Charging Forward – February 2021
This month's theme coalesces around the investment in, and the business case for, electric transportation. First, the automakers. Ford raised the stakes on their already $10 billion EV commitment, making an additional massive investment of $22-billion to EVs by 2025. It seems Tesla and GM will not be alone in competing for EV market share.
Meanwhile, our own work this month included a new North Carolina-specific brief released by Atlas Public Policy and SACE that explores economic development opportunities from medium and heavy-duty manufacturing in the state, among other topics. And building an equitable clean energy economy through rapid EV adoption while drastically reducing carbon is the cornerstone of a proposal, developed by SACE and partners, that has been selected as a finalist to compete for the "2030 Climate Challenge" funding.
Finally, an article below on Florida's EV market highlights business leaders as the drivers of EV growth. Also, the Chambers for Innovation and Clean Energy will be hosting a series of upcoming webinars focused on the multi-billion dollar EV industry and its benefits to chambers of commerce members.
So, investments in electric transportation seem to be thriving. As we track the progress, 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
Within the rapidly evolving political and commercial electric transportation market, North Carolina is aiming to get in the driver's seat and lead the region towards an electrified transportation future. To explore how North Carolina stacks up against other states, we've collaborated on a new brief with Atlas Public Policy, “Transportation Electrification in North Carolina,” that follows our regional brief released last Fall, "Transportation Electrification in the Southeast." Read more in this blog post.
There's a lot to digest in these first few weeks since the change in administrations; much of it signals movement in the right direction for clean energy, including multi-layered commitments to electrify transportation. It is critical to keep in mind just how much climate damage we have to address and how quickly we must take action in order to reduce carbon emissions, like those in the transportation sector, to mitigate the worst. Read more in this blog post.
We're proud to announce that "Turning Point: Driving Southeast Transportation Electrification" – a project between The World Resources Institute, Southern Alliance for Clean Energy, Electrification Coalition, and EVHybridNoire – has been named as one of the five finalists to compete for the $10-million 2030 Climate Challenge. To learn more about the challenge and the "Turning Point" project, read this press release.
SACE's Stan Cross and Dory Larsen will join Matthew Alford, Executive Director of Drive Electric Florida, to discuss the business case for EVs, the economic development benefits of the EV industry, and what chambers can do to support their members working in the EV sector.
March 3, 11 AM ET
Request for proposals
The North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality’s (NCDEQ’s) Division of Air Quality (DAQ) began accepting proposals on January 25, 2021, for Level 2 charging station projects to be funded by Phase 1 of the NC Volkswagen Mitigation Settlement Program. NCDEQ has allocated $1.1 million to this Level 2 Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) Charging Infrastructure program, and the request for proposals process will remain open until funding has been exhausted.
Open request for proposals
Our friends at Plug-in NC are still gathering applications from North Carolinians interested in getting a specialty EV license plate. Electric vehicle advocates have presented this specialty license plate design to the NC Department of Motor Vehicles and the NC General Assembly for approval this spring. The specialty license plates are not just for electric vehicles! 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.
Paving the Way
The day when electric cars outnumber gasoline-powered ones is on the horizon, Largo officials say. Therefore, the city and developers should start laying the groundwork for residents now. That was the direction from the city commission earlier this month when city staff presented proposed development standards for its new Tri-City Special Area Plan, which aims to promote projects and strategies that encourage mixed-use development, and transportation and aesthetic improvements in the roughly 900 acres surrounding the U.S. 19 and East Bay Drive/Roosevelt Boulevard area.
Florida’s Energy Office earlier this year released an electric vehicle roadmap outlining plans to deal with rapid EV growth that appears all but imminent. Central Florida Clean Cities Coalition director Doug Kettles, one of four authors of the roadmap, said, “Electric transportation is at a tipping point that is related to the price parity between a gas vehicle and electric vehicle. It used to be that electric vehicles were the less affordable option, and that is not the case anymore.” He added, “The businesses will lead the way, they have the fiduciary responsibility to do so.”
GM has cast its electric vehicles as normal American cars, in a normal Super Bowl ad in which Will Ferrell is distressed that the United States has not adopted electric cars as quickly as Norway. The ad indicates that the stars may finally be aligning – people are understanding the need for change away from fossil fuel transportation, auto manufacturers are making more EVs, and the current administration has the will to accelerate EV adoption. Mass adoption of electric vehicles feels more inevitable now.
Two recent articles highlight major pledges that both Ford and GM have made independently to invest in transitioning their manufacturing to EVs. General Motors plans to exclusively offer electric vehicles by 2035, ending production of its cars, trucks and SUVs with diesel- and gasoline-powered engines. Meanwhile, Ford made a $29 billion commitment to electric and self-driving cars, declaring that the majority of Ford vehicles will be electric, while traditional gasoline powertrains will be augmented with hybrid and plug-in hybrid powertrains.
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!
Tom Mainville – Orlando, Florida
"Getting my EV reminds me of when I got the iPhone at launch. I feel like EVs are the next big thing, and it's cool to be a part of that. That's to say nothing of the environmental benefits and lower cost of ownership. I don't see myself buying a gas burner ever again if I can avoid it."