NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

Local News

October 26, 2013

Mass joins effort to push for zero-emission cars

(Continued)

Deb Markowitz, Vermont’s natural resources secretary, said her state will probably form partnerships with companies to help them build charging stations and other necessary infrastructure.

Are the states contributing money to make this happen?

The agreement signed Thursday requires no specific financial commitment from each state. But each has already launched incentive programs and other policies meant to increase sales of zero-emission vehicles.

For example, California offers up to $2,500 in buyer rebates. The state leads the nation in zero emission vehicle sales, with more than 33,000 sold through June 30, and has set aside an additional $59.55 million for some 29,000 rebates through mid-2014. The state has also dedicated $20 million annually through 2024 or until 100 hydrogen stations are built, whichever comes first.

Massachusetts pays incentives of up to $7,500 per vehicle to cities that buy electric models, and up to $15,000 for each charging station built. New York has set its own goal of adding a network of up to 3,000 charging stations over the next five years.

How many zero-emission vehicles are on road now, and how many models are available?

Industry data projects more than 200,000 zero-emissions vehicles on the nation’s roads by 2015. That’s out of more than 250 million registered vehicles in the U.S.

There are 16 zero-emission models from eight manufacturers on the market — nine that run on batteries alone, two hydrogen fuel cell cars and five plug-in hybrid models, which can run on battery alone or gasoline.

The Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers in Washington says there will be 26 battery electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids for sale in 2014.

Officials say every automaker will have a zero-emission model by 2015.

What are the key things needed to reach this goal?

Auto manufacturers and dealers say consumers do not yet fully trust electric vehicles because of the lack of charging stations. Also, the clean-burning vehicles tend to be more expensive than gasoline-powered cars.

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