The national and sub-national governments of the ZEV Alliance have set strong targets for electric vehicles as a tool to meet climate and air quality goals. The early growth of the ZEV market has been made possible through government incentives, tax exemptions, charging infrastructure, and awareness programs. However, these governments face challenges due to finite budgets and strong competition among many priorities. Governments are therefore interested in continuing to advance the ZEV market while tapering direct government expenditures.
Building on the ZEV Alliance’s 2019 focus area research, this event showcased the many ways that ZEV Alliance governments are supporting sustainable, long-term ZEV growth. The event was moderated by Urda Eichhorst, Advisor on Transport and Climate for the German Corporation for International Cooperation (GIZ), and featured the following speakers:
- Benoit Charette, Minister of the Environment and the Fight Against Climate Change, Québec
- Jared Blumenfeld, Secretary for Environmental Protection, California
- George Heyman, Hon. Minister of Environment and Climate Change Strategy, British Columbia
- Mariette van Empel, Director of Sustainable Mobility, Ministry for Infrastructure and Water Management, the Netherlands
- Aaron Berry, Deputy Head of the Office for Low Emission Vehicles, United Kingdom
- Dale Hall, Electric Vehicle Researcher, ZEV Alliance Secretariat
Several key themes emerged from the event:
- Electric vehicles are not only a solution for climate and air quality goals, but also an opportunity for economic development. Each of these jurisdictions is seeing growth in business, charging infrastructure, hydrogen, batteries, and electric vehicle components.
- Long-term policy signals are crucial for moving the industry; many of these jurisdictions have created ZEV mandates (California, Québec, British Columbia) or 100% ZEV sales target dates (Netherlands, United Kingdom, British Columbia).
- The governments agreed that two of the most important steps for moving electric vehicles into the mainstream market are building charging infrastructure (especially encouraging private investment in charging) and growing the market for used electric vehicles.
Passenger vehicles are just the first step: Each of the jurisdictions are already working to begin the transition of trucks, ships, and even airplanes toward zero-emission technologies, challenges that will each require their own suite of policies.