Daniel Susco
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Automakers Call for More Government Involvement in Funding Zero-Emissions Charging and Fueling Infrastructure

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2018 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV

A while back, I noted that, although everybody in the automotive industry agrees that we need more electric vehicle chargers, nobody seems to want to step up to pay for them for everyone else to use.

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General Motors, in particular, despite creating one of the best-selling electric vehicles on the market right now (and a pretty excellent plug-in hybrid), has no real desire to be the one shelling out the money for chargers. So, the question is, who should pay for them?

According to GM, through its Director of Advanced Vehicle Commercialization Policy Britta Gross, the government could definitely lend a hand. Gross met with the US Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee at a “field hearing” at the Washington Auto Show, where she recommended two areas in which the government could help advance the growth of electric and other zero-emission cars: fostering consumer adoption and helping to build up the country’s EV charger network.

As for the former, Gross thanked the committee for helping the federal electric vehicle income tax credit stay in place in the government budget. For the latter, Gross pointed out that more are definitely needed that are “highly visible to consumers” to increase consumer confidence in their electric vehicle.

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These chargers, Gross said, would need to be funded through “continued partnership between electric utilities, station operators, vehicle manufacturers, and support by federal, state and municipal government,” in order to be anywhere close to the ubiquitous nature of the nation’s more than 168,000 gas stations.

General Motors was joined in asking for more government assistance by Toyota, which asked for the panel to fund hydrogen fueling stations, which would power the fuel-cell vehicles that it and other automakers have seen as an alternative for battery-electric cars.

News Sources: Green Car Reports, Washington Examiner