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Electric vehicle (EV) sales have risen steadily in the United States this decade and are forecast to continue this trend in coming years. Who is leading the way and what can government officials, companies, and consumers do to sustain this upward trend? The Electrification Coalition (EC) released its first Zero Emissions Vehicle (ZEV) Scorecard on June 14th. The Scorecard ranks current efforts by ZEV states to promote ZEVs and provides guidance for EV and ZEV policy and investments in the future.
Currently, 10 U.S. states require automakers to acquire ZEV credits by making ZEVs available for purchase and Colorado’s Governor Hickenlooper has just signaled his intention to join them with a new low emissions vehicle (LEV) standard. Each of these states have ambitious goals for EV sales in the coming decade. In order for these states to reach these goals, they need coordination, flexibility, and investment from the auto industry, state and local governments, energy utilities, and consumers.
“While there are more than 700,000 EVs on U.S. roads today, electric vehicles are still only about one percent of U.S. light-duty vehicle sales. As state legislatures look to automakers to increase the availability and diversity of PEV models in all ZEV states, the scorecard is meant to be used as a resource for the public and policymakers,” said Ben Prochazka, Vice President of the Electrification Coalition.
ZEV Scorecard Methodology
The purpose of the ZEV Scorecard is to comprehensively assess states’ actions to promote ZEV adoption and provide guidance on how they can help build a sustainable ZEV market. The Scorecard tracks policy changes over time and informs lawmakers of actions that effectively spur ZEV adoption. To determine the rankings, the EC included three metrics: state-provided incentives to consumers; availability and support of public refueling infrastructure; and outreach campaigns to educate the public. The scorecard ranks each state, and then sorts them into three tiers.
ZEV Scorecard’s Findings
California ranks first in the inaugural ZEV State Policy Rankings. Adoption by consumers and businesses is in large part the result of the state’s large network of charging infrastructure, robust enticements for vehicle purchases, and extensive outreach programs. Maryland and Connecticut also place in the top tier, while all 10 ZEV states are ahead of the rest of the country in ZEV development.
In coordination with other stakeholders, states can further establish and enhance policies that will more effectively support the development of the EV market and facilitate widespread EV adoption. These policies should focus on:
- Ensuring that incentives remain properly aligned with program goals.
- Developing infrastructure through facilitating coordination among stakeholders.
- Leading by example at the level of state government by offering workplace charging at state facilities, incorporating more EVs into state fleets, and promoting the use of alternative fuels.
To read the first ZEV Scorecard in full, click here.