A Boost for Electric Vehicles: Eight States Set New Goals for EV Deployment

October 24, 2013
Don Anair
Research and Deputy Director, Clean Transportation

The road to an electric vehicle future just got a lot wider.

Eight states, representing a quarter of the new vehicle market, announced a joint plan today to put 3.3 million zero-emission vehicles on America’s roads by 2025. The announced Memorandum of Understanding will increase coordination across the states, as well as lead to the development of state-specific actions to support a successful and growing market for electric vehicles, a key solution for tackling climate change and cutting our nation’s projected oil use in half over the next 20 years.

The agreement — signed by the governors of California, Connecticut, Maryland, Massachusetts, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, and Vermont — will support zero-emission vehicle policies in those states through a number of actions.

Some of the highlights, as noted in the press release from Rhode Island, include:

• Harmonize building codes to make it easier to construct new electric vehicle charging stations

• Lead by example by including zero emission vehicles in their public fleets

• Evaluate and establish, where appropriate, financial and other incentives to promote zero emission vehicles

• Consider establishing favorable electricity rates for home charging systems; and

• Develop common standards for roadway signs and charging networks.

The eight states will develop an action plan over the next six months that will include many of these and other strategies.

Reducing barriers to electric vehicle ownership, through efforts like those described above, will help keep the market for electric vehicles growing. California has been leading the charge so to speak when it comes to coordinating efforts to support the rollout of electric and hydrogen fueled vehicles through interagency coordination, consumer incentives, and infrastructure support — including the development of its own action plan last year.

Along with incentives for vehicle ownership, such as HOV access and purchase rebates, these efforts have put California in the lead in electric vehicle adoption, with the state currently accounting for about 29 percent of sales. The commitment by seven other states to take similar measures is great news for expanding consumer access to electric vehicles, and reducing barriers to ownership, across the country.

Nationally, about 140,000 plug-in vehicles have been sold in the last 3 years. Already, these vehicles are cutting gasoline consumption by about 40 million gallons per year, cutting carbon emissions, and saving consumers money at the pump.

Today’s agreement is an important step forward toward ensuring that the market for electric vehicles continues to grow, and the benefits to our climate and our economy along with it.