Updated July 30 at 11:23pm

Chafee joins eight-state initiative for 3.3M clean cars by 2025

Gov. Lincoln D. Chafee joined seven other governors Thursday in announcing an initiative to put 3.3 million zero-emission vehicles on the roads in their states by 2025.

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Chafee joins eight-state initiative for 3.3M clean cars by 2025

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PROVIDENCE – Gov. Lincoln D. Chafee joined seven other governors Thursday in announcing an initiative to put 3.3 million zero-emission vehicles on the roads in their states by 2025.

Zero-emission vehicles – which include battery-electric vehicles, plug-in hybrid-electric vehicles and hydrogen fuel-cell-electric vehicles – help reduce greenhouse gas emissions, create new jobs building and servicing vehicles and infrastructure and save drivers as much as $6,000 in fueling costs over the life of the car, according to the initiative memorandum.

“Rhode Island has already started taking steps and one includes the installation of charging stations throughout the state,” said Chafee in a prepared statement. “Through the Zero Emission Vehicle Memorandum of Understanding, we have created a vital partnership that will reduce our reliance on imported oil, boost our economy and save money at the pump. This is an important collaboration that works toward the common goal of protecting our environment.”

The governors of Massachusetts, Connecticut, Vermont, Oregon, New York, Maryland and California joined Chafee in signing the memorandum of understanding. These states are among a group of states which have adopted rules requiring about 15 percent of new vehicles sold to be zero-emission vehicles by 2025.

Over the next six months, the eight signatory states will develop an action plan to help build a national market for electric and hydrogen-powered cars. The plan will include amending building codes facilitating electric-car charging stations, creating incentives to promote zero-emission vehicles, developing common standards for roadway signs and charging networks, and including so-called “clean” vehicles in the states’ public fleets.

“Increasing electric vehicles in our fleet is a critical component of our efforts in Massachusetts to address air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions from the transportation sector and grow the clean energy economy,” said Mass. Gov. Deval Patrick. “Diversifying transportation fuels and providing drivers with options will help reduce vulnerability to price swings in imported oil that hurt consumers and our economy.”

According to the memorandum, electric-car sales in the U.S. more than tripled in 2012, rising to 52,000 from 17,000 in 2011. There are already more than 6,700 charging stations open to the public in the eight signatory states, and 16 different zero-emission vehicle models are currently sold in the U.S. by eight different auto manufacturers.

By 2015 nearly every major automaker will have zero-emission vehicles available for sale or lease, and more than 200,000 zero-emission vehicles are expected to be on the road across the U.S., the memorandum stated.

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