Plug In America urges the Biden Administration to commit that 100% of new cars and trucks will have a plug by the end of this decade
The future of transportation is electric. The shift to transportation electrification brings dramatic benefits, including financial savings for consumers, jobs in the technology, innovation and automotive sectors, improved air quality and improved air-related health issues, improved national security by reduced reliance on foreign fuels, more efficient usage of electric grid assets and reduced carbon emissions. The new Administration and 117th Congress now have a chance to lead the rest of the world again in the transportation electrification sector. As the voice of the electric vehicle (EV) consumer, Plug In America, urges the Biden Administration to adopt the following bold policies:
- Commit to a goal that 100% of new cars and trucks sold in the United States will have a plug by the end of this decade.
- This represents a 50% annual growth year over year from 2020, from a starting point of about 300,000 EVs sold in the U.S. in 2020. This kind of growth is achievable and is already being done in other major car markets. For example, with supportive policies, EV market share in Germany grew to 20.5% in November 2020 from just 3.7% a year earlier.
- This 2030 goal includes plug-in hybrid and battery electric vehicles.
- By 2030, plug-in hybrid EVs should have a minimum battery capacity of 20 kWh.
- The definition of cars and trucks for this goal should include all light and medium-duty vehicles, specifically class 1 through class 6 of vehicles as defined by the DOE, such as sedans, coupes, cross overs, pick-up trucks, SUVs, vans, and local delivery vehicles.
- Consumers can still own and drive internal combustion engine cars indefinitely, but new ones will not be available for purchase after 2030.
- There should be a review process annually to monitor progress of this goal.
- Consumer adoption of smartphones, computers, microwaves, and similar technological advances have taken place rapidly as well, as production has ramped up and prices have fallen.
- Conventional hybrid vehicles should not be included in this goal–only vehicles with a plug.
- Establish the position of Transportation Electrification (TE) Czar in the Office of the President.
- The TE Czar will coordinate TE programs and policies across Departments of Transportation, Energy, Defense, Labor, Education, Environmental Protection Agency, General Services Administration, and other agencies, and will work alongside the National Climate Advisor.
- The TE Czar will ensure that equity in transportation electrification is the cornerstone of strong policy and programs. In particular, this includes ensuring that communities disproportionately impacted by environmental justice concerns, lack of economic opportunity, or the transition away from fossil fuels share fully in the education, jobs, economic development and other benefits that this transition will bring.
- The TE Czar should establish a working group with industry and consumer stakeholders to ensure collaboration and input from industry and consumers is included within federal TE programs.
- Lead by example in the transition to transportation electrification.
- Charging stations should be installed at all federal agencies and federal buildings to enable workplace charging.
- Strong fleet electrification goals should be re-established for the federal fleet.
- Electrify the escort vehicles for the President, Vice-President and Secretaries.
Specifically, at the Department of Transportation (DOT), we urge the DOT to position the U.S. as a global leader in the electric transportation industry by committing to the following bold policies.
- By the end of the decade, all drivers should have access to adequate charging infrastructure.
- This goal should start with the metric of 500,000 charging stations installed nationwide by 2025, and look to increase this goal by 2030.
- The majority of these charging stations should be DC fast charging (DCFC) stations, due to the upfront cost of these stations and potential need for infrastructure upgrade.
- These DCFC stations should be equitably distributed to allow consumers the greatest access to charging infrastructure – both along highways and also at locations suitable for multi-unit dwelling residents or those without garage parking to utilize.
- These charging stations should be supported by a grant program that will provide for the make-ready installation of the charging station infrastructure. A national bidding process should be established to provide the physical charging station, in order to best leverage the public and private dollars and maximize the deployment of charging stations.
- Any charging stations deployed along highways should be installed at a distance no greater than 0.5 miles from the highway.
- All charging stations should be equipped with a minimum payment standard that is convenient for consumers of all income levels, such as card readers, and should not require a registration to membership in a private network.
- In providing access to adequate charging infrastructure, every effort should be made to keep charging costs lower than an equivalent gallon of gasoline cost, especially for low-income drivers and those who can’t access low-cost charging each night. To save money, consumers should have a choice to self-manage their charging or automate charging through a network. Policies on networks should seek low cost solutions through a technology and business model neutral approach.
- The DOT should establish a working group with utilities to ensure adequate coverage of charging stations across the country.
- Modify the definition of a vending machine to allow for EV charging stations at rest stops along highways.
- Finalize EV signage standards.
