The American Lung Association of the Upper Midwest recently announced the launch of Midwest EVOLVE, a three-year project to promote electric vehicles in seven Midwestern states: Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin, Minnesota, and North Dakota.
In partnership with eight Clean Cities coalitions, the Midwest (EVOLVE) Electric Vehicle Opportunities: Learning, eVents, Experience will demonstrate the performance and environmental benefits of plug-in electric vehicles through showcases, ride and drives, and events in communities throughout the seven-state region.
“Electric vehicles are becoming increasingly popular, due to their better batteries, decrease in cost, an increase in choice, and the rollout of charging infrastructure,” said Lew Bartfield, president and CEO of the American Lung Association of the Upper Midwest, at a news conference at the Chicago Auto Show. “These advanced, modern vehicles reduce emissions that contribute to climate change and smog, improving air quality and public health.”
The Lung Association and the eight Clean Cities coalitions will host more than 200 events, large and small, over a three-year period, in brand-neutral settings that will give Midwestern drivers an opportunity to get behind the wheel of electric vehicles. The first events will be held in the spring of 2017.
“The Midwest is often overlooked as a market for electric vehicles,” Bartfield said. “The goal of Midwest EVOLVE is to build awareness and visibility for the advantages of electric vehicles, and to help the Midwest rediscover the automobile again, this time with a plug.
“There’s no better way to learn about the performance and environmental advantages of EVs than personal experience,” Bartfield added. “Through participating in existing major consumer events throughout the Midwest, hosting ride and drives, and conducting seminars, we are working with local Clean Cities coalitions to get the word out.”
The Midwest EVOLVE educational program will target the general public, fleet decision makers, and dealership personnel. Showcases will occur in major metropolitan areas of the seven states providing hands-on experience by:
Allowing motorists to test-drive a variety of locally available electric vehicles.
Educating consumers about vehicle charging at home, work, and public stations.
Helping people determine the best vehicle and charging options for their needs.
The Midwest EVOLVE project initially launches with three automotive partners, including Ford Motor Company, General Motors and Nissan, as well as more than 60 other partners throughout the Midwest, including Argonne National Laboratory, utilities, state agencies, municipalities, dealerships and dealer associations. The partners support the project through donations, vehicles for test drives, and in-kind support.
In addition to helping the public learn about electric vehicles, Midwest EVOLVE is focused on fostering the rollout of additional charging stations throughout the Midwest, including public-charging stations and employer-based workplace charging. Nationwide, there are more than 40,000 public-charging stations in the U.S.
About Midwest EVOLVE
The Midwest Electric Vehicle Opportunities: Learning, eVents, Experience (Midwest EVOLVE) project is a partnership between the American Lung Association of the Upper Midwest and eight Midwestern Clean Cities coalitions in seven states. The project’s focus is to educate consumers, as well as public and private fleets, about the performance and environmental advantages of electric vehicles. The project is based upon work supported by the U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), under Award Number DE-EE0007743. The American Lung Association in the Upper Midwest and Twin Cities Clean Cities oversee the program. To learn more, visit: www.MidwestEVOLVE.org.
About Clean Cities
There are nearly 100 local Clean Cities coalitions across the country that are affiliated with the Department of Energy’s Clean Cities program, which brings together stakeholders to increase the use of alternative fuel and advanced-vehicle technologies, reduce idling, and improve fuel efficiency and air quality. Coalitions are comprised of businesses, fuel providers, vehicle fleets, state and local government agencies, and community organizations. Each coalition is led by a local coordinator, who tailors projects and activities to capitalize on the unique opportunities in their communities. Nationwide, 15,000 stakeholders participate in Clean Cities coalitions, supporting local economies and the environment. To learn more, go to: https://cleancities.energy.gov.