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  • Writer's pictureDory

Charging Forward – April 2022

Spring marks a beautiful time in the Southeast. Flowers bloom across the Blue Ridge Mountains, tree-lined roadways come alive with bursts of green. Springtime also marks important occasions in the Southeast: the anniversary of the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill on April 20 and Earth Day on April 22.

Fossil fuel disasters like the Deepwater Horizon spill leave a black mark on communities and as long as we continue to rely on oil to power our transportation sector and invest in offshore drilling, our communities will continue to be threatened by the dangers of a polluting energy system.

There's another event on the horizon with a goal to draw a line in the sand against offshore drilling and promote clean energy and transportation solutions: Hands Across the Sand on May 21. Read more about the event and its origins in our "Powering the Movement" section. And if you're planning to attend an event, let us know!

As shown in our "Transportation Electrification in the Southeast" year-end update published in collaboration with Atlas Public Policy, Florida – impacted by the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf Coast – tops Southeast states in sales, utility investment, and government funding. Floridians understand the economic and environmental value of driving and investing in electric transportation.

All measures include medium- and heavy-duty EVs, except for sales which refers exclusively to passenger EVs. EV manufacturing employment and investment represent commitments made to specific facilities in the state. Utility investment refers to investor-owned utilities only. To understand EV Sales and charging deployment in a national context, please read our report.

Additionally, in this month's newsletter we have an update on how VW settlement funds have been used thus far in the Southeast and how much of it remains. We also take a look and the nuances of charging electric vehicles in rural communities and how electric vehicles and clean energy can deliver trillions in public health benefits. If you live in Tennessee or North Carolina, take a look at two surveys to help the states move forward with their plans to electrify transportation.

As we continue to track the progress of electric transportation growth in the Southeast and beyond, we remain grateful for our readers who stay connected to us and others on Facebook and Twitter. To receive these newsletters in your inbox, click here to sign up!

Charging Forward,

Dory Larsen


Powering the EV Movement

The 2022 update of the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy’s Electric Transportation Toolkit for local governments to accelerate electric vehicle adoption is complete! The toolkit includes new and expanded content to meet urgent electric transportation planning needs. It remains a compilation of vetted resources and proven best practices to inform and support local and state government electric transportation planning and implementation including charging station deployment, fleet electrification, policies and programs, community EV adoption, funding sources, and more. Read more.


Mobility needs are not created equally, and addressing them should not be one size fits all. SACE's Electric Transportation Equity Manager recently explored the characteristics of the urban environment and the effect transportation electrification could have on existing inequities. Rural communities' geography and driving habits require different considerations and solutions to ensure that these communities are not left behind in the transition to electrifying transportation. Read more.


Recently published data from The American Lung Association shows that in addition to creating jobs and addressing the climate crisis, accelerating the shift to EVs and clean energy will save trillions of dollars and more than 100,000 lives over 30 years. The public health impacts of dirty transportation and electricity generation translate directly into tangible benefits, benefits that we can realize by switching to clean energy and electric vehicles. To better understand where the greatest opportunities lie to manifest a cleaner, safer, and more prosperous future, we posed questions to Will Barrett, Lung Association’s National Senior Director for Clean Air Advocacy and the Zeroing in on Clean Air assessment’s lead author. Read more.


In 2016, Volkswagen and the EPA agreed to a multiple-part settlement due to the illegal installation of ‘defeat devices’ on VW’s diesel engines that violated the Clean Air Act. We explore how Southeastern states have put these funds to use and how much funding remains. Read more.


The oil industry is pressing for expanded offshore drilling, but more offshore oil drilling is a false solution that stands to harm Americans economically and environmentally. Plus, growing evidence now shows that switching to electric vehicles can decrease fuel demand more than enough to replace any gasoline produced from opening the Atlantic, Eastern Gulf of Mexico, and Pacific to new offshore drilling. Read more.


It’s been 12 years since an explosion on BP’s Deepwater Horizon rig in the Gulf of Mexico killed 11 crew members and injured 17. The disaster that began on April 20th lasted for five months. It was the largest marine oil spill in history. Almost five million barrels of oil created a 57,000-square-mile oil slick that polluted 1,100 miles of shoreline. That’s why it’s important that after a 2-year hiatus, Hands Across the Sand will take place at several locations on Saturday, May 21. Please join your neighbors in standing against offshore drilling and in support of electric transportation. Read more.


Get Plugged-In

Hands Across the Sand

Public Event

Offshore drilling is risky to our environment and coastal tourism economy. And we in the Southeast have defeated misguided proposals for drilling off our shores before. But today, the oil industry is taking advantage of the pain families are feeling at the pump by pressing elected officials to reverse our protections and expand risky offshore drilling.

