Accelerating Equitable Transportation Electrification
Electric vehicles have driven onto the front page of news from GM’s announcement to exclusively offer EVs by 2035, President Biden’s Executive Order calling for an all-electric federal fleet by 2035, and Transportation Secretary Buttigieg’s prioritizing electric and automated freight fleet vehicles. A handful of U.S. states and other countries are also accelerating clean transportation, with plans to phase out gas-powered vehicle sales on or before 2035.
But even with more than 1 million EVs on U.S. roads, the transportation sector is our largest source of climate pollution, responsible for nearly a third of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions. Nearly half of all Americans live in counties with unhealthy ozone and particle pollution, and more than 20,000 die prematurely every year from transportation pollutants. Children, the elderly, pregnant women, and people with chronic health conditions are especially vulnerable. Communities of color continue to bear a disproportionate burden from traffic-related pollution.
As the grid decarbonizes, transportation electrification offers a win-win solution for climate, consumers, equity, and health. Electrify This! explores how to get the U.S. can off gas and diesel, address clean transportation transition challenges, expand electric mobility options in an equitable way, and opportunities for states and the federal government to shift clean transportation into high gear.
- Shruti Vaidyanathan, Transportation Program Director, American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy. With 13 years’ experience in transportation efficiency issues, Shruti currently oversees transportation research and focuses on state policies to further transportation electrification and the role of emerging mobility options. Shruti holds a master of science in public policy and management from the Heinz College at Carnegie Mellon University and a B.A. in economics and environmental studies from Grinnell College.
- Alvaro Sanchez, Environmental Equity Director, The Greenlining Institute where he leads a team that develops policies to improve public health, catalyze economic opportunity, and enrich environmental quality for low-income communities and communities of color. Alvaro oversees Greenlining’s climate equity portfolio and the implementation of Greenlining’s Making Equity Real frameworks on equitable and clean mobility, climate adaptation and resilience, and creating an equitable economy. Previously, Alvaro worked for Green for All as a member of the State and Local Initiatives team focused on stormwater infrastructure strategies. Alvaro holds a Master of Planning degree from the University of Southern California.
- Pallavi Madakasira, Director, Clean Energy Sector, New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA) where she helps shape and lead efforts to ensure the state’s long-term competitiveness in the clean energy sector. She oversees the grant programs and the development of initiatives to create green jobs. Prior to joining NJEDA, Pallavi worked as Head of Strategic Marketing at Solvay and at Lux Research, advising Fortune 500 companies to help define their strategies in the field of clean energy technologies, including solar, wind, and electric vehicle (EV) transportation. Pallavi received her Master’s Degree in Physics from the University of Texas at Dallas.
To Dig in Deeper, Check out these Must-Read Resources:
- California Must Prioritize Transportation Equity (Greenlining Institute, January 2021)
- How the Biden-Harris Administration Can Fight Climate Change and Structural Racism (Greenlining Institute, January 2021)
- A Community of Practice for Equitable Electric Mobility (Greenlining Institute, November 2020)
- State Transportation Electrification Scorecard (American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy, February 2021)
- New Jersey Economic Development Authority