- Establish an interagency working group to propose and jointly establish an alternative to the gasoline tax for funding roads and highways as EV adoption grows.
Specifically, at the Department of Energy (DOE), we urge the DOE to re-establish American leadership on clean energy technology RD&D by adopting the following bold policies:
- Increase funding to battery research, including recycling of batteries.
- Establish a nationwide battery recycling working group to develop a strategy for the second use of batteries and ultimate recycling of EV batteries.
- Encourage American manufacturing and competitiveness with the global EV industry through increased funding available to refurbish factories to manufacture EVs and supply chain components, setting up priorities for key components like batteries.
Specifically, at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), we urge the EPA to promote clean air and encourage the adoption of EVs among consumers by adopting the following bold policies:
- Restore the California waiver granted under Sec. 209 of the Clean Air Act to establish stronger emission standards, thus enabling additional states to adopt the California Advanced Clean Cars Program.
- Re-establish strong fuel economy and greenhouse gas emission standards for passenger cars and light trucks.
- Revise the federal renewable fuels standard (RFS) to be a clean fuels standard that is fuel neutral and rewards many low-carbon pathways (well-to-wheel) including grid electricity and cleaner electricity from 100% renewable sources.
- The credits generated from residential electricity should primarily benefit EV drivers, while non-residential electricity should benefit owners of the charging stations.
Specifically for the 117th Congress, we urge Congress to pass the following bold policies:
- Promote clean air and encourage adoption of EVs among consumers:
- Uncap the Section 30D federal EV tax credit to work for more drivers for a longer period of time.
- This credit should be phased out in 2027, or at a market penetration of 20% plug in electric vehicles, whichever is sooner.
- The credit should be modified to be fully transferable, enabling a point of sale incentive.
- All BEVs and PHEVs with a minimum battery capacity of 20kWh should be eligible for the credit.
- Only vehicles with an MSRP of $60,000 or less should be eligible to receive the credit.
- Create a new credit for buyers of used EVs, providing more options to consumers who are low-income.
- Pass a “Cash for Clunkers” style program, similar to the Clean Cars for America Act, to encourage drivers to retire their dirty polluting gas cars and instead reward them with an incentive to purchase a clean EV.
- Ensure that no punitive fees are placed on EV drivers.
- Uncap the Section 30D federal EV tax credit to work for more drivers for a longer period of time.
- Create shovel-ready jobs by accelerating EV infrastructure policies:
- Extend the Section 30C Alternative Fuel Vehicle Refueling Property Credit out to 2025, increase the cap per project allowed and allow the credit to be applicable to each station, not the “project”.
- Establish a grant program through the Department of Transportation to award grants to certain government entities and planning organizations to install make-ready EV infrastructure for DCFC stations both along highways and also at locations suitable for multi-unit dwelling residents or those without garage parking to utilize. This will lead to job opportunities for road workers, electricians, utilities and also meeting the needs of EV drivers with adequate highway charging.
- Lead by example in the transition to transportation electrification:
- Establish minimum targets for the acquisition of new vehicles to federal fleets to be EVs.
- Install charging infrastructure in the parking lots for House and Senate Members and staff as a part of an updated “Green the Capitol” Initiative and align the Capitol’s complex with the District of Columbia’s transportation electrification goals.
- Promote clean air through converting dirty buses to clean electric buses:
- Extend funding at $165M annually for FY2022-2025 for this competitive grant program for the purchase of electric transit buses and supporting infrastructure.
- Prepare for an electric transportation future and create new jobs in battery recycling:
- Establish a strong battery recycling program and lead the global effort on recycling batteries from EVs and bring jobs back to the U.S. in this sector.
- Encourage American manufacturing and competitiveness with the global EV industry.
- Enable electric utility involvement in the transportation electrification sector.
- Amend section 111(d) of the Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act of 1978 to require States to consider authorizing measures to encourage deployment of EV charging stations, including authorizing recovery of capital investments in equipment to enable deployment of an EV charging network by utilities, and allowing other private or public entities that are not regulated electric utilities to sell electricity to the public only through EV chargers.
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About Plug In America
Plug In America is the nation’s leading independent consumer voice for accelerating the use of plug-in electric vehicles in the United States. Formed as a non-profit in 2008, Plug In America provides practical, objective information collected from our coalition of plug-in vehicle drivers, through public outreach and education, policy work and a range of technical advisory services. Our expertise represents the world’s deepest pool of experience of driving and living with plug-in vehicles. We drive electric. You can too. PlugInAmerica.org