Charging Forward – July 2023
The electric vehicle race is on. Right now, we're seeing the pace of the EV transition shift from the off-beat tempo of innovation to the grind of public policy onto the speed of business. The debate about whether transportation electrification is moving too slowly or too fast is becoming mute; it's happening, and it's increasingly driven by consumer desire, market competition, and the bottom line.
And there's no better time for us accelerate the equitable shift to electric transportation. In July, we've been faced with the hottest days on record. We must use every tool in our toolbox to combat climate change and reduce climate-causing carbon emissions so humans and the Earth's ecosystems we depend on can thrive.
We're featuring a few innovative tools related to electric transportation this month. For example, our latest whitepaper takes a look at how electrifying medium- and heavy-duty trucks can not only reduce carbon emissions but also reduce costs for utilities and its customers and improves power grid resiliency.
Additionally, we're highlighting a pilot program in Broward County, Florida that provides free rides for children and expectant mothers who have limited or no access to transportation to and from their non-emergency health care appointments using all-electric vehicles.
To understand EV Sales and charging deployment in a national context, please read our report. Source: “Transportation Electrification in the Southeast” report 2022 year-end updates; Atlas EV Hub + Southern Alliance for Clean Energy.
Let's take a look at South Carolina this month. Out of 440 buses awarded to Southeast states through the EPA's Clean School Bus Program, the majority of those - 148 electric buses to be exact - went to South Carolina. While the state excels in applying for cleaner transportation options for it's youngest residents, according to our 2022 year-end updates from our "Transportation Electrification in the Southeast" report, the Palmetto State has room to improve, considering it ranks #5 out of 6 Southeastern states in two categories – EV market share and the number of EV chargers installed.
And FYI, the EPA's Clean School Bus Program's next application round is due August 22. More details on the application process are below.
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!
Powering the EV Movement
Big Vehicles Could Mean Big Benefits for Electric Utilities
Utilities and their customers stand to gain from the budding upsurge in fleet adoption of electric vans, trucks, and buses. In fact, in some circumstances, EVs can actually help make the power grid cheaper, cleaner, and easier to run. That might sound a bit backward, but it’s true and there is just one catch: utilities have to plan for it. But why do these vehicles matter? Our latest whitepaper, “Assessment of Medium- and Heavy-Duty Vehicle Electrification” explores how the transition to electric trucks, vans, and buses can provide many benefits to utilities, fleet operators, and utility ratepayers. Read more.
Green Cars for Kids: Driving Children to Better Health with Electric Vehicles
Green Cars for Kids is a non-profit organization that provides free transportation for children and expectant mothers who have limited or no access to transportation to and from their non-emergency health care appointments using all-electric vehicles. The pilot program officially launched on May 31 in Broward County, Florida and is already making an impact on the community. This community-driven, collaborative effort brings together many partners to create a replicable model for reducing transportation barriers and improving health outcomes. The program is generously supported by the March of Dimes and will be working with ride service Freebee to tap into their ADA-compliant EV fleet and on-demand app. Read more.
The Slow and Fast Charging Balancing Act
The National Renewable Energy Laboratory recently released a study that confirms America needs to build a robust nationwide fast-charging network quickly. The study highlights the need for many public Level 2 and private Level 1 and Level 2 charging stations where we live, work, and play that will support electric vehicle adoption for all. Read more on the study from the perspective of Stan Cross, SACE's Electric Transportation Policy Director, who recently took a 1,000-mile EV road trip to remote Ocracoke Island on North Carolina’s Outer Banks, and experienced the lack of destination EV charging. Read more.
Clean Cities Georgia and STRIDE Present: An Overview of Charging Technology and Infrastructure
During this free webinar, you will hear from utilities and other charging experts on the planning process for electric bus charging infrastructure. How does one get started with planning for the installation of charging infrastructure? What planning is needed to account for demand charging? How do you estimate your charging infrastructure needs and what will work best for you and your fleet? Find out by registering and joining Clean Cities Georgia and STRIDE on their electric school bus webinar.
An Overview of Charging Technology and Infrastructure August 1 | 2 - 3:15 PM ET RSVP
Just Future Summit
The Southern Alliance for Clean Energy team is excited to attend the Greenlining Institute’s annual Just Future Summit. The Summit brings together the most important voices in the movement for racial justice and convenes over 1,000 change-makers to build momentum for transformative change.
To mark Greenlining’s 30th anniversary, they're bringing it back to in-person in Oakland, California for the first time since 2019 with stand-up comedian and director W. Kamau Bell as this year’s featured speaker. Bell's insight into this country’s relationship with race will set the tone for the Just Future Summit–one of the country’s largest racial equity conferences.
