Lobbying group unveils policy agenda to speed transition to EVs


The Zero Emission Transportation Association is proposing several federal policies to accelerate the transition to zero-emission vehicles in the U.S. and maintain the nation’s global leadership in the technology.

The association, which launched in November to advocate for all vehicles sold by 2030 in the U.S. to be electric models, unveiled the federal recommendations in a policy agenda released Tuesday.

As part of its platform, the group is proposing federal lawmakers:

  • Reform tax credits for EV purchases, such as making those incentives available upfront and creating a tax credit for buyers of used EVs.
  • Introduce a 30 percent investment tax credit for medium- and heavy-duty EVs used in the commercial sector.
  • Invest $30 billion over the next 10 years in funding for public EV charging infrastructure.
  • Create a federal EV supply equipment office in the Transportation or Energy department to oversee new rebate and grant programs.
  • Establish model building codes for charging infrastructure, especially in multiunit and parking structures.
  • Support the incoming Biden administration’s domestic manufacturing tax credit for companies that invest in and create jobs in the U.S.
  • Provide tax credits related to the domestic manufacturing of EV charging equipment and batteries.

The group also is urging the federal government to make the transition to EVs a priority by issuing an executive order “directing all government agencies to use their existing authorities and agenda-setting capabilities to advance the transition to EVs to the greatest extent possible,” according to its policy platform. That includes policy development and a commitment to swap government vehicle fleets with EVs.

President-elect Joe Biden’s $2 trillion “Build Back Better” agenda includes modernizing infrastructure and shaping future transportation, energy and climate policy. The plan calls for building 500,000 EV charging stations across the nation, consumer incentives for EV purchases and transitioning the government’s fleet to electric.

Joe Britton, executive director of the Zero Emission Transportation Association, told Automotive News in November that the group is not calling for a ban on sales of new gasoline-powered vehicles or lobbying for a national zero-emission vehicle mandate.

“The group is putting in place the federal policies to support that goal — not mandate it,” Britton said. “We need consumers, infrastructure and domestic manufacturing to all move in the same direction.”

The nonpartisan group, based in Washington, is backed by 28 big-name corporations representing several industries. Members include EV manufacturers and startups such as Tesla, Rivian, Lordstown Motors and Lucid Motors as well as ride-hailing giant Uber and regional utilities.

Incumbent automakers such as General Motors and Volkswagen, which are investing heavily in EVs, are absent from the group’s list of members.

During a call with reporters, Britton said he’s “in close contact” with some of the automakers and that they “collaborate.” Many of the association’s policy platforms are supported by legacy automakers, especially those heavily investing in EVs, he noted.

“But, ultimately, the answer is that once they have a fully electric future as part of their core to their business, that’s when their interests really start to align with ZETA’s interests.” 

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