A coalition of eight U.S. states, including California, New York, Connecticut, Maryland, Massachusetts, Oregon, Vermont and Rhode Island – are working together to make sure the infrastructure for electric and fuel cell powered cars is in place. Their aim is to have 3.3 million such vehicles on the road in 10 years, though the initial focus will be on building public recharging stations for EVs and hydrogen distribution points for fuel cell cars.
That last goal is important, because no one really knows how the car industry will evolve over the next decade. The US government is offering huge incentives for buyers of hybrid and electric cars, but not for fuel cell vehicles, at least not yet. The automakers are making enormous bets on what kind of vehicles will finally break the nation’s dependence on fossil fuels.
Toyota in particular is bullish on hydrogen fuel cell vehicles, launching their first one next year while discontinuing a battery deal with Tesla Motors. Hyundai also wants to bring hydrogen fuel cell vehicles to market soon, but electric cars like the Nissan Leaf will make up a bulk of the 3.3 million ZEVs the states want on roads in the next decade. The 8 state coalition has laid out 11 steps, divided into three areas, on how to promote electric, hybrid, and hydrogen vehicles.
Build the market
- Promote the availability and effective marketing of ZEVs
- Encourage private fleets to acquire ZEVs
- Promote planning and investment in ZEV infrastructure
- Increase the number of ZEVs in government vehicle fleets
Provide consistent codes, standards and tracking
- Remove barriers to charging station installation
- Provide clear and uniform signage
- Track and report progress toward the 3.3 million vehicle goal
Improve the experience
- Promote workplace charging
- Provide consumer incentives for the purchase of ZEVs
- Remove barriers to retail sale of electricity as vehicle fuel
- Promote access and compatibility for charging networks
I actually like the approach the states are taking. One of the primary roles of government is to provide infrastructure, and rather than backing one technology over another – like 8 tracks over cassettes or laser discs over DVD’s – they are planning to support all the current alternatives, and let the market decide.
The automakers are hedging their bets. How about you? What will be the dominate alternative to gasoline in 2025?
Source: The Detroit News