More than 500,000 electric vehicles (EVs) were sold in the U.S. between 2012 and 2016, and 200,000 more were sold between July 2016 and June 2017. Estimates show that there could be 2.9 million EVs in the United States within five (5) years. EV sales will exceed 1.2 million by 2025 and the number of EVs on the road will reach 7 million in 2025. Prices are falling, the range and reliability of EVs are improving and foreign and domestic EV manufacturers are introducing new EV models every year. Mobile applications such as PlugShare and CarStations allow users to locate EV charging stations throughout the United States. The electric vehicle revolution has begun, and the only question is whether Indiana will be accelerating ahead or just coasting along.
Replacing a light-duty passenger vehicle with a Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle or a Battery Electric Vehicle may provide a 40-76% reduction in NOx emissions. EVs are energy efficient. EVs convert about 59% to 62% of the electrical energy from the grid to power at the wheels. Conventional vehicles powered by internal combustion engines only convert about 17% to 21% of the energy stored in gasoline to power at the wheels.
EV Impact on Indiana
If Indiana EV adoption follows the moderate trajectory currently assumed by the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), the net present value of cumulative net benefits from greater EV use in the state will exceed $3.6 billion state-wide by 2050. Of these total net benefits:
- $500 million will accrue to electric utility customers in the form of reduced electric bills, and
- $3.2 billion will accrue directly to Indiana drivers in the form of reduced annual vehicle operating costs.
If EV sales in Indiana were high enough to get the state onto a trajectory to reduce light-duty GHG emissions by 70-80% from current levels by 2050 (80×50), the net present value of cumulative net benefits from greater EV use in Indiana could exceed $32.2 billion statewide by 2050. Of these total net benefits:
- $5.6 billion would accrue to electric utility customers in the form of reduced electric bills, and
- $26.5 billion would accrue directly to Indiana drivers in the form of reduced annual vehicle operating costs.
Utility customer savings result from net revenue received by the state’s utilities, from selling electricity to charge EVs. This net revenue is net of additional costs that would be incurred by utilities to secure additional generating capacity, and to upgrade distribution systems, to handle the incremental load from EV charging. MJ Source: Bradley & Assoc., Electric Vehicle Cost-Benefit Analysis: Plug-in Electric Vehicle Cost-Benefit Analysis: Indiana (June 2018).
Volkswagen Environmental Mitigation Trust
Crossroads of America Electric Vehicle Corridor. In comments submitted to the Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM) in 2018 as part of the multi-billion-dollar settlement of claims brought against Volkswagen A. G. and its affiliates for secretly manufacturing and installing defeat devices in about 500,000 diesel-powered vehicles, the IEA expressed its support for the creation of the “Crossroads of America Electric Vehicle Corridor”. https://www.in.gov/idem/airquality/2712.htm.
Specifically, the IEA requested the maximum amount allowed under the Volkswagen settlement federal trust document – 15% of the total $40.9 million in funds to Indiana, or $6.15 million – be allocated to invest in the EV infrastructure in the state.
The Crossroads of America Electric Vehicle Corridor would consist of DC fast charging stations positioned strategically, and no more than about fifty (50) miles apart, along major Indiana highways such as U.S. 31, U.S. 41, I-64, I-65, I-70, I-69, I-74, I-80/90, I-94 and I-465. A preliminary map showing the proposed corridor is below.
The Crossroads of America Electric Vehicle Corridor will serve as a backbone for future growth in the use of EVs in Indiana and will propel the Hoosier State to the forefront of EV infrastructure in the Midwest and beyond. This project is bold, creative, transformative, and innovative, and it will position Indiana for decades to come as a proven leader in clean transportation. If Indiana is to remain the “Crossroads of America,” it must be on the forefront of EV technology and infrastructure. Ultimately, encouraging more EVs in place of vehicles powered by traditional diesel engines will, over the long term, improve Indiana’s air quality and the health of all Hoosiers.
Replacing Diesel Vehicles with Electric Vehicles. IEA proposed that Indiana invest 40% of the Trust Funds, or $14.7 million, in projects that replace old diesel-powered engines and vehicles with electric engines and vehicles, as well as the charging infrastructure necessary to operate EVs. A substantial investment in Electric Class 4-8 Buses and Trucks will promote a cleaner environment in communities throughout the state, improve the health of all Hoosiers, improve the state’s economy by promoting the EV industry, and maximize the NOx savings realized per Trust Fund dollar spent.
Refuse Trucks, Transit Buses, School Buses, and Tractor Trailers represent the largest users of on road diesel fuel. The Class 4-8 vehicles operate near schools, businesses, and are involved in every product that consumers purchase. Replacing Heavy-Duty Diesel Trucks and School Buses with the same class of electric vehicles would represent a significant amount of greenhouse gas emissions reduced within the state of Indiana. This action would eliminate some of the largest producers of mobile NOx emissions in the state of Indiana.