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  • Writer's pictureDory Larsen

Charging Forward – January 2021

Wow, what a way to start the new year! If you feel like you've just gone 0-60 in ludicrous mode in the blink of an eye you're not alone. We've heard a year's worth of electric vehicle announcements in this first month of 2021 alone. Strap on your seatbelts friends, where we're going you don't need a tailpipe (we'll still need roads).

On Wednesday, President Biden announced a plan to electrify the federal fleet using clean energy and built by American hands (see the link to a blog about the plan below). Later in the day, Tesla announced its first full calendar year in the black and 50% annual growth going forward. Then yesterday, GM showed up at the party offering an aspirational goal "to eliminate tailpipe emissions from new light-duty vehicles by 2035" (among other clean energy initiatives). Granted, announcements do not mean wheels with plugs on the road today, but they are giving every indication that the velocity (speed and direction) toward all-electric transportation systems powered by clean energy may be here sooner than previously projected.

No matter the speed of 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!

Charging Forward,

Dory Larsen


Powering the EV Movement

Over the course of 2020, the global, national, and regional EV market continued to expand. According to Bloomberg New Energy Finance, the global EV market is on track to hit 10% of passenger vehicle sales by 2030 and nearly 60% by 2040. To see the winners for utility engagement and state actions, read this blog post


President Biden signed a series of executive orders aimed at tackling the climate crisis through economic recovery by strengthening American manufacturing and addressing environmental justice. The Tackling the Climate Crisis at Home and Abroad order “directs the federal agencies to procure carbon pollution-free electricity and clean, zero-emission vehicles to create good-paying, union jobs and stimulate clean energy industries.” Read more in this blog post. 


The fifth blog in a series by SACE volunteer Dave Erb examines how FUD (Fear, Uncertainty, Doubt) artists have been spinning the fact that some EV batteries use the element cobalt, much of which comes from Congo, where some mines employ child slave labor. It’s a legitimate concern, but it demands far more context. Read more in this blog post. 


Get Plugged-In

NC Residents: Help DRIVE Electric Vehicle Adoption in North Carolina with a New License Plate!


Electric vehicle advocates in North Carolina, lead by our friends at Plug-in NC, will present this specialty license plate design to the NC Department of Motor Vehicles and the NC General Assembly this winter for approval. 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.

Apply for this new electric vehicle license plate in NC

Deadline Feb. 8, 2021


EPA grant applications

The EPA anticipates awarding approximately $46 million in competitive grant funding under the Diesel Emissions Reductions Act (DERA) National Grants Program. The program is soliciting applications nationwide for projects that achieve significant reductions in diesel emissions and exposure, particularly from fleets operating in areas designated by the Administrator as poor air quality areas.

Deadline March 16, 2021


Paving the Way

After discovering carbon dioxide fumes inside her school's diesel buses were 10x higher than limits recommended by the EPA, middle school student, Holly Thorpe, convinced the Miami-Dade County school board to transition its school bus fleet to electric. “We’re finally going to turn the yellow school bus green,” Thorpe said. “Transportation is the largest source of greenhouse gases. Electric school buses are essential for the health of students and drivers.”


Rocky Mountain Institute’s report, Steep Climb Ahead—How Fleet Managers Can Prepare for the Coming Wave of Electrified Vehicles, finds that major fleet managers have begun electrifying their fleets, which will ultimately save them money and reduce their carbon footprints. But in order to electrify their vehicles at scale, they will need to begin serious planning for it now. The report offers the first comprehensive assessment of how major US fleet managers are approaching the electrification of their fleets


Researchers at MIT created a tool that compares both the monthly cost and the monthly greenhouse gas emissions of hundreds of vehicles. There are some important caveats, however. Researchers assumed the vehicles would be purchased new and driven 15,000 miles a year for 15 years. More miles and more years amplify the savings attributed to EVs because the monthly savings on fuel and maintenance are counted for 180 months.


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!

From Mayor Rob Marlowe, City of New Port Richey, FL

"Earlier in 2020, the City of New Port Richey entered into an agreement with Enterprise Leasing to replace the entire city fleet over the next five years. As part of that agreement, the city specified a total of four EVs for the 2020 and 2021 fiscal years. The vehicles in these pictures are the first three EVs to be delivered. One is for our Rental Inspection Program and the other two are for the Development (Building) Department. A fourth Leaf (not shown) has been added to the general motor pool fleet. The city is also looking at other opportunities to add electric vehicles to the fleet."


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