Nine States plan the future of electric cars

The Trump Administration continues to try to weaken federal greenhouse gas (GHG) and corporate average fuel economy (CAFE) standards for the nation’s light-duty vehicle fleet. In the face of adversity from the government, nine States have reaffirmed that they support the implementation of the Multi-State Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) Action Plan for 2018-2021.

“These nine states, one-third of the nation’s car market, will bring millions of clean cars to America’s roads and highways,” said California Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. The nine states are California, Connecticut, Maryland, Massachusetts, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, and New Jersey.

The Action Plan builds the implementation of the 2014 ZEV Action Plan. The Action Plan represents 80 recommendations for states, automakers, dealers, utilities, charging and fueling companies that will accelerate zero-emission vehicles that includes plug-in hybrid (PHEV), battery electric (BEV) and hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles.

Automakers will no longer get a compliance credit in Oregon, and Northeast ZEV states for ZEVs placed in California, and to use that credit to meet their ZEV obligations. For the first time automakers are now required to deliver ZEVs to meet specific sales goals in Oregon and the Northeast. Two northeast utilities will install charging infrastructure totaling more than $500 million in the northeast corridor of the United States.

In California, Gov. Edmund G. Brown Jr. signed an executive order in January that sets a new target of five million ZEVs on the road by 2030. If the other eight States add in the ZEVs in their States that would equal 12 million ZEVs by 2030 in nine states. Three major California utilities were approved to invest more than $735 million in charging infrastructure in California over the next five years.

History of the ZEV MOU and 2014 ZEV Action Plan

The ZEV Action Plan is the work of the Multi-State ZEV Task Force, formed in 2013 under a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU). Together, the nine ZEV MOU states represent nearly 30 percent of the new car sales market in the United States. California alone represents 12 percent of new car sales.

The transportation sector is the largest source of GHG emissions in the United States. Light duty vehicles contribute almost 25 percent of total emissions. Electrification of transportation is essential to deliver the large reductions in emissions that are needed to meet climate goals by the States. The ZEV program, which requires automakers to deliver increasing numbers of zero-emission vehicles between now and 2025.

Accomplishments of the 2014 Action Plan

* Enacted ZEV purchase and infrastructure incentive programs;

* Launched a first-ever jointly funded state/industry brand-neutral consumer outreach and education campaign.

* Established a state/dealership workgroup to foster collaboration with car dealers.

* Opened public utility commission proceedings to consider utility and other transportation electrification programs; and partnered with automakers on a “Collaboration for ZEV Success” to accelerate ZEV adoption.

Electric vehicle charger – A New Market

* California Air Resources Board (CARB) reported that in the past four years the cumulative number of ZEV sales -electric and fuel cell – in the United States has grown from 200,000 cars to more than 750,000 cars today.

* Market changes, including infrastructure, and technology developments are part of the reason for the growth of the emerging zero-emission electric vehicle market. Battery costs are continuing to decline, and the driving range for electric cars of lower-cost battery electric vehicles is three times what it was in 2014.

* Consumers can choose from more than 40 different plug-in and fuel cell models, with more coming online in the next two years, expanding electric vehicle offerings across multiple market segments.

2018 list of Plug-in hybrids, EVs, FCEVs

Recommendations from the Action Plan in areas of priority:

* There is still the need to raise consumer awareness and interest – including tax credits – in electric and fuel cell vehicle technology

* Each state has plans to step-up the charging and fueling infrastructure network for residential, workplace and public energizing.

Car Dealerships

* Car dealerships will need to Identify and adopt the best practices to sell electric vehicle technology to consumers

* there will need to be a recognition program to showcase leading ZEV dealerships.

About the Author:

Lou Ann Hammond is the CEO of Carlist and Driving the Nation. She is the co-host of Real Wheels Washington Post carchat every Friday morning and is the Automotive, energy correspondent for The John Batchelor Show and a Contributor to Automotive Electronics magazine headquartered in Korea. Hammond is a member of the North American Car and Truck of the Year (NACTOY), Women's World Car of the Year (WWCOTY), and the Concept Car of the Year.

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