Role of Legislation for Advancing Electric Vehicle Adoption
Many of the major car manufacturers have recently been making headlines with electric vehicle announcements. There’s an incredible amount of excitement over the release of new cars like the Chevy Volt and the Nissan LEAF. What doesn’t always get as much attention though is the role of government in paving the way for mass adoption. Federal, state, and local governments all have an important part to play whether it’s from providing incentives, streamlining regulations, or developing the atmosphere for an even playing field for the industry.
A great example of this comes from the Federal Department of Energy (DOE). DOE sees the important role EVs play in breaking our dependence on foreign oil, spurring domestic job growth, and protecting the environment and public health. DOE has demonstrated through numerous funding opportunities how important it is to have private and public organizations collaborate to create EV Ready Communities and to ensure financial and non-financial incentives are in place. Funding and collaboration are necessary elements for advancing EV but with enforcement through legislation the ‘rules of engagement’ are much more clearly understood.
The rules of engagement through policies can remove significant obstacles to mass EV adoption. Policies can impact how charging infrastructure is placed in homes or in public spaces. It can impact how electricity is taxed or regulated when it comes to EV usage. It can influence consumer demand for EVs. As an example Assembly Bill 631 which addresses Public Utilities Code & charging infrastructure speaks to that exact point. This bill outlines how the charging stations and the ownership, control, operation or management of a public facility that provides electricity is not in fact a public utility. Having this type of legislation in place ensures certain regulations applied to public utilities are not automatically applied to electric vehicle charging stations. Treating electricity as transportation fuel, increases the competition in EV charging station market by allowing smaller charging station companies a chance at competing with established utilities on providing this service. For more information on this specific bill and status please go to AB 631.
Legislation supporting EVs and charging stations are relatively new but we can learn from successful past examples such as California’s High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) Clean Air Stickers program. This program allowed low-emission and zero emission vehicles the opportunity to drive solo in the state’s carpool lanes. Yellow Clean Air Stickers for hybrid or alternative fuel vehicles that met the standard of the 45 miles per gallon or greater fuel economy rating had been so popular that the state issued 85,000 stickers and hit the target limit since program started in the early 2000’s. When the Yellow Clean Air Sticker program expired on July 1, 2011, many hybrid owners mourned the loss of their carpool privileges. Many are considering buying a vehicle that qualifies for the White Sticker Program for zero-emission vehicles. The benefit of utilizing the high occupancy vehicle (HOV or carpool lanes) on California freeways has been a wonderful, low-cost incentive for California drivers. For more information please see California Clean Air Vehicles.
Leadership and legislation will continue to be the driving tools to advancing EV adoption. As we see the EV ecosystem develop around us, we will see more policies and regulations put in place to support the technology. For more information or questions regarding legislation supporting Electric Vehicle advancement please go to Silicon Valley Leadership website.
Article · 9 comments
Jim Motavalli says:
The next Tesla is targeted as a $30,000 plug-in for everybody, and it's the one that can establish the company as a...
Honda Fit EV Article · 16 comments
Nikki Gordon-Bl... says:
Despite what friends and family might tell you, however, you don’t need a big gas-guzzling car to raise a family....
Ford C-Max Energi Article · 39 comments
Brad Berman says:
Mea Culpa. Last week, I criticized Ford for hyping up the capabilities of its upcoming C-Max Energi plug-in hybrid. I...
Article · 30 comments
Brad Berman says:
As we’ve seen from past surveys, EV owners drive their cars an average of nearly 29 miles per day—well below the range...
BMW i3 Article · 5 comments
Brad Berman says:
The use of lightweight carbon fiber car bodies in BMW’s upcoming electric cars is the focus of a new series of videos...