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CLIMATE MITIGATION

CLIMATE MITIGATION

Electric Vehicle Policies in the United States

All data is analyzed at the state scale and collected/verified as of August 2023.

Over the Spring and Summer of 2023, the Climate Mitigation team has been working on creating a map depicting electric vehicle (EV) policy progress across the US. The electric vehicle movement has boomed over the course of the last half decade, and we decided to evaluate its progress in legislation across the country. We chose to analyze the variation in state policies regarding EVs in order to assess where efforts can best be spent to improve overall EV usage. We chose to use quantifiable data that could be compared at the state level. By looking at each state, we can begin to understand how each state is currently playing a role in the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, and the gaps we must fill in to make greater change.

Anthropogenic climate change is largely a product of fossil fuel combustion, and the oil used to fuel vehicles contributes greatly to the impact that humans have on the planet. Electric vehicles, or EVs, are important in reducing greenhouse gasses and mitigating the effect that humanity has on the climate. We aim to provide an analysis of the implementation of EVs and EV policies at the state scale in the US. By looking at each state, we can begin to understand how different state legislatures are addressing climate change and geographically target the regions that need EV legislation improvements the most.

EVs have both benefits and drawbacks. The biggest difference between gas and electric vehicles is their source of electricity. While gas-powered vehicles run on gas, EVs run on a charged battery. They emit fewer greenhouse gasses, are energy efficient, and can cost less long-term. However, the batteries used in EVs contain rare metals, which has led electric car companies to turn to deep sea mining. This process would lead to irreversible habitat loss for deep sea creatures and is currently (as of Sept. 2023) halted. In order to ensure both the feasibility and success of EVs, more work needs to be done in battery reform. Despite the drawbacks, there is potential for EVs aiding in the transition away from fossil fuels, and we saw a need for an in-depth analysis on the geographic standings of EV policies within the US.

On the map, each state is one of three colors based on the strength of their EV policies and their quality of EV implementation: red, yellow, and green. To categorize the states based on their EV support, we devised a point system. We researched many factors with some including energy supply policies, transportation policies, and deductions for EVs. If the quality being measured matched the criteria we set then the state received a point, with 9 being the highest score and 0 being the lowest. States that scored 7-9 have advanced EV policy and are green, 3-6 points signify poor EV policy and are yellow, and 0-2 points indicate no/inadequate EV policy and are red. All of the data we collected was verified as of August, 2023.

By producing a data-driven map, we aim to raise awareness about electric vehicles and their impacts. Looking at each state individually enables us to prioritize electric vehicle efforts through a geospatial lens and generate more localized solutions. 

Variation in state progress in EV policy could be influenced by numerous factors with some potentially being size, political affiliation, and accessibility to resources. This map depicts solely a data analysis of the state of state progress in EV policies and the metrics used do not account for the potential explanations for the differences in policy.

At the end of the day, climate change can not be stopped by one solution or state alone. To make the greatest change, we need to understand where we are now and how we can improve. While electric vehicles may be just one solution to reducing greenhouse gas emissions, they are a positive step in the direction towards progress.

Metrics used:

  • Energy policy (1 point)

    • Criteria: Major government policy actions relating to renewable energy including clean energy targets and renewable portfolio standards (1 point), none present (0 points)

    • Significance: In order for productive environmental change to take place, the first order would be to introduce policy that reflects the major issues the world faces in the realm of climate change. Efforts aimed at renewable energy result in new jobs created, stimulating economic growth while at the same time looking after the environment.

    • Source: https://ccci.berkeley.edu/states-climate-action-map 

  • Transportation policy (1 point)

    • Criteria: Major government policy actions relating to reducing greenhouse gas emissions from the transportation sector including zero-emission vehicle mandates and low carbon fuel standards (1 point) or none present (0 points)

    • Significance: The transportation sector is one of the largest contributors of greenhouse gas emissions, accounting for 28% of the total emissions in the United States. By committing to zero-emissions vehicle policies, this would significantly reduce the and less costly, however one of the biggest complaints of EVs are the availability of charging stations thus adding stress to people driving distances farther than the range of the car who need to charge their car’s batteries. There has been a push to improve infrastructure for the new green generation with charging stations being a major part of the movement.

