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  • Writer's pictureDory Larsen

Charging Forward – September 2023

Updated: Oct 26, 2023

Happy Fall! This month we're excited to highlight our fourth annual “Transportation Electrification in the Southeast” report, published in collaboration with Atlas Public Policy. The report benchmarks progress on transportation electrification from July 2022 through June 2023 in six states across the Southeast: Alabama, Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee. A few highlights from the report include:

  • Over the past 12 months, 5.9% of all new light-duty vehicles sold in the Southeast were electric vehicles, with three states topping the 7% market share threshold in the second quarter

  • The Southeast saw a 60% increase in charging deployment in the past 12 months, with Georgia in the per capita lead

Take a look at Southeast EV indicators below and click here to dive into the report, specific state page data, and watch a webinar with SACE and Atlas Public Policy!

All measures include medium- and heavy-duty EVs, except for sales which refers exclusively to new passenger EVs. EV sales includes both battery EVs (BEV) and Plug-in Hybrid EVs (PHEV). Manufacturing Employment and Investment refers to EV assembly, EV parts, EV charging infrastructure, battery manufacturing, and battery recycling facilities. Utility Investment refers to investor-owned utilities only. Totals are cumulative unless stated. Public funding is mostly from federal government or the VW Settlement. The jobs and investment data reflect the total announced jobs investments through June 2023. Data is through June 2023 and growth is taken from July 1, 2022, to June 30, 2023. Source: "Transportation Electrification in the Southeast" 2023 Report.

We're also excited to celebrate National Drive Electric Week from now until October 1! If you haven't been in an electric vehicle before, NDEW is an excellent opportunity to learn more about electric transportation from experienced drivers and owners. In-person and virtual NDEW events can be found on the NDEW website. Below are pictures from an NDEW event in Western North Carolina last week where SACE partnered with the Land of Sky Clean Vehicles Coalition to take drivers out on test EV test drives and spoke to local media about the benefits of electric transportation!

September also marks National Hispanic American Heritage Month, a time to reflect on the contributions and achievements of Latinos and highlight environmental injustices in the community. Poor air quality can harm human health – especially in children, pregnant people, the elderly, outdoor workers, and those with underlying health conditions. Depending on the source of pollution, resulting health impacts can include asthma, respiratory infections, adverse birth outcomes and more. Studies show that nearly 10 million Latinos live in counties across the country that received failing grades of particulate measures. And in 2018, 2.3 million U.S. Latinos reported suffering from asthma, which can be exacerbated by air pollution.

How can we help Latinos? We can learn more about our community's air quality and join efforts with others to take bold action to clean up the air.

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 Instagram. To receive these newsletters in your inbox, click here to sign up!

Charging Forward,

Dory Larsen


Powering the EV Movement

Report Shows in the Southeast, Electric Vehicles are Economic Development Engines

A transition to electric transportation is underway across the country and with good policy design and implementation, may deliver emissions reductions resulting in benefits like improved public health. Our fourth annual "Transportation Electrification in the Southeast" report unpacks market trends and policy levers underpinning growth in electric car, truck and bus adoption and increased charging deployment. Read more.


Get Plugged-In

National E-Mobility Diversity Equity and Inclusion

Hybrid Event

The National E-Mobility Diversity Equity and Inclusion Conference 2023 is a hybrid event presented by EVNoire, a national thought leader in E-Mobility, best practices, and E-Mobility diversity, equity, and inclusion. This conference brings together industry experts, grassroots advocates, and everyday EV drivers from various communities. The collection of panels and keynote speakers will facilitate conversation about strategies and best practices for engaging and working alongside diverse communities.

National E-Mobility Diversity Equity and Inclusion

October 25, Online | October 26, Washington, D.C. Register


National Drive Electric Week: City of Cape Canaveral EV Expo

In-Person Event

SACE will be hosting ride and drives at the City of Cape Canaveral EV Expo, one of many events celebrating National Drive Electric Week here in the Southeast. Experienced EV drivers will be present to give feedback on their experience with various electrified makes and models and provide resources for those looking to own an EV. Additionally, participants will learn about the infrastructure necessary for city-wide EV adoption and specifically dig into Cape Canaveral's ongoing path to grow its electric fleet.

EV drivers can sign up to show their own vehicle at the expo, and organizers are still looking for volunteers to help with the event. Plus, those who want to test drive an EV can sign up on the day of the event at the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy tent.

NDEW City of Cape Canaveral EV Expo September 30 | 10 AM – 12:30 PM | Cape Canaveral, Florida RSVP and Learn More

National Drive Electric Week runs from September 22 to October 1. If you're considering going electric, more in-person and virtual NDEW events can be found on the NDEW website.


Chattanooga Green Prix

In-Person Event

The Chattanooga Green Prix is an electric vehicle race car event where hundreds of students from all over the Chattanooga area design and build their own cars, learning about and familiarizing themselves with electrical engineering, electrical wiring, mechanics, aerodynamics, and renewable energy.

Students in elementary to high school ages take on roles in their Electric Vehicle Clubs ranging from project manager, parts coordinator, marketing director, and driver, giving them an awareness of the different career paths available.

