This blog was written by Anne Blair, former Director of the Clean Fuels Program at the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy, and Katherine Stainken, Plug-In America.Guest Blog | June 15, 2017
Two years ago, Georgia was second in the nation for the number of electric vehicles (EVs) on the road. But in 2015, Georgia repealed the state’s existing tax credit for Zero Emissions (ZEV) vehicles, which had been on the books since the early 2000s. Later that year, the number of new EVs sales plummeted from 1,000 new EVs registered each month and has declined to fewer than 100 new EVs registered each month today. And, that means that Georgia is losing out on significant benefits to Georgia’s economy.
This week, SACE and Plug-In America, with partners, EV Club of the South, City of Atlanta Office of Resilience, Sierra Club-Georgia Chapter, Clean Cities-Georgia and others, released new analysis conducted by The Greenlink Group on the economic benefits that a state investment of a $2500 tax credit and reduced user fee would bring to the state. The results show that $54 million dollars in increased income to the state, 951 full time jobs and $100.4 million in gains to Georgia GDP with the implementation of these policies. Further, it demonstrates no negative impacts. For every public dollar that supports these policies, between $2.25 and $7.59 private dollars are invested back into Georgia and our local economies.
In addition to these positive economic benefits, consumers also benefit from fuel and maintenance savings, improvements in grid reliability, reduced air emissions and subsequently reduce healthcare costs. EV-friendly policies also reduce dependence on foreign oil. These savings put money back into the local economies.
Currently, less than 3 percent of Georgia’s registered vehicles are electric and Georgia is being passed up by other EV investments, such as from additional funding from the Volkswagen (VW) Settlement’s Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) Investment Plan (Appendix C) funding because of the state’s current ‘unfriendliness’ to EVs. Policymakers in Georgia need to take note – a investment today can reap seven times the economic benefits. Supportive policies are needed in Georgia to advance the EV market. The future of transportation is widely seen to be electric and Georgia CAN and SHOULD be a leader in EV technology again.
If want to see Georgia become a leader in EVs again, please visit Electrify the South website, sign up and/or donate to support this critical work – providing environmental, economic and health benefits to the state.