On August 25, 2021, Plug In America Executive Director Joel Levin testified at an Environmental Protection Agency hearing on vehicle emissions, calling for 100% zero-emission vehicles by 2035. Below is his testimony.
Good morning. I’m Joel Levin, Executive Director of Plug In America, the national association of electric vehicle drivers. We represent the two-million plus EV drivers on American roads today. We commend EPA for acting quickly on the clean car standards. Given the choices, we would advocate for alternative #2, although we are concerned that it is not nearly ambitious enough. We are on track for EV sales to roughly double from last year to something around 4% market share in 2021. Thus, an aspiration to achieve 8% EV market penetration by 2026 is simply too cautious. We urge the EPA to go beyond these alternatives, and establish standards that aim for a 25% EV market share for 2026, which would put us on track to achieve 100% EV market share by 2035, as many countries and a number of US states have already committed to.
For more than a decade, American automaker Tesla has taken the world by storm showing true American leadership, and as noted in the proposal, other auto manufacturers have also been moving forward and have committed to reach 50% market share of EVs by 2030. This change in the American automotive landscape needs to be more fully recognized. It is no longer 2012 when the Obama Administration standards came out. Times have changed, and this proposal should more closely reflect today’s realities, rather than continuing a trend from nearly ten years ago.
As it stands, this proposal will almost certainly seem dated and quaint by the time we reach model year 2026. This is EPA’s chance to step out of the “business as usual” trend line, and step into a more ambitious goal that we and many others will get behind in full support of the agency and the federal government.
In 1961, President John F. Kennedy called on America to land a man on the moon by the end of that decade. He launched a national mission that, at its peak, employed some 400,000 people, inspired a generation, and created technological advances that benefit us even now.
In his call for a $174 billion package of support to electrify transportation, President Biden has shown this same level of transformational vision. We would challenge EPA to be no less visionary. This will enable us to assert American leadership in tomorrow’s energy and transportation technologies, create millions of good-paying jobs across numerous industries, and to reclaim our skies and protect future generations from the devastation of climate change.
Thank you for your time.