While they make a lot of headlines and create a lot of hype, electric vehicles are still miles away from becoming mainstream. And so a series of recently announced policies and programs are looking to accelerate that process in the U.S.
To be sure, EV adoption in America is on the rise. The latest sales figures from the Electric Drive Transportation Association show that the number of plug-in vehicles sold from January through September 2018 is up 64 percent over the same period last year. Last month marks the 36th month of consecutive year-over-year sales gains for plug-in vehicles.
Still, the U.S. lags behind Europe and China on EV adoption, and EVs make up a small fraction of total vehicle sales. California, the nation’s leading EV market by a long shot, still has a long way to go to reach its goal of 5 million zero-emissions vehicles on the road by 2030. And charging infrastructure remains a major hurdle.
“The world is moving to electrified transportation, but it’s not moving fast enough,” said Mary Nichols, head of the California Air Resources Board, on a press call last week. “We have the technology tools available, but as yet the market isn’t moving as quickly as we would like it to.”
So stakeholders aren’t sitting idle. Policymakers, utility regulators, automakers and other entities, in California and elsewhere, have taken several steps in recent weeks to grow the U.S. EV market. Here are 10 of the latest actions.