Although electric vehicles are becoming more popular, they are still relatively rare in Virginia. To meet the Biden administration's goal of making half of all American cars electric by 2030, more lithium, nickel, and cobalt will need to be produced. By requiring state officials to consider the lifetime value of a vehicle rather than just the price of pre-purchase decals, new state law could jump-start the conversion of much of Virginia's state-owned vehicle fleet from gasoline to electric vehicles.
This winter, Senator Monty Mason of Williamsburg, a supporter of the bill, told a Senate hearing, "We feel this will lead to more electric vehicles." "We think this will result in cost savings for governments."
Virginia lawmakers remain divided on party lines when it comes to encouraging electric vehicle purchases or passing California-designed vehicle standards that aim to push manufacturers away from internal combustion engines. VEJC has always supported environmental initiatives in Virginia and highly values this initiative and advancing fairness in transportation as a member of the VA TEEM cohort.
The goal of the VEJC is to reduce the disproportionate impact of environmental hazards by educating, empowering, and mobilizing grassroots organizations and individuals to speak up for themselves and by building an alliance to promote fair policies and practices. The organization's mission is to improve the health and well-being of communities of color, low-income, and pollution-affected Virginia communities.
It became popular in other parts of the United States. Earlier this year, the Connecticut legislature passed a resolution to electrify the state's fleet by 2030. The Massachusetts Governor's Executive Order mandates that a growing percentage of the state's fleet be zero emissions every ten years. Using the "total cost of ownership" calculator is one method the Illinois task force is exploring to increase government use of electric vehicles.
In Virginia, former Democratic Governor Ralph Northam considered issuing an executive order to begin converting the state fleet from gas models during his administration, but his plans never came to fruition.
Queen Zakia Shabazz, director of the VEJC, said other states and even federal officials are looking at Virginia's legislation as a potential model. Electric vehicles have always saved on operation and maintenance, including fuel costs. Transforming taxpayer-supported fleets is "government efficiency based on common sense." This legislation, designed to help fight climate change, was a top priority for environmentalists and was passed when the Democrats completely controlled the Virginia government.
VEJC is committed to working harder to advance green technology and electric vehicle policy in Virginia. Stay tuned to stay up to date with upcoming project updates.