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Advocacy Group Says Nevada Needs To Do More To Promote Electric Cars

A nonprofit group that advocates on behalf of energy efficiency in six Western states is lobbying Nevada to do more to promote the use of electric cars, especially following Tesla Motors’ decision to locate its $5 billion battery factory in Storey County.

The Southwest Energy Efficiency Project says in a report that Nevada needs to implement a series of policies to create the infrastructure needed to support the mass deployment of electric vehicles.

“Several state policies that have proven themselves in other states are needed in Nevada,” said Mike Salisbury, author of the report, Economic and Air Quality Benefits of Electric Vehicle in Nevada.

Salisbury recommends Nevada provides rebates for the purchase or lease of electric cars. His report also suggests deregulating utility electricity sales so that charging stations can sell electricity as fuel, update codes to allow businesses and local governments to finance fleet purchases of electric vehicles.

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The study also finds that Nevada needs to charge an electric vehicle registration fee to support road maintenance and charging stations.

Salisbury, who is also transportation associate, said supporting widespread “adoption of electric vehicles in an important strategy for improving air quality in Clark and Washoe counties.” He said Nevada’s most populated areas “faces air quality challenges.”

SWEEP is a Boulder, Colo., -based advocacy group dedicated to advancing energy efficiency in Arizona, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming. The vehicles looked at in the report include more the Tesla Motors, but also include hybrids such as the Toyota Prius and the all-electric Nissan LEAF.

Such cars currently make up less than 1 percent of Nevada's car market, the report said. Most of these changes would require legislative action.

GUEST:

Mike Salisbury, transportation associate with the Southwest Energy Efficiency Project

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