Hands Across the Sand is an annual event, founded on the Florida Gulf Coast in 2010, when community members come together in locations around the country and across the world to say “yes” to clean energy and “no” to offshore drilling and risky fossil fuels.

Please join with neighbors to come together at your local Hands Across the Sand event and make a statement that we need clean energy and electric vehicles, not risky offshore drilling!

Hands Across the Sand May 21 | Multiple locations

North Carolina Clean Transportation Plan


NCDOT requests input from all stakeholders on a variety of topics related to clean transportation. Information from this survey will be aggregated and used to inform future public information sessions, workgroup action plans and the final Clean Transportation Plan report. By working with stakeholders, the N.C. Clean Transportation Plan will outline the near-term strategies North Carolina can use to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, increase the use of zero-emission vehicles, advance environmental justice and create good-paying jobs tied to clean transportation.

North Carolina Clean Transportation Plan Take the Survey

Tennessee Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Deployment Plan


The Tennessee Department of Transportation is currently taking public comment to aid the development of its Tennessee Electric Vehicle Infrastructure (TEVI) Deployment Plan to create a network of electric vehicle (EV) charging stations along interstates and key routes in Tennessee. The final plan will serve as a guide to efficiently implement the deployment of future stations in accordance with state and national guidelines.

In addition to a survey, the agency is also hosting a series of in-person events across the state.

Tennessee Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Deployment Plan Take the Survey

RE+ Southeast


Solar and Storage Southeast is now RE+ Southeast, the most comprehensive clean energy event dedicated to the region. With a heavy emphasis on solar and storage, RE+ Southeast serves the same market as before, but also allows for increased hydrogen, wind, microgrid, and EV content.

RE+ Southeast is committed to providing industry-wide networking, education, and exhibition opportunities, leading the way for clean energy professionals doing business in this area of the U.S. This event provides opportunities to network with solar and energy storage companies based in the region, as well as gain knowledge on the trends and policies impacting the Southeast.

Use the code “PC1522SACE” for 15% off non-member full conference passes.

RE+ Southeast

May 11-12, 2022 Georgia World Congress Center | Atlanta, Georgia Register


Paving the Way

When it comes to electric vehicles, there is a lot of information being shared online about the new technology. One of the claims on WCNC's social media pages was about the cost to charge an electric vehicle: Does the average electric vehicle cost $45 to fully charge? The short answer: no. Read more and watch the video where SACE helped debunk this claim.


Total Cost of Ownership Analysis

Atlas Public Policy analyzed four vehicle categories to understand the total cost of ownership for some of the most popular internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles and similarly costed electric vehicles (EV) available for purchase in 2022. The four vehicle categories included:

  • Low-cost sedan (below $30,000),

  • Mid-cost sedan (above $40,000),

  • Sports Utility Vehicle (SUV),

  • Pickup

The total cost of ownership for all four vehicles analyzed showed electric vehicles as the more economical option. Read more.


Net-zero emissions in US government fleets In 2021, the Biden Administration issued two executive orders intended to encourage more widespread adoption of battery electric vehicles (BEVs) in the United States and thereby move the country closer to achieving its net-zero emissions goal.1 The first executive order aims to revitalize the flagging electric-vehicle (EV) program of the US government, requiring the replacement of the government’s entire fleet of about 650,000 vehicles with US-made electric models. The second executive order set a target for EVs to make up half of all new vehicles sold in the United States in 2030.

But questions remain: What vehicles should transition, and when? How will public stakeholders operate, charge, and maintain e-fleets? How will the government and other stakeholders manage the transition successfully? This article addresses those questions and provides options to consider when taking on strategic challenges, such as fleet segmentation, road map development, and execution and change management. This framework could help inform the US government’s efforts to transition its fleet to zero-emissions vehicles. Read more.


Electric Vehicle Market Update

A new paper from the Environmental Defense Fund summarizes the current status, and projected growth, of the U.S. electric vehicle industry over the next five to ten years. Key topics addressed include drivers of U.S. and global EV growth, auto manufacturer investments in EV development and in building a robust charging network for drivers, announced new EV model introductions, projected EV sales, projected battery pack costs and advancements, and projected date of EV “price parity” with internal combustion

engine vehicles. The report also addresses the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on EV sales. Read more.


Readers Kicking Gas

Every month we'll spotlight stories and photos from YOU, our readers, about how EVs play a role in your world. To be featured in an upcoming ETS newsletter, send us an email here!

Charles & Edwina, Knoxville, Tennessee

Charles and Edwina decided to buy their Tesla Model Y because they've always had an interest in energy efficiency. At one point in their lives they even owned a diesel rabbit VW to save on gas! But they're happy to have an EV now because it's fun to drive, and they've lowered their transportation expenses by driving this ultra-efficient car!

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