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June 21st, 2023
By Michael Coleman
Upstate Forever & Sustaining Way were pleased to host an Electric Vehicle Equity Roundtable on May 25, 2023, at Feed & Seed Co.’s Hayne Hipp Community Room in Greenville, SC. The roundtable was the first in our region and brought together a diverse group of experts, community leaders, and Upstate residents to discuss various aspects of Electric Vehicle (EV) adoption and equitable mobility options.
The event was moderated by Andrew Predmore, Executive Director of The Shi Institute for Sustainable Communities at Furman University. Featured presentations included those by William Bryan, Director of Research at Southeast Energy Efficiency Alliance, on SC’s Transportation Equity Map; Director Rob Bedenbaugh from the Office of Engineering Support at the South Carolina Department of Transportation (SCDOT), on SC’s plan to build its portion of the National Electric Vehicle charging network; and Dr. Jiangfeng Zhang, Associate Professor of Automotive Engineering at Clemson University, who discussed opportunities and barriers for building a robust EV charging network.
The roundtable also included discussions on local, state, and federal trends related to EVs, led by Stan Cross, Policy Director at Southeastern Alliance for Clean Energy; Hannah Slyce, Sustainability Planner for the City of Greenville; Stacey Washington, Deputy Director of SC’s Energy Office; and Rene Kelly, the Director of Palmetto Clean Fuels. These discussions shed light on the policies, initiatives, and incentives that are driving the growth of EV infrastructure and adoption.
The event concluded with a conversation about equitable mobility options and community engagement led by Erin Predmore, Executive Director of Greenville Connects; GP McLeer, Mayor of Fountain Inn, SC and Executive Director of Upstate Mobility Alliance; and Representative Wendell Jones from SC House District 25. These panelists emphasized the importance of ensuring EV adoption and mobility options that are accessible and beneficial for all members of the community, regardless of race, income, or location.
We are proud our event provided a platform for industry experts, government officials, and community leaders to share knowledge, exchange ideas, and explore strategies for advancing EV adoption and promoting equitable mobility. By sharing insights and discussing trends, our roundtable participants contributed to the collective effort to promote sustainable transportation. We have heard from our attendees that the discussion undoubtedly played a crucial role in advancing the cause of EV equity and fostering a greener, more inclusive future for the Upstate region.
See the presentations from the event here.