Governments Pursue Legislation to Bolster Electric Vehicle Usage
Around the world, governments are considering how to spur electric vehicle adoption and usage. One area of focus is infrastructure development. In the United Kingdom, the Queen’s Speech included the announcement of an Automated and Electric Vehicles Bill. The Queen’s Speech, which marks the State Opening of Parliament, identifies the laws that the government hopes to get approved over the course of the next Parliament. The bill proposes the installation of electric vehicle charging stations at gas stations and motorway service stations. The bill also extends auto insurance to cover automated vehicles. The aim is “to ensure a world-class infrastructure which supports the rapid adoption and use of electric vehicles.”
Closer to home, state governments continue to seek out ways to steer consumers towards electric vehicles. Nevada governor Brian Sandoval signed a bill on June 2 expanding charging stations along several highways, with the goal of having all of Nevada’s highways equipped with charging stations. Neighboring state California is also continuing its push towards electric vehicle adoptions. California legislators recently proposed AB1184, a bill with $3 billion in incentives for electric vehicles. The California Electric Vehicle Incentive would include rebates, programs for low-income buyers, and more charging stations. Under the bill, the California Air Resources Board would determine the size of consumer rebates, comparing electric and gas powered vehicles.
This existing and proposed legislation all points towards a future with greater electric vehicle adoption and accessibility around the world. A recent study by University of Michigan researchers showed that, along with other factors, advances in infrastructure have resulted in greater consumer interest in electric vehicles. There are approximately 16,000 public charging stations in the United States, and that number has skyrocketed since 2009. According to the study, an increasing number of charging locations and improved technology in electric vehicles make electric vehicles more capable of replacing internal combustion engines as the vehicle of choice for consumers.