Economic and Societal Benefits of Progressive Electric Vehicle Policy Adoption

Economic and Societal Benefits of Progressive Electric Vehicle Policy Adoption

Electric charging
By John Livermore and Adam Blair

Electrifying US transportation is key to achieving critical Federal and State decarbonization and public health goals. In support of this, EBP recently produced a study that was instrumental in bolstering the case for Connecticut’s proposal to adopt California’s nation-leading Advanced Clean Cars II (ACC II), Advanced Clean Trucks (ACT), and the Heavy-Duty Omnibus regulations.

Connecticut joins Rhode Island, Maryland, New Jersey, Massachusetts, New York, and Vermont in pursuing new clean transportation regulations that will result in compelling and significant benefits including reduced pollution, improved public health, and a strengthened state economy.  

Commissioned by Save the Sound, EBP’s report, "Connecticut Electric Vehicle Policy Impact Study"’, released in April 2023, analyzed the expected economic and societal benefits from adopting California’s clean transportation policies to transition Connecticut’s motor vehicle markets from fossil fuel Internal Combustion Engine (ICE) vehicles to a fleet of electric vehicles (EVs) and other alternatively fueled vehicles.  

For Connecticut, where the transportation sector is the largest contributor to greenhouse gas emissions, the report found that embracing ACC II and ACT is crucial to achieving economy-wide greenhouse gas reduction targets. The policy aligns with the state's commitment to reducing emissions by 45 percent below 2001 levels by 2030, and 80 percent by 2050, as required by Connecticut’s Global Warming Solutions Act (GWSA).  

This clean transportation policy also presents Connecticut with a major opportunity to boost economic growth through increased EV adoption. The policy will generate positive economic impacts for individuals, households, manufacturers, and energy suppliers throughout the state. It will also open doors for new economic development opportunities in EV-related technologies, such as energy storage, electrical components manufacturing, and charging station infrastructure, making Connecticut more economically competitive in the clean transportation sector. 

The economic benefits of progressive EV policies are evident in projected net economic impacts and avoided emission costs. The report estimated that the adoption of ACC II in Connecticut will result in $40 billion in net business income, $26 billion of value added to the state’s GDP, and the creation of 128,200 net new job-years between 2022 and 2050. In addition, it will lead to significant cost savings, including $42 billion in gross vehicle fuel cost savings and $15 billion in gross vehicle operating and maintenance cost savings. 

Beyond the economic advantages, Connecticut’s new clean transportation regulations will bring multiple societal benefits by reducing carbon and criteria pollutant emissions, in turn improving air quality and benefiting both local and global communities. New regulations will lead to an estimated 137 million metric tons of reduced carbon emissions, which is equivalent to planting 3.5 billion trees according to Save the Sound. The regulations will also reduce harmful pollutants like nitrogen oxides (NOX), sulfur dioxide (SO2), particulate matter (PM2.5), and volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Such pollution reduction is particularly important for the health of low- and moderate-income populations in Connecticut’s dense urban communities and along the state’s major transportation corridors. EBP’s report found that failure to adopt progressive EV policies could jeopardize Connecticut’s public health, air quality, and emissions reduction goals. 

The U.S. has the potential to reap significant economic and societal benefits by embracing progressive EV policies. By emulating Connecticut’s approach, states can accelerate the transition to clean transportation, reduce emissions, create new jobs and economic activity, and build a more sustainable and prosperous future.