8 states join forces to promote clean cars

Goal is to put 3.3 million battery-powered cars and clean-burning vehicles on the roads by 2025
Associated Press
Oct 25, 2013

Eight states, including California and New York, pledged Thursday to work together to dramatically multiply the number of zero-emission cars on the nation's roads by speeding the construction of charging stations and other infrastructure.

The goal is to put 3.3 million battery-powered cars, plug-in hybrids and other clean-burning vehicles on the roads in those states by 2025. That's more than 15 times as many zero-emission vehicles projected to be in use in the entire U.S. by 2015.

Auto dealers say networks of charging stations and other conveniences are crucial to winning over drivers who are accustomed to pulling up to the gas pump and fear getting stranded by a dead battery.

The other states in the pact are Massachusetts, Maryland, Oregon, Connecticut, Rhode Island and Vermont. The eight states together represent about 23 percent of the U.S. auto market.

The Associated Press breaks down why there are not more zero-emission cars already, the keys to accomplishing the goal and the formidable challenges:

How does this agreement differ from plans already in place in the states?

Each state has already separately adopted rules to require a percentage of new vehicles sold to be zero-emission by 2025.

For example, California's mandate of 15.4 percent calls for a total of 1.5 million zero-emission vehicles to be on the state's roads by that time. Currently, plug-in hybrids and electric vehicles make up less than 2 percent of the state's market.

The agreement signed Thursday is aimed at coordinating efforts among the eight states so that incentives, zoning laws and other ideas for promoting zero-emission vehicles can be more quickly implemented.

"The idea is to make it easier for customers to operate and use zero-emission vehicles. This in turn will help pave the way for success of the auto industry," said Mary Nichols, chairman of the California Air Resources Board.

Deb Markowitz, Vermont's natural resources secretary, said her state will probably form partnerships with companies to help them build charging stations and other necessary infrastructure.

Are the states contributing money to make this happen?

The agreement signed Thursday requires no specific financial commitment from each state. But each has already launched incentive programs and other policies meant to increase sales of zero-emission vehicles.

For example, California offers up to $2,500 in buyer rebates. The state leads the nation in zero emission vehicle sales, with more than 33,000 sold through June 30, and has set aside an additional $59.55 million for some 29,000 rebates through mid-2014. The state has also dedicated $20 million annually through 2024 or until 100 hydrogen stations are built, whichever comes first.

Massachusetts pays incentives of up to $7,500 per vehicle to cities that buy electric models, and up to $15,000 for each charging station built. New York has set its own goal of adding a network of up to 3,000 charging stations over the next five years.

How many zero-emission vehicles are on road now, and how many models are available?

Industry data projects more than 200,000 zero-emissions vehicles on the nation's roads by 2015. That's out of more than 250 million registered vehicles in the U.S.

There are 16 zero-emission models from eight manufacturers on the market — nine that run on batteries alone, two hydrogen fuel cell cars and five plug-in hybrid models, which can run on battery alone or gasoline.

The Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers in Washington says there will be 26 battery electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids for sale in 2014.

Officials say every automaker will have a zero-emission model by 2015.

What are the key things needed to reach this goal?

Auto manufacturers and dealers say consumers do not yet fully trust electric vehicles because of the lack of charging stations. Also, the clean-burning vehicles tend to be more expensive than gasoline-powered cars.

Automakers applauded Thursday's agreement as an important step forward but cautioned that significant infrastructure investment will be needed to reach the goal.

Putting 3.3 million vehicles on the road "is not an achievable goal given what we're doing today from an infrastructure investment standpoint. It's just not," said Dan Gage, a spokesman for the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers in Washington, which represents Toyota, General Motors and 10 others.

"Up to this point there's been a lack of consumer interest, and a lot of that has to do with investment in infrastructure."

There are more than 6,700 charging stations open to the public in the eight states in this agreement, which seeks to multiply that number exponentially over the next dozen years.

"We think that is going to be necessary for some of the (driving) range anxiety and other acceptance barriers that need to be broken down," said Brian Maas, president of the California New Car Dealers Association.

"The cars are coming — they're here already — but if you don't have a place to charge them, there's not going to be the level of consumer acceptance."

 

Comments

Contango

The return on investment of ZEVs is decades longer than most people keep their cars.

Without expensive taxpayer subsidies, they are money losers over a comparable compact gas powered vehicle.

Dr. Information

Very true Contango. Anyone can do 5 minutes of research and see that the profit margin starts around year 10 of owning the car and by then, most want something new.

The Bizness

Not necessarily true you two, a lot of it depends on the car you are getting.

Say I purchase the up coming Chevy Spark EV outright for the full $27,000.00 (It would be under 20k with full tax credit). I typically spend about $1,440.00 on gas and another $250.00 or so on routine maintenance due to the internal combustion engine, which equals $1,690.00.

