The Next EV Market:
Expanding Electrification in
Contributing Authors: Leilani Gonzalez, Sofya Olenicheva, Eva Brungard, Rianna LeHane, Grayson Eady
This report presents the current state of transportation electrification throughout rural America and discusses the benefits and opportunities electric vehicles (EVs) present to rural communities. This report also makes recommendations to policymakers and private companies to accelerate electrification throughout rural areas.
Addressing rural electrification is key to an equitable and sustainable transition away from fossil-fueled modes of transportation. Rural residents stand to save thousands of dollars on fuel and maintenance by making the switch to an electric vehicle, and rural communities are ideally-positioned to lead the U.S. toward a revitalized, EV-focused domestic auto sector.
Policymakers at every level of government have the opportunity to ensure that transportation electrification maximizes benefits to rural communities, and new federal funding through the Infrastructure Reduction Act (IRA) and Infrastructure, Investment, and Jobs Act (IIJA) provides robust investment in electric vehicles and the associated infrastructure. In this report, ZETA recommends coordination among legislators and the private sector, increased workforce training to equip rural Americans with industry-specific skills, and investments in charging infrastructure. Prioritizing these issues will ensure that rural communities are provided with the necessary options and support that allows them to successfully transition away from gas-powered vehicles.