6 Ways to Federally Aid the Adoption of EVs
Updated: May 13, 2021
By: Jane Marsh
People look forward to a future with flying cars and hovercrafts, but the future of transportation is already here. Electric vehicles have begun to cut down natural gas consumption that hurts the environment for those who can afford them. Many now wonder how the government could fuel the adoption of electric vehicles so they become the mainstream option for the average consumer.
These strategies are the latest ideas from environmentalists and federal experts. Some may take years to implement, while others could happen immediately. They would all open up the world of electric vehicles and get the world closer to a pollution-free existence.
1. Address Rising Oil Costs
Even though anyone can stop by a gas station whenever their car needs a refill, fossil fuels are running out. Industry experts estimate that the world will run out of fossil fuels by 2060, rendering all traditional vehicles useless.
The federal government could create campaigns to stress the importance of finding new fuel because of this approaching deadline. It’s in the consumer’s best interest whether or not they’re concerned about the environment.
2. Invest in Fuel Research
Electric charging stations aren’t currently widespread, so people may not switch to electric vehicles because they’d feel limited in where they could drive. The government could fuel the adoption of electric vehicles by investing in alternative types of charging stations.
Water already powers 7% of U.S. electricity, so it could charge electric cars by local rivers and waterfalls. The charging stations would be strategic, but they would expand electric vehicle use into rural areas that didn’t previously have access to them.
3. Educate the Public About Emissions
Consumers may see electric cars as a luxury because of their price tag, distracting people from their necessity. The government could educate the public about carbon emissions by comparing electric and gas cars. They could point out that electric vehicles produce 50% fewer emissions than cars that run on gas, even when used for decades.
It would also help to make the problem personal. It’s easier to wave off climate concerns when people hear that emissions will create lasting damage in a few decades. Instead, they should know critical information about how greenhouse gases like carbon cause the following health effects:
People will live a healthier, potentially longer life by switching to electric vehicles, but they won’t know that until it’s a well-known fact. The federal government’s access to news networks and international publications could get that started.
4. Expand Tax Credits
Anyone who buys an electric vehicle gets a federal tax credit, but it doesn’t apply to people who lease their cars. Currently, leased electric cars give the tax credit to the leasing company, providing no extra benefit to consumers.
Expanding this credit to leased cars would add incentive and fuel the adoption of electric vehicles. It would meet consumers where their financial abilities can take them and give them a tax discount that would further improve their living conditions.
5. Buy EVs for Federal Purposes
Advocates and experts can tell people to use electric cars, but actions speak louder than words. If those same people don’t use electric vehicles, it speaks to how practical they really are. The government should lead by example, which may begin soon.
The current presidential administration vowed to replace the federal vehicle fleet with electric vehicles. It would require 645,000 vehicles and doesn’t currently have a timeline. However, getting this effort started would normalize their use and make electric cars more conventional.
6. Introduce Federal Rebates
Rebates are similar to tax credits in that they give money back to the consumers, but rebates make that happen much faster. If federal rebates existed for electric vehicles, people would immediately get part of their purchase back in their pocket. It would make ownership possible for many moderate to low-income individuals, especially since they won’t match traditional vehicle affordability until closer to 2030.
Government Action Could Change the Game
If the government utilized these strategies, they could fuel the adoption of electric vehicles and greatly reduce U.S. carbon emissions. It would save people from a future with no fossil fuels and make electric cars affordable instead of remaining a dream for the average citizen.
Jane Marsh is an environmental writer. You can keep up with her work on her site Environment.co.