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Charging Forward – April 2023


We're rolling through Spring and the EPA is rolling out two proposals for clean vehicle standards that will reduce emissions from more of our roads' vehicles. The EPA granted a waiver to California allowing the state to set stricter tailpipe pollution standards for medium and heavy-duty vehicles than the current federal standards. The new standards, known as the Advanced Clean Trucks (ACT) Rule, can now be adopted by other states.


Concurrently, the EPA announced new proposed federal emissions standards for light, medium and heavy-duty vehicles. If passed, these new federal standards will hit the accelerator on EV adoption! Take a look below in our "Powering the Movement" section for a blog post that dives deeper into this topic.


What's more, the Clean School Bus Grant program grant became available recently. The EPA anticipates doling out $400 million in competitive grants to fund the replacement of existing polluting school buses with clean and zero-emission school buses. You can read about and apply for this funding opportunity below.


But before you dive into the newsletter, we want to remind stakeholders including states or political subdivision of states, metropolitan planning organizations, local governments, Indian tribes and more, to apply for the Charging and Fueling Infrastructure (CFI) Discretionary Grant Program. The application is due May 30, 2023. Find more information and apply.


Both the CFI and Clean School Bus Program grant opportunities are made possible with funding from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law – highlighting another reason why federal funding is so critical to help promote electric transportation!


All measures include medium- and heavy-duty EVs, except for sales, which refer exclusively to passenger EVs. EV includes both battery EVs (BEV) and Plug-in Hybrid EVs (PHEV). Employment and Investment refer to announced EV manufacturing facilities including EV charging, EV assembly, battery manufacturing, and battery recycling facilities. Utility refers to investor-owned utilities only. Total is cumulative unless stated. Data is through December 2022 and growth is taken from January 1 to December 31, 2022. To understand EV Sales and charging deployment in a national context, please read our report. Source: “Transportation Electrification in the Southeast” report 2022 year-end updates; Atlas EV Hub + Southern Alliance for Clean Energy.


In April, we spent some time in Florida taking folks of all ages on electric vehicle ride and drives to celebrate Earth Month! As shown in our “Transportation Electrification in the Southeast” report 2022 year-end updates published in partnership with Atlas EV Hub, as of December 2022, Florida currently reigns as the Southeast leader for electric vehicle market share and second in the region for electric vehicle charging deployment. With the influx of public funding currently available paired with more utility investment, Florida can maintain its stronghold on EV sales and incentivize current and future drivers to go electric!


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

Charging and Fueling Infrastructure Grant Program: Filling in Charging Gaps

The Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill included funding to build out our nation's electric vehicle charging stations. The Charging and Fueling Infrastructure Discretionary Grant Program is one component of that. A Notice of Funding Opportunity was released and is available for the first round of funding until May 30, 2023. Read on to learn more about the program and the two ways your community can increase EV charging infrastructure through the program. Read more.


Big Electric Vehicles are Coming Down the Road, Part 1

All signs point to a rapid increase in electric vans, trucks, and buses as public policies, market conditions, and consumer desire begin to align. In the first of two blog posts, SACE's Electric Transportation Policy Director Stan Cross examines the public policies supporting the market transition from diesel to electric. In Part 2, Stan will share insights about technology and the market of medium and heavy-duty vehicles after he returns from the Advanced Clean Truck Expo to be held later this week. Read more.

 

Get Plugged-In

Georgia: The Shift from Gas to Grid: A Roundtable on Transportation Electrification in Rural Communities

In-Person Event


Join our partners at the Electrification Coalition and local and state leaders for a roundtable discussion on vehicle electrification in rural Georgia. The roundtable workshop will cover the opportunities and challenges associated with the once-in-a-generation investment in electric transportation in Georgia and how rural communities can benefit and create a stronger and more resilient economy. Panelists will discuss available opportunities for federal funding, and then participants will break into groups to discuss the challenges and solutions rural communities can take advantage of when trying to install charging infrastructure and deploy electric vehicles.


