On this Earth Day, the Zero Emission Transportation Association looks back on more than two years of progress from its inception in late 2020.
A lot has changed in this time. With the historic passage of the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA), the electric vehicle (EV) industry now has the foundation for public infrastructure to meet private investment to increase EV deployment. The IIJA includes the development and implementation of the National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Formula Program (NEVI) and the Charging and Fueling Infrastructure (CFI) Discretionary Grant Program, which will release a combined $7.5 billion to develop a national electric vehicle (EV) charging network. It also includes support for school districts that have helped deploy more than 1,000 electric school buses in 2022, with another 4,000 expected to drive our kids to school by the end of this year. Meanwhile, public investment in the domestic critical mineral and battery supply chains have sparked more than $200 billion of private investment, potentially creating thousands of good-paying American jobs.
Simultaneously, the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) is making EVs more accessible to American drivers and growing American manufacturing. The law’s update to the Clean Vehicle Tax Credit has allowed drivers to apply the credit to some of the most popular EV models again—more than 95% of the new EVs sold in Q1 2023 are currently eligible for the tax incentive. It also created a tax credit to support drivers in the market for a used EV. Because of these changes, manufacturers are working overtime to onshore and “friendshore” their supply chains to ensure their vehicles meet the Clean Vehicle Credit’s eligibility requirements going forward.
There is even more to come. EPA’s proposal to strengthen vehicle emission standards will drive more investment in zero-emission vehicles, and provisions in the IRA for advanced manufacturing and charging are also working their way through the implementation process.
Although transportation continues to be the top source of greenhouse gas emissions in the United States, dramatic policy shifts over the past few years are a major step toward drastically reducing emissions to mitigate the climate crisis and positively impact public health. The collective efforts of policymakers and workers across the EV supply chain are driving change—from an increase in EVs on the road and charging station availability to the creation of hundreds of thousands of American jobs throughout the country. We are excited to celebrate this progress on Earth Day and reaffirm our commitment to a cleaner, healthier future.