Charging Forward – January 2022
New Year, new opportunities!
In 2021, electric transportation took off and this momentum cannot be slowed down. Just look at what's happening in North Carolina.
This month, Governor Roy Cooper announced Executive Order 246, reflecting the energy and transportation leadership we at the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy and other advocates have called for. Not only are the carbon emission reduction and transportation targets in EO 246 among the most aggressive in the country, but most importantly, it centers equity and justice.
This momentum is mirrored at a national level with billions of dollars of funding from the Infrastructure and Jobs Act soon to be flowing into states and local governments across the country. Money from this freshly inked legislation will be guided to states and local governments. Southern Alliance for Clean Energy's commitment as part of our membership in the National EV Charging Initiative is to focus on ensuring funds are distributed equitably and efficiently by:
Facilitating communication between local governments and state agencies to meet municipal EV infrastructure needs,
Engaging historically underserved communities to ensure everyone benefits from investments, and
Advocating for complementary electric utility programs to boost the impact of federal investments.
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
Accelerated growth. That’s what happened across the electric vehicle (EV) market in 2021. Consumers purchased EVs at a record pace. Auto manufacturers committed over $60 billion in U.S. EV manufacturing expansion. Meanwhile, six leading automakers, including Ford and GM, thirty countries, and California, New York, and Washington pledged to phase out internal combustion vehicle production by 2040. And to help the transition, Congress passed the bipartisan infrastructure package that includes $7.5 billion to grow the nation’s EV charging station network from 100,000 to 500,000 stations. As reported in our “Transportation Electrification in the Southeast” report, this national momentum is mirrored across the Southeast, where EV manufacturing investment, job growth, EV sales, charging station deployment, electric utility investment, and government spending are all on the rise. Read more.
On January 7, North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper announced Executive Order 246, reflecting the energy and transportation leadership we at the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy (SACE) and other advocates have called for. Not only are the carbon emission reduction and transportation targets in EO 246 among the most aggressive in the country, but most importantly, it centers equity and justice. Read more.
Last year, several Southeast State Energy Offices came together to launch the Southeast Regional Electric Vehicle Information Exchange or SE REVI. The exchange is a mapping tool that supports multi-state coordination on EV infrastructure investments by identifying charging station gaps along priority corridors. Participating SEOs include Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, and the territorial offices of Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands. With billions in funding coming from the federal government, it’s essential that states coordinate on EVSE placement to ensure that no communities are left behind and that infrastructure is in place to meet growing demand. Read more.
We at the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy are founding members of the National EV Charging Initiative, which supports President Biden's EV infrastructure agenda. In order to maximize economic development opportunities and address the urgent climate crisis, the EV market must thrive in our region and nationally. The Southeast is rising from an EV laggard to a national leader, and we're proud to be a part of an initiative to charge the Southeast even further forward. Watch a recap of the summit kickoff below including remarks from Secretary of Energy, Jennifer Granholm, Deputy Secretary for the Department of Transportation, Polly Trottenberg, SACE's Executive Director, Dr. Stephen A. Smith, and more.
National EV Charging Summit
The upcoming Florida Gulf Coast Hope Spot Festival will be eco-friendly with a variety of spins to it. Slated for Saturday, Feb. 12, at Edgewater Park, in Dunedin, the festival features exhibitors, a waterfront cleanup, speakers, food, drinks, native animals, games, arts, wearable art, and more and EV ride and drives from us as part of our Driving On Sunshine program.
Florida Gulf Coast Hope Spot Festival Edgewater Park, 51 Main St., Dunedin, Florida Saturday, February 12, 2022
Paving the Way
A newly announced $5 billion electric vehicle plant from automaker, Rivian, comes with the promise of 7,500 jobs and that Georgia is a state to watch for EV manufacturing growth. This influx of investment into Georgia's EV manufacturing and job sectors is in addition to the recently announced SK Battery plant. Read more.
A climate executive order issued by North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper this month shows just how quickly expectations for plug-in electric vehicles are changing — and how urgent the need to clean up the transportation sector has become. The slate of new climate and equity pledges includes a commitment to get 1.25 million plug-in electric vehicles on the road by 2030 and to eliminate most fossil fuel vehicles by 2050. Read more.
Decades-old laws that protect car dealers are keeping the U.S. stuck in the gas-powered past. For perhaps as many as 200 million Americans, local antitrust laws meant to protect car dealers from unfair competition forbid automakers from selling directly to customers. For decades, this system worked well enough to ignore. But now, when selling more electric vehicles is essential for avoiding the worst disasters of climate change, these dealer-protection laws have become a major impediment to decarbonizing the American economy. And Rivian has teamed up with Tesla and Lucid, another up-and-coming electric-car maker, to fight a state-by-state battle to take them down. Read more.
Late last month, the Environmental Protection Agency finalized new greenhouse gas emissions standards for cars and trucks produced through model year 2026, a move that will cut carbon emissions and air pollution and lay some of the groundwork for a transition to electric vehicles. Transportation is the largest source of emissions in the country, accounting for 29 percent of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions, with passenger cars and trucks emitting about 58 percent of that. The EPA’s clean car standards require automakers to cut their average emissions across their light-duty fleets with each new model year by improving vehicle efficiency and adopting new technologies. To comply they might make lighter vehicles, use smaller engines, or increase production of hybrid and electric vehicles. Read more.
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!
Michelle Evans, Knoxville, Tennessee
I drive an electric car because they're fun, they're good for the environment, and I'm saving a ton of money on my taxes!