Vermont Business Magazine Vermont has joined eight other states to reaffirm their commitment to a clean, low carbon transportation sector with the release of a new Multi-State Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) Action Plan for 2018-2021, Governmor Phil Scott announced Wednesday. Together, these nine ZEV states represent roughly one-third of the new car sales market in the United States and 25 percent of the U.S. population.
Transportation electrification is essential to help deliver the major reductions necessary to move Vermont toward its climate goals. The transportation sector is now the single largest source of GHG emissions across the nation and contributes roughly 40 percent of the total GHG emissions in Vermont. The state ZEV programs, which require automakers to deliver increasing numbers of zero emission vehicles to the region between now and 2025, are a key strategy in reducing GHG emissions from the transportation sector.
“Transportation needs to be safe and affordable for Vermonters and for all Americans, and it needs to be as clean as possible to ensure we protect air quality and our environment,” said Governor Scott. “By supporting more widespread adoption of electric vehicles, this Action Plan will help to bring down the costs of clean car technologies and make them more affordable for everyone, while reducing our use of fossil fuels and increasing use of electricity that is getting more renewable every year.”
Tesla offers ZEVs, but they're not cheap. Courtesy photo, Ben & Jerry's 2015.
The updated Action Plan is the work of the Multi-State ZEV Task Force, which was formed in 2013 under a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed by the Governors of California and seven other states that adopted California’s ZEV program – Vermont, Connecticut, Maryland, Massachusetts, New York, Oregon, and Rhode Island. New Jersey became the ninth state to join the coalition in May 2018. To support these ZEV programs, the nine MOU states collaborated to develop and implement the first 2014 Multi-State ZEV Action Plan and now this updated plan for 2018-2021.
Since the launch of the 2014 action plan, Vermont has initialized several programs to promote the adoptions of ZEVs. Programs like the GoGreen State Fleets Initiative drives progress toward transportation energy goals in the State Agency Energy Plan to make the transition towards more efficient state fleets through the adoption of standard hybrids, plug-in hybrid electric vehicles, and battery electric vehicles. These programs align well with other actions the state has taken, like adding a building energy “Stretch Code” that ensures that newly constructed multifamily developments of 10 or more units requiring an Act 250 permit offer the electric infrastructure to support electric vehicle charging equipment in at least 4% of parking spaces.
The updated plan also presents 80 action recommendations for states, automakers, dealers, utilities, charging and fueling companies and other key partners to accelerate the adoption of zero emission vehicles in the participating states. It also highlights the important role that public-private partnerships involving the automakers, dealers, utilities and others, play in the effort. Recommendations for states and other key partners in the updated Action Plan center around five priority areas:
- Raising consumer awareness and interest in electric vehicle technology through consumer education, outreach, and advertising campaigns (e.g. Drive Change. Drive Electric);
- Building out a reliable and convenient charging infrastructure network to help enable the transition to widespread adoption of electric vehicles;
- Continuing and improving access to consumer purchase and non-financial incentives;
- Expanding the number of ZEVs in public and private sector fleets; and
- Supporting dealership efforts to increase ZEV sales.
See the full list of recommendations and the Multi-State ZEV Action Plan here.