October 25, 2013
Several State Governors Push For More Electric Vehicles By 2025
Michael Harper for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online
Eight governors from the East and West Coasts have signed a non-binding pledge to bring 3.3 million zero-emissions vehicles on their roads by 2025.The governors, hailing from states where these vehicles celebrate their greatest popularity, say they’ll add more charging stations in their states, create incentives for fleet operators to choose electric vehicles, and work to drive down home energy costs. Automakers were pleased with the motion as sales of these vehicles have been slower than they had anticipated, partially due to a lack of charging stations along America’s roadways.
“There’s much that states can do, and perhaps even more that local governments can do,” said Mary D. Nichols, the chairwoman of the California Air Resources Board in an interview with Matthew Wald of the NY Times. She claimed non-polluting vehicles will soon “go viral” and are currently in their start-up phase.
Governors from California, Connecticut, Maryland, Massachusetts, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island and Vermont aren’t just expecting to pack their roads with electric cars, of course. Other non-polluting vehicles, including hydrogen-fueled machines, are expected to be promoted by this pledge as well.
It’s expected the lack of electric support and high charging costs are keeping many from buying these zero-emission machines. States in the Northeast have been working together to build a network of these charging stations, but outside of these electric-friendly states, power can be difficult to come by. Though these stations are already prevalent in the Northeast, the governors coalition is working on developing uniform signage and a unified method of payment across all stations. The payment stations could work as an E-ZPass for charging.
The governors are also said to be considering other approaches, such as lowering the cost of electricity during peak charging times and requiring property owners to install chargers. Drivers who decide to buy a zero-emissions vehicle may also get preferential treatment while on the road. For instance, it’s been suggested these drivers could be given reduced toll fares when passing through stations and even be allowed to travel in car pool lanes.
While interest in these vehicles seems high, the technology has yet to deliver in a completely reliable way.
Early this year, for instance, a public debate broke out online between one New York Times Auto reviewer and Elon Musk, the CEO of Tesla Motors, which makes premium electric vehicles. Though Tesla has built its own network of ultra-fast charging networks in the West, it decided to expand to the East coast.
When auto reviewer John Broder took the Tesla Model S through the East Coast, he often relied on other charging stations not owned by Musk’s Tesla. After a less-than-favorable review, Musk rebutted with his own claims, most notably that Broder had intentionally set the car up for failure.
As this is the state of zero-emissions vehicles today, the eight governor coalition has some work ahead of it if it plans to facilitate 3.3 million of these vehicles by 2025.