Acadia Center announced that a coalition of 67 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.
The group sent a letter to the Governors in Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island (and Providence Plantations) and Vermont with six points on how EVs should be supported due their benefits for consumers, the regional economy, energy independence, public health, and the environment:
- Establishing or Continuing a High-Level EV Task Force – An official task force or commission, such as those currently operating in Maryland, Massachusetts, and Vermont, is a strategic way for a state to advance EV policies. Stakeholders should include agency leadership, utility companies, car manufacturers, EV infrastructure companies, and public interest advocacy groups.
- Providing Financial and Non-Financial Incentives – Consumer and business interest in EVs can be spurred by establishing financial incentives for vehicles and fueling infrastructure, such as rebates and tax credits, supported by reliable funding streams. Non-financial incentives, such as HOV lane access and preferential parking, can also create additional interest in EVs.
- Creating a Utility Framework to Increase Adoption and Maximize Benefits – Benefits of electric vehicles for owners and the electric grid as a whole can be optimized through innovative utility programs, including electricity rate design, demand response and other vehicle-grid integration programs, grid planning and targeted infrastructure investments, and vehicle registry reporting with appropriate privacy protections.
- Facilitating Build-out of Charging Infrastructure – To motivate investment and create a competitive market, states should eliminate regulatory barriers to infrastructure ownership and operation. Incentives can target challenging market segments, such as workplaces, multi-family buildings, and neighborhoods without off-street parking. National standards for charging station measurement accuracy and price disclosure should be adopted to protect consumers and “open access” policies should allow drivers to use public charging stations. Appropriate additions to building codes and streamlining of permitting requirements can minimize the costs of needed infrastructure.
- Educating Consumers, Businesses, Workplaces, Dealerships, and Municipalities – Raising awareness about electric vehicles and infrastructure installations should be a priority. We need better ways to inform the public about EVs as a fun and affordable way to get around. Clear and accurate signage to direct drivers is also important.
- Leading by Example – States should adopt binding targets for EV procurement in state fleets, implement policies to maximize “electric miles” driven by government fleet vehicles, and provide fueling infrastructure for employees at state workplaces.
Mark LeBel, Staff Attorney for Acadia Center (formerly ENE (Environment Northeast)) stated:
"Electric vehicles have established a solid foothold in the market over the last few years. 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."
Colleen Quinn, Vice President of Government Relations and Public Policy for ChargePoint commented:
“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. 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."
Ed White, National Grid’s Vice President of Customer Strategy and Environmental remarked:
“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. 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."
Signatories of the letter are:
Appalachian Mountain Club Baltimore-Washington Electric Vehicle Initiative Better Future Project Ceres ChargePoint Clean Water Action Climate Parents Clinton Electric Co. Con Edison Connecticut Fund for the Environment Conservation Law Foundation Drive Electric Cars New England Electric Vehicle Association of D.C. Energy Consumers Alliance of New England (d/b/a Mass Energy in Massachusetts and People’s Power & Light in Rhode Island) Environment America Environment Connecticut Environment Maine Environment Maryland Environment Massachusetts Environment New Hampshire Environment New Jersey Environment New York Environment Rhode Island Environmental Advocates of New York Environmental Council of Rhode Island Environmental League of Massachusetts EV Power Pros Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis KLD Energy League of Women Voters of Connecticut Maine Conservation Alliance Mass Audubon Massachusetts Climate Action Network National Grid Natural Resources Council of Maine Natural Resources Defense Council New England Clean Energy Council New Hampshire Clean Tech Council PennEnvironment People of Albany United for Safe Energy Plug In America Proterra RENEW Northeast ReVision Energy Riverkeeper Sierra Club – Connecticut Chapter Sierra Club – Delaware Chapter Sierra Club – Maine Chapter Sierra Club – Massachusetts Chapter Sierra Club - National Sierra Club – New Hampshire Chapter Sierra Club – New Jersey Chapter Sierra Club – New York Chapter Sierra Club – Rhode Island Chapter Sierra Club – Vermont Chapter Sungevity SunPower Corp. The Jordan Institute VCharge Vermont Businesses for Social Responsibility Vermont Conservation Voters Vermont Energy Investment Corporation Vermont Natural Resources Council Vermont Public Interest Research Group Vote Solar
Westport Electric Car Club