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Illustration of various electric cars today and how they will be charged.
Illustration of various electric cars today and how they will be charged.

Unfolding America's New EV Roadmap

By Bill Moore

An amazing coalition of energy companies, regulatory, consumer and environmental watchdogs, along with several automotive manufacturers have joined forces behind a shared vision of an electric transportation future, signing an 11-point accord to move America toward an EV world.

As surprising as this may sound, there is wide accord in America that the future is electric. Want proof? Check out the scrolling list of organizations, from businesses to NGOs who have signed the The Transportation Electrification Accord, including General Motors, Honda, Siemens, BYD, ComEd, Southern California Edison, Southern Companies, American Electric Power and the Consumer Federation of America.

To learn more about the Accords, which were officially announced two weeks ago, EV World’s publisher Bill Moore spoke with CFA’s Director of Public Affairs, Jack Gillis. What he learned is there is a growing consensus that the future of transportation is, in fact, electric, which, of course EV World has now argued for 20 years!

According to Christopher Budzynski, director of utility strategy, Exelon Utilities, “It’s clear that the future of transportation will be electric. The Accord provides a baseline from which utility regulators can support growing demand for affordable, electrified transport.”

Besides obvious Accord participants like automotive manufacturers and power companies, a host of other groups have joined on and become signatories, including regulatory, consumer and environmental watchdogs.

For CFA’s part, Gillis sees his organization principle role is to provide consumer education, helping make the transition from fossil fuel vehicles to electric more readily understandable and acceptable to citizens.

“It’s the wild west out there,” Gillis says, in the press release. “Transportation electrification is new to consumers, society and many policymakers. The Accord gets us all on the same page about what we want the future of transportation electrification to look like and help ensure that this growing trend benefits all consumers.”

GM’s director of Advanced Vehicle Commercialization Policy, Britta Gross, is quoted in the press release that GM “envisions a world with zero emissions.”

“That’s the future and the Accord lays out the essential building blocks for a compelling energy infrastructure that we can all rely on for decades to come. Innovations in transportation electrification will benefit society as a whole – and cross-industry, multi-stakeholder cooperation is key.”

From the power sector’s point of view, “Making the transition to an electrified transportation future requires long-term policy certainty,” said Chris King, chief policy officer, Siemens Digital Grid. “Certainty in the marketplace provides a signal to businesses to invest, thereby driving innovation and jobs. We believe the Accord provides foundational directions that will inspire policymakers.”

Now this isn’t the first time disparate groups of stakeholders have joined forces to promote an electric transportation future. The Electrification Coalition published their own ‘Roadmap’ in 2009. Apparently they’re still around, but they’ve not updated it since it first came out.

Now we’ve made a lot of progress since then with close to a quarter million EVs on America’s roads and tens of thousands of public charging stations installed. But we still face a long road ahead of us with technological hills to climb and political chasms to cross, including schizophrenic oil industry players who on the one hand fund disinformation campaigns to stall electric car acceptance and on the other are buying up electric car charging networks, presumably to capitalize on the inevitable shift away from the complicated infernal combustion engine to the simple, more fun to drive EV.

Hopefully, this new coalition will help an EV world become a reality sooner, rather than later.

You can listen to our conversation with Gillis in its entirety using the embedded MP3 player below or you can download the 7.5MB file to your favorite mobile device. And be sure to follow @EVisioneer on Twitter, as well as our “sister” accounts @Quikbyke and @Papio_Creek.

Times Article Viewed: 12997
Originally published: 02 Jul 2018

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