On April 22, 2015, the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) released its report, "Overcoming Barriers to Deployment of Plug-in Electric Vehicles (2015).”
Conducted at the request of Congress, the report recommends the following:
- Reinstate tax and other incentives for electric vehicles (EVs) and other low-emitting sources,
- Continue efforts to cut GHG emissions from the power sector,
- Continue to fund battery research aimed at improving batteries and lowering battery costs.
Other recommendations in the report include:
- The federal government and states should use their incentives and regulatory powers to (1) eliminate the proliferation of plugs and communication protocols for direct current fast chargers and (2) ensure that all PEV drivers can charge their vehicles and pay at all public charging stations using a universally accepted payment method just as any ICE vehicle can be fueled at any gasoline station.
- To increase consumer information and awareness, the federal government should make use of its Ad Council program, particularly in key geographic markets, to provide accurate information about federal tax credits and other incentives, the value proposition of PEV ownership, and who could usefully own a PEV.
- Federal and state governments should adopt a PEV innovation policy where PEVs remain free from special roadway or registration surcharges for a limited time to encourage their adoption.
- Local governments should streamline permitting and adopt building codes that require new construction to be capable of supporting future charging installations.
- To ensure that adopters of PEVs have incentives to charge vehicles at times when the cost of supplying energy is low, the federal government should propose that state regulatory commissions offer PEV owners the option of purchasing electricity under time-of-use or real-time pricing.
- Federal financial incentives to purchase PEVs should continue to be provided beyond the current production volume limit as manufacturers and consumers experiment with and learn about the new technology. The federal government should re-evaluate the case for incentives after a suitable period, such as five years. Its re-evaluation should consider advancements in vehicle technology and progress in reducing production costs, total costs of ownership, and emissions of PEVs, HEVs, and ICE vehicles.
- The federal government should consider converting the tax credit to a point-of-sale rebate based on information about the effectiveness of incentives.
The report notes that the Committee is not recommending additional direct federal investment in the installation of public charging infrastructure. Instead, they recommend research on the relationship between charging infrastructure availability and PEV adoption and use.