Counting the cars that go across the Brooklyn and Golden Gate Bridges every day doesn't exactly sound like fun. But when we're talking about the Multi-State ZEV Action Plan that eight US states are using to boost zero-emission vehicle adoption, though, we can think of it as a positive thing. That's because a quarter million vehicles cross those iconic bridges every day, and that's how many zero-emission vehicles have been sold in the US.

Technically, the number's closer to 260,000 and counting. The California Air Resources Board (CARB) made that announcement Thursday, noting again (with pride, likely) that 100,000 of those ZEVs have been sold in the Golden State. California is also sinking about $50 million into deploying H2 refueling stations for the incoming batch of hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles. But the other states in the Action Plan – Connecticut, Maryland, Massachusetts, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island and Vermont – are stepping up their ZEV efforts, too.

The Multi-State ZEV Action Plan was announced last year, and this spring set a goal to account for a collective 3.3 million ZEVs sold by 2025. Together, those states represent almost a quarter of the country's new light-duty vehicle sales, and have vowed to boost demand through initiatives such as promoting workplace charging and supporting the establishment of charging networks. Check out CARB's press release below.
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ZEV states announce national sales of electric vehicles have surpassed 250,000

Announcement made at world's largest Zero Emission Vehicle Showcase

Representatives of an eight-state partnership to develop and support the market for zero emission vehicles joined Air Resources Board Chairman Mary D. Nichols today to announce that national ZEV sales have passed the quarter-million mark. Fittingly, the world's largest display of individual zero-emission cars, motorcycles and trucks served as a backdrop for the announcement.

To put the milestone in perspective, 250,000 cars is the combined daily volume of traffic on the Golden Gate and the Brooklyn Bridge.

"In only a few short years we have gone from virtually zero to a quarter-million zero-emission cars, and every day moves us closer to our combined goal of 3.3 million by 2025. " said Chairman Nichols. "This announcement is further evidence that the market for zero emission vehicles is growing and that increasingly, consumers nationwide are choosing to say no to cars that run on petroleum and yes to a new generation of ultra-clean vehicles."

In addition to Chairman Nichols, speakers at today's announcement were Commissioner David W. Cash from the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection and Deputy Secretary Kathy Kinsey of the Maryland Department of the Environment.

The accompanying ZEV Showcase included the new Toyota Fuel Cell Concept car (which will be formally revealed next month at the LA Auto Show), as well as the Harley-Davidson electric "Livewire" motorcycle and some of the newest commercially available models, including the Tesla Model D and the Mercedes B class EV.

8 states lead the market

Sales figures from around the country now show sales of more than 260,000 vehicles, with the quarter-million mark reached in September. Californians have purchased or leased more than 100,000 ZEVs. The other seven states account for more than 135,000 vehicles. The other states are Connecticut, Maryland, Massachusetts, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island and Vermont.

"Zero-emission vehicles are vital to Massachusetts' efforts to cut air pollution from the transportation sector and stimulate growth in the clean energy economy," said Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Cash. "The eight-state ZEV partnership and our progressive incentive programs are working. Over the past year, Massachusetts has seen a 132 percent increase in electric vehicle registration and a huge hike in EV charging-station infrastructure installations. The future is now!"

Collaboration produces progress

Members of the eight-state collaborative signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) in October 2013, and released its ZEV Action Plan in June 2014. The states are working together to develop incentives to encourage consumers and businesses to purchase ZEVs, as well as collaborating to streamline codes and regulations dealing with recharging and refueling infrastructure.

For example: since signing the MOU, Massachusetts has launched two new financial incentive programs to spur sales of ZEVs and installation of recharging stations. The state has earmarked nearly $4 million for those programs, and so far more than $1.5 million has been reserved or awarded for vehicles and projects.

Maryland provided another example, having provided $1 million for new charging infrastructure, as well as financial incentives for consumers. Maryland expanded a tax credit for vehicle purchase and leasing and converted a tax credit for charging equipment to a rebate.

"In Maryland, one of our highest priorities is transitioning our public and private transportation fleets away from petroleum based fuels," said Deputy Secretary Kinsey of the Maryland Department of the Environment. "In the past year we have doubled the number of plug-in vehicles registered in our State, and we now have more 500 charging stations accessible to the public. Our collaboration with California and the other zero-emission vehicle states has been an important factor in the growth of the electric vehicle market in Maryland."

California provides rebate incentives to ZEV drivers, has a growing network of more than a thousand public electric charging stations, and is investing more than $50 million in additional hydrogen refueling stations. The state has also put in place clean car regulations which increase fuel efficiency and will put a minimum of 1.5 million ZEVs on the roads here by 2025. These regulations build on the so-called Pavley rules in 2002, which resulted in the first program in the country to consider greenhouse gas emissions in its regulations.

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