RELEASE: How States Can Encourage the Use of Electric Vehicles

Washington, D.C. — As states take on an increased leadership role promoting electric vehicles, a new report from the Center for American Progress outlines what policies are effective at putting more of these vehicles on the road.

Overall, the report finds that financial incentives for charging infrastructure are some of the most effective ways to influence the share of plug-in electric vehicles in a given state. Other key findings include:

  • Excluding California, the zero-emission vehicle mandate is the best predictor of states with high plug-in electric vehicle market shares.
  • Financial incentives for vehicles, such as rebates and tax credits, are very effective.
  • Free high-occupancy vehicle (HOV) lane access is useful—but less so outside of California.
  • On average, state government fleet acquisition requirements are poor predictors of government fleet market share; however, in some cases they have proven effective.
  • Eliminating emissions testing fees or licensing fees does little to increase sales.
  • Policies that are aimed at raising revenue for infrastructure by increasing licensing fees do so without inhibiting market growth.

Widespread use of plug-in electric vehicles can improve air quality and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Yet these vehicles currently comprise only 1 percent of new vehicle registrations.

“While federal policies have laid the foundation for helping increase the number of electric vehicles, state policies also play a critical role,” said Lia Cattaneo, a research associate for Energy and Environment Policy at CAP and the author of the report.

Read the report: “Plug-In Electric Vehicle Policy: Evaluating the Effectiveness of State Policies for Increasing Deployment” by Lia Cattaneo.

For more information or to talk to an expert, please contact Sam Hananel at shananel@americanprogress.org or 202.478.6327.