What was your dream vehicle when you were growing up?
The types of vehicles we desire when we’re young tend to be slick hot rods or sports cars, but, as we age, lean more toward models with increased practicality. With the rapid pace with which technology is changing and increased pledges by major auto manufacturers around the globe to exclusively produce electric vehicles in the near future, chances are our dream vehicles will be powered by electricity.
Electric vehicle adoption is already on the rise. Nationally, electric vehicle sales doubled in the first half of 2021. Wisconsin saw some of those gains locally as well.
Data from the U.S. Census Bureau, Atlas EV HUB and the U.S. Department of Energy’s Alternative Fueling Station Locator indicates Wisconsin electric vehicle ownership is up 42% since January 2020, with DC fast charging stations increasing by 8% and Level 2 charging stations increasing by 31% over the same period.
While adoption is increasing, electric vehicles still only make up roughly 2.5% of total vehicle ownership nationwide. We at Wisconsin Clean Cities are working with our members and partners here in Wisconsin and across the country to help change that.
Wisconsin Clean Cities leads the Drive Electric Wisconsin project. The project is part of DRIVE Electric USA, a partnership of U.S. Department of Energy Clean Cities coalitions working to significantly advance electric vehicle adoption in their states. The overarching goal of the project is to substantially increase electric vehicle adoption rates across consumer and fleet markets in 14 states.
In addition to accelerating EV adoption, the project will advance state-of-the-art, innovative approaches to reduce EV market barriers and plans to create a Replication Playbook that other states can utilize to further their own initiatives.
The project will help Wisconsin to be a national leader in electric vehicle adoption. We welcome outreach from any public, private or nonprofit entity interested joining our efforts.
As part of the Drive Electric Wisconsin project, Wisconsin Clean Cities is pleased to again partner with our friends at RENEW Wisconsin to co-host The Future of Transportation Day: The Future is Now at the Wisconsin State Capitol on Sept. 29 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Attendees will hear from industry experts in the public, private and nonprofit sectors at exhibit booths in the first floor rotunda how sustainable, domestic transportation fuels and vehicles are driving Wisconsin’s economy, strengthening national energy security, improving air quality and supporting the overall quality of life across the state.
Participants will have the opportunity to get behind the wheel of electric vehicles during the ride and drive on Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard to experience their multiple benefits. The event is free and open to the public. Registration is encouraged and sponsorships, exhibit booths and vehicle displays are available.
This column originally appeared in Kenosha News & other Lee Enterprises newspapers across Wisconsin. Lorrie Lisek is executive director of Wisconsin Clean Cities and president of Legacy Environmental Services. The opinions are the writer’s.