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April 27, 2020
American Lung Association Finds EVs Important to Address Air Pollution
Almost half of Americans were living in communities impacted by unhealthy levels of air pollution between 2016 and 2018 according to the latest “State of the Air” report from the American Lung Association. In addition to increasing air pollution, communities are grappling with the effects of climate change where all three of the years covered in this report are among the warmest years ever recorded globally. The report links climate change with high ozone pollution days and more frequent, intensified wildfires that compound the risks to human health.

Impacts from air pollution are not borne equally and individuals living in counties with higher pollution levels are more susceptible to respiratory diseases related to and exacerbated by emissions. New research from Harvard has also linked individuals with long term exposure to dirty air with higher death rates from the coronavirus. The study found that individuals living in areas with high fine particulate pollution are 15 percent more likely to die from COVID-19 compared to individuals living in areas with one unit less of this form of pollution. The likelihood of dying from COVID-19 increases for marginalized communities, which face higher levels of exposure to air pollution.

Cities in the Central Valley of California and Los Angeles have had the highest levels of air pollution since 2000, the year of the first “State of the Air” report. Current shelter in place orders due to COVID-19 throughout the country are having the unintended effect of temporarily reducing the concentration of certain air pollutants in the country’s most smog-choked cities. Satellite images reveal that significant traffic reductions in cities such as Los Angeles, Seattle, and New York have led to large drops in smog concentration last month compared to a year ago.

This connection between air pollution and higher coronavirus vulnerability comes at a time when the Trump administration has finalized a rollback of light-duty vehicle standards. The Environmental Protection Agency’s own analysis concluded that this would lead to an increase in the number of premature deaths. The “State of the Air” report lists this action as one of the major threats to public health in the United States. The American Lung Association and other advocates for clean air highlight reduced driving as a key tool to improve air quality in many cities, and recommend switching to EVs if a reduction in vehicle travel is not possible.

Despite the pandemic, many states continue to advance transportation electrification with detailed plans and new funding opportunities. California policymakers are indicating that pledges to deliver cleaner air have not been deprioritized and New Jersey is pushing ahead to allocate all of its remaining $45 million in VW Settlement funds to EVs and EV charging. Colorado continues to extend its regional transportation electrification leadership and released their 2020 Electric Vehicle Plan on April 23. Connecticut also took advantage of the 50th anniversary of Earth Day last week to release their updated EV Roadmap which seeks to leverage EVs to achieve a 45 percent emissions reduction by 2030.

While their commitment to EVs remains strong, states continue to be mindful of the coronavirus-induced delays that could influence the rollout of new programs and plans. It remains to be seen how the EV industry will fare in the face of manufacturing shutdowns and other hurdles including  an increasingly volatile oil market. We will continue to deliver the key EV market and policy developments during this tumultuous time.
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EV Hub News

New Jersey Will Allocate Remaining $45 Million VW Settlement Funds to EVs and EV Charging

Strengthening the state’s transportation electrification leadership, policymakers in New Jersey announced on April 22, 2020 that the remaining VW Settlement Funds worth almost $45 million will go towards EVs and EV charging. Roughly $32.7 million of this will go towards the replacement of old diesel buses, trucks, trains, port equipment, and marine vessels with electric alternatives. New Jersey has already awarded more than $24 million to EVs across several different vehicle categories and is one of only six total states awarding funds for electric trucks. 

The new round of funding also includes an RFP for charging infrastructure through the state’s It Pay$ to Plug In worth $7.6 million. The program that has already awarded $3.2 million for both DC fast and Level 2 charging stations throughout the state. 

The RFP will be open through June 22, 2020. Read More Here

NYSERDA Adds $5 million to the Charge Ready NY Program

The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) has added $5 million to the Charge Ready NY program which offers $4,000 rebates to public and private organizations that install Level 2 EV charging stations at public parking facilities, workplaces, and multifamily apartment buildings. This announcement brings the program’s total budget to $12 million. Since launching in September 2018, the program has supported more than 1,800 charging ports, of which over 1,000 have already been installed. Read More Here

National Grid and Oregon DOT Seeking Vendors for EV Charging Programs

In Massachusetts, the electric utility National Grid in Massachusetts has issued an RFI in order to execute residential off-peak charging rebate program. The survey seeks vendors that could provide charging data from varying technologies. The Off-Peak Rebate will pay customers a fixed per-kWh rate for charging their EV during the hours of 9 p.m. to 1 p.m. Monday through Friday. The survey will be open until February 28th and an RFP will be issued afterwards. 

In Oregon, the Department of Transportation is hosting a pre-proposal webinar to provide an overview of a new funding opportunity. Public agencies in the state are providing funding to upgrade and enhance Oregon’s network of 44 charging stations available as a part of the West Coast Electric Highway Initiative with new, dual-protocol, DC fast charging capability. The upgrades will allow fast charging using CHAdeMO or CCS connectors at each of the 44 sites. The pre-proposal webinar will be held on April 20th at 10:30 a.m. PST. Read More Here

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Job Openings
Below are current job openings in transportation electrification: If you have a job posting you would like to share with EV Hub users, please send them to us in an email at info@atlasevhub.com.
Upcoming Events

This webinar will focus on what transportation solutions are available to combat these trying times. Panelists will discuss what strategies states, cities, transit agencies, TNCs and others are taking to address COVID-19. The session will begin by introducing some insights into suspected changes in travel behavior, and continue with a discussion about how we can plan for a future that will enable climate resilient and equitable communities. There will be a Q&A following the presentation. Read more here.

April 27 @ 3pm PDT

The pandemic has taught us that we can unite and take action on pressing issues. So how do we take these learnings and flatten the curve on climate change? What will it take for public transit to truly serve essential services and the public good?  Event panels will address these questions as speakers discuss long-term plans and policies to achieve our shared goals. Read more here.

May 5-6th 

This webinar will provide an overview on electric bus charging infrastructure, including different approaches to charging, installation of charging infrastructure, and understanding electric cost as it compares to conventional fuels. Read more here.

May 7th @ 2pm EST

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