The Federal Government is taking a step to further shift our engrained sociocultural reliance on gasoline.
In its July 21 press release, the Obama Administration announced “an unprecedented set of actions from the Federal government, private sector, and states, as well as a new framework for collaboration for vehicle manufacturers, electric utilities, electric vehicle charging companies, and states.”
This set of actions includes:
- “Unlocking up to $4.5 billion in loan guarantees and inviting applications to support the commercial-scale deployment of innovative electric vehicle charging facilities;
- Launching the FAST Act process to identify zero emission and alternative fuel corridors, including for electric vehicle charging across the country, and standing up an effort to develop a 2020 vision for a national network of electric vehicle fast charging stations that will help determine where along the corridors it makes the most sense to locate the fast charging infrastructure;
- Announcing a call for state, county, and municipal governments to partner with the Federal government to procure electric vehicle fleets at a discounted value;
- Leveraging the power of data and hosting an ‘Electric Vehicle Hackathon’ to discover insights and develop new solutions for electric vehicle charging;
- Publishing a guide to Federal funding, financing, and technical assistance for electric vehicles and charging stations; and
- 35 new businesses, non-profits, universities, and utilities signing on to DOE’s Workplace Charging Challenge and committing to provide electric vehicle charging access for their workforce.”
Other highlights include the continued success of the Department of Energy’s Workplace Charging Program — an initiative to promote installation of EV charging stations at workplaces, and which BEVI has supported and continues to support in Baltimore and Maryland.
The above plan is not only meant to accelerate deployment of EV infrastructure and adoption of EVs in public and private markets. More importantly, it accelerates the rate at which EVs become a normalized and integrated element of contemporary societies and economies.
Expediting the advent of EVs, from a social and economic perspective, has immense value — as succinctly described by Elon Musk in a conversation at Stanford University:
“I think the sort of fundamental good that Tesla can accomplish, is acceleration of the inevitable which is electric transportation … There is a lot of value to accelerating it to minimize the environmental and economic damage that would otherwise occur.”