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Use electric cars on the streets of Wisconsin

Modern cynicism dictates that without substantial financial motivation from industry leaders, politicians, and lobbyists, climate change can run its angry course, possibly even encouraged. Nor is it any great consolation that the richest of us, capable of making change on a grand scale, have begun to throw ourselves off the planet, possibly under the mistaken notion that wealth isolates but the vacuum of Fully isolated from space. For those of us stuck on solid ground who have not yet managed to isolate hundreds of billions of dollars from the global economy, there has to be another course of action.

At a time when government investments in the public interest, let alone the environment, are viewed as partisan controversies, the solution is simple: make investing in the environment and the common good a profitable endeavor. A recent agreement between five Midwestern governors aims to do just that. The Regional Electric Vehicle Midwest Coalition (REV-Midwest), a bipartisan agreement endorsed by the governors of Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, and Wisconsin, has made electric vehicle investments a major engine of the economy for the region.

REV-Midwest was created through a memorandum of understanding between the member states, which essentially promised the obligation of each state to promote several goals. Among other things, states have committed to increasing incentives to sell electric vehicles to residential and commercial fleets, expanding electric vehicle charging infrastructure to enable interstate travel, and incentivizing EV manufacturers across the region.

Making electrification viable

The most important step towards fulfilling this agreement is the expansion of the charging infrastructure for electric vehicles. As the cost of electric vehicles is steadily falling, range uncertainty has become one of the biggest investment barriers for the public and private sectors. A vehicle that can travel 300 miles on a single charge should be within 250 miles of the nearest charger at all times and in all directions. The REV Midwest Agreement is the first attempt at a multi-state solution to this problem. It would be a limp for EV owners in Wisconsin to be able to travel within their state but face uncertainty about a return trip when traveling to another state. The aim of this agreement is to standardize the distances between charging stations along highly frequented corridors.

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This move will undoubtedly require a partnership between the participating states and private companies offering charging services. Large energy companies are investing heavily in highway fueling infrastructure, and states are prepared to offer tax or other incentives to introduce electric charges as a regular service. What REV-Midwest is doing is making the transition a fact instead of discussing and compromising with the existing fossil fuel companies.

Manufacture of electric vehicles

Much of the language of the agreement is devoted to the transition of workforce specialization from manufacturing and repairing internal combustion engines to assembling and servicing electric vehicles. Education programs and curricula will be essential to any well-intentioned drive towards the electrified highway transition. This can be the establishment of new courses of study at regional universities of applied sciences, retraining programs for car workshops and dealerships or the creation of completely new service stations. Education and production will be critical to the implementation of this plan.

The environmental impact

One of the most interesting arguments made by REV-Midwest is the environmental impact of the proposed deal, which is of course formulated economically. By switching to predominantly electric vehicle traffic along important motorways and motorways, the noise and air pollution of neighboring properties will decrease significantly and the value of the properties will increase. In the past, living along important transport routes was pushed to the economically most disadvantaged, and a slight increase in living comfort in communities near local transport areas can increase the value of the property.

regulation

One of the most important issues in a multi-state agreement is the coming together of regulatory standards. Eventually, this could lead Wisconsin to finally put down some of the regressive measures put in place by the Walker administration, such as the gas tax, which penalizes electric vehicle owners for not having to buy gasoline. We could also come under pressure to lift government restrictions on wind power, though Republican lawmakers would likely oppose it unless the dollar amount is large enough. This agreement seems designed to ensure that the money is there to influence even the most determined politician.

There is a chance that we can achieve something of value. But we must all pull together to achieve this. Whether your motivation is global salvation or personal gain, this partnership represents one of the best opportunities we have.

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