FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 08/12/2021
Richmond, Virginia – This morning, Zero Emission Transportation Association (ZETA) Vice President Andres Hoyos joined Virginia State Senator Jennifer Boysko, Delegate Mark Keam, Virginia League of Conservation Voters Deputy Director Lee Francis, and other business leaders for a virtual press conference to call for significant national investments in electric vehicles (EVs) and clean transportation infrastructure.
“The Senate’s passage of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act was an important first step, but further funding through the budget reconciliation process is needed to win the EV market,” said Hoyos. “These policies will greatly benefit Virginia, which has disproportionately high transportation-sector emissions and stands to add thousands of good-paying jobs as the EV market expands.”
Virginia’s transportation sector accounts for at least 45% of the Commonwealth’s greenhouse gas emissions. A study found that this pollution adds $23 billion in social welfare costs each year to the state, realized through increased healthcare costs and reduced labor productivity. An additional study calculated that Virginia experienced 485 premature deaths in 2016 due to ozone and fine particulate matter emitted by the transportation sector.
A recent report from the Georgetown Climate Center found that increasing accessibility to EVs statewide will reduce Virginia’s emissions by some 48 million metric tons by 2040. That is equivalent to removing more than 10 million internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles from Virginia’s roads for an entire year, illustrating why decarbonizing Virginia’s transportation sector presents an unparalleled opportunity to fight climate change.
Policies to incentivize EV sales and manufacturing will galvanize an economic boon in Virginia, too. As of 2020, Virginia employs 5,245 workers in the clean vehicle industry. Incentivizing EV adoption would create nearly 30,000 jobs in Virginia (relative to business-as-usual) – multiplying the rate of employment in this sector almost six times over.
“Legislators in Virginia recognize the threats to our health and economy from climate change, and we took decisive action to incentivize investments in electric vehicles and the infrastructure needed to support electric vehicles,” said Senator Boysko. “We took those steps because we recognize the moral imperative of fighting climate change and also the benefits from creating good jobs.”
Congress has the opportunity to play an outsized role in expanding the domestic EV market. To maximize public benefits as the EV market grows, the federal government must expand EV consumer incentives through the budget reconciliation process. The existing 30D tax credit’s per-manufacturer cap should be removed, and these credits should apply at the point-of-sale, rather than on the following year’s tax return. Both new and used EVs should be eligible, and these consumer incentives should not be burdened by manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP) or adjusted gross income (AGI) caps, which will deter EV adoption, limit the growth of the used EV market, and slow down our fight against climate change. Consumer incentives have been proven to accelerate the adoption rate of EVs, and they will make EVs more accessible to Americans of all incomes.
"As Virginians face dire threats of climate change, their state legislature recently responded with a wide range of policy changes, including promoting electric vehicles," said Delegate Keam. "As we push for an ambitious plan to transition to a clean energy economy, we need the industry and the federal government to partner with our state to ensure that Virginia remains on the right path."
The Zero Emission Transportation Association (ZETA) is a federal coalition focused on advocating for 100% EV sales by 2030. ZETA is committed to enacting policies that drive EV adoption, create hundreds of thousands of jobs, secure American global EV manufacturing dominance, drastically improve public health, and significantly reduce carbon pollution.