We at Electrify the South are looking ahead to 2021 with confidence that electric transportation will continue charging forward. Our team is excited for the opportunities that 2021 will bring as we work to put the challenges of 2020 in the rearview. We are as committed as ever to working towards policies and practices that will help combat the climate crisis and improve public health as we rebuild our economic system with renewable energy infrastructure, and invite you to consider a year-end gift to Electrify the South. We thank you for your support and may your holidays be safe, joyful, rich with gratitude, and charge your batteries for a productive 2021.
Powering the EV Movement
After a twenty-month-long wait, we're celebrating the North Carolina Utility Commission’s (NCUC) approval of Duke Energy’s Electric Transportation Pilot Program. Despite the program being scaled back from its original $76 million request to approximately $26 million in approved investments, the approved electric transportation pilot is the largest in the Southeast – both in terms of program scope and ratepayer dollars committed – and is a significant ruling for public and multi-unit dwelling chargers and a school bus program. Read more in this blog post.
The Florida Public Service Commission recently approved a Florida Power & Light proposal that intends to bolster private sector deployment of electric vehicle fast chargers. If successful, this pilot program will benefit EV drivers in FPL territories by ensuring adequate charging stations and will benefit ratepayers by leveraging private-sector charging station investment to grow the EV market and support downward pressure on rates. Read more in this blog post.
Virtual Electric Vehicle Ride and Drive in a Tesla Model 3
During this time of social distancing, the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy, Electrify the South, East Tennessee Clean Cities, Middle-West Clean Cities, and Drive Electric Tennessee are offering you an opportunity to experience a virtual electric vehicle ride in a Tesla Model 3. Please join us for this fun and informative virtual ride and drive event.
Tuesday, January 12, 12 - 1:30 PM ET
Paving the Way
In October we reported on General Motor’s plan to spend $2 billion to change its Spring Hill, Tennessee factory into its third U.S. electric vehicle plant. Recently, a Tennessee panel approved $35 million in economic incentives for General Motor’s plan, and the money will be used as a job training assistance grant to retrain 2,000 full-time employees for the new vehicle project. The company will build the Cadillac Lyriq, a small electric SUV pictured above.
According to the EPA, just 6% of the registered vehicles on US roads in 2018 were medium- and heavy-duty , but they were responsible for 23% of transportation-sector greenhouse gas emissions. Since most run on diesel engines, they also produce enormous amounts of air and noise pollution, which fall disproportionately on low-income and communities of color that may live closer to highways. That’s where medium- and heavy-duty electric trucks (MHDETs) come in. They are quiet, emit zero tailpipe pollution, and draw power from an increasingly clean electricity grid. An impossible dream a decade ago, they are now the subject of fierce competition from big automakers.
Arrival, a technology and London-based global electric vehicle company, plans to build its North American headquarters in Charlotte. Arrival is making a $3 million investment in the new property, and the headquarters – set to be built in Charlotte’s South End off Tremont Avenue – will bring 150 new jobs to the area. Arrival, which specializes in electric buses and vans with the goal of zero emission commercial vehicles and clean energy goals, says they chose Charlotte because they were looking for a “forward-thinking” city they could work with in partnership.
As the industry shifts away from internal combustion vehicles toward electric and other zero emission models, California Air Resources Board Chair Mary Nichols says the state's framework deal with automakers on fuel efficiency requirements could be “a good template" for federal standards through 2025. Nichols says, "And then we should be moving on to the next generation of regulation. Our future is not with the internal combustion engine.”
The SC Department of Insurance, as the lead agency for the State of South Carolina, is seeking to award up nearly $24.6 million in funding as part of the state’s allocation from the Volkswagen Environmental Mitigation Trust. Based on the agreement, South Carolina may utilize the funds to cover up to 100% of the costs of selected, eligible projects to replace government-owned eligible buses and privately-owned school buses that are under contract with a public school district. If replaced by an all-electric vehicle, South Carolina may also cover up to 100% of the costs of associated charging infrastructure. Applications must be submitted email to firstname.lastname@example.org by 5:00 PM ET on Friday, February 26, 2021.
Blast from the past —
We've come a long way ...
We got a kick out of this old advertisement from the Electric Vehicle Association of America. Electric vehicles were initially targeted to women because they were cleaner, quieter, and didn't require the heavy crank that gas-fueled vehicles at the time had. Sexist stereotypes aside (we see you 1920s), EVs are for EVeryone for all the right reasons – to save money, save time, and save the environment. We are glad some things – like knowing EVs are efficient, safe, and cost effective – still ring true.
We love to spotlight stories and photos from YOU, our readers, about how EVs play a role in your world. To be featured as a "Reader Kicking Gas" in an upcoming ETS newsletter, send us an email here!