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To meet climate goals, many states and utilities are investing in electric vehicle chargers. But only a few are working to ensure that underserved communities have access to charging and benefit from the cleaner air that electric vehicles provide.

That’s according to a report by Peter Huether of the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy. 

“We want to make sure that these communities both benefit from these changes – and certainly are not left behind as we transition our transportation system,” Huether says.

For that to happen, he says utilities and policymakers need to prioritize equity and consider the needs of each community.

Some might want better access to electric vehicle chargers. Others might prefer investments that support electric buses, which can help reduce local air pollution. 

So Huether suggests engaging residents in transportation planning.

“I think this is important, both to ensure that we’re actually investing equitably and addressing historical inequities, but also that the investment dollars that utilities are making are not going to be wasted on infrastructure that maybe the community doesn’t really need,” he says.

So he says it will take commitment and planning to ensure that the transition to electric vehicles benefits everyone.

Reporting credit: Sarah Kennedy/ChavoBart Digital Media