Charging Forward – September 2022
In the wake of Hurricane Ian pummeling through Florida and as it begins its creep up the coast and across the Carolinas, our team is assessing the emergency and devastation in our own communities and checking in on our neighbors. We hope you and your neighbors are weathering the storm. We're thankful for the women and men working diligently to restore power and those who will help with the work of rebuilding.
As a Floridian, I've learned that Hurricane Ian is a somber reminder that "rare" extreme weather events are, in fact, no longer rare. The unpredictability of these events increasingly put us all on guard. And scientific evidence reveals as carbon emissions in the atmosphere increase, so does the intensity and devastation of these storms.
The necessity and urgency to holistically – meaning not just decarbonizing the transportation sector – address how we're decarbonizing our economies and prioritizing better planning for redundancy and resiliency is clear. By doing so, we can ensure we're building safe communities and infrastructure to withstand these intense storms and avoid the need to rebuild completely, all while cutting carbon emissions.
While we're all struggling to understand how to help our neighbors near and far immediately, I challenge us all to advocate for choices to help us build a more resilient future. We at the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy will continue to push for mitigation and emissions reduction that will reduce the likelihood and intensity of extreme weather events while simultaneously working to build communities that can support safe evacuations, electric first responder vehicles during and after storms, using EV fleets and chargers to power critical infrastructure, and enabling safe returns home.
Major transportation news dropped this week to help support these goals. Earlier this year, the EPA put out a $500 million call for proposals for alternative fuel school buses and received approximately 2,000 applications requesting nearly $4 billion for over 12,000 buses. That's massive market demand! Even more impressive is that 90% of buses requested were electric school buses, with only 9% propane and 1% for compressed natural gas. Go electric school buses! To meet this demand, yesterday, the EPA announced it would nearly double the funding awarded for clean school buses this year.
On top of that, the Biden-Harris administration announced it had approved Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Deployment Plans for all 50 states, Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico ahead of schedule under the National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure (NEVI) Formula Program. The program will support 75,820 miles of EV charging corridors! That could get you just over 30% of the way to the moon!
And now what you've all been waiting for. Our fresh of the the press "Transportation Electrification in the Southeast" report published in collaboration with Atlas Public Policy, is here! With market momentum accelerating, the Southeast will see continued and increasing investments and job growth. But, although regional indicator trends all point in positive directions, the region still lags behind national averages for EV sales, charger deployment, utility investment, and public funding, with regulators, legislators, and governors reluctant to pass market-driving policies and reforms. There are opportunities for the region to translate that success into EV adoption and charging station deployment growth. NEVI funding and other national investments, including the BIL and the IRA, will be critical drivers of this transformation. Still, change at the scale and pace needed will also require more investment, supportive policies, and expanded utility engagement. If successful, residents in the Southeast stand to benefit from the positive public health, economic, and climate outcomes that come with transportation electrification. There is no time to waste.
Southeast EV Indicators through June 30, 2022
All measures include medium- and heavy-duty EVs, except for sales which refers exclusively to passenger EVs. Employment and Investment refer to EV manufacturing and battery production only. EV manufacturing employment and investment represents commitments made to specific facilities in the state. Total is cumulative unless stated. Source: Atlas EV Hub To understand EV Sales and charging deployment in a national context, please read our report.
ICYMI: It's National Drive Electric Week! We had a great time at the Miami-Dade County EV Explore Sunday Fun Day last week! Events like these connect residents with their local leaders, businesses, and organizations and aim to educate communities, so we can further grow electric transportation. While there are still many events happening across the region, a few have been cancelled in light of Hurricane Ian. Take a look and find events this weekend near you.
Left to right: Office of Resilience; Nancy Jackson, Biscayne Bay Program Manager, Office of Resilience; James Murley, Chief Resilience Officer, Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine-Cava; Dory Larsen, Electric Transportation Program Manager, SACE
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
SACE and Atlas Public Policy have partnered for the past three years to track and contextualize the Southeast’s EV market. As with the prior reports, this year’s “Transportation Electrification in the Southeast” report examines six key indicators across six states: Alabama, Georgia, Florida, North and South Carolina, and Tennessee. The report captures the regional EV outlook against significant national market and policy momentum. Nationwide, consumer demand pushed Q2 EV sales 14% higher than any other quarter – despite supply chain constraints. EVs captured nearly 7% of Q2 new light-duty vehicle market share, peaking at 8% in June. Meanwhile, after passing the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law that earmarks upwards of $7.5 billion to deploy EV charging infrastructure, Congress passed the Inflation Reduction Act , which includes significant financial incentives for consumers and fleets to buy EVs and EV and battery manufacturers to produce them. Read more. Read the Report Watch the Report Webinar View State Pages
Power Up Expo
Power Up Expo is the largest industry training event for design, construction, and sustainable energy professionals along the Gulf Coast. The event focuses on technology to improve installation impact on the environment and creating models for government sustainability programs. This year’s Power Up Expo will bring hundreds of subject matter experts in architecture, engineering, construction, and power generation together for two days of information sharing, networking, and business development in the field of renewable energy. Along with Unparalleled access to DOD subject matter experts, this event will also help you build lifelong business relationships.
