The Policy Institute’s Austin Brown, Kelly Fleming and Hannah Safford explore the available technologies and key challenges for electrification of the transportation sector in a recent review on electric vehicles (EV). Current climate studies showing greenhouse gas emissions on the rise require decarbonization within the transportation industry, the largest source of GHG emissions, to offset the worst consequences of climate change. Deep decarbonization will require complete or near-complete electrification of road transport
Progress on EV technology and consumerism for light, medium and heavy-duty vehicles are dependent on the diversification of available EV models, automakers increased investments in EV sales, and market equity inputs among lower-income populations. Policy analyst, Kelly Fleming, explains that “as batteries become more affordable and more options for light-duty EVs are rolled out for consumers, like vans, SUVs, pickup trucks, and crossovers, we expect to see an increased rate of adoption of EVs by consumers. To make EVs accessible to consumers, investment in infrastructure is necessary, and policies must be designed to incentivize consumers away from fossil fuel vehicles and towards electric vehicles. Our paper lays out policy options to make this transition, and to ensure it is equitable.”
The future of policy developments to improve deployment of diversified EVs may look like an increasing number of states adopting Zero-Emissions Vehicle (ZEV) mandates, following the state of California. It may also look like state and local governments adopting measures that would implement new mobility services to go electric, or increasing rebates and incentives to make EVs available to a wider population of buyers.
Regional planning efforts for EV charging infrastructure will require more chargers at workplaces, commercial properties, in public spaces and along major transportation corridors. Policymakers can support the strategic placement of new charging stations through supplementing private industries with financial incentives and using government to encourage renewable energy sources to grow a share of electricity supply.
Read the full review.