Clean energy advocates showcase benefits of electric vehicles

Article published in the Deseret News on October 15, 2014.

SALT LAKE CITY — Advocacy organizations are calling on the public and their elected representatives to embrace the smog-busting attributes of alternative vehicles — especially electric cars — by showcasing them Wednesday at an event outside Utah’s Capitol.

Groups such as Utah Clean Energy want a five-year extension of the $1,500 annual tax credit on the purchase of electric vehicles and the implementation of a new financing formula to encourage the transition to clean vehicles for large fleets in business and government agencies.

A lunchtime event paraded out several electric vehicle models for lawmakers to try amid urging by speakers that Utah continue on its path of reforms to make alternative vehicles attractive to the buying public.

“Electric vehicles represent a tremendous opportunity to improve air quality in Utah,” said Kevin Emerson, senior policy and regulatory associate with Utah Clean Energy. “These two policy changes will continue the state’s effort to get more clean vehicles on the road.”

The Southwest Energy Efficiency Project said if Utah implements the two recommended policies, it will lead a six-state region for its practices that promote clean transportation.

Even as the nation adopts fuel standards that reduce emissions, the group said electric vehicles can play a huge role with the proper laws in place.

“As state agencies, the Legislature, the Public Service Commission and local governments consider new efforts to address air pollution in the Wasatch Front, policies to increase the use of EVs may be an important component of strategies to reduce urban air pollution and improve public health in the Wasatch Front,” according to the Southwest Energy Efficiency Project.

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