Charging Forward – October 2020
If you feel like 2020 is the longest roller-coaster ride (electric of course) of your life and you just need some good EV news as a distraction, we’ve got you covered this month.
We recently released two new briefs examining the untapped potential of EVs, first broadly in the Southeast and then specifically in Florida. Also, Consumer Reports lays out how EVs are more cost-effective than gas-fueled vehicles.
In other good news: what is quiet, has zero emissions, and flies? The new electric garbage trucks in Ocala! We’re also sharing something that does stink – GM and Ford have known for decades that their vehicles contributed to climate change and failed to address it. However, they now say they're committed to investing in manufacturing more electric vehicles, including in a new EV plant in Tennessee.
If you haven’t already, please take the time between now and election day to exercise your right to vote. If you already have, thank you! Our blog series, "Where the Candidates Stand On Energy," highlights where Southeastern candidates stand on clean energy issues, specifically clean transportation.
Powering the EV Movement
A new brief by Atlas Public Policy and SACE, "Transportation Electrification in the Southeast", shows that while the region is benefiting greatly from electric vehicle (EV) manufacturing job creation and economic investment, the region is not yet maximizing the full breadth of opportunities that will come from widespread adoption of electric transportation. In order to truly maximize the economic development potential in the Southeast, it is critical that we work to increase consumer and fleet demand for EVs across all vehicle types. Read more in this blog post.
On the heels of our Southeast brief, and again alongside Atlas Public Policy, we take a closer look at electric transportation in Florida, who is #2 in the nation in electric vehicle sales, but near the bottom in government and utility investment. The state also lags other states in EV charger deployment. Utility engagement and supportive state policies are needed to ensure Floridians can fully access the economic, public health, and climate benefits that EVs deliver. Read more in this blog post.
The latest blog post in a series by SACE volunteer Dave Erb examines a common FUD (Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt) claim that manufacturing EVs embodies so much more energy (or other environmental damage) than internal combustion vehicles (ICVs) that the deficit can never be overcome during operation. Rather than do a full-blown, in-depth, complex analysis of this claim, Dave seeks clarity by intentionally oversimplifying. Read more in this blog post.
In case you missed it: During National Drive Electric Week, SACE co-sponsored a virtual panel with Blue Ridge EV Club, Western North Carolina Tesla Owners Group, and Land-Of-Sky Clean Vehicle Coalition. The lively panel featured women who shared what they love best about EVs and how they became involved in sustainable transportation. Check out the fun and inspiring recording of the Zoom panel session above or here.
Where the Candidates Stand On Energy (and Clean Transportation)
For those who will be voting next week – and for those who have already voted but would like a clear picture of where Southeastern candidates stand on clean energy issues, specifically clean transportation – we published an informational blog series that highlights critical races in both federal and state offices where support for clean energy and clean transportation policies could be a factor that sways voters. Check out the blog series here.
Paving the Way
Consumer Reports released a new white paper comparing the overall cost of owning an electric vehicle to a similar gas-powered vehicle. When compared to the best-selling, top-rated, best "performing," and even the most efficient gas-powered vehicles, Consumer Reports found that the most popular EVs under $50K usually cost less to own overall — often saving people many thousands of dollars over a typical vehicle lifetime.
During the last 19 months, GM has announced investments of more than $4.5 billion at three future electric vehicle factories, including $2 billion to convert its Spring Hill, Tennessee, assembly plant into its U.S. site to build electric vehicles, including the Cadillac Lyriq pictured above. “We’re investing in U.S. manufacturing to ensure that GM can build the vehicles that customers love today as well as transition to an all-electric future,” said Gerald Johnson, GM’s executive vice president of global manufacturing. “We want to put everyone in an electric vehicle.”
A prime example of leveraging government funding: Ocala is one of the first cities in Florida poised to clean up its garbage pickup, replacing diesel-powered sanitation trucks with zero-emission electric-powered vehicles. John King, Ocala's fleet management director, said, "There is no oil to change, no transmission fluid, no belts, sparkplugs or a thousand other moving parts to replace."
Findings by E&E News reveal that GM and Ford were "deeply and actively engaged" since the 1960s in understanding how their cars affected the climate. However, in the following decades, both manufacturers largely failed to act on the knowledge that their products were heating the planet and made efforts to undermine climate science and stop progress to address climate change. Today the companies acknowledge that climate change is a problem and in statements to E&E News outlined their plans to increase production of clean cars.
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!
Andy, Ft. Myers, Florida
"We bought our first EV, a 2017 Smart Fortwo Cabrio in April 2018. We leased our second 2017 Smart in July 2018 and gave away our last ICE vehicle. All-electric ever since and loving it. Added a 2017 Ford Focus Electric in April 2019 and have driven it to the northeast along I-95 and taking the Amtrak Auto Train. We have rooftop solar and buy renewable energy credits for the balance so our EV's run on 100 percent renewables. I also have been bringing our cars to EV Q&A displays, and sometimes volunteering for Electrify the South's related program Driving on Sunshine back in the days when we could meet-up in public."