Charging Forward – March 2022
We continue to keep our eyes focused on decarbonizing the transportation sector and reducing our reliance on oil – both foreign and domestic – by equitably increasing electric transportation. In the Southeast, a year-end update to key data indicators from our annual “Transportation Electrification in the Southeast” report published in partnership with Atlas Public Policy shows we're doing just that.
One of the most salient data points for the update highlighted that despite overall U.S. auto sales increasing 3% last year, electric vehicle sales in the Southeast jumped a whopping 49%. For the next few month's we'll highlight each state covered in the report, but let's start off with a general overview of the Southeast.
All measures include medium- and heavy-duty EVs, except for sales which refers exclusively to passenger EVs. EV manufacturing employment and investment represent commitments made to specific facilities in the state. Utility investment refers to investor-owned utilities only. To understand EV Sales and charging deployment in a national context, please read our report.
To keep the momentum building in the Southeast, this month's newsletter features multiple funding opportunities including for transitioning diesel buses to electric, and for Level 2 Charging stations. Relationship building is also essential to scaling electric transportation, we invite you to read our recap from two recent electric vehicle ride and drives with legislators in Georgia and North Carolina to see how we're breaking down educational barriers to pave the way for clean transportation policies.
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
Year-End Data Shows Electric Transportation is Full Speed Ahead in the Southeast
The top-of-mind question for anyone watching the electric vehicle (EV) market is: when will the electrification of America’s cars, trucks, and buses take off? The answer? Imminently. Look no further than the Southeast, United States, where we are experiencing impressive EV market growth despite a lack of state-level EV-supportive policies, incentives, and regulations. We at the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy and our partner, Atlas Public Policy, updated key year-end indicator data from our annual “Transportation Electrification in the Southeast” report to capture regional and state-specific growth in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee. Some of the numbers are downright staggering. Read more.
Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians receives North Carolina’s first electric school bus
Humbleness, reverence, and determination are qualities that have helped the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians lead the way into a cleaner transportation future by applying for and receiving the state's first electric school bus that will spare school kids from unhealthy diesel exhaust. If there is one vehicle to electrify urgently, it’s the school bus. Over 20 million kids ride a school bus every day. The technology is ready to electrify every one of those buses today. Doing so will significantly reduce oil consumption, bolster America’s energy security, improve public health, and support federal and state-level decarbonization efforts. Read more.
Two Capitol EV Ride and Drives: Carpool Query-oke
With all of this growth and economic development in the region, the timing is right for southern states to capitalize on Federal Bipartisan Infrastructure Funds by harmonizing their policies on actions that will continue to accelerate this economic growth. However, it’s challenging to make decisions on an unfamiliar issue. That's why the team at SACE is putting legislators in the driver’s seat. During legislative sessions, we provided lawmakers and staff in Georgia and North Carolina opportunities to experience electric driving first-hand, learn about technology, and better understand the benefits of electric transportation. Read more.
N.C. Clean Transportation Plan Virtual Public Information Session
In January 2022, Gov. Roy Cooper signed Executive Order 246 (EO 246), “North Carolina’s Transformation to a Clean, Equitable Economy,” setting the course for North Carolina’s continued work to reduce economy-wide greenhouse gas emissions, advance environmental justice and create good paying jobs for North Carolinians throughout the state. This executive order builds upon 2018’s Executive Order 80, and establishes a goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 50 percent and increase zero-emission vehicle (ZEV) adoption to 1.25 million vehicles by 2030.
To create the NCCTP, NCDOT will be collaborating with stakeholders to create plans for the rapid decarbonization of North Carolina’s transportation sector. This process will take into consideration the diverse viewpoints of all stakeholders and the potential impacts of each recommendation.
