For this video podcast, I spoke to Joe Britton, Executive Director of the newly formed Zero Emission Transportation Association (ZETA) about ZETA’s mission to achieve 100% EV sales by 2030 and what needs to happen on the policy side to get there. Following are several excerpts from our discussion, which you can view or download below, or listen to in ITunes, Spotify, Google Podcasts or TuneIn. (Note: The article Joe speaks about when discussing China’s approach to EVs versus the U.S.’ is available here.)
“I think is the adhesive element of ZETA that keeps everybody together is that our goal is that every vehicle sold by 2030 is an EV. And we might have different business models or even people within a sector might prefer that this policy turned out a different way and kind of on the margins there might be disagreement. But what holds us together is that there’s 17 million new cars that are sold every year. There’s 41 million used cars that are sold every year. And if we ever get to an impasse, we just all remind each other that we’re all better off if there’s five, or 10, or 15, and ideally 17 million new cars sold every year and they’re all EVs. So that’s kind of the North Star that we’re always kind of keeping in mind to ensure that we make progress and we’re advocating effectively.”
“But I think the sleeper in this, when we think about how do we really drive adoption, 96% of drivers once they go electric won’t go back. So it’s important for us to get people in these driver seats. Priming that secondary market is mission critical. And that’s been the impediment for EVs, because there’s been a sense that I need to be able to afford a new car in order to go electric. As the numbers bear out, 70% of Americans are not in the market for new cars. So the more that we can get those secondary market vehicles under rebate to further drive adoption of EVs in the used car market, and you can prime that with rentals, you can prime it with fleet vehicles, you can prime it by just selling as many light-duty vehicles now, so that two or three years from now, more of those are coming onto the market.”
“Medium- and heavy-duty fleet vehicle buyers are more sophisticated in a way, because they can run the net present value and they know what the fuel maintenance and service costs are down to the dollar. And they can make more kind of longitudinal purchase decisions. That’s an opportunity for us. Some people would tell you that the light-duty side is closer to transitioning. I actually am aspirational about the medium- and heavy-duty side. The thing that we can do to really further support and cultivate adoption in that space is something that Senator Cantwell from the state of Washington is putting forward.
It was actually included in Finance Committee Chairman Wyden’s legislation actually that was recently released. It is a medium and heavy duty investment tax credit. If you’re the off-taker, you’re the purchaser, you’re spending, let’s say $100,000 on a new electric utility truck, you can take a $30,000 credit. So a 30% investment tax credit for the purchase of those medium and heavy-duty vehicles. That can be a school bus, it could be a transit bus. The Cantwell proposal is really flexible. I think that’s something that we can do to really drive adoption.”