Electric Car Pact by 8 States Aims at More Zero-Emissions Vehicles

Image: Electric Car Pact by 8 States Aims at More Zero-Emissions Vehicles Mary Nichols, left, and Deb Markowitz view an electric car displayed in Sacramento, Calif.

Friday, 25 Oct 2013 12:42 PM

By Ken Mandel

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California and New York are among the eight states that vowed Thursday to push toward a significant increase in the number of zero-emission cars, according to multiple reports.

Governors from each of the states signed a pledge to develop more public charging stations, as well as provide consumers reasons to buy electric cars or plug-in hybrids, such as cash rebates. With the proper infrastructure, the hope is to have 3.3 million battery-powered cars on roads in those states by 2025. Such a goal is more than 15 times as many zero-emission vehicles projected for the country by 2015, according to The Associated Press.

The six other states that signed on are Massachusetts, Connecticut, Oregon, Maryland, Rhode Island, and Vermont. Combined, they account for 23 percent of the country's electric car sales, the AP reported.

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"This is not just an agreement, but a serious and profoundly important commitment," said California Gov. Edmund G. Brown Jr. in a statement. "From coast to coast, we're charging ahead to get millions of the world's cleanest vehicles on our roads."

Some of the methods designed to help the process along include changing building codes to simplify the construction of electric-car charging stations, having electric or other zero-emission cars for state employees who use cars, and considering lowering lower electric rates for home charging.

The push away from gasoline-powered vehicles has picked up steam in recent years, and Friday's announcement represents another step forward. Still, numerous challenges remain before nationwide acceptance can be achieved, such as allaying consumer fears of being stranded due to a dead battery.

Thursday's effort in aimed at streamlining zoning laws and other incentives to promote implantation across state lines.

"The idea is to make it easier for customers to operate and use zero-emission vehicles. This in turn will help pave the way for success of the auto industry," Mary Nichols, chairman of the California Air Resources Board, told the AP.

Citing industry data, the AP reported that more than 200,000 zero-emissions vehicles are projected to be in use by 2015.

Eight car manufactures contribute 16 different models, including the Nissan Leaf and the Honda FCX Clarity.

The zero-emission Tesla Model S electric car was declared 2013 World Green Car of the Year, according to International Business Times.

According to the Glossary of Air Pollution Terms, a zero-emission vehicle "produces no emissions from the on-board source of power."

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While automakers lauded Thursday's announcement, some warned that it will require a significant investment.

"(Getting 3.3 million cars) "is not an achievable goal given what we're doing today from an infrastructure investment standpoint. It's just not," Dan Gage, a spokesman for the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers in Washington, told the AP.

Related stories:

NY, Calif., 8 States Vow 3.3M Zero-emission Vehicles by 2025

Tesla's Strong Results, Outlook Fuel Big Share Gain

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