Unions, utilities and environmental groups come together for massive electric vehicle charging initiative

A new initiative from a wide range of groups, from the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) to the Edison Electric Institute and major auto manufacturers’ trade organizations, is launched on Wednesday.

What to watch: Its objective is to mobilize private capital and forge public-private partnerships to rapidly accelerate the deployment of charging stations for electric vehicles and associated infrastructure at the national level.

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Why is this important: The group, known as the National EV Charging Initiative, has among its members electricians who will help provide and install the infrastructure to power EVs as well as advocates who focus on addressing racial, economic and inequalities. environmental.

Between the lines: The 24 signatories to the memorandum of understanding include strange bedfellows, including unions, electric utilities and environmental groups who have clashed in the past over other issues.

  • These include the Alliance for Transportation Electrification, which has GM, Ford and Honda among its members.

  • The Alliance for Automotive Innovation, which also counts BMW, Ford, Mazda, Nissan and Toyota among its members, and the non-profit group Veloz, which includes PG&E, Uber and Lyft, are also part of this new push.

  • There are also The Coalition for Green Capital, Ceres, CALSTART, the California Electric Transportation Coalition, Environmental Defense Fund, Sierra Club, International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers and Green Latinos, among other signatories.

How it works: The MOU recognizes “the need for collaboration between decision makers at all levels of government, fleet owners, labor unions, electric utilities and financiers to build an electric vehicle charging infrastructure. “.

  • According to Colleen Quinn, founder and partner of eMobility Advisors, a public affairs firm that leads the initiative on behalf of the NRDC, the United States must mobilize public and private funding to achieve President Biden’s goal of having 50% of vehicles sold. in the United States in 2030 be electric vehicles.

  • The bipartisan infrastructure plan that was passed by the Senate on Tuesday includes $ 7.5 billion to fund the construction of electric vehicle charging stations.

What they say : “We bring the whole utility industry together, so you have the vehicle manufacturing, you also have, you know, basically the new, the new fuel suppliers, which are in the utility industry.” , Quinn said. Axios.

To note : The initiative has an environmental justice component, with member groups dedicated to bringing electric vehicle charging to areas most affected by pollution and to people who “spend a disproportionate share of their income on fuel and vehicle maintenance. “.

Yes, but: It is not known how much money the NRDC and other member groups will spend on this effort to lobby the federal and state governments, which will help determine if this is successful.

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