The Multi-State ZEV Action Plan, unveiled today, involves California, Connecticut, Maryland, Massachusetts, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island and Vermont. Those states, which collectively account for almost a quarter of the US light-duty vehicle market, vowed last fall vowed to work together to spur a surge in zero-emissions vehicle adoption over the next dozen years. California accounts for about a third of all US electric vehicles and has already set a goal of having 1.5 million ZEVs on its roads by 2025. You can find the memorandum of understanding here (PDF).
Among the 11 steps, the states will promote workplace charging, ease compatibility for publicly accessible charging networks, improve charging-station signage and boost purchases by both encouraging private companies to buy ZEV fleets and having their own governments do the same.
Unsurprisingly, a bunch of alternative powertrain and green advocates saluted this plan, with the National Resources Defense Council saying that the program "demonstrates states can work together to lead the charge for cleaner air and reduced dependence on oil."
We've got lots more official details below, including CARB's announcement, a statement of support from Global Automakers, and a statement from the Sierra Club.
ZEV Action Plan is first benchmark for unprecedented bi-coastal effort
SACRAMENTO - The Multi-State ZEV Action Plan is the first promised milestone for the bi-coastal collaboration to pave the way for increasingly large numbers of the cleanest cars in the nation.
Collaboration is critical
The partner states are California, Connecticut, Maryland, Massachusetts, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island and Vermont. Together they comprise about a quarter of the nation's new car sales.
"Today, we're putting a foot on the pedal to get more clean cars on the road," said Governor Edmund G. Brown, Jr. "This is real action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions."
The governors of the 8 states began this latest collaboration with the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding on October 24, 2013. The ultimate goal is to reduce greenhouse gas and smog-causing emissions by transforming the transportation sector over the next 11 years. Since the MOU signing, state regulators, the auto industry and infrastructure developers and other stakeholders have shared information and best practices to help move this groundbreaking effort forward.
ZEVs include plug-in hybrids, battery electric and hydrogen-powered fuel cell electric vehicles. To date, manufacturers have rolled out more than 2 dozen models in these categories and they have developed a solid foothold in the automobile market. As of April 2014 there are nearly 200,000 nationwide. Sales have doubled over the past year alone, with more than half of those sales occurring in the MOU signatory states.
Solid and achievable action
The 8-State ZEV Action Plan provides an overview of the current state of the market. It also provides an agenda to accelerate the development of that market.
At the heart of the plan are 11 Key Actions to be taken by all the partners, and the elements needed to successfully complete those actions.
The Key Actions cover three main areas:
Build the market
Promote the availability and effective marketing of ZEVs
Encourage private fleets to acquire ZEVs
Promote planning and investment in ZEV infrastructure
Increase the number of ZEVs in government vehicle fleets
Provide consistent codes, standards and tracking
Remove barriers to charging station installation
Provide clear and uniform signage
Track and report progress toward the 3.3 million vehicle goal
Improve the experience
Promote workplace charging
Provide consumer incentives for the purchase of ZEVs
Remove barriers to retail sale of electricity as vehicle fuel
Promote access and compatibility for charging networks
The ZEV action plan also includes steps individual states may take, as well as examples of successful existing state programs to improve the experience of drivers and owners.
Environmental and economic health
Affordable, readily available ultra-clean vehicles are critical to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and lessen the impact of climate change, since the transportation sector is one of the nation's major sources of greenhouse gases.
Creating a growing market for ZEVs also provides a range of economic benefits. Electricity is widely available, and costs less than gasoline or diesel on a per-mile basis. Maintenance costs for a ZEV are also lower over the life of the vehicle. The push for clean vehicles has also brought investment in new business and jobs which will help put our economy on a more sustainable footing.
The Multi-State ZEV Action Plan is available at: http://bit.ly/1pBhGNU
The 8-State Memorandum of Understanding can be found here: http://bit.ly/1k4tAk4
Quotes from Governors:
"This plan is a triple 'win' for participating states because it brings energy, environmental, and economic benefits," said Connecticut Governor Dannel P. Malloy. "Under the blueprint provided in this plan we will continue with our efforts to provide a convenient network of charging stations for Electric Vehicles (EVS), add EVs and fuel cell vehicles to the state's fleet, and build out the hydrogen infrastructure needed for fuel cell vehicles expected to be available for the 2015 model year."
"This collaborative effort is an important step forward to ensure the success of our zero-emission vehicle programs. Transitioning our light duty transportation fleet to zero emission vehicles is essential if we are to achieve our long term air quality and climate goals," said Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley. "Implementation of the action plan will support the arrival of more than 3 million zero emission vehicles in our states by 2025 and serve as a roadmap for a healthier, more sustainable transportation sector on both coasts."
"Today's plan builds on Massachusetts' nation-leading efforts to use renewable energy technology to reduce carbon emissions," said Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick. "By promoting the use of plug-in vehicles through the Commonwealth's electric vehicle initiative and an array of consumer and fleet incentives, we are able to give motorists choices in the vehicles they drive and cleaner, less expensive fuel to power them."
