New Electric Vehicle Preparedness Program Launches in Dallas-Fort Worth

3/20/2024
Pilot Program Preceding National EV Program Expansion
 
 
PRESS RELEASE
Brian Wilson
 

Zack Loehle
(470) 615-9817
zackl@irecusa.org

 

Arlington, TEXAS  Dallas-Fort Worth Clean Cities, hosted by the North Central Texas Council of Governments (NCTCOG), and the Interstate Renewable Energy Council (IREC) have announced the launch of Charging Smart, a new designation program that awards communities for electric vehicle (EV) readiness. Charging Smart is funded by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE)’s Vehicle Technologies Office (VTO).

The program provides personalized, no-cost technical assistance to help municipalities set and achieve policies that facilitate the equitable expansion of EVs and EV charging in their communities. Local governments that achieve certain metrics are awarded Bronze, Silver, or Gold designations, a public recognition of their status as EV-friendly communities.  
 
Charging Smart is launching a pilot phase for local governments in the regions of North Texas and Southern California and the states of Colorado and Virginia. Communities in Minnesota, Michigan, and Ohio are already engaged in a developmental phase of the program, and communities from one of these states are expected to become the first Charging Smart designated cohort later this spring. A comparable program has already been launched in Northern Illinois in collaboration with Charging Smart. Charging Smart will be made available to communities throughout the U.S. in the future.  
 
Local governments in North Texas are invited to get involved in the program. Contact cleancities@nctcog.org for details on the program and/or information on how to participate.
 
Charging Smart is led by the Interstate Renewable Energy Council (IREC), with Great Plains Institute (GPI) serving as lead partner on the project. Other partners include RMI, the Metropolitan Mayors Caucus (MMC), Drive Clean Colorado, Long Beach Clean Cities, Dallas-Fort Worth Clean Cities and Virginia Clean Cities. 
 
“We are thrilled to launch this new program that will increase access to electric vehicles and spur sustainable development in communities across the country,” said Toyah Callahan, Vice President—Local Initiatives at the Interstate Renewable Energy Council. “This pilot phase in select states is the first step in our work to bring EV-friendly policies to local governments across the country, helping everyone access the clean transportation of the future.”  
 
Dallas-Fort Worth has seen tremendous growth in the number of electric vehicles on the road in recent years,” said Amy Hodges, Principal Air Quality Planner, NCTCOG. “In the last 12 months, the number of EVs registered in the region increased by about 50%. As more residents choose to adopt EVs in the future, a public charging network to meet the anticipated demand becomes more critical. Through the best practices and processes provided in the Charging Smart program, North Texas communities can ultimately save time and reduce costs in their efforts to provide EV charging to all residents. We are happy to be working with IREC to bring this timely program to our region.”    
 
Charging Smart is modeled on DOE’s SolSmart program, an initiative that offers expert technical assistance at no cost to help local governments adopt nationally recognized best practices to advance solar energy adoption. Since launching in 2016, SolSmart has helped over 500 local governments and their residents save time and money by reducing the soft costs of going solar. Independent research found that SolSmart-designated communities on average increased solar installations by 17% per month, compared to non-designated communities. 
 
Now, Charging Smart aims to have a similar impact on EVs. Action at the local level is fundamental to EV expansion and accessibility, and by helping local governments adopt nationally recognized EV best practices, Charging Smart will increase access to charging stations and other essential components of EV infrastructure. By helping local governments streamline their policies to avoid unnecessary burdens, Charging Smart aims to reduce EV charger costs and increase the number of EVs in the community. Increasing EVs brings numerous other economic and health benefits, including lower emissions, improved air quality, reduced noise pollution, and increased jobs as EVs become more popular across the U.S. 
 
Charging Smart is committed to transforming the transportation system in ways that positively benefit people, the environment, and the economy. That includes an emphasis on making sure that all Americans benefit from the transition to electric vehicles and have equal access to charging infrastructure. Equity is embedded throughout the Charging Smart program; in order to earn designation, communities must achieve specific metrics that grant historically underserved residents greater access to the benefits of EVs and EV infrastructure. Charging Smart is part of the Justice40 initiative, meaning that the program has a federal mandate to ensure that historically disadvantaged communities receive the benefits of this investment. 
 
Full details on the Charging Smart program are available at ChargingSmart.org. For information on how North Texas communities can participate, email cleancities@nctcog.org. 
  
 
About IREC: The Interstate Renewable Energy Council (IREC) builds the foundation for rapid adoption of clean energy and energy efficiency to benefit people, the economy, and our planet. Its vision is a 100% clean energy future that is reliable, resilient, and equitable. IREC develops and advances the regulatory reforms, technical standards, and workforce solutions needed to enable the streamlined integration of clean, distributed energy resources. IREC has been trusted for its independent clean energy expertise for over 40 years, since its founding in 1982. For more information, visit www.irecusa.org or follow IREC on Twitter, LinkedIn, or Facebook 
 
About the North Central Texas Council of Governments:  
NCTCOG is a voluntary association of local governments established in 1966 to assist local governments in planning for common needs, cooperating for mutual benefit and coordinating for sound regional development.  

NCTCOG's purpose is to strengthen both the individual and collective power of local governments and to help them recognize regional opportunities, eliminate unnecessary duplication, and make joint decisions. NCTCOG serves a 16-county region of North Central Texas, which is centered in the two urban centers of Dallas and Fort Worth. Currently, NCTCOG has 229 member governments including 16 counties, 169 cities, 19 school districts and 27 special districts.  

About the Dallas-Fort Worth Clean Cities Coalition: 
In 1995, the Dallas-Fort Worth (DFW) Clean Cities became one of the first Clean Cities coalitions under the Energy Policy Act’s provision for an organization that promotes the use of alternative fuels to lessen America’s dependence on foreign sources of petroleum. Dallas-Fort Worth Clean Cities is a locally based, public-private partnership that seeks to advance energy security, protect environmental and public health, and stimulate economic development by promoting practices and decisions to reduce transportation energy impacts and improve air quality, primarily in the transportation sector. 
 
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