The Electric Drive Transportation Association (EDTA) outlined an action plan for Congress and the Obama Administration to build on their commitment to electric vehicle technology and accelerate the growth of hybrid, plug-in, battery and fuel cell vehicles in the US.
In its 2010 Electric Drive Action Plan for Energy Security, EDTA details a five-point strategy for achieving a national fleet of electric vehicles. The Action Plan explains how key government policies will speed the growth of the electric drive market and achieve the many benefits of electric drive transportation. Primary elements of the strategy include:
Reduce Market Hurdles for Vehicles and Infrastructure. Refining tax incentives for electric drive vehicles (EV, PHEV and FCEV); advancing public and private fleet penetration and regional deployment efforts; and promoting electric drive in transit and commercial applications are three major areas of effort with this. In addition to the focus on the electric drive vehicles themselves, EDTA also suggests providing incentive for non-propulsion applications for transportation energy storage system (e.g., batteries and hydrogen/fuel cell systems).
Expand US Manufacturing Capacity. Addressing this should include promoting federal support for the expansion of electric drive transportation-related manufacturing and strengthening and expanding the upstream supply chain.
Establish Coherent Regulatory Policies for Electric Drive Vehicles and Infrastructure. Already, multiple regulatory and standard-setting bodies are developing policies regarding electric drive, including vehicle efficiency metrics, charging and refueling equipment standards and metering and information management protocols, the EDTA notes. Federal and state regulatory requirements must advance coherent goals for safe, efficient, clean and ubiquitous electric drive transportation.
Work in this area should include acknowledgement of the importance of vehicle electrification and ensuring the appropriate valuation and recognition of electric drive benefits within emerging carbon-constraint regimes; and coordinating grid-connected transportation with smart grid development and deployment.
Accelerate Technology Breakthroughs. This should include support for annual appropriations and long-term authorizations for electric drive research, demonstration and deployment.
Among the specific suggestions, EDTA proposes the refining of the DOE Fuel Cell Program goals with a focused effort to overcome remaining barriers to commercializing fuel cell technology for electric drive, including increased funding for research, development and infrastructure deployment programs in priority areas, and extension and full funding for authorized fuel cell vehicle market transformation programs.
Promote Public and Private Outreach and Education to Increase Consumer Awareness. Commercial-scale adoption of electric drive technologies will also require the acceptance of the public, EDTA notes. Credible information about the benefits, safety and requirements of electric drive is crucial and must be widely available to consumers, businesses and state and local governments.
EDTA is calling upon Congress and the Administration to ‘push the pedal’ to keep the US on the electric drive fast track. Targeted government policies can build the US electric drive industry and get more vehicles on the road that will reduce our dependence on oil, establish sustainable transportation options and build the green jobs economy.—EDTA President Brian Wynne