SemaConnect Blog


August 20, 2014

Emerging EV Economics on the East Coast: Subsidies, the Ripple Effect, And New Opportunities

Image CC by Crowbared
Will the East Coast be the next hot spot for Electric Vehicles? Although California often receives all the accolades due to innovative EV policies and the concentration of EV manufacturing, current market research suggests the East Coast may already be the next big market for EVs.

This comes as little surprise to some, due to aggressive government policies and broad public acceptance of alternative transportation. In fact, Atlanta has now surpassed Seattle as the #2 market for EVs.
For instance, if you’re looking to buy an EV in Georgia, you’re in the right place. Already, the federal government offers a $7,500 tax credit on the purchase of a new EV. The state kicks in another $4,000 in income tax credits, thus making the price of a brand new EV cost-comparable to a gas-powered automobile.
Georgia also offers a few other perks to those who embrace the EV lifestyle. Some insurance companies offer discounts for eco-friendly driving and green vehicles. In addition, EV drivers have access to HOV lanes, thus giving them a slight advantage in getting from Point A to Point B quicker. And as an increasing number of commercial real estate companies catch on to the green trend, a growing number of EV charging stations are popping up in office building, airports, malls, and hotels across the state.
The EV Subsidy “Ripple Effect”
 
Although it’s obvious that having strong alternative transportation incentives will spur the growth of EVs, are there other benefits to consider as well? Do the emerging “pro-EV” states on the East Coast know something other state’s don’t?
One thing to note is that EV subsidies don’t just influence a person to buy an EV – these subsidies have a ripple effect that reach out beyond the initial EV purchase. EV owners are some of the most satisfied automobile owners in the country. According to PlugInsights Research, nearly 96.9% of surveyed EV owners would purchase their car again. This means that once a consumer has bought into the EV economy, they will likely to continue to purchase EVs in the future.
However, the ripple effect of EV subsidies does not end there.
A person who buys an EV will often tell people in their social circle of their driving experience. Since the overwhelming majority of EV drivers are thrilled with the overall experience, they will influence others to buy EVs as well. This will in turn create another ripple effect as other people share their experiences with this relatively new transportation option.
New Opportunities Presented By the EV Market
 
Savvy commercial property owners and managers are beginning to see the numerous opportunities presented by the expansion in the EV market. As more and more EVs hit the streets, there will be an increasing demand on places to charge an EV. Range is still an important factor for many EV drivers, and providing a place to charge an EV presents a great opportunity to tap into an emerging demographic.

 

Now is the best time to invest in EV infrastructure as the market is continuing to expand and the necessary EV infrastructure has yet to catch up.  Not only can EV charging stations provide a valuable amenity, they can also “green” a company’s corporate image, improve brand exposure, and possibly generate some additional revenue.
Joseph Tohill is a freelance writer and online communications specialist for organizations in the sustainability sector. He has a B.A. in Interdisciplinary Studies from the University of British Columbia and spent most of his academic career studying sustainable urban development; namely the interdisciplinary relationship between built form and natural environment.
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