Electric Vehicles are Ready to Roll in Virginia

For Immediate Release

Richmond, VA - With the right policies in place, plug-in vehicles can reduce oil dependence in Virginia by 3,993,864 gallons per year, according to a new report released today by Environment Virginia. 

“It’s time to plug in, power up, and protect our planet because plug-in vehicles have arrived here in Virginia,” said Laura Kate Anderson, Field Organizer at Environment Virginia.

According to the Environment Virginia report, Charging Forward: The Emergence of Electric Vehicles and Their Role in Reducing Oil Consumption, 17,076 drivers in Virginia could purchase their first plug-in vehicle within the next three years. Overall these vehicles will reduce Virginia’s global warming pollution by 13,851 metric tons per year.  If the plug-in vehicles are powered by clean sources of electricity, these savings will rise to 71,534 metric tons per year.

“For decades, owning a car has meant consuming oil. Today, drivers finally have a choice,” said Anderson. “Thanks in part to smart policies in cities like Richmond and from the Obama administration, every major automobile manufacturer is offering a new plug-in vehicle powered primarily by electricity. For the first time, we can power our cars with clean energy.”

In Washington, President Obama has proposed fuel efficiency standards that Environment Virginia credits as being the most important step ever taken to build clean, advanced technology cars that will get us off oil. His administration has also made investments in critical technologies, such as advanced batteries and high powered charging stations.

The Environment Virginia report shows the impressive technological breakthroughs that have helped move plug-in vehicles into the fast lane, from advanced batteries that have dropped in price by over 80 percent, to super-fast charging stations that have reduced charge times by over 90 percent.

To make plug-in vehicles a choice for more consumers, Environment Virginia’s report calls for more work to be done to build the infrastructure of the charging stations that can service these vehicles, as well as more investment in the technologies that will drive down prices. Currently, Virginia ranks 13th in the country in total number of vehicle charging stations. Environment Virginia also called on state and federal leaders to help plug-in vehicles achieve the greatest possible pollution reductions by adopting policies that will ensure we get more of our electricity from clean, renewable energy sources like wind and solar power.

Environment Virginia was joined by Urban Grid Project Manager Natalie Walker and Melissa P. Gay with J. Sergeant Reynolds Community College Automotive Technology Group in releasing today’s report.

“We no longer have to put up with inefficient, gasoline-powered cars that pollute the environment and cause health and environmental problems,” said Natalie Walker. “We can stimulate our domestic economy and reduce our dependence on foreign fuels through electric vehicles.”

“Richmonders have embraced the use of hybrid and electric vehicles,” said Melissa Gay. “Our next challenge is to create awareness for individuals and businesses of the development of charging station infrastructure.”

“Electric vehicles offer all Americans hope for a cleaner, healthier future. But to make this promise a reality, continued public investment will be necessary to ensure that these vehicles are as convenient and as affordable as cars powered by oil,” concluded Anderson.

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Environment Virginia is a statewide, citizen-based environmental advocacy organization working for clean air, clean water, and open spaces.