ZETA’s Policy Platform is a six-part strategy to create jobs in every congressional district, secure American global EV manufacturing leadership, improve public health, and reduce carbon pollution.
The transition to electric vehicles (EVs) offers national policymakers a chance to create thousands of domestic manufacturing jobs, protect public health, and secure American leadership in this innovative space.
ZETA looks forward to working with President-elect Biden and Congress to cultivate a strong clean transportation sector and accelerate the transition to EVs.
ZETA’s platform provides federal policymakers with a comprehensive guide to accelerate the adoption of EVs. It consists of 34 policy proposals across six pillars.
Reform the Federal EV Consumer Credit
The 200,000 unit-per-manufacturer cap disserves consumers, punishes early domestic electric vehicle (EV) leaders, and will increasingly advantage foreign manufacturers.
Make Consumer Incentives Point-of-Sale /Refundable
The value of consumer incentives is dramatically improved if provided at or near the time of purchase. A point-of-sale or refundable tax credit will also provide a more equitable EV incentive for all income earners.
Create a Vehicle Retirement Incentive
A rebate for retiring legacy internal combustion vehicles rewards consumers, will speed the EV transition, and will meet the urgency of the moment.
Create a Tax Credit for Previously Owned EVs
Introducing a new credit for buyers of previously-owned/secondary market EVs will promote EV ownership among all income groups. Such a credit should only apply to the first resale of a used EV and should include restrictions on sales between related parties.
Introduce a Non-Light Duty ITC
A 30% investment tax credit (ITC) for medium- and heavy-duty electric vehicles (MHDEVs) intended for commercial use will catalyze manufacturing capacity and create American jobs.
Suspend the Federal Excise Tax
Suspending the 12% federal excise tax on zero-emission trucks will set a clear market signal and incentivize public interest.
Create a MHDEV Retirement Program
In exchange for retiring heavy-duty trucks, purchasers should receive an additional incentive to acquire an electric MHDEV. Valuations should be based on vehicle emissions, model year, and miles traveled in the preceding year.
Enable the Transition to Zero Emission Transit Buses
Enacting the Green Bus Act will dramatically increase the size of the Zero Emission Bus program and ensure that all transit buses purchased with federal subsidies are zero emission vehicles by 2030.
Enact the Clean School Bus Act
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 emission buses.
Invest $30 Billion in Public EV Charging Infrastructure
Congress should approve $30 billion over ten years in funding for public electric vehicle supply equipment (EVSE) infrastructure via consumer equipment rebates provided directly to entities and by grants to state, local, and tribal authorities.
Reform the Alternative Fuel Infrastructure (30C) Tax Credit
Congress should enact the Securing America’s Clean Fuels Infrastructure Act, which would replace the 30C tax credit’s $30,000 cap per location with a $200,000 cap per charger. Additionally, Congress should make 30C a refundable tax credit.
Establish a Federal “EV Make-Ready” Definition
A federal definition of EV Make-Readies – generally understood as the electrical upgrades, equipment, and site improvements necessary to support charging equipment – will help optimize EVSE investments and leverage funds from the private sector.
Create a DOE/DOT State EVSE Assistance Program
The Recovery Act demonstrated the value of creating executive branch offices specifically dedicated to the execution of new federal funding programs. A federal EVSE office in the Department of Energy (DOE) or Department of Transportation (DOT) overseeing new rebate and grant programs created by Congress would help to rationalize them, improve their effectiveness, and provide technical assistance to states, localities, and tribes seeking to pursue EVSE deployment initiatives.
Establish Model Building Codes for Charging Infrastructure
Federal support for model building codes, with a focus on multi-unit and urban parking structures, will reduce the cost of installing EVSE infrastructure in the future.
Prioritize Transportation Infrastructure & Air Quality
Prioritize transportation electrification, especially for frontline communities, including charging infrastructure deployment for light-, medium-, heavy-duty and nonroad vehicles, within federal infrastructure and air quality programs such as BUILD, INFRA, Federal Lands Highways, STBGs, CMAQ, and DERA. For example, it is important to modify BUILD’s scope to include EV infrastructure and allow DOT to leverage this existing program.
Prioritize EVSE Buildout Within the National Highway Freight Network
The National Highway Freight Network helps direct federal investment. Introducing EVSE-specific guidance to prioritize planning for electrification and charging buildout will accelerate the electrification of medium- and heavy-duty electric vehicles.
Amplify TIFIA for EVSE Infrastructure
The Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (TIFIA) allows financing for large infrastructure projects, and should be improved by creating an EVSE set-aside and requiring Metropolitan Planning Office EVSE plans.