Chattanooga Grand Prix October 20 + 21 | Chattanooga, Tennessee Learn More


Paving the Way

DOE Announces Notice of Funding Opportunity: The EV Reliability Accelerator Program

Applications are open for the Electric Vehicle (EV) Reliability and Accessibility Accelerator program, which will provide up to $100 million in federal funding to repair and replace non-operational EV charging infrastructure.

The National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure (NEVI) Formula Program stipulates a 10% set-aside for grants to states and localities that require additional assistance to strategically deploy electric vehicle charging infrastructure. The first round of funding focuses on improving the reliability of the current network by repairing or replacing existing EV charging infrastructure.

The EV Reliability and Accessibility Accelerator program investments will:

  • Complement hundreds of billions in private sector investment

  • Support good paying jobs across the country installing, maintaining, and repairing EV infrastructure

  • Make our current charging network more reliable—a critical component to building a convenient, affordable, reliable, equitable, and Made-in-America national EV charging network.

Eligible applicants and projects for the EV Reliability and Accessibility Accelerator are outlined in a Notice of Funding Opportunity published September 13, 2023. Applications are due by November 13, 2023. Read more and apply.


EPA Clean School Bus Rebate Program

Yesterday, Thursday, September 28, the EPA launched the Clean School Bus 2023 Rebates that will make $500 million in funding available that can cover school bus, charger, charger installation, workforce development and training. Program highlights below:

  • 1-25 school buses per application; only one application per school district

  • Funding amounts have been lowered to account for the $40,000 school districts can receive per electric school bus purchase from the IRA 45W Tax Credit for Qualifying Commercial Vehicles

  • Eligibility and prioritization remain the same as their prior grant program

  • Eligible applicants include public school districts, Tribal Nations or orgs, nonprofit student transportation associations, and contractors like manufacturers, dealers, private bus fleet companies, and charging companies

  • Lottery will pick priority applicants first, then non-priority. 40% of funding will be reserved for non-priority school districts; 60% for priority school districts. Like the grant program, large school districts can self-certify for low income and therefore, priority status.

  • The Joint Office will provide more assistance with utility/infrastructure interconnection

  • Application will require SAM.GOV active account

The application will be open for 120 days, through late January 2024. Learn more and apply here.


Electric Vehicle Leasing Is The Cheapest Option For New Car Buyers

A new report from Energy Innovation evaluated the costs of buying and leasing 14 comparable EV and internal combustion engine models, and found that leasing an EV is far cheaper than buying or leasing a gasoline-powered vehicle – up to $500 cheaper per month and up to $6,000 cheaper per year. Falling EV lease prices, new federal tax incentives for leased EVs, and rising interest rates, coupled with the lower operating and maintenance costs of EVs, make leasing a new EV the most affordable way to get into a new car. Download the report.


Powering the Future of Transportation: Creating an Ethical, Sustainable Battery Supply Chain

The transition to electrified transportation will significantly increase demand for elements required for battery manufacturing. By prioritizing demand reduction, a circular economy, and responsible, ethical materials sourcing, we can decrease the need for new mining, cut localized vehicle pollution, advance transportation equity, and accelerate the decarbonization of the transportation sector. Plug In America’s new report offers a four-step suggestion for how to procure minerals for EV batteries: reduce demand, reuse batteries, recycle batteries, and responsibly source materials. Read the report.


EcoMadres Newsletter

In celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month, we're featuring the EcoMadres newsletter! In their latest newsletter, they reflect on the collective and individual contributions and achievements of Latinos – including telling how the group is advocating for policies that support cleaner air and relaying the efforts of an electric school bus driver in Maryland who is helping drive change for the schoolchildren in her community. The newsletter also discusses the environmental injustices and climate change vulnerabilities Latinos continue to endure. Learn about their upcoming events and join in on the action in their newsletter and be sure to watch an EcoMadres member's performance of a song directed toward Congress, urging them to advocate for healthier and safe environments for Latino communities. Read more and watch the video.


Siemens to invest $30 million to train U.S. EV charger technicians

This September, the Siemens Foundation announced it will make a $30-million, 10-year investment in workforce development in the United States focused on the fast-growing electric vehicle charging sector where tens of thousands of workers will be needed this decade. Starting with fast-track programs in Michigan and North Carolina, the initiative aims to train a diverse and inclusive workforce to build, install and service the infrastructure to support future EV demand, from residential chargers to large commercial fleets. Read more.


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 and feature photos from events SACE has participated in across the region.

Electrify the South Collaborative | Savannah, Georgia

The Electrify the South Collaborative took place in Savannah, Georgia earlier this month, and it was a hit! SACE worked alongside the Southeast Sustainability Directors Network and Southeastern local governments to workshop solutions for how to access and implement federal funding for electric transportation. Participants left with a tool belt of resources to help them adopt electric transportation in their communities – with equity as a priority.

After attending the Collaborative, Fairfield County Clerk Government Councilwoman, Shirley Greene said,

"Before coming to the Collaborative I didn’t know where to start. But learning about what other cities and counties are doing and what resources are available is inspiring and invigorating."

Interested in joining the next Collaborative event? Stay tuned for a virtual opportunity to learn about federal electric transportation funding on Thursday, November 30.

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