Electric Vehicles

New report scores states on the steps taken to reduce barriers for EV adoption

The Chevrolet Bolt EV is just one of the electric vehicles sold in the U.S.

Photo by Sebastian Rothe/EyeEm/Getty Images

A new report by the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy scores U.S. states and the District of Columbia based on their readiness for enabling electric vehicle (EV) adoption amongst its residents and businesses.

The State Transportation Electrification Scorecard rates each state giving up to 100 possible points. State actions on incentives amounted to a score of up to 30 points. Planning and goal setting was worth up to 17 points. States could earn up to 12 points to by having policies at the intersection of electrification and transportation system efficiency. Grid optimization was assigned 10 points. Up to 21 points were possible as the Scorecard take a close look at how policies and regulations have impacted life following adoption. One bonus point was available for states that have vehicle-to-grid pilot programs.

The Scorecard found that California was the leader amongst the states, earning 91 out of a possible 100 points. The Council found that California is the only state that has set deadlines for electrifying transit buses, heavy trucks, and commercial vehicles, and is one of the few that offers assistance to lower-income drivers to replace their high-polluting cars with zero- or near-zero-emissions vehicles.

American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy  Twenty-eight states and the District of Columbia were ranked as part of the report.Photo courtesy of the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy

American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy

"I'm thrilled that California is being recognized with top honors for our leadership efforts, especially at a time when Governor Newsom is doubling down on our commitment to ensuring all Californians can participate in the transition to clean transportation," said California Energy Commissioner Patty Monahan. "Our experience shows transportation electrification is a win-win: good for the economy and most importantly for the health and well-being of those affected most by air pollution from tailpipe emissions."

New York (63.5 points), Washington, DC (59), Maryland (56), Massachusetts (54.5), Washington (54), Vermont (54), Colorado (48), Oregon (47), and New Jersey (44) round out the top 10. Twenty states earned 15 points or fewer.

Outside the top 10, Colorado was recognized for its efforts to meet their goal of having 940,000 EVs on the road by 2030. Minnesota was the top scorer in the Midwest (39.5 points). Virginia lead scores in the Southeast (36 points).

Twenty-three states have begun planning for more EVs and EV charging options. Twenty-seven states offer incentives for purchasing EVs including rebates, tax credits, and grants to buy large electric pickups and delivery trucks. Nearly every state (48) is planning to use federal funds to buy electric transit buses and 36 states offer lower electric rates at preferred times for Level 2 charging. Fifteen states have invested to fund utilities to spur EV and EV charging adoption in low-income areas and environmental justice communities.

Full results of the Scorecard can be found here.

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Research and development

Ford names site for battery development facility

Ford's new facility will house battery research and development.

Ford

Ford is in the news again for its electrification efforts, this time with the confirmation of a Michigan location for a new battery research and development facility in Romulus, Michigan. The facility may eventually help Ford in-source much of its EV supply chain, a shift that could prevent or mitigate the challenges presented by parts and technology shortages.

As part of its electrification initiative, the automaker plans to build a new research and development facility, called Ford Ion Park. The facility will house new tech research, pilot programs for new manufacturing techniques, and will help give Ford more control over its supply chain.


Ford Ion Park Once complete, the facility will initially house 200 engineers.Ford


The price tag for the new facility and related efforts lands at $185 million, which sounds like chump change for a global automaker until we consider that Ford has committed $30 billion to electrification by 2025. The automaker says that its new facility renews its dedication to Michigan as its home base for EV development, a promise it originally made back in 2010. The company's new electric F-150 Lightning pickup truck will be built in Dearborn, which will add 500 jobs. An additional 225 jobs will be retained at Ford's Dyke Electric Powertrain Center.

As part of Phase One of the project, Ford plans to hire 200 engineers within 18 months of the 270,000-square-foot facility's opening. Ironically, the site was previously owned by A123 Systems, a battery manufacturer that closed the facility in 2017 due to low demand for batteries.


Ford Ion Park Ford has committed $185 million to the new facility and related efforts.Ford

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Discontinued sedan

Volkswagen nixing Passat after 2022 model year

Racing Green Metallic is one of four exclusive colors for the car.

Volkswagen

After five decades on sale in the U.S., Volkswagen is pulling the plug on the midsize Passat. The explosion of SUVs' popularity and the need to shift production power to electric vehicles are behind the decision, which will take place after the 2022 model year. The cars have been built at the automaker's Chattanooga, TN plant since 2011, but the facility is being repurposed as VW's North American hub for electric vehicle assembly.

Volkswagen is giving the car one last hurrah, however, in the form of the Passat Limited Edition. The car features 18-inch wheels, LED headlights with an Advanced Front Lighting System, and an easy-open trunk. Inside, the cars come with sport seats wrapped in Vienna leather, memory seating, a Fender Premium Audio System, parking assistance, and parking sensors.


2022 Volkswagen Passat Limited Edition Each car gets a special model tag with its limited production number.Volkswagen


Only 1,973 of the cars will be built, and it will only be sold in four colors, each with its own limited production numbers that have special meaning for the Passat:

  • Aurora Red Metallic with Titan Black interior: 411 units to represent the original vehicle production code
  • Racing Green Metallic with Mauro Brown interior: 423 units to commemorate the Chattanooga 423 area code
  • Pure white with Mauro Brown interior: 524 units to signify the Chattanooga plant's May 24 opening date
  • Platinum Great Metallic with Titan Black interior: 615 units to signify six generations of imported Passats, one generation assembled in Chattanooga, and five decades of U.S. sales

Pricing for the 2022 Passat starts at $31,290, which includes a $995 destination fee. Adding Aurora Red Metallic drives the price up by an additional $395. Each car will receive a special number plate to designate its place in the limited production run.


2022 Volkswagen Passat Limited Edition The Passat Limited Edition gets several upscale features. Volkswagen

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