The Commonwealth of Virginia has released their 2018 Energy Plan [PDF] which includes recommendations for electric vehicles and advanced transportation.
The report notes that there are approximately 11,000 Plug-in Electric Vehicles registered in Virginia. This is about 0.14 percent of all passenger vehicles in the state. There are 62 public DC fast-charging locations that are concentrated in different areas of the state.
The report says that the lack of an accessible statewide DC fast-charging network is a major barrier to the growth of the EV market because it “restricts drivers’ ability to take longer trips and limits the utility and attractiveness of EVs, especially for any household without the ability to charge at home.”
Virginia was designated a beneficiary in the Volkswagen Diesel Emission Mitigation Settlement and the report shares that some funds from the settlement were used to award a contract to EVgo to create a public charging network to complement existing charging infrastructure. The priority will be to support high-speed DC fast charging located along heavily traveled corridors and metro areas across the state. Level 2 charging stations will also be installed statewide.
- The Commonwealth should adopt the Advanced Clean Cars (ACC) program. The ACC program includes both low-emission vehicle (LEV) standards as well as the Zero Emission Vehicles (ZEV) program. Adopting the LEV standards is especially important in light of recent federal action to roll back fuel efficiency standards, and a ZEV program would increase access to a wide range of EV models. Consumer access is linked to higher adoption rates and, as of 2015, 65% of nationwide EV sales occur in the nine states with a ZEV program.
- The Commonwealth should develop a comprehensive Virginia Transportation Electrification Action Plan and should include a goal for new electric vehicle-charging infrastructure by the end of 2021. A Transportation Electrification Action Plan could provide a more in-depth exploration of legislative, administrative, and public-private partnership opportunities to accelerate vehicle electrification. Through the stakeholder outreach process, the Commonwealth should also create an EV awareness marketing campaign to include an informational website and other marketing materials to promote the benefits of electric transportation.
- The Commonwealth should establish a Green Fleet Program and clean vehicle purchasing standards for state agencies. With an emphasis on its own fleet of vehicles, the Commonwealth should expand efforts for alternative fuel vehicles and work toward the electrification of public fleets across Virginia. To lower costs, the Commonwealth should also evaluate opportunities to provide joint procurement options for local governments.
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