Change is rapid in the digital age, sometimes at a dizzying pace. As that becomes normal, expectations grow for even faster change.
That is the case for electric vehicles (EVs), which have broken into mainstream markets over the last few years. Despite this rapid growth, a recent report by industry advocates argues that it is nowhere near fast enough.
In October, a consortium of environmental groups released “Charging Up: The Role of States, Utilities, and the Auto Industry in Dramatically Accelerating Electric Vehicle Adoption in Northeast and Mid-Atlantic States.” The report is a product of collaboration between the Conservation Law Foundation, the Sierra Club, and the Acadia Center.
It asserts that, despite the best of intentions and efforts of several states to accelerate the growth of EVs, much more needs to be done. In 2013, the governors of California, Connecticut, Maryland, Massachusetts, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, and Vermont signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU), committing to work cooperatively to put 3.3 million EVs on the road by 2025.
While the states have made great progress, they are way off from their goal and will need to do much more to meet it. According to the report, the six Northeast and Mid-Atlantic states that signed the MOU pledged to add about 1.7 million EVs by the year 2025. As of mid-2015, they had added only about 27,000.
To get on pace, the report suggests that all vested interests need to commit to the goal. It calls for “an all-hands-on-deck effort from government, utilities, automakers, and auto dealers.” It outlines nine vital steps for success. The nine steps include the appointment of high level task forces or commissions, consumer incentives, programs for low-income residents, utility incentives, policies that promote consumer-friendly charging stations, state and local government EV fleets, more aggressive manufacturing and marketing from automakers, auto dealership incentives, and public education.