N.C. Clean Transportation Plan Virtual Public Information Session April 1 | 10 AM - 12 PM ET
Electric School Buses: Stories from the Field
Parents, caregivers and advocates are leading the effort for electric school buses in their communities – and seeing results. In the first webinar of an exciting new series, we’ll learn from those who are working every day to bring the benefits of electric school buses to their schools. Join World Resources Institute's Electric School Bus Initiative and the Alliance for Electric School Buses to hear more about what motivates these leaders, the obstacles they faced, their path to solutions and other lessons to inform and inspire your own electric school journey.
Electric School Buses: Stories from the Field
March 30 | 1 PM ET RSVP
Applications open May 2 in North Carolina for Level 2 electric vehicle charging infrastructure rebates
Application for Funding + Webinar
The Department on Environmental Quality (DEQ) released Request for Proposals (RFP) for the Phase 2 Level 2 Public Access Program on March 21, 2022. In Phase 2 of the program, $1 million in Volkswagen funds are allocated to the Level 2 Public Access Program to install publicly accessible Level 2 electric vehicle charging infrastructure.Beginning May 2, 2022, applications can be submitted through the NCDAQ Grant Management System website.
A webinar on how to request access the DAQ Grants Management System is scheduled for March 28, 2022, from 1 to 2 PM, for applicants who do not have access to the system. During this webinar, staff will discuss the documents required to request access to the DAQ Grants Management System, how to use the built in tutorials once access is granted and how to submit an application. Registration is required to participate in this webinar. Current users with access are not required to attend, but may attend for a refresher on the system.
A webinar on the Level 2 Public Access Program Request for Proposals is scheduled for April 4, 2022, from 1 to 3 PM, for interested stakeholders and applicants. During this webinar, staff will discuss the RFP and the requirements, answer and questions regarding the Level 2 Public Access Program Request for Proposals and the application. This webinar is for applicants interested in submitting applications for the Level 2 Public Access Program only. Registration is required to participate in this webinar.
North Carolina's Level 2 Public Access Program Applications open May 2, 2022 Learn More
DAQ Grants Management System Webinar March 28, 2022 | 1 - 2 PM ET Register
Level 2 Public Access Program RFPs Webinar April 4, 2022 | 1 - 3 PM ET Register
Applications open in Florida for electric transit buses to replace eligible diesel buses
Application for Funding
The Diesel Emissions Mitigation Program (DEMP) utilizes funds from the Volkswagen Settlement and EPA's Diesel Emissions Reduction Act (DERA) state grant program for projects which mitigate mobile sources of emissions.
On Feb. 25, 2022, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection announced a Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA) for $59 million available for the purchase of electric transit buses to replace eligible diesel transit buses. As highlighted in the Beneficiary Mitigation Plan, the department continues to focus on increasing electric vehicle infrastructure and encouraging the growth of electric vehicles as well as the related construction and manufacturing.
To be eligible, a public transit agency must purchase two electric transit buses for each bus replaced pursuant the NOFA published in the Florida Administrative Registry. An eligible public transit agency that does not meet this eligibility requirement may still participate but will be subject to a pro-rated portion of the award.
Florida public transit agencies are required to submit the application worksheet before Monday, April 11, 2022, at 5 PM, ET.
Apply for for electric transit buses to replace eligible diesel buses in Florida
Deadline: April 11 | 5 PM ET Learn More and Apply
NC Clean Energy Technology Center's Clean Transportation Demonstration Day
In-Person Event for government entities and utilities
Executive Order 80 calls for the State of North Carolina to protect its environment while growing clean energy technologies. Executive Order No. 246 updates North Carolina’s economy-wide carbon reduction emissions goals to align with climate science, reduce pollution, create good jobs and protect communities. The Order strengthens North Carolina’s commitment to reducing greenhouse gas emissions, increasing the statewide goal to a 50% reduction from 2005 levels by 2030 and achieving net-zero greenhouse gas emissions as soon as possible, no later than 2050.
