According to Mary D. Nichols, the chairwoman of the California Air Resources Board, electric cars are still in the “start-up” stage and have yet to “go viral.” In an effort to grow the electric car market beyond the initial early adopters, 8 states have teamed up to ease the burden of ownership through incentives and readily available charging stations.
The states on board–California, Connecticut, Maryland, Massachusetts, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, and Vermont–may seem like the usual suspects in the fight for zero-emission cars; but they also bring to the table a lot of firing power in representing more than a quarter of the national car market. And their goal, a lofty one considering the stagnant electric car market, is doable if their plans actually come to fruition. The 8 states believe that in order to achieve sales of at least 3.3 million emission-free vehicles by 2025, charging stations need to be readily available and affordable. By instituting a universal quick-payment system, similar to E-ZPass, and creating a network of charging stations throughout the U.S. (the Northeast states have already proposed more than a thousand stations from Maine to DC), the goal of 3.3 million cars can be achieved. Throw in incentives such as access to high-occupancy lanes, reduced tolls, preferred parking, and charging credits, and the likelihood of getting the average car buyer on board increases.
But, of course, this entire plan is contingent upon each state’s access to money in order to fund this proposal. However, according to a New York Times article, “A spokesman for the air resources board pointed out that the states had money from a variety of sources.” By sharing the responsibility between the 8 states, and leaving the federal government’s stranglehold out of the equation, this plan might actually set the wheels in motion towards a green car future.