Eight states on the East and West Coasts today released a collaborative action plan to develop the infrastructure, coordinated policies, codes and standards and a consumer market primed to put 3.3 million zero emission vehicles (ZEVs) on the road by 2025. The Multi-State ZEV Action Plan is the first promised milestone for the bi-coastal collaboration, an effort to pave the way for increasingly large numbers of the cleanest cars in the nation.
Collaboration is critical
The partner states are California, Connecticut, Maryland, Massachusetts, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island and Vermont. Together they account for more than one quarter of the nation's new car sales.
"This collaborative effort is an important step forward to ensure the success of our zero-emission vehicle programs. Transitioning our light duty transportation fleet to zero emission vehicles is essential if we are to achieve our long term air quality and climate goals," said Governor Martin O'Malley. "Implementation of the action plan will support the arrival of more than 3 million zero emission vehicles in our states by 2025 and serve as a roadmap for a healthier, more sustainable transportation sector on both coasts."
"This Action Plan lays out a framework to make it easier for Marylanders to own and operate the cleanest vehicles available today," said Lt. Governor Anthony G. Brown. "We are committed to working with the private sector to build the necessary infrastructure and support the deployment of zero emission vehicles in a way that builds consumer-oriented, market-winning solutions that move this innovative market beyond early adopters."
The action plan builds on work already underway in MOU signatory states and provides for consistent, unified steps at a critical point in development of the ZEV market. The governors of the eight states began this latest collaboration with the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding on October 24, 2013. The ultimate goal is to reduce greenhouse gas and smog-causing emissions by transforming the transportation sector over the next 11 years. Since the MOU signing, state regulators, the auto industry and infrastructure developers and other stakeholders have shared information and best practices to help move this groundbreaking effort forward.
"The members of the multi-state ZEV Program Implementation Task Force deserve recognition for their dedication and commitment in crafting this Action Plan," said Arthur Marin, Executive Director of the Northeast States for Coordinated Air Use Management, which is a partner in the effort. "We also acknowledge the automobile manufacturer representatives and other stakeholders who provided key insights and input to this plan."
ZEVs include plug-in hybrids, battery electric and hydrogen-powered fuel cell electric vehicles. To date, manufacturers have rolled out more than two dozen models in these categories and they have developed a solid foothold in the automobile market.
As of April 2014 there are nearly 172,000 nationwide. Sales have doubled over the past year alone, with than half of those sales occurring in the MOU signatory states.
Solid and achievable action
The eight-State ZEV Action Plan provides an overview of the current state of the market. It also provides an agenda to accelerate the development of that market.
At the heart of the plan are 11 key actions to be taken by all the partners and the elements needed to successfully complete those actions.
The key actions cover three main areas:
Build the market
Promote the availability and effective marketing of ZEVs
Encourage private fleets to acquire ZEVs
Promote planning and investment in ZEV infrastructure
Increase the number of ZEVs in government vehicle fleets
Provide consistent rules and tracking
Remove barriers to charging station installation
Provide clear and uniform signage
Track and report progress toward the 3.3 million vehicle goal
Improve the experience
Promote workplace charging
Provide consumer incentives for the purchase of ZEVs
Remove barriers to retail sale of electricity as vehicle fuel
Promote access and compatibility for charging networks
The ZEV action plan also includes steps individual states may take, as well as examples of successful existing state programs to improve the experience of drivers and owners.
Environmental and economic health
Affordable, readily available ultra-clean vehicles are critical to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and lessen the impact of climate change, since the transportation sector is one of the nation's major sources of greenhouse gases.
Creating a growing market for ZEVs also provides a range of economic benefits. Electricity is widely available and costs less than gasoline or diesel on a per-mile basis. Maintenance costs for a ZEV are also lower over the life of the vehicle. The push for clean vehicles has also brought investment in new business and jobs which will help put our economy on a more sustainable footing.
More information on Key Existing Maryland Electric Vehicle Initiatives: http://governor.maryland.gov/documents/MarylandElectricVehicleInitiatives.pdf
The Multi-State ZEV Action Plan is available at: http://governor.maryland.gov/documents/MultiStateZEVActionPlan.pdf
The Eight-State Memorandum of Understanding: http://www.governor.maryland.gov/documents/zevprogrammou.pdf
"The multi-state ZEV group now has an action plan to guide us through development and deployment of zero emission vehicle infrastructure on both coasts," said Governor Peter Shumlin. "This plan is critical to meeting Vermont's greenhouse gas reduction goals and implementing our state energy plan. Moreover, building a robust market for these ultra clean and efficient vehicles, and developing recharging stations and other infrastructure that supports them, will make Vermont and our nation more prosperous by saving drivers money on transportation costs, encouraging economic growth, and reducing motor vehicle pollution impacts on public health and the environment."
"This plan is a triple "win' for participating states because it brings energy, environmental, and economic benefits," said Connecticut Governor Dannel P. Malloy. "Under the blueprint provided in this plan we will continue with our efforts to provide a convenient network of charging stations for Electric Vehicles (EVS), add EVs and fuel cell vehicles to the state's fleet, and build out the hydrogen infrastructure needed for fuel cell vehicles expected to be available for the 2015 model year."
"Today, we're putting a foot on the pedal to get more clean cars on the road," said California Governor Edmund G. Brown, Jr. "This is real action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions."
"This plan provides concrete steps states can take toward the common goal of reducing our dependence on foreign oil and protecting our environment," said Governor Lincoln D. Chafee. "Rhode Island will clearly benefit environmentally and economically from development of a successful market for zero emission vehicles and guaranteeing that our residents can use those vehicles throughout the Northeast."
"Today's plan builds on Massachusetts' nation-leading efforts to use renewable energy technology to reduce carbon emissions," said Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick. "By promoting the use of plug-in vehicles through the Commonwealth's electric vehicle initiative and an array of consumer and fleet incentives, we are able to give motorists choices in the vehicles they drive and cleaner, less expensive fuel to power them."
"Creating a strong and robust market for zero emission vehicles is critically important to the success of clean-energy technologies, and I am proud that New York is joining these other states to make that a reality," New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said. "This action plan will help develop the infrastructure and coordinated policies we need in order to put more than three million zero emission vehicles on the road by 2025. Here in New York, we will be supporting that effort through the Charge NY initiative by installing 3,000 electric vehicle charging stations -- vital to the growth of a completely wired Northeast Corridor -- and I am hopeful that more States will join this collaborative effort and help pave the way for the clean transportation options of the future."