Clean Transportation Demonstration Days supports Executive Order 80 & 246 and give government entities across North Carolina information and experience with clean transportation technologies. The day will consist of classroom instruction with real-world case study results, hands-on product static review, networking, and a closed-course ride and drive for those who wish to participate.
Classroom instruction will include alternative fuel options, telematics and other new technologies, safety and more. There will be a diverse display of vehicles including electric vehicles, buses, and more. Lunch will be provided.
*Note: The event is only open to government entities and utilities.
NC Clean Energy Technology Center's Clean Transportation Demonstration Day
March 29 | 8:30 – 4:30 PM ET 308 E Tryon Road, Garner, NC 27529 RSVP
Paving the Way
Our View: Driving Into the Future
Every indication is that electric vehicles — EVs — are on their way to becoming ubiquitous, replacing the carbon dioxide-emitting vehicles that currently move us about, with fueling needs that strain our wallets. Right now, electric vehicle charging stations are scattered — there are about 2,554 charging ports in North Carolina, but thanks to public/private partnerships, they’ll increase, perhaps rapidly. Recharging stations could become travel destinations — places to pause and enjoy a leisurely lunch or take a hike or watch a movie or spend an entire weekend. There’s another obvious advantage, too, which is reducing our need for gas and oil, domestic or otherwise. Read more.
Can the EV Help Save the Electric-Power Grid?
A school bus to power an emergency shelter. A Ford F-150 as a generator. With ‘vehicle-to-grid’ concepts, companies and utilities are testing ways electric vehicles can act as batteries ready to be tapped. “Imagine that after a hurricane or wildfire causes widespread power outages, electric school buses are used to power storm shelters,” says Stan Cross, electric transportation policy director at SACE. “Electric work trucks provide power to first responders, electrified municipal fleets keep hospitals operating, and the EV in your driveway keeps your lights on, your fridge cold, your phone charged.” Read more.
Shifting currents: Electric vehicle charging will transform travel routines, experts say When the owners of RayLen Vineyards & Winery installed an electric vehicle charging station in February, they considered it just one more step in a process to become more environmentally friendly and reduce the property’s carbon footprint. But in the first weeks since its dual-plug EV charging station went online, RayLen has discovered a benefit having little to do with environmental stewardship or slowing the pace of climate change. Of the first more than half-dozen vehicles to plug in at the winery, none carried passengers who had actually planned to visit there, says Micah Habershaw, RayLen’s marketing manager. We must look "at the longer time to charge not as a problem, but as an opportunity,” said Stan Cross, electric transportation policy director at SACE. Read more.
Mass. startup transforms old electric car batteries into better-than-new ones
The switch to electric vehicles is accelerating worldwide. There are about 10 million battery-powered vehicles on the road today, and by the end of the decade, the International Energy Agency predicts there could be 230 million. But there's a problem down the road. All those EVs are powered by batteries, and when they come to end of their life cycles, they could end up as toxic trash. The world needs better ways to deal with dead batteries. Now, a Massachusetts startup has a unique solution that gives the worn-out energy cells new life, making EVs more sustainable — and cheaper, too. Ascend Elements claims it can turn spent lithium-ion batteries into ones that are better than new — longer-lasting, faster-charging and less-polluting. The recycled energy cells could also provide the U.S. with an added measure of energy independence. 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!
Cheryl, Tampa, FL
I have loved owning my Volvo Recharge these last 10 months. I had a Volvo XC 90 previously and was so happy when they introduced the XC90 Recharge. Although my vehicle is not fully electric, the plug-in hybrid is a perfect combination for myself and my family. It allows me to do my everyday driving for work, run the kids places, grocery shopping, without utilizing any gasoline. But due to our lifestyle and traveling for sports, as well as having a large pet, we need a large vehicle often. This hybrid SUV has allowed us to still travel with our pet, necessary luggage, and all family members with the space that we require for those long-distance trips. As the technology continues to change and evolve around electric vehicles, I know that I will be able to get a fully electric SUV that suits my needs in the near future.