But one Bend electric vehicle maker said the popularity of the vehicles comes down to price.
“You can talk about it all you want and collaborate on it all you want ... but maybe the best thing to do would be to provide money to the people who want to buy these products,” said Jay Bower, chief technical officer of Venus Motors Co. “If we could finance vehicles instead of companies, I think we could get more electric vehicles on the road.”
The adoption of electric vehicles has been slower than industry leaders expected. But on Thursday, governors of Oregon, California, New York and five other states agreed to expand consumer awareness and demand for zero-emission vehicles by creating financial incentives and improving infrastructure.
They hope the efforts will lead to at least 3.3 million zero-emission vehicle sales total by 2025.
Bower said states, as well as vehicle and charging-station manufacturers, have already been collaborating.
Earlier this year, Venus joined with California-based Green Transportation Workforce Development and the Silicon Valley Green Team to provide California schools with electric vehicle teacher training, hands-on kit car building and classroom curriculum.
As a state, Oregon has been promoting electric vehicle use and improving electric-vehicle transportation overall, said Ashley Horvat, project manager for electrification in the Oregon Department of Transportation's Office of Innovative Partnerships and Alternative Funding.
But the efforts announced last week, she said, will help states learn from one another.
“There's other states that are doing amazing things,” Horvat said. “There's a lot of things that we can do here in Oregon that we haven't done yet. But we have a lot to lend as well.”
For example, she said 33 out of 43 stations on the West Coast Electric Highway, a network of electric vehicle charging stations located every 25 to 50 miles along Interstate 5 and other major roadways in the Pacific Northwest, have been built.
Increasing electric vehicle sales will bring down prices for new ones, said Jeff Allen, executive director of Drive Oregon.
“Oregon and California have a lot of these electric vehicles available for sale here already,” Allen said. “Part of what the announcement and collaboration will do is help make those cars available in the New England states as well.”