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June 1, 2020
Pandemic Exposes Transportation Inequalities
Transportation is one of the leading drivers of air pollution affecting human health in the United States and communities suffering from unhealthy levels of air pollution are particularly susceptible to COVID-19. Updated research from Harvard finds that an increase of one unit in fine particulate pollution is associated with an increase of eight percent in COVID death rates. The burden of dirty air is borne disproportionately by communities of color and a coalition of environmental and social justice groups are working to place emphasis on equity considerations in the drive towards transportation electrification.

Prioritizing underserved communities in the design of EV programs was one of the core priorities at the National EMobility Town Hall co-hosted by Forth and EV Hybrid Noire on May 28th. According to EV Hybrid Noire founder Dr. Shelley Francis, coronavirus death rates are disproportionately high in some communities of color; 40 percent of COVID-19 deaths in Michigan are among African American and Black communities despite the fact that these communities only make up 14 percent of the state’s population.

Dr. Francis and other advocates are calling for increased focus on educational campaigns targeting underserved communities and explicit prioritization of these groups in EV programs. Working closely with organizations like the Greenlining Institute and cities like Huron with high representation of underserved communities, California is pursuing transportation equity statewide and designated a legal definition for disadvantaged communities based on the CalEnviroScreen tool. California’s Clean Energy and Pollution Reduction Act of 2015 required that programs seeking to enhance transportation electrification work to improve air quality in disadvantaged communities bearing the greatest burden of air pollution.

In an effort to expand transportation funding for these communities, the California Air Resources Board (CARB) has recently launched the Sustainable Equity Transportation Project (STEP), a program that will give communities funding to produce their own needs assessments and provide grants for programs tailored to these needs. The program is funded at $22 million for the current fiscal year, $2 million of which is dedicated specifically to planning and capacity-building. Medium- and heavy-duty electrification is also a key focus for California, especially given the increased exposure of disadvantaged communities to these emissions. The Golden State is expected to finalize its landmark Advanced Clean Trucks Regulation this summer requiring manufacturers of medium- and heavy-duty vehicles to hit annual sales targets for zero-emission vehicles and continues to prioritize port electrification through the California Climate Investments program.

Virginia is another state leveraging policy leadership to ensure that state and electric utility programs advance transportation electrification while also addressing inequality. The Virginia Clean Economy Act requires that advancements in the energy and transportation space directly benefit underserved communities. In addition to recently establishing a working group to develop a statewide EV incentive, Virginia policymakers have passed legislation requiring utilities in the state to ready the grid for EV market growth. Dominion Energy is one of the utilities affected by this policy and is leading the charge in Virginia, having received approval in March to invest $20 million in their first EV program. The utility will work directly with advocates for low-income communities as they roll out this program as well as their school bus electrification initiative which seeks to deploy more than 1,000 electric school buses throughout the state.  
Last year, Atlas undertook an effort supported by the Natural Resources Defense Council to track utility investment in underserved communities by drawing on Greenlining’s Mobility Equity Framework. Across the country, electric utilities have been approved to invest more than $1 billion in programs including a focus on underserved communities. Based on our analysis published in December, at least $345 million is likely to be invested directly in these communities. New filings are also focusing on transportation equity with Xcel Energy’s new $102 million transportation electrification plan in Colorado including a prioritization of underserved communities in all program elements.
Large companies like Xcel and Dominion aren’t the only ones seeking to ensure underserved communities benefit from transportation electrification. In North Carolina, Roanoke Electric Cooperative is one of many rural member-owned providers seeking to encourage EV adoption in their communities. The coop, which serves one of the poorest congressional districts in the country, recently implemented a subscription-based EV rate where members can pay a flat monthly fee of $50 to charge their vehicles, generating an estimated $135 in monthly savings compared to the fuel cost of driving a conventional vehicle with a fuel economy of 20 mpg. Education of their members around the benefits of EVs is a core focus for coops like Roanoke Electric and coops around the country are working to ensure that underserved rural communities also benefit from the transformation taking place in the transportation sector. We will be working with the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association in the coming months on their transportation electrification research.
See the Data Story on Equity Elements in Utility Programs
EV Hub Quarterly Review June 3rd

Join us at 3:00 PM EST on June 3rd for the EV Hub 2020 Q1 Review! 

Every quarter, join us for a webinar to review what we’ve learned about transportation electrification in the United States. These webinars are free to all and we encourage you to share this meeting information with your network. All content from the webinar are based on information available on EV Hub.

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The EV Hub joined Twitter a year ago and we are working to ramp up our presence on Twitter. We encourage you to retweet or like anything you found useful. Follow us for relevant media stories and updates to EV Hub resources throughout the week!
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EV Hub News

Washington Awards $12 million from the VW Settlement for 40 Electric School Buses

On April 29, 2020, the Washington State Department of Ecology awarded $12 million from the state’s federal VW Settlement allocation to fund 40 electric school buses across the state. This award makes Washington the 14th state to commit settlement funds to school bus electrification. In addition to school buses, Washington has awarded more than $13 million for electric transit buses. It is also the first and only state to invest in hybrid electric ferry boats, awarding a total of $35 million to replace three of the state’s largest vessels in September 2019. Read More Here

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

Catch Up On EV Hub News Alerts
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
Upcoming Events

Discussions in Congress are increasingly focusing on strategies to help our national economy recover. Several organizations and networks have released proposals and plans with suggestions for how transportation electrification and other smart transportation investments can help achieve these goals, fueling a lively national conversation. Join us to hear directly about several of these leading proposals, what they have in common, how they differ, and their prospects for success. Read more here.

June 2nd @ 10am PST

Every quarter, join us for a webinar to review what we’ve learned about transportation electrification in the United States. These webinars are free to all and we encourage you to share this meeting information with your network. All content from the webinar are based on information available on EV Hub.

Join the webinar:

 Read more here.

June 3rd @ 3pm EST

Stakeholders strongly contend that an electric vehicle future must include some form of managed charging in order to reap the maximum benefits for consumers, the grid, and society as a whole. A Comprehensive Guide to Electric Vehicle Managed Charging from SEPA identified 38 utility-run managed charging pilot and demonstration projects in 2019. Hear from a utility, a solution provider and a standards facilitation and testing organization about how information protocols like OpenADR and OCPP, can integrate managed charging product solutions with utility systems seamless. Read more here.

June 3rd @ 2pm EST

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