The future of EVs is undeniably bright, but the shift from traditional fossil fuel powered vehicles to electric vehicles is a disruptive force that requires significant adjustments to public policy. Since more EV drivers have hit the road over the past decade, federal, state, and local governments have already started to implement electric vehicle policies and legislation which affect consumers and business owners alike, from tax incentives to building regulations.
In the next decade, more electric vehicle policies will be required to account for the changes brought about by the increased adoption of electric vehicles. Here are some of the biggest policies on the horizon that will affect EV charging in the near future.
As of 2019, the United States’ electric vehicle policy offers a government tax credit of between $2,500 and $7,500 for purchasing a new electric vehicle. The size of the credit ultimately depends on a variety of factors, such as size, type, and efficiency. But this credit may not last forever.
Current electric vehicle legislation states that this federal tax credit will only be available for the first 200,000 electric vehicles sold from any given manufacturer (i.e. Ford, Toyota, etc.). This means that early adopters are more likely to benefit from this tax credit, while those who hold off on switching from a traditional fossil fuel vehicle may miss out.
As of this writing, Tesla vehicles will no longer qualify for the tax credit as of December 31, 2019, while Ford will no longer qualify in March of 2020. The credit for other makes may expire soon after.
Several states still have electric vehicle policies which provide tax credits for new EV purchases or other incentives, such as the ability to opt out of annual vehicle emissions testing and inspections, sales tax exemptions, and HOV lane access.
Financial incentives extend to EV charging, as well, with many states like California, Oregon, Indiana, and Delaware all offer tax rebates to help cover the cost of residential EV charging stations. In Utah, EV drivers are entitled to free charging at public EV charging stations.
Expansion of Charging Access
In some states, such as California, electric vehicle legislation has already been passed which mandates that new commercial and multi-unit dwellings include EV charging stations. In California, electric vehicle policies also require building managers and landlords to accommodate the requests of residents who live in their properties.
While California, Washington, and Oregon are passing legislation at the state level to expand EV charging station access, large cities throughout the country have announced commitments to expanding access, as well. For example, in Atlanta, all new residential homes and public parking facilities must accommodate electric vehicles. This includes designating 20 percent of all new parking spaces in commercial lots and garages to be EV-ready. All new residential homes built in the city limits must have the capability to install charging stations.
These electric vehicle policies are not only measures designed to encourage new EV drivers or promote sustainability programs; these are cost-saving measures based on studies which show that retrofitting spaces for EV charging stations is far more expensive than including EV-readiness in the building codes.
Government Vehicle Fleets
Many government-operated transit agencies across the country are in the process of switching their bus fleets from fossil fuel powered vehicles to hybrid or fully electric fleet vehicles over the next several years.
In Massachusetts, for example, the state’s electric vehicle legislation required to acquire hybrid-electric or alternative fuel vehicles as a rate of 5% annually. The goal was for 50% of all state vehicles to be HEVs or AFVs by 2018. Generally, new state vehicles must alternative fuel vehicles to the maximum extent feasible.
In Los Angeles, the city has committed to transitioning to an electric transit bus fleet by 2030, with electric buses replacing carbon-neutral gasoline powered-buses entirely. This electric vehicle policy extends to the surrounding transit agencies of Antelope Valley and San Bernardino.
Across the country, this is a trend that more cities and states are adopting each year. timeline for phasing out of gasoline powered buses and replacing them with electric buses will vary based on municipality, but the upfront hard costs of purchasing new electric buses, while significant, are estimated to be a cost-savings investment in the long run.
Studies show that electric bus fleets are more energy efficient and require less maintenance than traditional buses, and could therefore prove to be a prudent fiscal investment in addition to an eco-friendly one.
Navigate the Changing Landscape
At EVConnect, we understand the challenges associated with the rapidly changing EV landscape and the electric vehicle policies that shape it. Our team is here to help you navigate those challenges, adapt to those policies, and make the most of the opportunities that this new landscape presents.
It has been our priority from the beginning to develop our solutions to be flexible, which is why they are developed on open-standards and designed to be hardware agnostic. The result is a most powerful cloud-based platform which enables you to manage EV fleets and charging networks – whether you’re working from a commercial, enterprise, or government model.
It’s why we’re the EV charging management platform that clients like Yahoo!, Marriott, Hilton, Western Digital, Los Angeles Metropolitan Transportation Authority, New York Power Authority trust. Learn more by shooting us a message today, or by giving us a call at (888) 780-0062.