VI. Promote Economic Development by Investing in Electric Transportation

View manufacturing, sales, utility, and government investment indicators and electric vehicle (EV) momentum for: Alabama, Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, South CarolinaTennessee, and the Southeast region from the "Transportation Electrification in the Southeast" report released in August 2021 and updated in March 2022 by Atlas Public Policy and the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy. ​​

 

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There are many economic development benefits of electrifying transportation to the local economy:

  1. Tax dollars saved operating electric public fleets can be invested in other areas.

  2. Purchasing “local” electricity instead of out-of-state gas keeps transportation dollars circulating in local economies.

  3. Increased spending on electricity for transportation puts downward pressure on electricity rates for all ratepayers.   

  4. Increased spending power of consumers saving $1,000+/year on reduced fuel and maintenance costs with EVs.

  5. Price-stability of electricity vs gasoline/diesel for fleet fuel budgeting.

  6. Value of stored energy in EV batteries that can serve the grid to meet peak-demand needs and resilience during an emergency.

  7. Ability to pair with solar spurring on another clean energy sector and enabling the cascading economic development benefits.

  8. Public health dollars saved by reduced air pollution leading to reduced disease and ER visits and increased productivity.

  9. Climate-cost avoidance achieved by reducing transportation carbon emissions and maximized by cleaning the grid in parallel.


Those benefits can be maximized through strategic partnerships that highlight the value the city places on advanced technology solutions. 

Resources:

A. Engage Economic Development Offices
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1. Public-Private Partnerships

Cities and counties should engage economic development offices to cultivate partnerships that would accelerate EV market development. 

 

Example:

 

2. ​Marketing Material

Integrate information into marketing collateral and promote on your website to provide awareness of the city’s electric transportation successes both externally and internally. 

 

Example: 

3. Workforce Development

Engage regional businesses and entrepreneurs to identify demonstration and collaboration opportunities.

 

Example:

 

4. DC Fast Charging Hubs

Cities can leverage public-private partnerships to install direct current (DC) fast charging ‘hubs’ to grow the infrastructure needed to support different types of electric transportation. High-powered hubs can also be co-located with transit and school bus infrastructure to maximize efficiency and decrease costs. 

 

a. Electric Taxi, Uber/LYFT TNC Targets 

Transportation Network Companies (TNCs) are increasing among cities and their greenhouse gas emissions are also increasing. Cities and Counties should engage directly with TNCs to ensure EV adoption and charging infrastructure is being planned accordingly. 

 

Example:

 

b. Multi-Unit Dwelling and On-Street Parking Targets

Cities and counties are seeing a rise in multi-unit dwellings and many urban neighborhoods lack access to off-street parking. In both scenarios, home charging, which accounts for 80+% of an EV driver’s charging needs, is lacking. Fast charging neighborhood hubs can serve as an alternative ‘home charging’ option and make EV ownership accessible to more residents.  

 

c. Resiliency/Evacuations Targets

When evacuation is necessary, more fast charges will be needed. Hubs or depots designed to serve a specific need most days, such as charging transit buses, school buses, or rideshare, can be utilized for evacuation when needed. Such cross-utilization requires careful planning and can make hub installations more economical by spreading the costs over multiple beneficiaries.   

 

d. Downtown Parking and Congestion Mitigation

Public fast charging and Level II charging hubs can entice EV drivers to the edge of the downtown core to locations such as park and rides from where (electric) shuttles can provide access into the city. This can reduce the need for additional parking, ease the strain on existing parking, and reduce downtown congestion while providing EV drivers with the benefit of charging.

B. Strategic Charging Incentives for EVs
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Locating city-owned chargers in targeted areas within the city can attract EV drivers for a two-fold benefit. It increases spending opportunities for EV drivers in downtown while charging and directs EVs to parking decks/lots that are underutilized. Dedicated EV-designated parking spaces and signage (include training for law enforcement for blocking EV spots [i.e. car must be plugged in in order to qualify]) make charging visible and demonstrate the city’s commitment to clean energy. Local governments have taken multiple approaches to parking and charging rates for EVs. 

 

1. Free parking and free charging

 

Examples:

 

2. Pay for parking but charging is free 

This ensures income generation from parking isn't impacted but incentives electric driving in downtown areas. It also allows for non-networked charging infrastructure.

 

Example:

 

3. Pay for parking and charging 

Allows for income generation from both parking and charging. With networked charging infrastructure, it allows adjustable rates depending on the premium of parking.

 

Example: 

C. Group Buy Program
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Local governments can partner with local dealerships to coordinate group buy programs for EVs. Group buy programs help raise consumer awareness about opportunities to purchase an EV and help consumers get a good deal. 

 

Example: