In the EV revolution, can we afford to leave anyone behind?

While new electric vehicles are grabbing headlines, a looming question behind the EV movement is: are they for everyone? Is the decarbonization of transportation only for the privileged or will all people have access to electric vehicles – and cleaner air – despite their economic or geographic status?

In pursuing this discussion, I helped organize a panel discussion at DistribuTECH 2023 entitled Leave no one behind: Achieving equity in EV investment. The panel, made up of a group of amazing experts, will discuss how utilities and local governments can ensure communities at all economic levels have access to electric vehicles and other modes of electric transportation.

Government funding for EV projects requires that underserved communities are included, but what’s a feasible roadmap for including them? In this session, experts who are doing the work today will share their experiences and see how utilities are using data and incentive programs to better help economically disadvantaged communities transition to zero-emission vehicles.

Panelists will offer specific recommendations on how to tailor incentive programs to encourage EV adoption by people with low to moderate incomes. The national Center for Sustainable Energy, headquartered in San Diego, will share data from the country’s largest, longest-running statewide EV incentive program, CVRP, and outline how specific criteria can be modeled, measured and balanced to operationalize the principle of equity everywhere.

Panelists include:

  • Jonathan Changus, Director, California Transportation Programs at the Center for Sustainable Energy (CSE) – moderator
  • Allison Donnelly, Expert Program Manager, Clean Fuel Vehicles and Clean Energy Transportation, Pacific Gas & Electric
  • Aaron Dyer, Sr. Project Manager, Electrification Strategy & Program Development, Southern California Edison
  • Mayte Sanchez, Director of Energy, Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator

DistribuTECH 2023 starts Tuesday, February 7 at the San Diego Convention Center. The panel, Leave no one behind: Achieving equity in EV investment, is also on February 7, at 1 p.m. in Room 30E on the Uppler Level of the Convention Center. Please join me for this critical discussion. If you have questions about the panel or topic, contact me at