Governors from eight states – Oregon, California, Connecticut, Maryland, Massachusetts, New York, Rhode Island and Vermont are launching an initiative to put more zero-emission vehicles on the road. The eight states, which comprise nearly 25 percent of the American vehicle market, will promote the use of clean vehicles through a program designed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, improve air quality and public health, enhance energy diversity, save consumers money, and promote economic growth.
The effort is intended to expand consumer awareness and demand for zero-emission vehicles, which include battery-electric vehicles, plug-in hybrid-electric vehicles, and hydrogen fuel-cell-electric vehicles. These technologies can be used in passenger cars, trucks and transit buses.
The governors have signed a cooperative agreement that identifies specific actions to help build a robust national market for electric and hydrogen-powered cars. The agreement outlines specific efforts including, making it easier to build charging stations through the building code; changing public fleets to zero-emission vehicles; launching financial incentives for purchasing zero-emissions vehicles; and considering more favorable utility rates for charging stations. The states will also look at making clearer signage to point out charging stations.
U.S. electric car sales in 2012 more than tripled to about 52,000 from 17,000 in 2011. Consumers bought more than 40,000 plug-in cars in the first and second quarters of 2013. Electricity is the most widely available source of power and typically costs about two-thirds less than gasoline on a per-mile basis. By 2025, the average zero-emission vehicle driver will save nearly $6,000 in fueling costs over the life of the car.