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  • Writer's pictureDory Larsen

Charging Forward – February 2023

Did you know driving an electric vehicle saves you money? We’ve said it before, and it’s worth repeating. There’s a mountain of evidence to support the cost savings, and the savings are real.

How much does it cost to fuel an electric vehicle? We recently got straight to the facts at two events in Florida sharing that it costs ~$35 to drive 1,000 miles in an electric vehicle (that’s a month’s worth of driving for the average person). In contrast, it costs ~$145 to drive 1,000 miles in a gas-powered vehicle (assuming $3.35/gallon and 23 miles/gallon). That's over $100 in savings!

Showing off an electric vehicle at Clearwater's Sustainability Conference: Building Better Neighborhoods on February 4 and at the Florida Sustainable Transportation & Technology Expo on February 1 and 2.

On the topic of savings, our updated analysis in our "Retained Transportation Fuel Spending in the Southeast: Retail Sales of Motor Fuel vs. Electricity" report found that Southeast consumers spent approximately $103.4 billion on gasoline and diesel fuels in a single year. But if all of the Southeast's light, medium, and heavy-duty vehicles were electric today, Southeast consumers would spend approximately $51.5 billion on electricity for charging and over 70% of that spending – equal to $36.3 billion – would remain in the state where the electricity is sold.

We also invite you to celebrate Black History Month with us! Right now we can all work to ensure federal and state funds for electrifying transportation are reaching the communities that need it the most.

Pollution from the transportation sector can be reduced in overexposed Black communities in order to protect the public's health, the environment, and our futures. Please read this op-ed from our partner, Dr. Shelley Francis of EV Hybrid Noire, that highlights how clean transportation like electric school buses – which are primarily ridden by Black children – can help prevent pollution and COVID risk that damages the health of Black, Latinx, and Indigenous communities.

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 Southeast Has Much to Gain From Electrifying Transportation – $60 Billion to be Exact

Dependence on gasoline and diesel for vehicle travel has created a transfer of wealth from Southeastern states to other parts of the country and even the world. An update to our 2021 analysis compares how much money is currently retained in the Southeast with how much money will be kept within our region when electric vehicles replace internal combustion engine vehicles. The updated findings in our "Retained Transportation Fuel Spending in the Southeast: Retail Sales of Motor Fuel vs. Electricity" report continue to show that replacing on-road gas and diesel-powered cars, trucks, and buses with vehicles that drive entirely on electricity could provide an economic boon for Alabama, Georgia, Florida, North and South Carolina, and Tennessee. Read more.


Putting South Carolina State Decision-Makers in the Driver’s Seat

South Carolina state lawmakers and agency decision-makers got to experience electric vehicle technology during an EV Ride and Drive event last week in Columbia. The Southern Alliance for Clean Energy along with the Conservation Voters of South Carolina had a great time riding along with leaders as they got to experience EV technology firsthand and discussed the economic, public health, and environmental opportunities and benefits of electric transportation. The event was co-hosted by South Carolina state Senators Marlon Kimpson and Scott Talley as well as Representatives Deon Tedder and Bobby Cox. Ride and drives are a fun and exciting way to build awareness, especially for state leaders charged with policy-making and procurement. Until you drive an EV, you can't viscerally feel the value. But the benefits become clearer and more tangible after you experience electric vehicles' smooth, quiet, quick, and clean performance. Read more.


Get Plugged-In

The 7th Annual North Florida VegFest


The North Florida VegFest will feature nationally recognized speakers and authors, vegan cooking demonstrations, eco-and animal- friendly vendors, eco-friendly kids activities, live music performances, healthy sustainable foods, and an all-around great time! We at the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy will be there taking attendees on test drives in an electric vehicle! Come on down and join us for a free and fun day!

The 7th Annual North Florida VegFest

March 4| 10 AM - 4 PM Tom Brown Park | Picnic Shelter #13 501 Easterwood Drive, Tallahassee, Florida Learn More


Paving the Way

Legislators test drive electric vehicles at State House

At our recent electric vehicle ride and drive at the South Carolina legislature, we spoke with ABC Columbia about the benefits to South Carolina of electric vehicles both environmentally and economically. “South Carolina has tremendous opportunity with economic development with electric transportation. There’s a number of manufacturers that are already producing electric cars, buses, and trucks across the state. People don’t recognize that the Southeast is a huge boom for manufacturing — and that means lots of local jobs." One of the event co-hosts, Representative Deon Tedder, also spoke with the station about the uniqueness emphasizing it's not every day that a lawmaker gets to test a product or idea they might one day vote on, stating, “And that’s important because that is a big industry, up and coming now. Lots of money being invested in SC. Lots of jobs. And so what we want to do today is have legislators experience how the technology works.” Read more and watch the video.


Vehicle-to-grid charging is coming fast — here’s how regulators and utilities can prepare now

Implemented correctly, EVs could be a lifeline for the grid. Unfortunately, many parts of the country have significant work to do to realize the full potential of EVs. There are currently few, if any, examples of states that have adopted regulations that require power utilities to consider EVs as a distributed energy resource, according to research by the Michigan Energy Innovation Business Council. Efforts to explore the opportunities and grid value of vehicle-to-grid, or V2G, charging, where the EV battery is a storage resource that can be tapped to shore up the grid, need to be expanded and sped up to make the transition to EVs go much smoother for the grid and consumers alike. Read more.


EV Funding Finder

The Electrification Coalition has put together a user-friendly tool to identify federal funding opportunities for electrifying transportation. With unprecedented investment at the federal level to aid in the electric transportation transition, businesses, local governments, cities, and states have an exciting opportunity to participate in the electric transportation transition. The organization's tool helps eligible recipients sort through available federal funds for transportation electrification and helps recipients understand how investments can be matched. It can also help users identify where technical assistance is available. As guidance on these funding streams continues to become available, this site will be updated accordingly. Read more.


It doesn’t take that many electric cars to improve public health Swapping internal combustion cars and trucks for electric vehicles would lessen health problems like high blood pressure, emphysema, and asthma attacks. And according to a new study, it doesn’t even take very many EVs to have a measurable benefit. A study published earlier this month in the journal Science of the Total Environment found that in California, every 20 zero-emissions vehicles per 1,000 people in a given zip code led to a 3.2 percent drop in the rate of emergency room visits due to asthma. What’s interesting here is that the researchers found this by studying actual air pollution levels and health outcomes rather than using models and simulations. These are not hypothetical benefits in the future; they’re happening now. 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.

South Carolina Department of Commerce

In order to highlight the growing electric vehicle industry and the state’s capacity for further industry expansion, the South Carolina Department of Commerce launched a website that serves as a hub for information on EVs. The website includes details on state-supported incentives for manufacturers, a look at where public charging stations are across the state and more industry-related news. In a statement, South Carolina's Governor McMaster said on the website, "EV-related companies account for more than half of the $10.27 billion in economic development South Carolina announced last year. That speaks to our state’s great potential to lead in this sector.”

It's great to see governments embrace electric transportation and take active steps to inform their constituents and welcome businesses into their state!

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