Introduce School District Grants for EVSE
Similar to the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) school district grant program for infrastructure, Congress should make EVSE funding available to schools. This will allow school districts to invest in charging upgrades that serve personnel, students, and the community.
Upgrade the REAP
Make rural EVSE deployment an allowable expense under USDA’s Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) financing. This direction should allow other federal programs and incentives to be considered part of the grantee’s cost share and should support small business and on-farm vehicle electrification.
Create a Domestic Manufacturing Tax Credit
Congress should support the Biden Administration’s 10% advanceable tax credit for companies that invest and create jobs in America. Eligible activities include revitalizing or reopening facilities, retooling, reshoring production, expanding U.S. facilities, and expanding manufacturing payroll.
Establish a DOE Office of Industrial Transformation
An Office of Industrial Transformation would drive an industrial innovation and competitiveness agenda within DOE that aligns with decarbonization goals. Key priorities for the new office should include coordinating research and development and commercializing and deploying industrial technologies at a scale to create capacity and American jobs.
Establish a DOE Office of Transportation Electrification
Modeled after the SunShot Initiative, an Office of Transportation Electrification would be charged with reducing barriers and costs along the entire transportation electrification value chain. Priorities for the Office should include EV infrastructure grid integration/interconnection and permitting costs, responsible development of critical minerals, and infrastructure workforce training.
Create an EVSE Manufacturing Credit
Congress should provide a 30% ITC for capital costs related to the domestic manufacture of EV charging equipment and subcomponents.
Create an Advanced Battery Manufacturing Tax Credit
Modeled after the Sec. 48C tax incentive, Congress should provide a 30% ITC for domestic investment in manufacturing that strengthens an end-to-end advanced battery supply chain, including mineral processing, cathode and anode production, cell and pack manufacturing, and battery recycling. Alternatively, the Advanced Battery Manufacturing Tax Credit could be modeled on the CHIPS Act, which includes a 40% refundable ITC.
Expand the ATVM
Expand the Advanced Technology Vehicle Manufacturing (ATVM) program to support MHDEVs, off-road vehicle electrification, and domestic expansion of the end-to-end advanced battery supply chain.
Create an EV Manufacturing Credit Facility
Modeled after the Small Business Administration’s credit programs, Congress should create a transportation electrification manufacturing finance facility to deploy federal support to help manufacturers achieve sufficient scale, effectively compete, and de-risk projects. This credit facility should include loan guarantees, forgivable loans, and low-interest financing to transportation electrification supply chains.
Advance Light-Duty GHG Standards
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) should revitalize vehicle emission and performance standards to drive sharp reductions in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, rapidly accelerate transportation electrification by 2030, and support the cooperative federalism of California’s Clean Air Act waiver authority.
Set a National Clean Fuel Standard
Transportation fuels must be decarbonized rapidly to achieve national net-zero emissions in the transportation sector no later than 2050. Implementing a federal clean fuel standard (CFS) as a successor program to the existing Renewable Fuel Standard Program (RFS) can utilize credit purchase proceeds to fund national EV incentives and will make it more economic to electrify MHDEV fleets. A federal CFS should incorporate existing subnational clean fuels programs and accommodate those with stronger standards.
Adopt the Phase 3 MHDEV GHG Standard
Adopting aggressive Phase 3 multi-pollutant emissions standards for model years 2028-2035 will dramatically reduce GHG and criteria air pollutant emissions from MHDEVs.
Act on eRIN Applications
EPA should act on pending applications for electric RINs (eRINs) under the RFS’s electric fuel pathways. Doing so would be consistent with congressional direction and would provide an immediate boost to vehicle electrification.
Make the Transition to EVs a Federal Priority
Issue an executive order:
1) Establishing a transportation electrification coordinator within the Council on Environmental Quality or a new White House office dedicated to addressing climate change, and
2) Directing all government agencies to use their existing authorities and agenda setting capabilities to advance the transition to EVs to the greatest extent possible. This should include policy development, procurement scoring and prioritization, federal fleet adoption, and utilization of personnel travel and rental programs.
Commit to Federal Vehicle Electrification
Establish a requirement for EVs to comprise 50% of federal light-duty vehicle procurement by 2025. Direct DOE, the Government Services Administration (GSA), and the Postal Service to evaluate regional deployment of EVs and identify any related barriers. Direct the Postmaster General to reward vendors that offer electric vehicle procurement options with lower life-cycle costs.
Catalyze Federal Charging Deployment
Require that all federal capital projects incorporate EV charging. Where possible and appropriate, make this infrastructure available to the public.
Promote Federal EV Rental
Direct DOE and GSA to require the use of EVs as part of the U.S. Government Rental Car Program. Driving EV rentals will provide a key source of vehicles for the secondary market in the short and medium terms.
Zero Emission Transportation Association
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.