By: Christian Okolski
Last Thursday, eight states announced their collective commitment to the Multi-State Zero-Emission Vehicles Action Plan and a goal of placing 3.3 million zero-emission vehicles (ZEVs) on U.S. roads by 2025. The eight states include California, Connecticut, Maryland, Massachusetts, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, and Vermont, and their overall efforts are aimed toward bolstering ZEV markets. In addition, as plug-in electric vehicles are currently more commercially viable than other zero-emission options, such as hydrogen fuel cells, the action plan places the greatest significance on electric vehicle adoption. The 11 main “actions” detailed by the ZEV Action Plan include:
1) Promoting the availability and effective marketing of all plug-in electric vehicle models
2) Providing consumer incentives
3) Increasing ZEVs in state, municipal, and other public fleets
4) Encouraging private fleets to purchase, lease, or rent ZEVs
5) Promoting workplace charging
6) Promoting ZEV infrastructure planning and investment by public and private entities
7) Providing clear and accurate signage to direct ZEV users to charging and fueling stations
8) Removing barriers to ZEV charging and fueling station installations
9) Promoting access, compatibility, and interoperability of the plug-in electric vehicle charging network
10) Removing barriers to the retail sale of electricity and hydrogen and promoting competitive plug-in electric vehicle charging rates
11) Tracking and reporting progress toward meeting the goal of 3.3 million ZEVs on U.S. roads by 2025
The ZEV Action Plan is not a shocking revelation. It is the child of a memorandum of understanding (MOU) that first revealed the goal of deploying 3.3 million ZEVs and was signed by the eight states last Fall. That MOU from October 24, 2013 has been made publically available by the California Air Resources Board. It is also no surprise that overarching “actions” proposed by the plan are broad and leave room for flexibility. Ultimately, The ZEV Action Plan allows states to address and prioritize their own individual needs as they work to grow their ZEV markets.
New York is one member of the ZEV Action Plan and has been a great example of a state that is taking a diverse approach to bolstering ZEV adoption. A release made public by Governor Andrew Cuomo’s Office, notes that New York is taking various steps to support ZEVs, including a $50 million, 5-year investment to stimulate electric vehicle demand and build out charging infrastructure. The release notes 5 additional steps that the State is taking, including the deployment of 900 new electric vehicle charging stations, tax credits of up to $5,000 for public electric vehicle charging stations, electric truck vouchers of up to $60,000, $2 million in electric vehicle research and demonstration projects, and comprehensive electric vehicle policy review.
Hopefully, as the eight states that have committed to the ZEV Action Plan invest in electric vehicles and all ZEVs, they will quickly move toward their end goal of placing 3.3 million ZEVs on U.S. roads by 2025. Even more importantly, however, the plan has the potential to inspire the remaining 42 states to make their own bold commitments to sustainable transportation and accelerate the plans already set forth. You can access the entire ZEV Action plan and related press releases at the Northeast States for Coordinated Air Use Management website, here.