E2 | Susan Nedell, Mountain West Advocate
Have you heard about the Clean Cars Nevada initiative, but are not sure what it is or if it will benefit your business? E2 and Ceres have you covered with a recorded virtual panel discussion: Electrifying Transportation in Nevada.
During the discussion, a trio of experts explained the process to adopt Clean Car Standards by the Nevada Division of Environmental Protection (NDEP), provided the latest electric vehicle (EV) market developments, and highlighted the benefits that transportation electrification — think more EVs and charging stations — will bring to the business community and all drivers across the state.
Jeffrey Kinder, Chief of the Bureau of Air Pollution Control at NDEP, set the stage for the panel with an overview of the state’s 2019 greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) inventory and the GHG emission reduction targets established by the 2019 Legislature. In short, transportation (cars, trucks, buses, delivery vans, etc.) is the biggest contributor to GHG emissions in Nevada. In order to meet Nevada’s strong emissions reduction goals, the state must reduce pollution caused by transportation.
Kinder went on to explain the Low Emission Vehicle (LEV) and Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) standards. LEV standards require that automakers deliver new vehicles to Nevada that emit fewer GHGs and harmful air pollutants, while ZEV standards ensure automakers deliver more vehicles that are partly or fully zero emissions (such as plug-in hybrid or full EVs) for sale in the state. What the rulemaking does not do is tell businesses, consumers or fleet owners what type of vehicles they must buy. That decision is still up to Nevadans, but LEV and ZEV will ensure we have more clean options to choose from. Check out the NDEP Clean Cars website for more details on the rulemaking process, which includes a robust stakeholder engagement component.
Thankfully for fleet managers and business leaders who want to electrify their fleets, the upfront cost of purchasing EVs is coming down rapidly. Katherine Stainken, Policy Director for Plug In America, explained that EVs are expected to reach price parity with gas-powered vehicles as soon as 2024. EV owners already save on fuel by paying only $0.98 cents per e-gallon compared to $2.50 on regular gasoline. Plus, EVs have significantly lower operating and maintenance costs. According to Consumer Reports, EV owners spend 50 percent less on maintenance and repairs compared to gas-powered car owners. EVs are perfect investments for businesses concerned with the bottom line. On top of all of that, plugging in will mean powering your EV with Nevada’s abundant renewable resources and businesses that invest in EVs are helping improve air quality while keeping money in the local economy.
But what about options and availability? The ZEV standard will send clear signals to electric automakers that Nevadans want more EVs. Companies like Rivian are working hard to bring electric trucks, SUVs, and even delivery vans to market, which is good news for sustainability-minded businesses in Nevada. Chris Nevers, the Director of Environmental Engineering & Policy at Rivian, said that states with ZEV program incentives will be first in line for EV deliveries. This means, if Nevada wants more EV availability and the investment that goes along with transportation electrification, we must adopt the ZEV standard. Nevers went on to provide other policies that Nevada can adopt to spur investment in Nevada and ensure our place in the electric vehicle economy.
Could your business benefit from the savings associated with EV ownership? Do you want to see electric automakers invest in Nevada? If yes, then please take a look at the long list of businesses and organizations who are already members of the Nevada Clean Cars coalition and email email@example.com to join us!