Prove your humanity

Pennsylvania falls in the middle of the pack when it comes to state policies that make it easier for people to use electric transportation.

The rankings come from the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy, a nonprofit group that aims to develop policies that help fight climate change.

“We found that there is considerable room for improvement across the board, but states have a diverse set of policy actions to choose from. There’s something every state can work on, and there’s a policy option for every state,” said Peter Huether, the report’s lead author.

Pennsylvania leads in some categories, like incentives for electric vehicles and charging stations. It’s one of only a few states that offer rebates for buying a used EV and an extra rebate for low-income buyers.

Overall, the commonwealth places 16th among 33 ranked states.

ACEEE says the state could advance by encouraging more electric heavy-duty trucks, setting EV sales targets, and mandating electric school buses and public transit.

“We would also encourage more states to adopt transportation sector greenhouse gas reduction goals to ensure that their policies are effectively reducing emissions, including by electrifying and promoting transit and other forms of non-personal vehicle transportation,” Huether said.

Huether added Pennsylvania hasn’t made any progress in reducing climate pollution from transportation in the past five years. The state Department of Environmental Protection says 22 percent of the state emissions come from transportation, according to the latest data. From 2015-2019, DEP says the transportation sector generated around 61 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent emissions.

The scorecard graded states on a 100-point scale in categories including goal-setting and planning, incentives, and outcomes. It also looked at policies that maximize emissions reductions while improving accessible, cost-effective, equitable mobility options as well as actions by utility regulators to support EV charging management and increase electric grid reliability as demand increases.

Pennsylvania got 33 points, one point lower than the last scorecard in 2021.

California ranked highest, with 88 points.

A number of bills to give tax credits or other incentives for EV purchases have been introduced this session in the legislature, but none have made it out of committee to date.

As a candidate, Gov. Josh Shapiro said he would like to create incentives for buying EVs. He hasn’t taken any action on EVs since taking office.