In my mind I'm goin' to Carolina. Can't you see the sunshine? Oh can't you just see the electric cars, trucks, and buses everywhere?
We know those aren't the lyrics to James Taylor's famous tune, but with a slate of Executive Orders and announcements in North and South Carolina this past month, it's safe to say that leadership in the Carolinas certainly has expanding electric transportation on their minds.
In North Carolina, Governor Cooper signed Executive Order 271 that directs the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality to begin the Advanced Clean Trucks rulemaking process to grow the state’s clean energy economy by supporting the market-driven transition to zero-emission trucks and buses.
Just down the road in South Carolina, Governor McMaster announced the signing of Executive Order 2022-31, formalizing efforts to recruit EV-related businesses, preparing the state’s workforce for jobs in the industry, and standing up an Interagency EV Working Group to develop a comprehensive plan. This EO comes on the heels of a newly published Electric Vehicle Stakeholder Initiative to explore opportunities to advance EV deployment in the state with the goal of developing policy and programmatic recommendations.
SACE is grateful to be a part of both of these efforts in the Carolinas and will continue participating as a stakeholder in processes to expand transportation electrification not only in these states, but across the Southeast.
North and South Carolina weren't the only two states to receive good news on the electric transportation front this week. The first round of funding from the EPA's Clean Bus Program was announced on Wednesday. The Southeast received a sizable chunk of the funding for replacement school buses – most of which are electric. If your school district didn't get funding, keep in mind this is only the first round. Take a look at the districts that received funding and the wait-list. We'll be sure to inform you of when the second round of funding applications are available.
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
Alliance for Electric School Buses Applauds Transformational Rebate Awards for EPA Clean School Bus Program
On Wednesday, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced the recipients of the inaugural $965 million Clean School Bus Program rebates. The Clean School Bus Program, created by the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act of 2021, will invest $5 billion over 5 years in clean school buses. The 2022 rebates will fund approximately 2,400 new school buses for nearly 400 school districts across all 50 states, 30 Tribal Nations and multiple U.S. territories, with the overwhelming majority of funds going to electric school buses. Read more.
North Carolina Moves to Electrify Trucks and Buses, Gaining Economic and Environmental Advantages
On Tuesday, October 25, North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper signed an executive order to grow the state’s clean energy economy by supporting the market-driven transition to zero-emission trucks and buses. Executive Order 271 directs the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) to begin the Advanced Clean Trucks (ACT) rulemaking process that would ensure zero-emission trucks and buses are available for purchase in the state. The ACT rule is designed to reduce the costs of zero-emission medium- and heavy-duty vehicles (MHDVs) and further develop the market for these vehicles. Initiating ACT rulemaking is a big deal because electrifying medium- and heavy-duty vehicles will deliver significant economic, public health, and climate benefits to North Carolina and its citizens. For the past two years, advocates, including SACE, have teamed up with businesses to push for ACT adoption. Read more.
For the past two years, the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy and EVHybridNoire have partnered to expand electric vehicle awareness in North Carolina, better understand consumers’ EV knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors, and amplify underrepresented voices in order to inform North Carolina’s EV plans, policies, and programs. The current transportation sector still reflects prejudice from decades of discriminatory policies, redlining of ethnically diverse neighborhoods, and highway building that broke apart previously thriving minority communities. Our research and engagement seek to understand how historic inequities shape the current transportation landscape across the state, particularly for Black, Latino/a, and communities grappling with environmental injustices. Read more in our joint blog post with EVHybridNoire.
More Electric School Buses, Healthier Latinx Children
Every school day, 20 million U.S. children ride on nearly 500,000 school buses, 95% of which run on diesel. Diesel exhaust – which can reach children when buses are idling or driving – produces toxins that are up to 12 times more polluting than what children would encounter riding to school on a regular car. Children, whose lungs and brains are still developing, are particularly vulnerable to this pollution. For Latinx children, riding in diesel school buses is particularly harmful. While Latinx Heritage month is over, we invite you to read this guest post from Carolina Chacon, the coalition manager of the Alliance for Electric School Buses of which the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy is proudly a member. Read more and please also join us in calling for school districts to address historic environmental injustices by investing in electric school buses.
Florida Sustainable Transportation & Technology Expo
The Florida Sustainable Transportation & Technology Expo’s goal is to bring stakeholders together to discuss the latest technologies available to fleet managers. This event will be hosted at the Florida Solar Energy Center and is set to bring attendees exceptional keynote speakers, industry exhibitors, technology seminars and much more.
Florida Sustainable Transportation & Technology Expo
February 1-2 | Cocoa, Florida Learn more + Register
Paving the Way
Transforming Transportation in North Carolina
A new report from the Sierra Club finds that the targets laid out in Executive Order 246 produce a multitude of benefits for North Carolinians. Achieving the goals under EO 246 requires new policies and investments from the state, utilities, and other parties, particularly for increased investments in public charging infrastructure. Putting policies in place that allow this target to be met will improve public health and the environment, retain billions of dollars in the state's economy, and promote an equitable transformation of the state's transportation sector. Read more.
South Carolina Electric Vehicle Stakeholder Initiative
The South Carolina Electric Vehicle Stakeholder Initiative, conducted by the Energy Office of the South Carolina Office of Regulatory Staff, facilitated a collaborative statewide discussion to explore opportunities to advance EV deployment in the state with the goal of developing policy and programmatic recommendations. SACE was proud to be on two working groups to help guide the process. Governor McMaster's Executive Order on EVs (EO 2022-31) formalizes efforts to recruit EV-related businesses, preparing the state’s workforce for jobs in the industry, and standing up an Interagency EV Working Group, that SACE looks forward to being an active participant in, to develop a comprehensive plan based off the initiative. Read more.
Design Recommendations for Accessible Electric Vehicle Charging Stations
The U.S. Access Board, an independent federal agency that issues accessibility guidelines under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), Architectural Barriers Act (ABA), Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and other laws, has created a technical assistance document to assist in the design and construction of electric vehicle charging stations that are accessible to and usable by people with disabilities. Read more.
EDF’s Fleet Electrification Solution Center offers a useful roadmap To help provide a comprehensive step-by-step process for large class 3-8 vehicles, the Environmental Defense Fund recently launched the Fleet Electrification Solution Center, a free online tool for company fleet managers to follow when electrifying their vehicles, whether they are far along in their journey or just beginning. This tool provides a structure that allows users to build a fleet electrification roadmap based on their own operations. Read more.
North Carolina Awards $30M for Clean School Bus Replacements, Including 43 New Electric School Buses More than $30.1 million from the North Carolina Volkswagen Settlement Program will be distributed by the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality to fund 161 new school buses across the state, with the majority of the funding going toward new all-electric school buses. The new zero-emission and low-emission school buses are replacing some of the dirtiest diesel buses in the state, including some older than 30 years that emit more than 20 times the nitrogen oxides (NOx) and particulate matter of today’s clean buses. The grant recipients include public schools, charter schools, and a tribal school in 84 counties. Most of the buses, 130, will be placed in rural counties. Of those, 80 school buses were awarded to schools in the 37 historically under-resourced counties that DEQ targeted for additional outreach and support during the application process. 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.
Patrick King and Stan Cross of the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy
A few weeks ago, SACE staff attended RayDay in Serenbe, Georgia where hundreds of folks gathered at Eco-Learning Booths and engaged with one another. In addition to exploring more than 60 sustainability-focused exhibits, attendees had a chance to check out several EVs, including a zero-emission bus and a Rivian truck. Our staff was grateful to be there to discuss our efforts in Georgia and across the region, and look forward to next year's event!