Speakers, panelists, and participating organizations include:

  • Tony McBrayer, commissioner, Tifton County

  • Matt Fowler, program manager, Georgia DOT

  • Laurie Holmes, senior manager of government and regulatory affairs, Ka Corporation

  • Andy Moore, director of EV strategy and operations, Blue Bird Corporation

  • Frank Morris, director, Georgia Clean Cities

  • Tim Echols, commissioner, Georgia Public Service Commission

  • Kevin Malone, senior electric transportation project coordinator, Georgia Power

  • Chris Nevers, director of public policy, Rivian

SACE staff will also be in attendance, feel free to say hello!


The Shift from Gas to Grid: A Roundtable on Transportation Electrification in Rural Communities Wednesday, May 24 | 10 AM - 12 PM ET Register

 

North Carolina: The Shift from Gas to Grid: A Roundtable on Transportation Electrification in Rural Communities

In-Person Event


Join the Electrification Coalition and local and state leaders for a roundtable discussion on vehicle electrification in rural North Carolina. The event will convene community leaders, industry, and policymakers to offer insights into the best practices, funding opportunities, and community needs to ensure the greatest influence on electric transportation. This includes buses, fleet vehicles, and charging infrastructure in rural North Carolina. There will be a particular emphasis on workforce development and job opportunities that can be created by electrification infrastructure expansion plans.


The NC Department of Transportation has $109 billion in grants available to install electric vehicle charging and alternative fuel on public roads, schools, parks, and publicly accessible parking facilities. These grants will prioritize rural areas, low-and moderate-income neighborhoods, and communities with low ratios of private parking, or high ratios of multiunit dwellings.


Speakers and panelists include:

  • Anne Blair, senior director of policy, Electrification Coalition

  • Mike Clampitt, NC House Rep.

  • Blanca Patrick, senior engineer of transportation electrification, Duke Energy

  • Jennifer Rennicks, senior manager of government affairs, World Resources Institute

  • JJ Lee, east coast region sales director, Soletrac Tractors

  • Sarah Nichols, regional planner, Land-of-Sky Regional Council

  • Ellery Hanlin, manager of BEVs, John Deere


The Shift from Gas to Grid: A Roundtable on Transportation Electrification in Rural Communities Friday, May 5 | 9:30 AM - 11:30 AM ET Register

 

North Carolina DOT NEVI Program Networking Online Event

Database + Webinar


The N.C. NEVI Program will initiate a procurement process in fall 2023 to install Direct Current Fast Charging (DCFC) EV stations along the State’s Alternative Fuel Corridors. The North Carolina Department of Transportation anticipates entities that are interested in deploying EV Supply Equipment (EVSE) under the NEVI program will form teams potentially consisting of: Site Developers, EVSE Providers, and Site Hosts.


To help these entities prepare to respond to the procurement process, the NCDOT is facilitating two networking opportunities: an online database and a networking event. The intent of the networking is to introduce and connect stakeholders who may want to partner on charging station development.

North Carolina NEVI Networking Database Join before June 30


North Carolina DOT NEVI Program Networking Online Event May 9 | 2-5 PM ET Register by Sunday, May 7


 

EPA Clean School Bus Program Grants

Funding


The EPA anticipates awarding approximately $400 million in competitive grant funding under the Clean School Bus (CSB) Grants Program Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO). The program is soliciting applications nationwide for a grant competition to fund the replacement of existing school buses with clean and zero-emission (ZE) school buses.


Head to the EPA's website to find more information on:

  • 2023 Request of Funding Opportunity

  • Important Dates

  • Application Documents

  • Questions and Answers

  • Eligible Applicants

  • Funding Prioritizations

  • Application Process

  • Tools and Resources

All application packages need to be submitted electronically to EPA through Grants.gov no later than Tuesday, August 22, 2023, at 11:59 PM ET to be considered for funding.


EPA Clean School Bus Program Grants Apply by Tuesday, August 22, 2023, at 11:59 PM ET

 

Paving the Way

IRS + Treasury Proposed Clean Vehicle Tax Credit Announcement

The U.S. Department of the Treasury and the Internal Revenue Service released proposed guidance on the new clean vehicle provisions of the Inflation Reduction Act that will lower costs for consumers, amongst other public health and economic benefits. Find information about what new and pre-owned vehicles qualify, additional state/local tax incentives, vehicle eligibility requirements, and use the Fuel Economy website to simulate purchasing scenarios.

