Electric Drive

What is an Electric Drive Vehicle?

Since the introduction of the first hybrid electric vehicle nearly a quarter of a century ago, automakers have been investing heavily in green technologies. Consumers today can choose from more than 35 models of electric-drive vehicles (EVs), also known as zero emission vehicles or ZEVs.

A ZEV is a vehicle that emits no tailpipe emissions from its primary onboard power source. These technologies include:

  • Fuel-Cell Electric Vehicles (FCEVs)
  • Battery-Electric Vehicles (BEVs)
  • Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicles (PHEVs)

A sales mandate from California and nine other states requires automakers to sell more EVs each year through 2025. In addition to the mandate, eight of these states committed to a Memorandum of Understanding with a challenging goal of developing the market so it can support approximately four million cumulative ZEVs by 2025.

electric vehicle ev landscape. car charging station. charging station. charging port

What Role Can the States Play in EV Sales?

While automakers are making significant investments in EVs, that is only one part of the equation to building a sustainable green car market. The states also play a critical role in helping develop the market. Ongoing year-after-year investment to help grow the ZEV market is needed by states in these areas:

  • Consumer Incentives (such as rebates and tax credits)
  • Access to HOV and HOT Lanes
  • Infrastructure Development (electric charging stations and hydrogen refueling)
  • Public Awareness

Infrastructure extends the functionality of EVs to better fit customers’ lifestyles. Moreover, available and visible electric charging stations relieve customer range anxiety, one of the major barriers to EV adoption. Hydrogen refueling stations allow longer-range fuel-cell electric vehicles to enter the market. States have a unique opportunity now to use a maximum of 15% of funding made available under Appendix D of the VW Settlement Funds to grow availability of their electric charging and hydrogen refueling stations. Global Automakers urges all states to use these funds as a necessary starting point to support the EVs rapidly entering the market.

Public awareness is necessary to make sure that consumers understand and are comfortable with the technology in the estimated 80 models of EVs that will be offered for sale in the coming years, and ultimately elect to purchase an EV.


What Does the Market Look Like Today?

Despite efforts by industry, policymakers, and other stakeholders, many challenges remain in increasing consumer adoption of EVs. By 2025, the ZEV sales mandate, which has been promulgated by California and adopted by nine other states, cumulatively requires auto manufacturers to sell approximately four million EVs in ten states, regardless of market conditions, infrastructure availability, and/or consumer preferences. The table below tracks these states’ progress toward meeting these challenging 2025 targets.