BOSTON, MA –(ENEWSPF)–December 18, 2014. A broad coalition of sixty-seven businesses and organizations, including utilities, other private companies, business groups, electric vehicle advocacy groups, and environmental groups, urges the Governors and Governors-Elect in the eleven Northeastern and Mid-Atlantic states to make policies that support electric vehicles (EVs) a top priority for their administrations going forward.
In a letter sent this week, the groups indicate that “EVs provide major benefits for consumers, the regional economy, energy independence, public health, and the environment.” They urge the state leaders to use a new or existing high-level state task force to pursue the following:
- Providing financial and non-financial incentives for consumers, such as rebates and sales tax waivers for EV sales and leases and HOV lane access, and other categories of EV-related investment;
- Creating an electric utility framework to increase EV adoption and to achieve benefits to drivers and the electricity system, with programs to promote low-cost charging at night when overall electricity usage is low, grid planning, and targeted infrastructure investments;
- Facilitating the build-out of EV charging stations to effectively serve a growing EV base;
- Educating consumers, businesses, workplaces, dealerships, and municipalities on the benefits and opportunities of promoting EVs; and
- Leading by example by purchasing EVs and installing charging stations for state fleets.
“Electric vehicles have established a solid foothold in the market over the last few years,” said Mark LeBel, Staff Attorney for Acadia Center (formerly ENE (Environment Northeast)). “Even at current gas prices, an average driver can save over $400 per year in fuel costs by switching from gasoline to electricity. Each of these states has a wide range of steps that they can take to support progress on EVs and ultimately make them affordable for everyone.”
The signers are calling for policies that address the needs and concerns of current and would-be EV drivers. “To support the current and future growth of the EV industry, we need policies that make it even easier for drivers to get behind the wheel of an EV and when they do, ensure they have access to charging wherever they go,” said Colleen Quinn, Vice President of Government Relations and Public Policy for ChargePoint. “ChargePoint is excited to join environmental groups, utilities and other stakeholders to support a collaborative approach to driving EV adoption and increasing the deployment of charging infrastructure.”
Electric utilities in the region will continue to build on the role that they are playing to help increase the adoption of EVs. “We support the development of the EV market, in order to help the region’s drivers reduce their fuel costs, to advance the Northeast’s carbon reduction goals, and to reduce reliance on imported fuel sources,” explained Ed White, National Grid’s Vice President of Customer Strategy and Environmental. “By helping expand the charging infrastructure for EVs and investing in our company EV fleet, National Grid is helping advance the market and meet the evolving needs of our customers and communities.”
Advancing EVs will support states’ long-term goals, including public health and climate protection. The letter states:
Since EVs have little or no conventional tailpipe emissions, they can be a key component to improving health outcomes and reducing costs to treat illnesses caused or worsened by this pollution. EVs also have significant climate benefits. With the current electricity generation mix in the region, a car that only uses electricity from the grid will be responsible for 50-70% less greenhouse gas pollution than a comparable gasoline-only vehicle. As we shift to cleaner sources of electricity, public health and environmental benefits of EVs will only increase over time.
EVs can be key part of a low-carbon, consumer-friendly energy future. This letter shows that many stakeholders are ready to support state leaders as they take the next important steps.