Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Plug In America Reports on EV Legislation

and here is their monthly newsletter in case you do not get it in your email which you should!  Keep your eye on the federal bills mentioned below and let's all think about the model state legislation coming out of California.  Dan Davids who is the hard-working president of Plug in America wrote what follows but I agree with it 100%.

The modest retrenchment of gasoline prices from recent highs comes as good news to consumers already stretched thin, but we at Plug In America remain convinced the overall cost trend for petroleum-based fuels is upward. In the face of rising worldwide demand and dwindling discoveries of new oil fields, hopes for a return to cheap gas are folly at worst and poor planning at best.

The solution, of course, is to get more plug-in vehicles on the road so that more people can enjoy the many benefits of driving electric, not the least of which is a dramatic reduction in fuel cost. The production hiccups caused by the Japan earthquake are quickly being corrected by Nissan and GM. The makers of the Leaf and Volt, respectively, say they’re on track to deliver all their 2011 production commitments. This is good news for the EV car segment.

This month’s newsletter shines the light on the activities of our ever-busy legislative arm. With EVs slated for delivery in more states, we’re seeing a significant increase in requests for our expertise in this area. If you haven’t officially joined Plug In America yet, please consider doing so today. Your donation helps us continue this vital policy work across the country.

Thank you for supporting the cause of plug-in vehicles.

Dan Davids

Legislative Update

Plug In America’s legislative team, which has helped shape some of the country’s most EV-friendly public policy, has been following several new bills and EV incentives-in-the-making.  Led by board member/Legislative Director Jay Friedland, the team has been meeting with lawmakers’ staffs to keep momentum moving in the right direction. These issues are expected to come to a head this summer. Stay tuned. When the time is right, we’ll ask our members to ask their representatives to show support for these crucial measures.

Here’s what’s up:

In the U.S. Senate:
Charging America Forward Act, S298, Sen. Debbie Stabinow (D-Mich.): Would raise from 200,000 to 500,000 the number of EVs eligible to receive the existing $7,500 tax credit. Also converts the tax credit into a rebate, similar to that in the Cash for Clunkers program.

In the U.S. House of Representatives:
Electric Drive Vehicle Deployment Act of 2011, HR 1685: A bipartisan effort driven by the Electrification Coalition to create 10 geographic regions across the U. S. which would receive increased support for EV infrastructure ($300 million per region) and boost the $7,500 EV credit for to $9,500 for the first additional 500,000 drivers.

Also just introduced in the House is another bipartisan bill, the Open Fuel Standard Act, which would require that 50 percent of new automobiles in 2014, 80 percent in 2016 and 95 percent in 2017 be warranted to operate on nonpetroleum fuels in addition to or instead of petroleum-based fuels. Electricity is one of the key nonpetroleum fuel technologies specified in this bill.

We are also working hard to make sure that the federal incentives for EV charging infrastructure and 2-3 wheeled plug-in vehicles are extended before they expire at the end of the year.

At the State Level in California:
SB209, Senate Majority Leader Ellen M. Corbett (D-San Leandro): Prevents condo homeowners associations from denying residents to install chargers. Modeled after legislation that Plug In America helped to pass in Hawaii. Click here to see a video of the recent panel that Plug In America convened on EV charging for multifamily housing.

SB730, Sen. Christine Kehoe (D-San Diego): Accelerates the permitting process for EV charger installations.

AB475, Assemblymember Betsy Butler (53rd District): Gives plug-in hybrid EV drivers the vehicle sticker (now awarded only to EV drivers) needed to use public chargers and parking spaces.

We’re also watching:
California Energy Commission funding for EV projects and infrastructure, and actively participating in the California Air Resources Board’s (CARB) efforts to renew the Clean Vehicle Program, which provides the rebates of up to $5,000 for new EVs. These rebates are slated for a three-fold increase in overall funding but individual rebates would likely be cut in half by the end of summer. This would mean that nearly six times as many cars would be eligible for the incentive.

EV road taxes, which are being considered in several states including Washington, Oregon, Texas and Minnesota. While EV owners want to pay their fair share, we see this as a troubling trend of dis-incentivizing plug-ins at the very time we should be increasing incentives. A fair way to address this issue would be to base a fee—for all vehicles—on Vehicle Miles Traveled (VMT) and vehicle weight. Meanwhile, any EV road tax should be waived until a substantial number of EVs are on the road.

APA Planning Conference

There’s an old axiom, “Fail to plan, plan to fail.” When it comes to rolling out charging infrastructure for electric vehicles, Plug In America is doing its part to ensure that failure is not an option. President Dan Davids spoke recently at the National Conference of the American Planning Association in Boston. His topic was best practices and lessons learned around the installation of EV infrastructure (EVI).

Based on the groundbreaking work done last year in Washington that produced “Electric Vehicle Infrastructure: A Guide for Local Governments,” coupled with Plug In America’s real-world experience with charging installed under CARB’s legacy Zero Emissions Vehicle program, urban planners were treated to both theory and practice.

The session in Boston was well received, with municipalities from a number of cities contacting Plug In America for more information. Fleshing out a fuller presentation, Dan has assembled a rogue’s gallery of photographs of public charging stations, good and bad. He’ll be sharing them at a meeting of the U.S. Green Building Council in Spokane Washington this month. If you come across a new charging station that you particularly like or dislike, take a picture, tell us why, and send it to dan@pluginamerica.org.

Nissan Leaf - official pace car for the 2011 Boston Marathon

Plug In America On the Road
Plug In America co-founder Paul Scott will speak on June 14 at Automotive News magazine’s Green Car Conference in Novi, Mich. Paul will be joined by what the leading trade journal calls some of the other “most influential leaders in area of sustainability in the automotive world.” These experts include Tony Posawatz,
Vehicle Line Director, Chevrolet Volt and Global Electric Vehicle Development,
General Motors; Nancy Gioia, Director,
 Global Electrification,
 Ford Motor Company; and Bill Reinert,
 National Alternative Fuel Vehicle Manager, Toyota Motor Sales, USA.

No comments: