A consortium of governors from eight states have come together to form an initiative aimed at collectively deploying more than 3 million zero-emission vehicles by 2025.
The first step in the plan is a signed agreement among the chief executives of California, Connecticut, Maryland, Massachusetts, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island and Vermont that spells out a concerted effort to increase consumer awareness of and demand for zero-emission vehicles – battery-electric vehicles, plug-in hybrid-electric vehicles and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles.
The governors are eyeing the deployment of 3.3 million vehicles in their states – not only passenger cars, but also trucks and transit buses. Each state will ‘lead by example by including zero-emission vehicles in their public fleets,’ as well as ‘evaluate and establish, where appropriate, financial and other incentives to promote zero-emission vehicles,’ according to the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection.
A number of measures that the states will pursue are focused specifically on supporting electric vehicles, such as addressing building codes in order to facilitate the installation of more EV chargers, developing standards for roadway signs and charging networks and, possibly, establishing special electricity rates for home charging systems.
The eight states – which together represent nearly a quarter of the U.S. vehicle market – have committed to developing an action plan by the end of April 2014. That plan will specify how the states will work together on common goals (such as pooling resources to build economies of scale that will boost the zero-emission vehicle market), as well as how each state will handle challenges in their unique markets (such as within states that do not yet have extensive EV charging infrastructure).
Importantly, each state will also establish vehicle-purchase targets for government and quasi-governmental-agency fleets, as well as ‘explore opportunities for coordinated vehicle and fueling station equipment procurement.’
‘We will endeavor to provide public access to government fleet fueling stations,’ the agreement reads. ‘State contracts with auto dealers and car rental companies will, to the extent possible, include commitments to the use of [zero-emission vehicles] where appropriate.’