Private finance is playing a critical role in accelerating the deployment of clean energy technologies that will reduce the impacts of our energy use on the global climate. Can some of these innovative financing tools – or new tools – also help spur alternative fuel vehicles (AFVs) and fueling infrastructure?
That’s a question we have set out to answer in a new initiative  with the National Association of State Energy Officials. As a first step, we’ve explored some of the key barriers in the AFV market that private investment could help address .AFVs such as electric, fuel cell and natural gas cars, trucks and buses can help improve air quality, reduce oil consumption and reduce the heat-trapping greenhouse gas emissions that are contributing to climate change. But high upfront costs, the lack of widespread fueling options, and consumers’ lack of information are all barriers to market growth.
Sales of electric vehicles in the United States this year were nearly double 2012 levels, thanks in part to public programs and incentives, especially infrastructure build-out through government initiatives, and vehicle purchase incentives. But for AFVs to spread beyond early adopters, more private investment in technology deployment is essential.
Tools that could help mobilize stronger private investment include:
Our research shows that private finance can’t fix everything that’s holding back AFVs, but it does show some promise in addressing a number of critical needs.
With our initiative, we aim to unlock private investment and help accelerate AFV and fueling infrastructure deployment.