Just Future Summit October 19 – 20 | Oakland, California Register and Learn More
National Going Electric Pledge
Pledge + Volunteer
Our friends at Generation180 just launched a new sweepstakes to – literally – get your motor running. Electric motor that is. The National Going Electric Pledge is a campaign to encourage all Americans to ‘say yes’ to making their next car, truck, or SUV electric. Help them accelerate broad support for electric vehicle driving by signing their Pledge to be entered in a sweepstakes a chance to win an electric Ford F-150 Lightning. The Pledge Sweepstakes is open May 15 – September 30, 2023.
Additionally, Generation180 has teamed up with Reverb and are actively recruiting folks to volunteer at Dave Matthews Band concerts across the country (including the Southeast) and help spread the word about the National Going Electric Pledge! For each show they are recruiting volunteers to staff the Generation180 booth for about two hours before the show and then the volunteer can attend the concert for free!
National Going Electric Pledge Sweepstakes May 15 – September 30, 2023 Take the Pledge
Volunteer at a Dave Matthews Band Concert Now – September 3, 2023 | Two Hour Time Slot Before Show Reach out to Shakaya Cooper (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Nessa Stoltzfus Barge (email@example.com) if you are interested in volunteering!
EPA Clean School Bus Program Grants
The EPA anticipates awarding approximately $400 million in competitive grant funding under the Clean School Bus (CSB) Grants Program Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO). The program is soliciting applications nationwide for a grant competition to fund the replacement of existing school buses with clean and zero-emission (ZE) school buses.
Head to the EPA's website to find more information on:
2023 Request of Funding Opportunity
Questions and Answers
Tools and Resources
All application packages need to be submitted electronically to EPA through Grants.gov no later than Tuesday, August 22, 2023, at 11:59 PM ET to be considered for funding.
EPA Clean School Bus Program Grants Apply by Tuesday, August 22, 2023, at 11:59 PM ET
Paving the Way
NACS Versus CCS: It’s More Than A Connector
The buzz around the expanding adoption of Tesla's North American Charging Standard (NACS) is as loud as the frenzied bees on my plum tree. And rightfully so. This is a pivotal moment that has the potential to focus the EV charging industry on delivering what Stacy Noblet aptly calls "the optimal EV driving experience"; one that delivers accessible convenient, and reliable EV charging everywhere every time.
Those three conditions, which have largely eluded non-Tesla charging station makers and operators, not for lack of trying, are the benchmarks the industry must focus on.
The charging experience with Tesla is not flawless, but we need to remember that with Tesla, it's a combination of technology, systems integration, and deft customer-centered execution. Now that the standard is set, working with the complex EV infrastructure ecosystem to achieve accessibility, reliability, and convenience is the current challenge to increase EV adoption. Read more on Forbes and join the conversation on LinkedIn.
Building Batteries Better: Doing the Best With Less
A new report from NRDC (Natural Resources Defense Council) lays out key strategies so the transition away from fossil fuels and to electric vehicles can drive better mining practices. The report, Building Batteries Better: Doing the Best With Less, also details specific policies needed to reduce the need for these minerals, reuse older batteries, and recycle the components at the end of the battery life. The report lays out specific policies and programs the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection Agency should adopt so that old vehicle batteries can be easily collected, repurposed for backup storage on the electric grid, and efficiently recycled. Read more.
Energy Influencers in South Florida
SACE's Dory Larsen was recently on an Energy Influencers panel hosted by Florida Power & Light. Dory and others discussed current electric transportation progress, policies that spurred that progress, the need for collaboration on planning to ensure all stakeholders have a voice, and how Florida is increasing its network of charging stations that will increase charging convenience. Read more.
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.
Stan Cross | Asheville, North Carolina
SACE's Stan Cross and his wife kicked off his summer with an EV camping trip in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park where he was dazzled by old-growth forests, blue ghost fireflies, waterfalls, wildflowers, and a wandering mamma bear with three cubs.
"Our Tesla did the job navigating gravel roads, keeping gear organized, and, my favorite, hauling firewood in the frunk! But best of all, it felt good being in the beauty and solitude of nature without spewing tailpipe emissions into the air and disturbing the quiet with a rumbling engine.
The car's 300+ mile range was plenty to get us from our home in western NC into and around the park. But for folks coming to the Smokies from farther away, I'm working with stakeholders on a federal CFI grant proposal that would bring 20 ultra-fast EV chargers to five critical locations in western NC, providing EV drivers from Atlanta, Birmingham, Charlotte, Chattanooga, Columbia, and beyond access to the region's natural and cultural splendor."