June 21, 2021
ITS America Board Adopts New Policy Positions
Earlier this month, the ITS America Board of Directors voted to adopt policy put forth by two of the association’s standing committees – the Sustainability and Resiliency Standing Committee and the Smart Infrastructure Standing Committee. All six of the committees, which were launched earlier this year, have done a tremendous amount of work in a few short months. ITS America is grateful to all committee members for their engagement and commitment, and we look forward to their continued great work.
Based on draft policy developed by multiple task forces, the Sustainability and Resiliency Standing Advisory Committee recommended policy in six areas, all of which the board adopted. The full policy is available here, and introductions of each area are below.
- Light Duty Vehicles – Increased deployment of light-duty zero-emission vehicles (ZEVs) will provide significant environmental benefits. ITS America’s light-duty vehicle policy is intended to encourage consumers’ continued adoption of ZEVs primarily through the provision of financial incentives. This includes increasing the tax credit volume cap for each manufacturer, at a minimum maintaining the current tax credit levels, and increasing access to the tax credit incentive by making the credit refundable and transferable. ITS America also supports increasing access and ensuring ZEVs stay on the road for as long as possible by establishing a used ZEV tax credit and providing incentives for EV battery replacement. ITS America also supports incentives for ZEV micromobility vehicles, such as e-bikes and e-scooters.
- Medium- and Heavy-Duty Vehicles – In addition to light-duty vehicles, the deployment of medium- and heavy-duty ZEVs will provide significant environmental benefits. ITS America supports federal incentives for zero-emission medium-and heavy-duty vehicles, including point-of-sale rebates or tax credits for the purchase of these vehicles, a broad definition of qualifying vehicles, and a phase-out based on a defined time period rather than adoption rates. ITS America also supports federal incentives for the purchase and deployment of zero-emission transit vehicles, school buses, and associated charging and fueling infrastructure.
- Zero-Emission Vehicle Charging and Fueling Infrastructure and Use of Rights-of-Way – The buildout of a charging infrastructure network is a significant factor in the successful deployment of ZEVs. This includes providing State Departments of Transportation and local governments with the ability to deploy charging and fueling infrastructure, including by eliminating the 23 USC 111 prohibition of commercialization within the highway rights-of-way, providing more flexibility for the deployment of charging and fueling infrastructure, providing federal funding and other incentives to support this infrastructure deployment, and providing funding for associated infrastructure along ZEV charging and fueling corridors. ITS America also supports providing federal incentives for the purchase and installation of charging infrastructure by individuals and non-public organizations, including at residential, multi-unit residential, and commercial buildings.
- Workforce Development – Deploying ZEVs and associated charging and fueling infrastructure will require significant investment in the public and private workforce needed to build and maintain these vehicles and associated infrastructure. ITS America supports providing federal funding and investment to study and identify workforce development needs and support workforce development programs for the deployment, maintenance, and operation of ZEVs and infrastructure, including for public transportation.
- Electric Grid Sustainability and Resiliency – A large-scale deployment of ZEVs will require significant investment to improve the generation capacity, sustainability, and resiliency of the nation’s electric grid and increased collaboration between the transportation and energy sectors. ITS America supports federal funding to develop grid infrastructure, improve the physical and digital security of the grid, conduct research into increasing grid capacity, develop vehicle-to-grid technology and pilot programs, and increase communication and coordination between the transportation and energy industries.
- Research and Development – While we have made many advancements in sustainable and resilient transportation, much more research and development is needed to continue to develop ZEV, charging, and fueling technologies. ITS America supports federal assistance for continued research into EVs and battery technologies, alternative fuels technologies, and efficient mobility systems to decrease costs, increase range, improve safety, enhance efficiency, promote interoperability, and reduce the life-cycle environmental impacts of these technologies.
The Smart Infrastructure Standing Committee brought four policies to the board, developed by different task forces; the board approved each policy. They are summarized below, including links to each policy.
- National Vision Zero Policy – Far too many vulnerable road users—including people walking and cycling—die on U.S. roads. In a year in which Americans have turned to walking and cycling as a socially-distant way to get around, walking and cycling fatalities have soared. ITS America supports establishing funding for local and state governments, MPOs, or regional transportation planning organizations to establish and implement Vision Zero plans that include technology deployment to improve detection of vulnerable road users, leading to safer roadways for all. Read the policy here.
- Transportation Broadband Policy – Providing national, state, and local broadband infrastructure that supports the implementation of intelligent transportation systems, including connected and automated vehicles (CAV) and cooperative automated transportation (CAT), to improve the safety, mobility, equity, and operational efficiency of our surface transportation system is critical to meet the demands of rural, urban and underserved communities. ITS America encourages the Secretary of Transportation to consider broadband a necessary foundation of any transportation infrastructure project and to make broadband infrastructure and its ancillary systems eligible for funding. Read the policy here.
- Intelligent Transportation Systems Deployment Program – Intelligent transportation systems will improve transportation safety and mobility while reducing congestion, reducing transportation-related emissions, reducing transportation disparities, and improving public health. ITS America supports establishing an Intelligent Transportation Systems Deployment Program modeled after the Advanced Transportation and Congestion Management Deployment Program that would have three technology deployment focus areas: connected automated vehicle; climate; and equity. Read the policy here.
- Equity Policy – Today’s transportation systems suffer from historic and ongoing inequities embedded in infrastructure, access, and cost. As we explore and fulfill the promise of new technologies, we must embrace and support the paradigm shift occurring in our nation, learn from the lessons of the past, and incorporate transportation equity principles into policy, research, and implementation strategies. ITS America supports increased federal investment in intelligent transportation technologies, including smart transit, Mobility on Demand, and autonomous delivery vehicles in a federally designated community development zone, including, but not limited to, qualified Opportunity Zone, Empowerment Zones, Promise Zones, or Choice Neighborhoods. Read the policy here.
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