Now if I bought a similarly equipped Chevy Spark with a combustion engine, I would probably pay around $17,000.00, which means in 6 years you would recover the costs.

I am also assuming if you purchase these you would put on a few solar panels on your roof to offset your cost for fuel.

The all electric smart is $1,000.00 cheaper, and you could lease both of these vehicles for under $200.00. While I wish that subsidies weren't necessary for these vehicles, I think that they are necessary for bridging the gap for of how much Americans love to drive, and reducing our impact on climate change.

mikesee

...as long as you don't have to replace the battery pack (you will) which cost anywhere from $6,000 to $10,000.

The New World Czar

The production of the electrical power comes from where?
Electricity...which comes from what resources?
Unfortunately not reusable/renewable means.
Sorry, "Zero Emission" not achieved.

If the auto manufacturers want to take this concept on without government subsidies, then great- more power to them.

The Bizness

Solar, you may be surprised to learn this but you can buy a 2 kw system and install it yourself for under $4,000.00 without any subsidies.

From the Grave

All of this means nothing unless~batteries become WAY more efficient, cheaper, long lasting, AND recyclable. The electricity needed to charge these cars also needs to be created by the wind or the Sun, or we might just be breaking even on pollution. And, if the average person cannot afford the cars, then what's the point? And what about the size of the car~soccer moms drive mini vans for a reason...

The Bizness

First off almost all batteries are recyclable (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bat...), but yes they need some work on the expense and efficiency of them however I don't think it means nothing.

I think many people could afford a $199.00 lease, or even a $25,000.00 car, I do see a lot of people in the area driving cars that cost well over that. We will get to mini van drivers eventually.

I understand everyone saying the government shouldn't subsidies these vehicles, but you should also say that the government shouldn't subsidize gasoline. Your fearful of change in driving habits which is understandable, but don't be mad at other people who think it is the right move for them. Many people driving these vehicles are extremely happy and saving money.

From the Grave

I meant that batteries HAVE to get recycled and not throw into dumps, hopefully!!!
I'm all for LESS driving.
Also, if you don't have a place to charge it...like, what if you live in an apartment complex with NO garage? Where do you charge it?
Anyway, my point is that a LOT of things need to be worked out LONG before you start forcing people to make this change(a change that I am ALL FOR!).

Peninsula Pundit

Right direction,wrong fuel.
Compressed Natural Gas.
It's the equivalent of $2.20 a gallon, produces less pollution and it basically uses the same technology we are using now.
No expensive technological equipment, lower cost to the consumer and lower emissions.
They also make home-use fill stations that hook into your home's natural gas supply, so your fuel bill will be part of your monthly gas bill.
Win-win.

2cents

Kind of win, win other than how the fed charges for road tax when you fuel at home. At MATS all the major over the road truck manufactures had GNG trucks to show. Yes, Yes, because we are developing a new part for this industry and I get to employ more people : )

Really are you ...

Too bad Ohio isn't a state that is involved in this research. I am almost 5 years ahead in this game. But in reality I am years behind, because the first president to acknowledge the fact that we needed to get off of the use of fossil fuels was back when Richard Nixon was President.

I have had to perform quite a bit of research and independent study to get to where I am at today on this subject. But my goodness the answer to this problem has been starring us in the face even before we. Sorry I don't want to say too much.

From the Grave

Of course not...

Really are you ...

I could give an all day lecture, from the beginning to the "really, are you kidding me?" this is it. This is the game changer.

This will be a development for the electric auto industry. Everyone could drive around armored personnel carriers if they wanted to, unlimited MPG because there are no gallons of fuel. Drive a 2 seater compact or drive a HUMVEE, does not matter. This will also be able to produce enough electricity to power a house. Off grid living at its finest. Not having to worry about charging batteries, cleaning outdoor panels, an eye sore of monster fan sitting in you backyard, or grid power outages. And then there are all of the new doors of opportunity that will fly open immediately.

I am doing this on my own on purpose. Why? I will create, quite easily, much needed FAMILY WAGE jobs here in North Central Ohio. If the auto industry wants a closer customer base, well the auto industry had better move their plants to Ohio. I believe in the USA and I believe in the hard working people from Ohio. If I would sell this device to a company (GE, Toyota, Ford, GM, or you can name any of the big companies) where would they create the jobs at? I would bet you, not here in North Central Ohio and probably not here in the United States. This company would pay me well, but what about the 750 new jobs I could have created here? What about those people's lives I could have changed, not just once, but with a steady well deserved income.

From the Grave

Okay, we'll give you 50 million for it...
Screw Ohio.

Really are you ...

Sorry. Can't do it. It is not about the money it is about doing what is right, what I believe in.

From the Grave

I hope