    • Source:

EV Stations per state: https://afdc.energy.gov/stations/states

  • Consumer incentives: rebates (1 point)

    • Criteria: Existence of rebates aimed at consumers on a state level for alternative fuels and advanced vehicles (1 point) or none present (0 points)

    • Significance: The rapid rise of alternative energy has led citizens to question the reliability and effectiveness. As an incentive for consumers to favor this new policy, rebates have been extended to make alternative fuels more attractive. 

    • Source: https://afdc.energy.gov/laws/state 

  • Consumer incentives: deductions (1 point)

    • Criteria: Existence of deductions or tax credits aimed at consumers on a state level for alternative fuels and advanced vehicles (1 point) or none present (0 points)

    • Significance: Similar to rebates, deductions give citizens the opportunity to receive a tax credit or deduction for purchasing new, green technology or an electric vehicle. This is a tool for more buy-in on the newer technologies offered by states.

    • Source: https://afdc.energy.gov/laws/state 

  • Population per EV charging station (2 points)

    • Criteria: Census Population divided by the number of public charging stations. Lowest ⅓ (2 points) Middle ⅓ (1 point) Highest ⅓ (0 points)

    • Significance: This measures the amount of people per each charging station. Electric vehicles are becoming more available, so the amount of charging stations needs to rise proportionally.

  • Rigid implementation of policy (3 points)

  • Criteria: ZEV & LEV STANDARD AND PURCHASE INCENTIVES (3 points),
    LEV & ZEV STANDARDS or LEV STANDARD AND PURCHASE INCENTIVES (2 points), PURCHASE INCENTIVES (1 point) and none present (0 points)

  • Significance: In order to carry out policy, standards must be put into place that explicitly outline action plans that can be enforced. ZEV & LEV (zero and low emission vehicle) standards provide a specific guideline for how to construct a ZEV & LEVs and become properly classified as such, removing nuisance from the subject and making it more comprehensive to those on the latter half of the implementation process. Purchase incentives remain important in implementation since they reduce financial barriers present in purchasing EVs, making them directly beneficial in the distribution of electric vehicles. While these are not the only hallmarks of rigid implementations of policy, they are the quantifiable, readily available metrics that we used in our map assessment. 

  • Source: https://www.c2es.org/document/us-state-clean-vehicle-policies-and-incentives/

Metrics Used

    • Criteria: Major government policy actions relating to renewable energy including clean energy targets and renewable portfolio standards (1 point), none present (0 points)

    • Significance: In order for productive environmental change to take place, the first order would be to introduce policy that reflects the major issues the world faces in the realm of climate change. Efforts aimed at renewable energy result in new jobs created, stimulating economic growth while at the same time looking after the environment.

    Source: https://ccci.berkeley.edu/states-climate-action-map

    • Criteria: Major government policy actions relating to reducing greenhouse gas emissions from the transportation sector including zero-emission vehicle mandates and low carbon fuel standards (1 point) or none present (0 points)

    • Significance: The transportation sector is one of the largest contributors of greenhouse gas emissions, accounting for 28% of the total emissions in the United States. By committing to zero-emissions vehicle policies, this would significantly reduce the and less costly, however one of the biggest complaints of EVs are the availability of charging stations thus adding stress to people driving distances farther than the range of the car who need to charge their car’s batteries. There has been a push to improve infrastructure for the new green generation with charging stations being a major part of the movement.

    Source:

    • Criteria: ZEV & LEV STANDARD AND PURCHASE INCENTIVES (3 points),
      LEV & ZEV STANDARDS or LEV STANDARD AND PURCHASE INCENTIVES (2 points), PURCHASE INCENTIVES (1 point) and none present (0 points)

    • Significance: In order to carry out policy, standards must be put into place that explicitly outline action plans that can be enforced. ZEV & LEV (zero and low emission vehicle) standards provide a specific guideline for how to construct a ZEV & LEVs and become properly classified as such, removing nuisance from the subject and making it more comprehensive to those on the latter half of the implementation process. Purchase incentives remain important in implementation since they reduce financial barriers present in purchasing EVs, making them directly beneficial in the distribution of electric vehicles. While these are not the only hallmarks of rigid implementations of policy, they are the quantifiable, readily available metrics that we used in our map assessment.

