R.I. among states adding zero-emission car incentives

Rhode Island and seven other states aiming to get more than three million zero-emission vehicles on the road in the next decade, unveiled steps to help achieve that goal including harmonizing consumer incentives and encouraging fleet purchases. More

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R.I. among states adding zero-emission car incentives

Posted 5/29/14

LOS ANGELES – Rhode Island and seven other states aiming to get more than three million zero-emission vehicles on the road in the next decade unveiled steps to help achieve that goal including harmonizing consumer incentives and encouraging fleet purchases.

The eight-state coalition, which also includes California, Connecticut, Maryland, Massachusetts, Oregon, New York and Vermont, said in a report Thursday that they plan reciprocity agreements for non-monetary enticements, such as carpool lane access and preferential parking for ZEVs, and will lobby the U.S. to extend tax credits for rechargeable and hydrogen autos. They’ll also encourage installation of workplace chargers and the use of uniform refueling-station signs.

“Creating a strong and robust market for zero-emission vehicles is critically important to the success of clean-energy technologies,” New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said in a statement Thursday. “This action plan will help develop the infrastructure and coordinated policies we need” to reach the goal of 3.3 million ZEVs on highways by 2025, he said.

Measures to coordinate incentives for buyers of ZEVs were a missing component when the states, which account for about a quarter of U.S. auto sales, announced their combined volume target in October. The new enticements also complement California’s mandate to cut automotive carbon emissions and stricter U.S. fuel-economy rules that are already prodding carmakers to offer more efficient models.

A timetable for introducing the new measures wasn’t disclosed in the report.

Fuel cells

U.S. sales of plug-in hybrids, including General Motors Co.’s Chevrolet Volt, and battery-only cars, such as Nissan Motor Co.’s Leaf hatchback, have risen 26 percent this year through April to 31,027, according to HybridCars.com’s monthly Dashboard.

Consumer demand for ZEVs, which include plug-in hybrid, battery and hydrogen fuel-cell cars, hasn’t been as robust as some expect, Adam Jonas, an equity analyst for Morgan Stanley, said in a research report on Wednesday.

A few years ago, forecasts for global electric vehicle penetration were as high as 5 percent or 10 percent by 2020, Jonas said. “From today’s perspective, we think penetration in the 1 percent range would be respectable.”

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