that they will enter the California market with their electric transportation services company. >> Mayor Newsom: I don't believe that half way is good enough. I'm a guy who's driving a Hybrid but I don't feel particularly good about that. I believe that the big game changer is electric vehicles and plug-in technology. >> Karen Tsuboi: Seen but not heard at this press conference were representatives from all the major auto manufacturers. This announcement could perhaps give them direction to stay relevant in this tough economy. In San Francisco, I'm Kara Tsuboi, cnet.com. For a complete list of the San Francisco Bay area's new electric vehicle policies, visit news.cnet.com.