The East Tennessee Clean Fuels Coalition (ETCleanFuels) was recently awarded a $1.67 million grant from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Vehicle Technologies to fund an addition to the original DRIVE Electric USA (DEUSA) project. The extension is called DRIVE Electric USA 2 (or DEUSA2 for short).
The overall goal of the original DEUSA project, which will continue in DEUSA2, is to build out “Drive Electric” programs, such as Drive Electric Tennessee (DriveElectricTN), across the country alongside Clean Cities Coalitions and other partners. This program will engage individuals, utilities, legislators, dealerships, and others to remove electric vehicle (EV) adoption barriers and accelerate plug-in EV use in their states.
This funding will expand the project scope to include 12 new states and the District of Columbia. The 13 total new organizations joining the project include Valley of the Sun Clean Cities, Live Green Connecticut, Greater Washington Region Clean Cities, Drive Clean Indiana, Evolve KY, Maine Clean Communities, Michigan Clean Cities, Minnesota Clean Cities, Clean Communities of Central New York, Central Oklahoma Clean Cities, East River Electric Power Coop, Western Washington Clean Cities, and Yellowstone‐Teton Clean Cities. These 13 new entities will tackle the same tasks that the original 14 organizations undertook to develop or strengthen “Drive Electric” programs in their states or areas.
There are seven “Priority Areas” that each involved entity will work on as a part of this multi-year project. These Priority Areas include:
- Create and strengthen branded, statewide EV programs in each state
- Educate consumers through education initiatives while developing new, local EV “chapters” in all states
- Directly engage, educate, and work with utilities (of various types) and regulators
- Advance infrastructure planning in all states via regional and community EVSE planning
- Educate state and local government officials about EV policy best practices
- Engage dealerships & OEMs to develop state-based preferred EV dealer programs
- Significantly increase fleet EV adoption across many sectors and classes
An essential aspect of this work is ensuring Clean Cities Coalitions include communities that have traditionally not been engaged in such work to allow them to learn, participate and even lead elements of the many tasks and subtasks embodied in the project. Diversity, equity, and inclusion goals are spread across all seven Priority Areas to ensure Clean Cities and other involved project staff stay true to the Justice40 goals of having 40% of all efforts be in, about, or related to underserved communities and citizens.
ETCF looks forward to continuing to serve as a leader and facilitator for other states looking to grow their own “Drive Electric” programs!
Visit www.DriveElectricUSA.org to learn more about the DEUSA and DEUSA2 projects.