Network with colleagues in related fields from all over the southeast.
Federal, State and Local Government
Power Up Expo
October 19-20 | Panama City Beach, Florida RSVP
National Drive Electric Week
Calling all EV drivers and enthusiasts. This year, National Drive Electric Week will be September 23 - October 2. The annual event, is a nationwide celebration to raise awareness of the many benefits of all-electric and plug-in hybrid cars, trucks, motorcycles, and more. Please note due to Hurricane Ian, some events across the region may have been cancelled or postponed.
National Drive Electric Week September 23 - October 2 See all events
Paving the Way
Yesterday, the EPA announced it would nearly double the funding awarded for clean school buses this year following increased demand, with school districts from all 50 states applying for the 2022 Clean School Bus Rebates. This is the first round of funding from the EPA Clean School Bus Program, which President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law created with a historic $5 billion investment for low- and zero-emission school buses over the next five years.
In May, the EPA had announced the availability of $500 million available, but given overwhelming demand from school districts across the country, including in low-income communities, Tribal nations, and territories, EPA is nearly doubling the amount of funding that will be awarded to $965 million. Read more.
As electric vehicles move from niche to mainstream, obstacles remain: Concerns about cost, choice and charging loom large. Sales still pale in comparison to gas-powered vehicles and scaling up involves installing pricey charging stations and ensuring the grid won’t collapse if everyone plugs in. Dory Larsen, SACE's electric transportation program manager recently chatted with the Tampa Bay Times about the state of the electric vehicle market, and work the public and private sectors must do to increase adaptation. Read more.
EV market share in Southeast doubles as industry brings almost $33 billion to the region If you see more electric vehicles across the southern United States, it’s not just you. According to the annual Transportation Electrification in the Southeast report, EV market share in the region doubled from last year with Tesla and Hyundai leading the way. And, perhaps more important, the industry’s growth is bringing new jobs to the region. The Southeast has grown to become a significant auto manufacturing hub. Several prominent automakers, including Mercedes-Benz, Ford, and BMW, call the Southeast home for some of their operations. Automakers are transitioning from the motor city to the sun belt because of the regions benefits. It’s closer to the coast, making it easier to export; it offers vast space; and it tends to be less costly. Read more.
Charging stations for electric cars will proliferate across Florida’s highway system, thanks to more than $198 million the state is slated to receive from the federal government over five years. The money comes from $900 million that President Biden announced in federal funding devoted to adding electronic-vehicle charging stations to the nation’s interstate highway system. The money will go to Florida and 34 other states. Read more.
State Plans for National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure (NEVI) Formula Program Approved in all 50 states, Washington D.C., and Puerto Rico The Biden-Harris administration announced on September 27 it had approved Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Deployment Plans for all 50 states, Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico ahead of schedule under the National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure (NEVI) Formula Program, established and funded by President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. With this approval, all states now have access to all FY22 and FY23 NEVI formula funding, totaling more than $1.5 billion to help build electric vehicle chargers across approximately 75,000 miles of highway throughout the country. The NEVI formula funding under the BIL, which makes $5 billion available over five years, will help build a convenient, reliable, and affordable EV charging network across the country. View individual state plans. Read more.
Readers and Partners 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! We'll also highlight our partners and allies from our testimonials page.
Stan Cross, Southern Alliance for Clean Energy, Asheville, North Carolina
"My wife, Jayne, our dog, Motor (ya, we're EV nerds!), and I have been driving first-generation Nissan LEAFs since 2015. But we just upped our game by buying a used 2018 Chevy Bolt with over 250 miles of range. Now Motor gets to play at his favorite Western North Carolina lake, and we get to kayak, cycle, and hike everywhere in the mountains we love to go. We're living the EV dream. And here's the kicker, we are saving a frunk-load of money; this year, we'll save over $2,000 in avoided gas alone. Motor says EVs are awesome. Jayne and I agree."