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The Transportation Electrification Accord urges utility companies to expand their electric car charging efforts. Will it make a difference or is it just more greenwashing from corporate America?


Utilities Urged To Embrace Electric Vehicle Charging Infrastructure By Transportation Electrification Accord

The Transportation Electrification Accord urges utility companies to expand their electric car charging efforts. Will it make a difference or is it just more greenwashing from corporate America?

The Transportation Electrification Accord is a plan embraced by more than 50 US corporations and organizations designed to promote the electric vehicle revolution. “The Accord outlines how transportation electrification can be advanced in a manner that benefits all utility customers and users of all forms of transportation, while supporting the evolution of a cleaner grid and stimulating innovation and competition for U.S. companies,” according to the group.

EV ARC solar EV charging stationThe Natural Resources Defense Council describes the Accord as follows: “The Accord states it is in the public interest to allow utilities to install charging stations and raise awareness for EVs to accelerate electrification of the transportation sector and maximize benefits to all customers. This deployment, in partnership with EV charging companies, should:

  • Foster innovation in EV charging services by providing new avenues for competition.
  • Encourage the use of new technologies that enable EVs to help keep the grid running smoothly; for example, technologies that encourage EV charging when renewable energy is abundant on the electric transmission system.
  • Create a charging experience that is open and accessible for all, meaning that you don’t need a wallet full of plastic payment cards from every charging station company to charge on the way from Point A to Point B.

“The Transportation Electrification Accord takes the first step to achieve that clean transportation future – driving economic benefits, electric grid benefits, and air pollution reduction benefits along the way.”

So who is supporting this Accord? Several utility companies are on board, including National Grid, American Electric Power, and Excelon. Environmental groups such as the Sierra Club and the NRDC are signatories, as is Consumers Union. Electric vehicle manufacturers Proterra, Zero Motorcycles, EV Box, and BYD are also involved. The initiative would like to take the $738 million EV charging infrastructure program recently announced by the state of California and extend it nationwide.

Interestingly, General Motors is a participant. Think about that for a moment. A legacy US auto manufacturer that is slow walking its way into the electric car future, that allows its dealers to put salespeople on the floor who try to talk people out of buying electric cars, that is rushing to build electric cars in China while letting its EV efforts in North America languish — that General Motors — is supporting a program that asks utilities and taxpayers to do the heavy lifting on EV charging infrastructure while it takes a hands-off position on the matter.

It is no coincidence that another CleanTechnica writer asked a GM public relations person recently for a comment on the corporation’s “slow walk” EV policies while supporting the assault on fuel economy rules. The PR type person refused. Sometimes it’s not what you say but what you don’t say that matters.

Will the Transportation Electrification Accord have any significant impact? Or will it be another Paris climate accord, a flowery sounding document that is honored more in the breach than in the observance? Your guess is as good as ours, but don’t hold your breath.

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Steve writes about the interface between technology and sustainability from his home in Florida or anywhere else The Force may lead him. 3000 years ago, Socrates said, "The secret to change is to focus all of your energy not on fighting the old but on building the new." Perhaps it's time we listened?


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