To provide power for the electric vehicles, two EV chargers will be installed at each housing location.
The Southern Alliance for Clean Energy (SACE) announced the launch of a new electric vehicle (EV) carsharing program in Charlotte, N.C., in partnership with Centralina Regional Council and the City of Charlotte, according to a press release.
The program is part of a nationwide Affordable Mobility Platform (AMP) funded by the U.S. Department of Energy and managed by Forth Mobility. The purpose of AMP is to increase access to electric transportation by making low-cost EVs available to underserved communities. Out of the 10 participating cities in the U.S., Charlotte is the only one in the Southeast.
Launching in July 2023, the EV carsharing program will provide 10 shared EVs that will be available to residents and staff in five affordable housing developments across the city. Eligible residents with valid driver’s licenses will have the opportunity to first test drive the vehicles through ride-and-drive events, allowing them to become more familiar with the technology. For future trips, residents will be able to reserve the vehicles online and rent them at a small hourly or daily fee.
The program is funded for two years and designed with the intention to continue as a self-funded model in the years to come.
“With Governor Cooper’s administration’s focus on the rapid and equitable shift to electric transportation, this innovative project will serve as a model for wider-scale EV sharing in underserved communities across the state,” said Stan Cross, electric transportation policy director at the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy (SACE). “The Southern Alliance for Clean Energy has been advocating for centering equity in state electric transportation policies, plans, and programs, and we are excited to roll up our sleeves with our partners and help get it done.”
Additionally, the program will address the issue of a lack of charging options for residents of multi-unit housing, which has been considered a barrier to mass EV adoption. AMP will install two EV chargers at each housing location. Each charger will come equipped with two ports. One port will power the shared electric vehicle, and the other port will be used for charging vehicles from the surrounding communities.
“AMP presents a novel model that addresses several intersectional issues faced by many middle- to lower-income residents,” said Patrick King, electric transportation equity manager at SACE. “The program provides a means of transportation that reduces emissions, and at a low cost that’s a fraction of traditional vehicle ownership. The benefits of which improve the air quality, not just for members of the housing developments but for all communities.”
Drivers who use a carsharing system can access a car when needed without having to pay the costs of maintenance, repairs, and insurance associated with traditional ownership.
“Because transportation makes up 40% of Charlotte’s total greenhouse gas emissions, decarbonizing this sector through electrification is a critical strategy for a low carbon future,” said Sarah Hazel, chief sustainability and resiliency officer at the City of Charlotte. “We are thrilled to partner on an impactful initiative that centers residents of affordable housing in our electrification journey as we work towards a healthy, equitable, sustainable Charlotte.”
By placing 80 EVs in 10 cities across the U.S., this project will bring low-cost electric vehicles to underserved communities.
“Our region is at the crossroads of equity and unprecedented levels of funding for transportation electrification; therefore, this project is extremely timely and will further define the role local governments can play in the deployment of electric vehicles for everyone,” said Jason Wager, assistant director at Centralina Regional Council and director at Centralina Clean Fuels Coalition, a DOE Clean Cities affiliate. “The Centralina Clean Fuels Coalition, housed at the Centralina Regional Council, is poised to build on its previous EV project learnings to the benefit of our region and beyond.”
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