CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - Dozens of nonprofits, businesses, and other groups across the commonwealth are asking lawmakers to push for electric vehicle legislation during the 2021 General Assembly session. A nonprofit in Charlottesville is helping lead the cause.
According to reports from Generation180, transportation makes up almost half of Virginia’s carbon dioxide emissions, with majority of transportation emissions coming from privately-owned cars.
To reduce those emissions, the nonprofit is proposing bills to make owning an electric vehicle (EV) easier. This includes the Advanced Clean Car Program Vehicles standard, which would require EVs to be sold at new-car dealerships.
It also proposes lowering the price for new and used EVs through a rebate system, aiming to remove purchasing barriers.
Generation180 Project Manager Blair St. Ledger-Olson says because proposed legislation has a built-in delay, lawmakers need to act as soon as possible.
“The Clean Car Standards Act would not go into effect until model year 2025, so every year that we don’t pass this legislation is another year of, I believe, 2,600 exacerbated asthma cases, over 10,000 lost work days and over 90 additional deaths per year specifically tied to transportation emissions,” St. Ledger-Olson said. “So, every year we don’t do something about this is allowing these instances to occur yet again and they don’t have to. We can do something about this right now.”
Generation180 reports over half of Virginians are likely to consider an electric vehicle as their next car. The nonprofit says new legislation would not only make EVs more accessible for future buyers, but potentially create more manufacturing jobs in the commonwealth and decrease the amount of pollutants in the air.