Eight governors in the United States, including Jerry Brown of the state of California, signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to promote zero-emission vehicles (ZEVs). The primary objective of the initiative is to put 3.3 million ZEVs on the roads by 2025.
The other signatories in the initiative were the governors of the states of Connecticut, Maryland, Massachusetts, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, and Vermont. The eight states represent approximately 25 percent of the vehicle market in the country.
ZEVs promote greenhouse emission reductions
Under the MOU, the governors pledged to implement cooperative measures that would promote ZEVs to reduce greenhouse emission, improve air quality and public health. The initiative also aims to advance energy diversity, create consumer savings and promote economic growth.
Some of the cooperative measures stipulated in the MOU include harmonizing building codes to allow manufacturers to build new electric vehicle charging stations easily, and to create financial and other incentives to promote ZEVs. In addition, the governors also agreed to develop common standards for roadway signs and charging networks, and they will consider the possibility of establishing favorable electricity rates for home-charging systems.
Gov. Brown emphasized that the initiative is not just an agreement, but an important, serious and profound commitment. According to him, they are leading the initiative from coast to coast to get millions of the cleanest vehicles on the roads of the United States.
ZEVs may help tackle climate change
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said the effort is a major step forward to reduce the emissions that contribute to climate change and the extreme weather we’re increasingly experiencing.
California is the number-one state in terms of sales of electric vehicles, electric-gas hybrids, and ZEVs. At present, there are 50,000 ZEVs running on the roads of California, which include the Model S all-electric sedan from Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA), Chevy Volt from General Motors Company (NYSE:GM), Toyota Prius from Toyota Motor Corporation (NYSE:TM), and Nissan Leaf from Nissan Motor Co., Ltd. (OTCMKTS:NSANY) (TYO:7201). By 2015, California aims to have 1.5 million ZEVs on its roads.
Colin Santulli of the Center for Sustainable Energy in San Diego commented that the biggest factor preventing consumers from buying ZEVs is price. He said, “The price is high because of the cost of the batteries. The more states can commit to supporting the vehicles, the more we can help to drive the cost of batteries down.”