National Governors Association and the Luskin Center Release State of the States Plug-in Electric Vehicle Policies Report

When PEVs entered the U.S. market in 2010, both the federal government and state governments sought to spur the commercial success of PEVs and the charging infrastructure that supports the technology. Their efforts are reflected in the number of policies that have been implemented in the past few years to leverage the benefits of PEVs and to address obstacles to the diffusion of the technology. As sales increase and new knowledge is generated as part of the diffusion process, state policies become an exciting laboratory for policymakers to revisit and learn from one another to improve existing PEV policies to reflect the changing landscape.

The report found that 22 states have adopted at least one policy aimed at reducing the cost of electric vehicles, and 28  states have provided incentives to install electric vehicle supply equipment in homes, offices, retail centers, or agencies. These and other incentives are explored in the report within the following three main dimensions:

  • Cost reduction for PEVs: The most common policy instruments used to reduce the purchase price of PEVs are rebates and tax credits. Other instruments include sales tax exemptions, grants, and loans.
  • Expansion and accessibility of electric vehicle supply equipment (EVSE, i.e. charging infrastructure): Similar to the instruments used to reduce costs for PEV purchases, states have introduced rebates, tax credits, loans, and grants to incentivize EVSE installations for individuals, businesses, and public entities. In addition, states can enter into agreements to help expand charging networks on interstate freeways. To remove barriers for multi-unit dwelling installation, some states have passed regulations to bar common interest associations from preventing residents’ installations in their parking spots.
  • Transportation incentives: Some states have provided incentives to enhance PEV owners’ driving experience. The most common incentive is giving PEV drivers access to HOV lanes regardless of the time of day or the number of passengers in the vehicle. Other incentives include free parking at spots with charging stations, privileged access to charging stations, and toll exemptions.