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This week, the first coalition has been formed to represent the electric vehicle industry as a lobbying group on Capitol Hill. The Zero Emission Transportation Association (ZETA) has a mission to get all new car sales to be electric by 2030.
The organization was founded by 28 members that include Tesla, Lordstown Motors, Lucid Motors, Rivian, Siemens, and Uber. These companies joined forces and came up with five key policies to get America on its way to fully adopting electric vehicles within the next 10 years.
Some US states have started to look in that direction. In September this year, Californian Governor, Gavin Newsom signed an ambitious executive order to ban the sale of new combustion-engine vehicles in the Golden State from 2035. His order is part of his policy changes to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. New Jersey is another state putting its foot forward in a more subtle way to support policies that incentivize all-electric sales instead of pushing to completely eliminate gas-powered vehicles.
One of Zeta’s five key policies that were outlined in their latest announcement is their point-of-sale consumer incentives where they will push to extend the federal government’s $7,500 federal tax credit for new EV purchases, which was created under the Obama administration in 2009.
ZETA also aims to drive infrastructure improvements that will see the installation of EV charging stations to get people to move towards buying electric cars. ZETA will also throw their full support behind electric vehicle manufacturers to scale their operations. It seems the new coalition group may have an easier time getting support of its agenda under the new President-elect Joe Biden. With Trump, there were efforts to end the federal credit for electric vehicles, which were unsuccessful.
The group has some significant names in its co-founding list that also include raw materials companies like Piedmont Lithium, and utilities like Southern Company, PG&E, Duke Energy, and Con Edison. What is interesting to note is the absence of legacy US-based automakers joining the coalition, such as General Motors. Perhaps not too surprising considering not all carmaker fleets have gone the full electric route.
Europe however is making big stride with laws already imposed laws to regulate the sale of gas-powered vehicles with an increasing amount of incentives to grow the number of electric and zero-emission vehicles on the road. Norway, in particular, being Europe’s leading electric market ahead of Germany, currently has out of every three cars purchased being an electric vehicle. The country is also installing the world’s first electric taxi charging system to help it achieve a zero-emission nationwide cab fleet by 2023. This is impressive progress for the EV industry compared to the US.
However, ZETA is set to accelerate the interest and adoption of electric vehicles from all aspects. Besides its point-of-sale consumer incentives, zero-emission targets, and infrastructure investments, it is also focusing on domestic manufacturing and getting federal support to invest in research and development for electrification. Another arm of the ZETA is its Education Fund that will strive to inform the public on the environmental advantages through EV adoption.
As a professional lobbyist group, ZETA is going to make the push influencing legislation, regulation, and government policies to get with the EV program. And it is all about the benefits that we as a society will gain with moving away from the traditional dependency on non-renewable resources.