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This article was published on October 4, 2021

5 Midwest states join forces to boost electrification

The agreement promises improved charging network and economic opportunities

5 Midwest states join forces to boost electrification
Ioanna Lykiardopoulou
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Ioanna Lykiardopoulou

Ioanna is a writer at SHIFT. She likes the transition from old to modern, and she's all about shifting perspectives. Ioanna is a writer at SHIFT. She likes the transition from old to modern, and she's all about shifting perspectives.

The governors of Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, and Wisconsin are joining forces with a new bipartisan plan to accelerate vehicle electrification in the in the US region. 

The plan is called REV Midwest, or Regional Electric Vehicle Midwest Coalition, and aims to reduce toxic emissions while boosting the regional economy and improving public health.

All five governors have now signed the REV Midwest agreement, which lays out the steps the states will follow to coordinate their electrification efforts.

First up, the participating states want to increase the number of medium and heavy-duty electric vehicles by expanding the charging network with standardized charging regulations and operations across the region.

Given the low number of charging stations in these states (903 in Illinois, 300 in Indiana, 740 in Michigan, 542 in Minnesota, and 452 in Wisconsin), the completed network promises to make life easier for current EV drivers and to incentivize those who are still hesitant to make the switch due to range anxiety. 

Equally important is the plan’s aim to attract private investment and additional federal funding in order to capture a larger share of electric vehicle production, which would also see the creation of new job opportunities. 

Lastly, the governors have highlighted the importance of reducing harmful emissions as a way to make “all communities more sustainable, healthy, and equitable places to live […] including historically disadvantaged communities.”

Some of those communities are located near main highways or freight and shipping facilities — areas where the switch to electric power would decrease the negative impact of carbon emissions. 

The Midwest strikes back?

While the REV Midwest agreement doesn’t disclose any specific targets regarding EV sales, it has the potential to boost the adoption of electric vehicles, which are rather underrepresented across the region.

As of June 2021, the five states combined have a sum of 60,300 registered EVs, which translates to a 5.92% share of the total EV registrations in the US.

Compared to the East and West Coast states, led by New York at 3.25% and California by 42%, the Midwest coalition has still a lot of effort to make.

So if it plans to become a serious competitor of the more fast-pacing states, it should also consider the ban of petrol or diesel vehicles and follow California’s and New York’s suit.

HT – npr

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