This week as we gear up for Independence Day celebrations, it’s a great time to consider the Independence that electric vehicles provide! They offer Independence from foreign oil, Freedom from disastrous oil spills on our beaches and land, Independence from high priced gasoline and Freedom from carbon dioxide pollution with zero emissions! We hope that you get a chance to see some celebratory fireworks, have some apple pie, and get to hear Woody Guthrie’s “This Land Was Made for You and Me”.
This week in electric vehicle news, Volkswagen’s EV race car became king of the mountain and made history by finishing The Pikes Peak Hill Climb in under eight minutes! Volvo is also busy trailblazing. The company announced the XC40 will be their first all-electric model and will roll out in 2019. The crossover will pave the way for Volvo’s 100% ‘electrified’ goal. Heavy-duty truck maker Cummins has announced they are expanding their commitment (they announced an electric semi-truck last year) to electric by entering the electric bus market.
Driving electric is also becoming easier in Austin! Austin Energy is taking steps to increase infrastructure including offering a rebate program for home charging, installing additional public Level 2 and DC Fast chargers, and expanding corridor charging locations. A little closer to home, tailgating at both Auburn University (War Eagle!) and the University of Alabama (Roll Tide!) will also be more convenient for EV drivers. Both universities are increasing the number of electric car charging stations in hopes of encouraging students to make their next car electric.
In utility news, utility regulators agree: there is no easy road to supporting EVs. This past week at the EV Roadmap conference in Portland, OR a panel of regulatory commissioners from Michigan, Oregon, Maryland, and Ohio shared their perspectives on the barriers ahead as they navigate decisions on rapidly changing EV technology. All agree: when more stakeholders are engaged, the process is improved. Vox published the piece Electric Vehicles Are Gaining Momentum, Despite Trump, which captures how, in spite of our President’s actions, broad coalitions comprised of automakers, utilities, and civic groups aimed at electrifying the US fleet are gaining traction and serious financial investments are being made to improve and connect infrastructure.
Lastly, if you are near Tampa Bay, Florida next week, please come out to Safety Harbor’s 4th of July Parade where Electrify the South will be driving several EVs in the parade and promoting the NextCar Pledge!