Revving up Rural America: EVs have promising potential for the countryside
Rural communities can see huge benefits from electric vehicle (EV) investments:
Despite being only 20% of the population, rural Americans constitute 57% of the nation’s driving “super users” (the top tenth of drivers who consume the most gasoline). With high gas prices, getting rural folks into clean vehicles can put substantial amounts of cash back in their wallets, reduce energy burden for hard-working families, and support jobs that benefit everyone in the community.
New funding for EVs:
The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law invests $7.5 billion in EV charging, $10 billion in clean transportation, and over $7 billion in EV battery components, critical minerals, and materials. Communities can act now to help residents save serious dollars on gasoline and maintanence costs. Along with potential savings, EVs can help increase mobility options, create jobs and economic opportunities, support tourism, and reduce air pollution. However, EV federal funding programs are complex and fast-moving, and transportation electrification can seem daunting for small-town governments.
Upcoming opportunities to learn about landing federal funding:
To help demystify new federal funding opportunities for rural America, our friends at Forth are hosting a couple of opportunities to get help and learn more.
- In-person panel: “Normalizing Electric Vehicles in Rural and Tribal Areas” during the Roadmap Conference on May 17th. Our own Director, Josh Ewing, will be moderating! The panel will explore how a growing number of funding programs, initiatives, and vehicle models can help increase rural EV adoption and how transportation electrification can deliver tangible benefits that meet the unique needs of rural and tribal communities. Learn more about about the Roadmap Conference here. The Conference is an annual gathering on electric transportation that brings people together to create solutions that reduce pollution and barriers to access.”
- Online webinar: “Federal Community Grants Program & the Justice40 Initiative”
will be hosted on June 13th at 10am PT. During the webinar, speakers will explore how to maximize benefits to communities, analyze Justice40 initiatives, and discuss merits and growth opportunities. The presenters will also share about how to apply for funding to support EV charging within rural areas, low- and moderate-income neighborhoods, and communities.
Learn more about EV funding
In addition to the opportunities shared above, below are some relevant links to learn more about transportation electrification opportunities:
- Atlas Policy recently developed an EV Hub covering EV data and funding opportunities. The Hub is free for public agencies and officials and available at a cost to other users.
- The Electrification Coalition developed this EV Laws & Incentives Database to explain federal and statewide laws and financial opportunities for EVs.
- Charging and Fueling Infrastructure (CFI) Discretionary Grant Program, Federal Highway Administration (Due May 30, 2023)
- Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act RFI, Federal Highway Administration (No deadline)