Light-Duty EV Consumer Adoption

Press Release: Zero Emission Transportation Association Publishes Robust Analysis on EV Consumer Incentives As Build Back Better Act Negotiations Continue

October 4, 2021

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 10/04/2021

Washington, D.C. – Today, the Zero Emission Transportation Association (ZETA) published a white paper focused on the importance of electric vehicle (EV) consumer incentives. The paper examines the current U.S. auto market, consumer preferences and perceptions about EVs, and EV market projections. The paper then details the history of EV incentives with case studies illustrating the success of incentives, and  it shares recommendations for policymakers.

“The United States is at a critical crossroads to reduce emissions and reboot the economy. Electric vehicles (EVs) can provide a pathway to meet both goals, but will require comprehensive and bold policy action,” said Joe Britton, ZETA’s Executive Director. “The most effective policy tool that lawmakers have to accelerate EV adoption is consumer purchase incentives. Case studies in Norway, Germany, China, and the U.S. show how effective these incentives can be—the more robust the incentives, the higher the market share is for EVs, and when incentives are phased out too early, the market share declines.” 

Consumer incentives have been proven to accelerate the adoption rate of EVs. To further increase the rate of EV adoption in the United States, the white paper recommends that the existing 30D tax credit’s per-manufacturer cap should be removed, which will further increase the sale of popular models. These tax credits should also be applied at the point of sale, rather than months later when the consumer is filing their taxes. Additionally, the tax credits should not be based on the consumer’s income or tax liability so that all Americans can benefit from the full credit. Both new and used EVs should be eligible, too, to ensure that EV incentives are available to all consumers, not just the minority of consumers who purchase new vehicles. 

The paper urges policymakers to not narrow these consumer incentives, which would diminish their public benefits—as case studies in China and Georgia proved. Consumer incentives should not be burdened by artificially low price and income limits, which could deter EV adoption, limit the growth of the used EV market, and slow down decarbonization goals. Furthermore, consumer incentives should apply equitably across vehicle models and manufacturers. Consumer incentives can best deliver environmental, public health, economic benefits when they are broad and accessible to everyone.

“In order to mitigate the worst effects of climate change, we need to reduce our global emissions drastically. EVs serve as a critical tool to reduce emissions in our economy’s most-polluting sector: transportation,” said Leilani Gonzalez, ZETA’s Policy Associate and one of the paper’s co-authors. “ZETA’s goal of ensuring 100% EV sales by 2030 can only be achieved with ambitious policy action, and consumer incentives are necessary. As the 30D consumer incentive is being extended and reformed, federal policymakers must consider how to maximize EV sales as quickly as possible.”

Read the white paper here.

About ZETA

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.

Policy Platform

Learn about our six-part strategy for electrification.

About ZETA

National policies to support 100% electric vehicle sales.

The Zero Emission Transportation Association (ZETA) is a federal coalition focused on advocating for 100% EV sales by 2030. Enacting policies that drive EV adoption will create hundreds of thousands of jobs, secure American global EV manufacturing dominance, drastically improve public health, and significantly reduce carbon pollution.