Report: Policy Makes California the U.S. Leader for Zero-Emission Vehicles


California is on the verge of becoming the largest market for zero-emission vehicles (ZEVs) in the U.S., steered by the state’s increasingly stringent ZEV mandate, according to a new report from Frost & Sullivan.

The report says the directive lends a holistic perspective to the adoption of ZEVs, chalking out a plan for raising consumer awareness, building required infrastructure, and offering special permissions such as lane and parking access.

Frost & Sullivan finds that as of January, California accounted for 40% of ZEVs in the country. The next set of ZEV requirements will take effect in 2017, through 2025. As a result, ZEV sale units that stood at close to 60,000 units in 2014 are expected to grow to 1.4 million units by 2025.

“The stringency of California’s mandate will steadily go up in terms of the required proportions of ZEVs in fleets, changing the mix of cars on sale in the state,” says Frost & Sullivan Intelligent Mobility Senior Research Analyst Sudeep Kaippalli. “Meanwhile, support and incentives from the government will follow at a slower but significant pace.”

According to the report, reducing up-front purchase costs and expanding non-monetary incentives will widen the potential customer base for ZEVs. A statewide government parking policy providing parking benefits at state-owned properties and buildings is already encouraging ZEV sales. Access to transparent and informative purchase processes and high-occupancy vehicle lanes will turn consumer sentiment positive.

The report notes that although the uptake of ZEVs has increased since the ZEV action plan in 2013, much remains to be done, particularly in the infrastructure domain. The report says stakeholders must set up connected corridors with an adequate number of fast-charging stations to boost sales.

“Hydrogen fueling infrastructure is another priority investment that will fast-track the migration to ZEVs,” advises Kaippalli. “Constructing renewable energy charging spaces will also promote the use of ZEVs in California.”

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