 

The unlikely center of America’s EV battery revolution

Georgia is gaining thousands of jobs from electric vehicle manufacturing. But lawmakers are hesitant to fully embrace EVs — or the fight against climate change. So far, Georgia is one of the biggest winners in the quest for clean energy jobs. Since 2020, it has attracted 35 electric-vehicle-related projects and an estimated 27,400 jobs. With $15.27 billion pledged so far, the state leads the country in new clean energy investments. Battery and vehicle manufacturers in particular — as well as battery recycling plants and auto parts suppliers — have flocked to Southern states, chasing expanded federal tax credits and generous state incentives.

Source: Climate Power | Shannon Osaka / The Washington Post


But Georgia Republican lawmakers haven’t fully embraced electric vehicles: Last month, the state Senate passed a tax on public EV charging. Along with the governor, most state lawmakers rarely mention “climate change” — or the emissions reductions and environmental benefits of switching to electric vehicles.


The result is a strange moment in Georgia’s shift toward making and selling EVs: A state with one foot in — and one foot out — of a massive transition.


“If the products of the manufacturers you’re attracting can’t be readily sold or purchased in that state — well, you’ve got a challenge,” said Stan Cross, Electric Transportation Policy Director at the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy. Read more.

 

Which electric vehicle is right for you? Check out a guide.

The electric-vehicle market is suddenly brimming with choices, from hatchbacks to trucks to roomy SUVs. That’s great news for consumers, but it also means a dizzying and sometimes confusing array of options.

To help simplify things, The Washington Post has compiled a guide that lets you compare price, battery range and the estimated environmental impact of manufacturing and driving some of the hottest electric cars on the market. Read more.

 

The big reason why the U.S. is seeking the toughest-ever rules for vehicle emissions

The EPA's new proposed emissions standards address pollution from vehicle tailpipes, including air pollution harming human health and greenhouse gases fueling climate change. These proposed standards would accelerate EV manufacturing and sales because the standards require automakers to hit an average across their fleet of vehicles--sell a polluting internal combustion car or truck and you'll need to sell a zero-emissions one to hit the allowable average.


Based on EPA's analysis, for automakers to comply with the new emissions standards, electric vehicles or another zero-tailpipe emissions technology must make up approximately 67% of all their light-duty passenger vehicles and 25% of medium and heavy-duty vehicles sold by 2032.


Regulating emissions instead of vehicle technologies allows the market to compete for the best solutions across vehicle types and use cases; the best solution for reducing emissions from passenger cars may differ from long-haul freight rigs. If adopted, these proposed regulations will require automakers to ramp up zero-emissions R&D and production, which is good for our and the planet's lungs, and for America's long-term energy security via transportation fuel-type diversification away from oil dependency. Read more.

 

California’s Landmark Truck Emissions Rules Get Federal Approval What happens in California doesn't stay in California. The federal Clean Air Act gives the state the ability to set stricter auto emissions standards because California's unique coastal and inland valley geography traps air creating unhealthy smog conditions in its cities.


Once California establishes standards, it needs the EPA to review and approve the standards.To meet the new standards, automakers will need to sell an increasing number of zero-emissions vehicles, like electric vehicles, to offset polluting internal combustion vehicles. Companies that fail to do so will have to buy "zero-emissions credits" from companies whose sales in the state exceed emissions requirements.


Here's why it matters: once the EPA gives California the green light to implement its stricter emissions standards, any state can choose to adopt the stricter standards. Already, eight additional states are working to adopt the newly approved medium/heavy-duty standards, which, along with California, represent nearly a quarter of the nation's truck, van, and bus markets. Read more.

 

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! We'll also highlight our partners and allies from our testimonials page and feature photos from events SACE has participated in across the region.



Earth Day Events

It's no secret electric vehicles are good for our economy, and the public's health. A key motivator for our work is they're also good for our planet, as they reduce the need for more polluting fossil fuel infrastructure that perpetuates a warming planet and leaves our treasured spaces susceptible to devastating events, like oil spills. In celebration of Earth Day, our team participated in Earth Day events in Florida. We hope you enjoy our slide show of some photos from friendly riders and drivers!

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