On July 11, Clean Fuels Ohio partnered with the Miami Valley Regional Planning Commission (MVRPC) to present the first of several local electric vehicle-ready policy workshops at the University of Dayton.
An early afternoon presentation by Brendan Kelley, Drive Electric Ohio Director, and Matt Lindsay, Manager of Environmental Planning for MVRPC, included attendees from local governments across the Miami Valley Region. Kelley and Lindsay discussed the state of the electric vehicle market with an emphasis on Ohio and the Miami Valley, electric options for public fleets, and model local policies that can better facilitate the expansion of electric vehicle charging infrastructure and adoption.
Example policies included charger friendly building code, grants and rebates for public chargers, and zoning practices to encourage charger installation.
The need for educating local policymakers on the benefits of investing in electric vehicles and related infrastructure cannot be overstated for City of Huber Heights Council Member Glenn Otto."
The movement towards electric and hybrid vehicles is something that is rapidly growing in popularity among individuals, businesses, and governmental organizations nationwide and locally,” said Council Member Otto. “As municipal leaders, we have to embrace this transition in the changing transportation market and prepare our infrastructure for the inevitable continued growth in the electric and autonomous vehicle industry."
For Council Member Otto, electric vehicle policy is less about spurring demand than it is about preparing his community for the coming “electric vehicle wave.” Kelley echoed this view in his presentation, urging local governments to prepare for the future of electric vehicles or else be left with larger costs to retrofit outdated infrastructure.
Following the presentation, attendees had the chance to experience electric vehicles from behind the wheel while connecting with local owners. Volunteers from Drive Electric Dayton provided a range of vehicles for test drives of a variety of fleet-ready options, such as the Nissan LEAF, the Chevrolet Bolt, and the Tesla Model 3. The ride-and-drive gave local policymakers the chance to contextualize specific electric vehicle needs in the region while dispelling a few myths along the way. For Jodi Gradolph, who volunteered her pre-owned 2015 Nissan LEAF at the ride-and-drive, showing policymakers that electric vehicle owners are not just wealthy urbanites goes a long way to dismantle negative misconceptions surrounding electric vehicles.
"I live on a fixed income and wanted a vehicle that would save me money,” said Gradolph. “My LEAF has 101 miles of range in the summer and 85 in the winter, and that has worked great. I live in a township with no nearby public charging, but that hasn't been a problem. I charge my car in my garage each night."Clean Fuels Ohio will continue this series of policy workshops with a similar event hosted by the Ohio-Kentucky-Indiana Regional Planning Commission in Cincinnati on July 16.
For more information on these and future EV-Ready Policy Workshops, please contact Brendan Kelley at firstname.lastname@example.org.