    Source: https://www.c2es.org/document/us-state-clean-vehicle-policies-and-incentives/​​

    • Criteria: Existence of rebates aimed at consumers on a state level for alternative fuels and advanced vehicles (1 point) or none present (0 points)

    • Significance: The rapid rise of alternative energy has led citizens to question the reliability and effectiveness. As an incentive for consumers to favor this new policy, rebates have been extended to make alternative fuels more attractive.

     

    Source: https://afdc.energy.gov/laws/state

    • Criteria: Existence of deductions or tax credits aimed at consumers on a state level for alternative fuels and advanced vehicles (1 point) or none present (0 points)

    • Significance: Similar to rebates, deductions give citizens the opportunity to receive a tax credit or deduction for purchasing new, green technology or an electric vehicle. This is a tool for more buy-in on the newer technologies offered by states.

    Source: https://afdc.energy.gov/laws/state

    • Criteria: Census Population divided by the number of public charging stations. Lowest ⅓ (2 points) Middle ⅓ (1 point) Highest ⅓ (0 points)

    • Significance: This measures the amount of people per each charging station. Electric vehicles are becoming more available, so the amount of charging stations needs to rise proportionally.

    • Criteria: Major government policy actions relating to renewable energy including clean energy targets and renewable portfolio standards (1 point), none present (0 points)

    • Significance: In order for productive environmental change to take place, the first order would be to introduce policy that reflects the major issues the world faces in the realm of climate change. Efforts aimed at renewable energy result in new jobs created, stimulating economic growth while at the same time looking after the environment.

    Source: https://ccci.berkeley.edu/states-climate-action-map

    • Criteria: Major government policy actions relating to reducing greenhouse gas emissions from the transportation sector including zero-emission vehicle mandates and low carbon fuel standards (1 point) or none present (0 points)

    • Significance: The transportation sector is one of the largest contributors of greenhouse gas emissions, accounting for 28% of the total emissions in the United States. By committing to zero-emissions vehicle policies, this would significantly reduce the and less costly, however one of the biggest complaints of EVs are the availability of charging stations thus adding stress to people driving distances farther than the range of the car who need to charge their car’s batteries. There has been a push to improve infrastructure for the new green generation with charging stations being a major part of the movement.

    Source:

    • Criteria: Existence of rebates aimed at consumers on a state level for alternative fuels and advanced vehicles (1 point) or none present (0 points)

    • Significance: The rapid rise of alternative energy has led citizens to question the reliability and effectiveness. As an incentive for consumers to favor this new policy, rebates have been extended to make alternative fuels more attractive.

     

    Source: https://afdc.energy.gov/laws/state

    • Criteria: Existence of deductions or tax credits aimed at consumers on a state level for alternative fuels and advanced vehicles (1 point) or none present (0 points)

    • Significance: Similar to rebates, deductions give citizens the opportunity to receive a tax credit or deduction for purchasing new, green technology or an electric vehicle. This is a tool for more buy-in on the newer technologies offered by states.

    Source: https://afdc.energy.gov/laws/state

    • Criteria: Census Population divided by the number of public charging stations. Lowest ⅓ (2 points) Middle ⅓ (1 point) Highest ⅓ (0 points)

    • Significance: This measures the amount of people per each charging station. Electric vehicles are becoming more available, so the amount of charging stations needs to rise proportionally.

    • Criteria: ZEV & LEV STANDARD AND PURCHASE INCENTIVES (3 points),
      LEV & ZEV STANDARDS or LEV STANDARD AND PURCHASE INCENTIVES (2 points), PURCHASE INCENTIVES (1 point) and none present (0 points)

    • Significance: In order to carry out policy, standards must be put into place that explicitly outline action plans that can be enforced. ZEV & LEV (zero and low emission vehicle) standards provide a specific guideline for how to construct a ZEV & LEVs and become properly classified as such, removing nuisance from the subject and making it more comprehensive to those on the latter half of the implementation process. Purchase incentives remain important in implementation since they reduce financial barriers present in purchasing EVs, making them directly beneficial in the distribution of electric vehicles. While these are not the only hallmarks of rigid implementations of policy, they are the quantifiable, readily available metrics that we used in our map assessment.

    Source: https://www.c2es.org/document/us-state-clean-vehicle-policies-and-incentives/​​

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