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 Air Resources Board Chairman Mary D. 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.”
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!”
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.
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.
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.