Charging Forward – June 2021
School may be out but lessons are being learned! In this month's "Charging Forward newsletter, we dive deeper into North Carolina and how utilities can help the Tar Heel state become head of the class on EVs. Miami-Dade County is set to graduate up to the next level having purchased 42 electric transit buses. And in Tennessee, some lucky students will be the first in the state to ride on an electric school bus. We're featuring some fun extracurricular activities planned for the next month as well, including an in-person ride and drive opportunity. Read on and enjoy!
Meanwhile, 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
Support from North Carolina’s utilities will help ensure all have access to affordable charging infrastructure and rates that help maximize fuel cost savings associated with driving an EV. As the world emerges from a global pandemic and economic shutdown, and simultaneously the impacts of climate change worsen, the urgency to invest in a clean economy has never been greater. Read more in this blog post.
Growing recognition of the job growth that electric vehicle production has brought to the Southeast is beginning to drive a conversation about transitioning to electric transportation, says Stan Cross, Electric Transportation Policy Director for the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy. This is coinciding with the retirement of coal-fired power plants and the ramping up of renewable energy in North Carolina and Florida, which have become two of the top solar states in the country." Read more.
Event July 10
The Knoxville Electric Vehicle Association (KEVA) and Drive Electric Tennessee (DET) are excited to announce EVs In The Smokies on July 10 from 10 AM to 4 PM at the Townsend Visitors Center in Townsend, TN. Bring your questions and curiosity and enjoy checking out all the EVs that will be there! You'll have a chance to talk with EV owners and learn about transitioning to clean, quiet, fast, convenient, and fun electric driving! If you drive an EV, bring your lawn chairs and enjoy a fun day hanging out in the Smokies to share your enthusiasm with current and future EV owners! If your EV is a motorcycle, we’ll have extra lawn chairs for you.
Saturday, July 10, 10 AM - 4 PM ET Townsend Visitors Center
7906 E. Lamar Parkway, Townsend, TN 37882
SACE has joined forces with other clean energy and climate advocacy leaders from across the country to call on our Congressional leaders to support President Biden’s goal of passing a federal Clean Electricity Standard (CES) by 2035. The work we do now to advance electric transportation and enable consumers and fleets to retire oil-dependent cars and trucks is key to implementing a CES, while simultaneously creating millions of jobs, cleaning our air and water, protecting public health, lowering electric bills, and securing energy independence.
The specialty license plate campaign in North Carolina continues to move forward and less than 100 license plate applications are needed to get across the finish line! Recently, Rep. Julie von Haefen's bill to approve the plate passed the House Transportation Committee. Now it's on to the Senate. North Carolinians interested in getting the specialty license plate design can still apply, and applicants' initial $10 fee will be covered by Plug-in NC. 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
Miami-Dade County has bought 42 Proterra ZX5+ electric transit buses, featuring a total of 19 MWh of battery storage capacity. This latest purchase brings Miami-Dade’s Proterra electric transit bus total to 75. The county will also install 75 Proterra chargers across three bus depots. Its first electric buses are slated to be delivered in 2022.
A new paper by Atlas Public Policy and the Alliance for Transportation Electrification details why now is the time for bold action at the federal and state levels to put the United States in a position of leadership in transportation electrification. The paper outlines three key opportunities for the country to achieve success and rapidly decarbonize the transportation sector:
take decisive action at the federal level
expand state policy frameworks
prioritize underserved communities
Many of the lowest-income U.S. households spend nearly one-fifth of their income on gasoline—three times more than the average U.S. household, according to a recent analysis released by the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy. The less income a person has the higher the percentage of that income they are likely to spend on transportation is one of the perverse realities undermining equitable and just access to affordable and desirable mobility. The transition to electric mobility must confront historic inequities through justice-centered planning, policies, and programs.
Washington County students will soon be the first in Tennessee to ride an all-electric school bus. “We were the first county in Tennessee, the first town in Tennessee, now we have the first electric bus in the state. I think it’s really important to be innovative, and this shows East Tennessee in a great light,” said County Mayor Joe Grandy. The new school bus is completely electric, quiet, and can travel around 120 miles on a single charge – plenty for the school's route.
It's rare to see an electric vehicle among the polished and restored vintage cars of a concours d'elegance. (That's French for a very fancy car show.) And that's despite the fact that electric power was a credible alternative to the internal combustion engine for the first few decades of the automobile. But this year's Amelia Island Concours d'Elegance went some way to rectifying that with an entire class of ancient EVs on display.
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!
Chip & Sandy Monk, East Brainard, TN
During the recent East Coast gas shortage, Chip and Sandy Monk were featured in an op-ed by Mark Kennedy in the Chattanooga Times Free Press. Chip and Sandy have been avid Tesla drivers since their first Model S in 2013, and when neighbors were scrambling for gasoline Chip offered to give them rides. He said, "I think some of them thought I was rubbing their faces in it. But my intent was not that at all. I wanted to assist folks." In fact, Chip used to offer ride-shares through Uber, not to make money, but to introduce others to the incredible driving dynamics of his Tesla that he loved so much himself. Chip and Sandy take pride in sharing their love of EVs with anyone, saying, "To promote people getting off petroleum, we need to be the right kind of people."
– Photo of Chip & Sandy courtesy of Mark Kennedy, Times Free Press. Read the full op-ed at Kennedy: For Tesla owners, gas pipeline hack was no big deal.