Governors of 8 states sign MoU to put 3.3M zero-emission vehicles on roads by 2025; 15% of new vehicle sales
The governors of 8 states—California, Connecticut, Maryland, Massachusetts, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island and Vermont—have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to take specific actions to put 3.3 million zero emission vehicles on the roads in their states by 2025, along with the refueling infrastructure required to support those vehicles. Zero-emission vehicles include battery-electric vehicles, plug-in hybrid-electric vehicles, and hydrogen fuel-cell-electric vehicles; the technologies can be applied in passenger cars, trucks and transit buses.
The 3.3 million ZEVs would represent a new vehicle market penetration for the group of states of about 15%, said Mary Nichols, Chairman of the California Air Resources Board (ARB), during a conference call announcing the agreement. This multi-state effort is intended to expand consumer awareness and demand for zero-emission vehicles. Collectively, the eight signatory states represent more than 23% of the US car market.
Under the MoU, the signatory states agreed to create and to participate in a multi-state ZEV Program Implementation Task Force to serve as a forum for coordination and collaboration on the full range of program support and implementation issues to promote effective and efficient implementation of ZEV regulations. The Task Force will prepare within six months a plan of action to accomplish the goals identified in the MoU.
Each state will report annually on the number of ZEVs registered in its jurisdiction; the number of electric/hydrogen fueling stations open to the public; and available information regarding workplace fueling for ZEVs.
As a first step in this plan, the governors agreed to pursue the following efforts:
Harmonize building codes to make it easier to construct new electric car charging stations;
Pursue the assessment and development of potential deployment strategies and infrastructure requirements for the commercialization of hydrogen fuel cell vehicles;
Seek to establish ZEV purchase targets for government and quasi-governmental agency fleets and report annually on ZEV acquisitions;
Evaluate the need for, and effectiveness of, monetary incentives to reduce the upfront purchase price of ZEVs and non-monetary incentives, such as HOV lane access, reduced tolls and preferential parking, and to pursue such incentives as appropriate;
Consider establishing favorable electricity rates for home charging systems; and
Subject to their respective legislative requirements, to work to develop uniform standards to promote ZEV consumer acceptance and awareness, industry compliance, and economies of scale. Such standards may include, but are not limited to, adopting universal signage, common methods of payment and interoperability of electric vehicle charging networks, and reciprocity among states for ZEV incentives, such as preferential parking and HOV lane access.
The states also agreed to share research and a coordinated education and outreach campaign to highlight the benefits of ZEVs and advance their utilization. The states will collaborate with initiatives, including Clean Cities programs, the Northeast/Mid-Atlantic States Transportation Climate Initiative and the West Coast Electric Highway that are already working to raise consumer awareness and demonstrate the viability and benefits of ZEVs.
US electric car sales in 2012 more than tripled to about 52,000 from 17,000 in 2011. Motorists bought more than 40,000 plug-in cars in the first and second quarters of 2013.
There are currently 16 zero-emission vehicle models available from eight automotive manufacturers; nine run completely on batteries, two on hydrogen fuel cells and five are plug-in hybrid electric vehicles that can run on gasoline as well as battery power. The number of models is expected to increase for model year 2014 and beyond, ARB said.
There are already more than 6,700 charging stations open to the public in the signatory states. By 2015 nearly every major automaker will have zero emission vehicles available for sale or lease, and more than 200,000 zero-emission vehicles are expected to be on the road across the US.
This [MoU] is the continuation of an extraordinary legacy of California and other states working together to fight climate change that goes back 20 years. This has not been easy. Over time, we have faced resistance in many quarters...as well as lawsuits. We have overcome it all. We are today in a very different position in our relationships with the federal government and industry as well.
We need the help and cooperation of states beyond California. We are a big market, a big state, but also part of a whole. Every one of the states is here because we are committed to making this a successful market. We can’t force people to buy cars. Our goal is to work with the automakers, to disseminate the best practices as widely as possible and to be cheerleaders for this new technology.—Mary Nichols
The announcement of the MoU was supported by the Consumer Federation of America, which released its own white paper, “The Zero Emissions Vehicle Program: Clean Cars States Lead in Innovation”. The CFA paper asserts that Zero Emissions Vehicle policies coupled with efforts to reduce barriers to clean vehicle adoption will accelerate the growth of the national market for the latest zero emissions vehicles. Based on years of polling data, CFA said, that is exactly what American consumers want.