STATE EFFORTS TO PROMOTE HYBRID AND ELECTRIC VEHICLES
The U.S. transportation system primarily relies on oil to transport people and goods from one place to another. Yet the transportation sector faces risks such as uncertain oil supplies and price volatility. The U.S. Energy Information Administration estimates that 76 percent of all the oil consumed in the U.S. is used for transportation and, within the transportation sector, the fuel mix is far from diverse. Approximately 92 percent of the fuel used in the transportation sector comes from petroleum. Many states are working to increase the use of alternative fuels such as electricity, natural gas, hydrogen and biofuels to diversify the fuels used in the transportation sector as well as support greater energy security, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and provide price stability.
Electricity may play a significant role in meeting these goals. Plug-in electric vehicles (PEVs) are powered by electricity produced primarily by domestic sources such as coal, natural gas, nuclear and renewable sources. Powering vehicles by using domestic energy sources helps states diversify the transportation fuel mix and increase the use of local energy resources.
According to the U.S. Department of Energy, at least 25 plug-in electric vehicle models are currently available in the U.S. and more than 600,000 plug-in electric vehicles have been sold in the U.S. Consumers and fleets need access to affordable, convenient charging stations at home, at work, or in public areas. While access to charging stations has previously been an issue for consumers considering purchasing PEVs, manufacturers, automakers, utilities and state and federal agencies are rapidly expanding the network of stations. More than 16,000 charging stations now exist in the U.S., more than half of which have been built since 2015.