"Creating a strong and robust market for zero emission vehicles is critically important to the success of clean-energy technologies, and I am proud that New York is joining these other states to make that a reality," Governor Andrew Cuomo said. "This action plan will help develop the infrastructure and coordinated policies we need in order to put more than three million zero emission vehicles on the road by 2025. Here in New York, we will be supporting that effort through the Charge NY initiative by installing 3,000 electric vehicle charging stations - vital to the growth of a completely wired Northeast Corridor - and I am hopeful that more States will join this collaborative effort and help pave the way for the clean transportation options of the future."
"Putting 3.3 million ZEVs on the roads of Oregon and our partner states in the next 11 years requires both collaboration and action," said Governor John Kitzhaber. "We've taken significant steps in Oregon to accelerate EV adoption, including public-private initiatives like the West Coast Electric Highway and the designation of a statewide EV officer. This action plan gives Oregon and other partner states specific next steps to not only build on and expand current efforts, but to see them through."
"This plan provides concrete steps states can take toward the common goal of reducing our dependence on foreign oil and protecting our environment," said Governor Lincoln D. Chafee. "Rhode Island will clearly benefit environmentally and economically from development of a successful market for zero emission vehicles and guaranteeing that our residents can use those vehicles throughout the Northeast."
"The multi-state ZEV group now has an action plan to guide us through development and deployment of zero emission vehicle infrastructure on both coasts," said Governor Peter Shumlin. "This plan is critical to meeting Vermont's greenhouse gas reduction goals and implementing our state energy plan. Moreover, building a robust market for these ultra clean and efficient vehicles, and developing recharging stations and other infrastructure that supports them, will make Vermont and our nation more prosperous by saving drivers money on transportation costs, encouraging economic growth, and reducing motor vehicle pollution impacts on public health and the environment."
ARB's mission is to promote and protect public health, welfare, and ecological resources through effective reduction of air pollutants while recognizing and considering effects on the economy. The ARB oversees all air pollution control efforts in California to attain and maintain health based air quality standards.
Zero Emission Vehicle Action Plan is Important Step Toward Market Readiness
Global Automakers Praise MOU states for Taking Role in Supporting ZEV Technology
WASHINGTON, May 29, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Global Automakers applauds the Governors of eight states who today released a Regional Action Plan focused on building a market for zero emission vehicles (ZEVs).
"We have a long road ahead to arrive at the Governors' ambitious goal to sell 3.3 million ZEVs by 2025," said John Bozzella, President and CEO of Global Automakers. "Everyone has a role to play in building a robust market for battery electric and hydrogen-powered cars, and we are pleased that the Regional Action Plan recognizes the states' role in this process."
The Regional Action Plan is only the first step for the states in meeting their commitments under the October 2013 Memorandum of Understanding. These states also are working on their own action plans to address unique market challenges to the sale of ZEVs, such as consumer preferences, incentives, codes and standards, fueling/charging infrastructure, weather and topography.
"Automakers are committed to the success of ZEV technology and have invested billions of dollars in the development and deployment of these vehicles," said Bozzella. "However, consumers are ultimately in the driver's seat. So preparing the market by addressing challenges and assessing state's progress is critical to meeting the ultimate goal of increased consumer acceptance of ZEVs."
The Association of Global Automakers represents international motor vehicle manufacturers, original equipment suppliers, and other automotive-related trade associations. We work with industry leaders, legislators, and regulators to create the kind of public policy that improves vehicle safety, encourages technological innovation, and protects our planet. Our goal is to foster a competitive environment in which more vehicles are designed and built to enhance Americans' quality of life. For more information, visit www.globalautomakers.org.
 The eight states are California, Connecticut, Maryland, Massachusetts, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, and Vermont
Sierra Club statement: Multi-state zero emission vehicle plan announced
Last October, eight states entered into a partnership to put 3.3 million zero emission vehicles on the road by 2025. Today, the partner states released an action plan to develop electric vehicle (EV) infrastructure, uniform policies, and EV-ready building codes. The ultimate goal of the partnership is to reduce climate disrupting carbon pollution and smog-causing emissions by transforming the transportation sector.
The eight states are: California, Connecticut, Maryland, Massachusetts, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, and Vermont
In response, Sierra Club Executive Director Michael Brune released the following statement:
"The Sierra Club applauds this bold initiative that will move our cars and trucks away from the dirty, dangerous fossil fuels that are a proven threat to public health and our climate.
"The United States already has more plug-in electric vehicles on the road than any other nation, and customer demand continues to grow. By putting millions of electric vehicles on the road, these eight states will drive economies of scale, lowering prices and creating more options for consumers. When it comes to fighting climate disruption, EVs are where the rubber hits the road."
About the Sierra Club
The Sierra Club is America's largest and most influential grassroots environmental organization, with more than 2.4 million members and supporters nationwide. In addition to creating opportunities for people of all ages, levels and locations to have meaningful outdoor experiences, the Sierra Club works to safeguard the health of our communities, protect wildlife, and preserve our remaining wild places through grassroots activism, public education, lobbying, and litigation. For more information, visit http://www.sierraclub.org.