ZETA’s Building Blocks for an All-Electric 2030
Feb. 3, 2021—The Zero Emission Transportation Association recently announced a federal roadmap that hopes to achieve all-electric vehicle sales by 2030.
First launched in November of 2020, ZETA is an industry-backed coalition, with more than 30 heavy-hitting founding members including Tesla, Xcel Energy, Arrival, Uber, Lithium Americas, Panasonic, Rivian, and more.
Now, just months after its creation, ZETA has crafted a six-part policy platform aimed at the widespread adoption of electric vehicles in order to create jobs, improve public health, and reduce carbon pollution.
The roadmap is broken down into six categories, each with proposed policies that the organization believes Congress should act upon for the betterment of the country and to “secure American leadership in this innovative space,” according to a press release.
Light-Duty EV Consumer Adoption
The first tenet of the roadmap hopes to increase the number of light-duty electric vehicles purchased by individuals through a variety of reimagined and incentivized programs. “Light-duty” vehicles are driven by everyday consumers for a multitude of reasons from work commutes to family road trips.
The first policy outlined in the roadmap calls for a reformation of the federal electric vehicle consumer credit. “The 200,000 unit-per-manufacturer cap disserves consumers, punishes early domestic electric vehicles leaders, and will increasingly advantage foreign manufacturers,” notes the roadmap.
Another suggested policy under this section covers a “vehicle retirement incentive” which would reward consumers who retire internal combustion vehicles for an electric vehicle.
Medium- and Heavy-Duty Electrification
The second pillar of the guide aims to improve environmental indicators by encouraging the electrification of fleet vehicles.
One way the roadmap suggests going about this is through the implementation of the Clean School Bus Act. According to ZETA, “The Clean School Bus Act will accelerate the electrification of school buses across the country by providing a billion dollars over five years to school districts to convert to zero emissions buses.”
The coalition is also recommending that Congress suspend the 12 percent federal excise tax that exists on zero-emission trucks to encourage public interest, in addition to a 30 percent investment tax credit for medium- and heavy-duty electric vehicles.
National Charging Initiative
The third pillar of the roadmap is also the most progressive, with a total of 10 proposed policies. The first proposed policy calls for Congress to approve a $30 billion investment over the course of 10 years into public electric vehicle supply equipment infrastructure.
Other goals from this segment include establishing model building codes for charging infrastructures and a federal definition of EV make-readies. According to ZETA, make-readies are known as electrical upgrades necessary to support charging equipment.
The third pillar also emphasizes a priority given to transportation electrification for frontline communities.
Encourage Domestic Manufacturing
To encourage domestic manufacturing, ZETA has proposed a variety of tax credits as well as the establishment of several government offices that cater to the electrification of transportation.
ZETA suggests the creation of both an Office of Industrial Transformation and an Office of Transportation Electrification to drive innovation, coordinate research, and reduce barriers to widespread electrification.
The fourth pillar also hopes Congress will create a domestic manufacturing tax credit by supporting the Biden Administration’s 10 percent advanceable tax credit, specifically for companies that invest and create jobs in America.
Performance and Emissions Standards
ZETA’s fifth strategy aims to implement standards for both emissions and clean fuel.
The coalition believes the Environmental Protection Agency should revitalize emission and performance standards to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and accelerate the adoption of electric vehicles.
This strategy also emphasizes the importance of decarbonizing transportation fuel to meet net-zero emissions, and recommends the creation of a federal clean fuel standard.
In order to achieve all-electric vehicle sales by 2030, ZETA believes the current administration should issue an executive order on two fronts.
The first, is to establish a transportation electrification coordinator within the Council on Environmental Quality or a new White House office dedicated to addressing climate change, according to the roadmap. Created in 1969 by the National Environmental Policy Act, the Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) exists to improve, preserve, and protect the country’s public health and environment.
The second part requests that all government agencies use their authority to advance the transition to electrical vehicles, including policy development, federal fleet adoption, and the utilization of travel and rental programs.