It's an exciting time to be in the realm of electric transportation! Not that long ago, awareness about EVs – let alone policies advancing widespread manufacturing and adoption of electric vehicles – moved at the pace of, well, the gradual acceleration capabilities of an internal combustion engine. These days, EV advancement seems to be stepping on an accelerator with instant torque, more like the EVs that we so love to drive.
Speaking of loving to drive EVs, discovering the fast acceleration of EVs was a big thrill for many folks who showed up to our recent in-person ride and drive events in Orlando, Atlanta, and Raleigh! Another thing most folks love about driving electric is saving money. SACE calculated how much money our region could save and keep in our local economies by switching to electric in our new report, "Retained Transportation Fuel Spending in the Southeast: Electric vs. Internal Combustion Vehicles." The opportunities are great, but there's much work to be done to get there.
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, Twitter, and Instagram. To receive these newsletters in your inbox, click here to sign up!
Powering the EV Movement
A new SACE analysis, “Retained Transportation Fuel Spending in the Southeast: Electric vs. Internal Combustion Vehicles,” shows $64 billion of the region’s economy is lost each year for fueling transportation, and $47 billion in transportation fuel spending could be retained annually in the Southeast by electrifying all on-road gas and diesel-powered cars, trucks, and buses. Read more.
Bi-directional charging was the ethos of three electric vehicle ride and drive events we at the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy and Electrify the South co-hosted in partnership with Environmental Defense Action Fund last week. The events in Orlando, Atlanta, and Raleigh served as a conduit between communities and elected officials to learn the benefits of electrifying transportation, discuss and take action on the federal and state policies at hand, explore opportunities that exist to expand clean energy and electric transportation here in the Southeast, and find reassurance that the community would support climate and clean transportation champions. Read more.
The Southeast is poised to profit from President Biden's Executive Order that sets a goal for 50% of all new vehicles sold in 2030 to be zero-emissions vehicles. Six Southeastern states have already collectively secured approximately 36% of nationwide electric vehicle investment and 18% of EV jobs, and the numbers are growing every month. Read more.
If approved, a proposed FPL settlement agreement would significantly ramp up FPL’s investment in electric vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure — from $30 million to almost $200 million, including $100 million in an EV Fast Charging program that will expand access to chargers in underserved communities and along evacuation routes. It also includes charging programs for homes and businesses. Read more.
Clean Energy, Electric Vehicles, and Giving Back to the Community with Dory Larsen Electrify the South's Dory Larsen talked with NAEP Environmental Professional's Radio hosts about the inspiring world of clean energy, electric vehicles, and giving back to the community. "There's a lot happening now in electric transportation, which is exciting," Dory says while discussing the broad transformation towards electric transportation. Listen here.
Webinar: August 31
Join SACE and Atlas Public Policy for a discussion about their recently released update to the annual report "Transportation Electrification in the Southeast.” The report highlights substantial momentum in the Southeast within the past year, as well as roadblocks and opportunities for state-by-state policy, regulatory, economic development, and investment activity related to electric vehicle (EV) manufacturing, deployment of passenger EVs and EV charging, and government and electric utility funding for transportation electrification.
Webinar: "Transportation Electrification in the Southeast"
Tuesday, August 31, 1 PM ET
Webinar: September 1
Join SACE on Wednesday, September 1, for a discussion about analysis in the recently released report "Retained Transportation Fuel Spending in the Southeast: Electric vs. Internal Combustion Vehicles." SACE analyzed how much consumers spend on gas and diesel, how much of that transportation fuel spending remains in a given Southeast state and how much leaves, and what the retained wealth would be by switching to all-electric vehicles. The analysis found that $47 billion is currently being left on the table by driving gas and diesel-powered vehicles and that electrifying transportation could provide an economic boon for the Southeast region.
Webinar: Retained Transportation Fuel Spending in the Southeast
Wednesday, September 1, 10 AM ET
Event: September 25, Orlando
Join us for Orlando's largest celebration of electric vehicles on Saturday, September 25 as part of National Drive Electric Week. SACE will be sponsoring test drives in a Tesla Model 3 for those 25 and older with a valid driver's license (limited spots available on a first-come, first-served basis). There will also be entertainment, vendor tents, and plenty of opportunities to learn all about EVs and charging. This is a free event, masks are strongly encouraged.
National Drive Electric Week Event
Saturday, September 25, 11 AM - 3 PM ET
Over 900 Tennesseans have registered for the specialty EV license plate designed by Drive Electric Tennessee to promote electric vehicles! The first 1,000 people to register for one of these TN specialty EV license plates will receive free registration for their first year, so act quickly to be one of the first 1,000. By registering you'll help promote EVs throughout the state whether you currently drive an EV or not – plus you'll be able to customize your plate with up to seven characters. The proceeds from these specialty license plates will also be used to fund DET’s projects and programs furthering renewable energy, economic growth, and community health throughout Tennessee. Drive Electric Tennessee needs 1,000 registrations to make this EV plate happen, apply today!
Tennessee Electric Vehicle License Plate
The specialty license plate campaign in North Carolina continues to move forward and only 61 license plate applications are needed to get across the finish line! North Carolinians interested in getting the specialty license plate design can still apply, and applicants' initial $10 fee will be covered by Plug-in NC. If the design is approved, the plate can increase awareness of and support for electric vehicles no matter what kind of vehicle they are on. Plus, everyone who submits an application will be entered to win $500 – however, the drawing will only happen if 500 applications are received.
North Carolina Electric Vehicle License Plate
SACE has joined forces with other clean energy and climate advocacy leaders from across the country to call on our Congressional leaders to support President Biden’s goal of passing a federal Clean Electricity Standard (CES) by 2035. The work we do now to advance electric transportation and enable consumers and fleets to retire oil-dependent cars and trucks is key to implementing a CES, while simultaneously creating millions of jobs, cleaning our air and water, protecting public health, lowering electric bills, and securing energy independence.
Paving the Way
Moms Clean Air Force, a national organization of parents dedicated to fighting air pollution, held a press conference in Georgia and called on state and federal officials to fight climate change by taking steps to convert school buses from traditional diesel to electric. Atlanta-based pediatrician Dr. Yolanda Whyte about how diesel fumes can cause and exacerbate asthma in children, saying, “Because of the inflammation that’s caused by many of the air pollutants, it damages the superficial layer of our lungs and it has a similar effect as cigarette smoking, so we have to take it just as seriously.”
Readers Kicking Gas
Kwame A. Ofori, Atlanta, Georgia
Last week we met Kwame A. Ofori and his black Tesla Model 3 at a Ride and Drive event in Atlanta. Kwame likes driving electric because his car is fast and sporty, he's saving money on energy (if you think of energy in terms of electricity and gas), and since most of the major auto manufacturers are committing to 40% electric vehicles by 2030 he wants to hop on the EV train and ride the wave to the future! In his spare time, Kwame is working to bring more EV charging infrastructure to underserved communities. Watch Kwame's video above!