The governors of eight states, including Maryland, signed a memorandum to put 3.3 million zero-emission vehicles on the road within a dozen years. The governors of California, Connecticut, Massachusetts, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island and Vermont also signed the agreement. These eight states comprise nearly 25 percent of the U.S. vehicle market.
The goal of the initiative is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions country-wide in a cooperative effort that will also improve air quality, public health, and create clean energy alternatives. Zero-emission electric vehicles, as defined by the memorandum, include battery-electric vehicles, plug-in hybrid-electric vehicles and hydrogen fuel-cell electric vehicles. The memorandum also calls for greater and more comprehensive EV infrastructure, such as charging stations. Maryland already has a robust tax policy in place to supplement the purchasing of EV charging stations.
Governor Brown of California said the initiative is “not just an agreement, but a serious and profoundly important commitment. From coast to coast, we’re charging ahead to get millions of the world’s cleanest vehicles on our roads.” The initiative also requires the facilitation of easy installation of EV charging stations in new buildings, the implementation of zero emission EVs in car fleets, and standardized signage and charging systems, as well as the consideration of lowered electricity rates for home charging stations.
The initiative is feasible, with 17,000 electric vehicles bought in 2011 and over 40,000 plug-in cars alone purchased in the first half of this year. Once range-anxiety around electric vehicles is reduced through public EV infrastructure implementation, there should be smooth sailing. Or car buying.
Baltimore already hosts a growing network of charging stations, through the ChargePoint network, including chargers located in nine city-owned garages. The city also introduced curbside chargers in September of this year, to greater facilitate electric vehicle usage.