Wisconsin and four other states have agreed to form the Regional Electric Vehicle Midwest Coalition, or “REV Midwest,” to promote the development of electric vehicle charging stations across the region. On September 30, five midwestern governors including Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers (D) signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) establishing REV Midwest. Along with Wisconsin, participating states include Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, and Minnesota. Of the five states, Indiana is the only one that currently has a Republican governor.
The MOU establishing REV Midwest asserts that increased adoption of electric vehicles will produce economic, environmental, and public health benefits by creating jobs, expanding new industries, reducing pollution, and promoting equity. According to the document, the coalition will focus on “fleet electrification along key commercial corridors,” encouraging consumers to purchase electric vehicles by making charging stations more widely available, and leveraging public and private investment in electric vehicles and related infrastructure.
The MOU identifies three main objectives for the REV Midwest Coalition:
- Accelerate Medium- and Heavy-Duty Fleet Electrification: “Through REV Midwest, Participating States will remove barriers to electric MHDV adoption through coordination on charging infrastructure optimization, cooperation on best practices to standardize regulatory schemes, communications, and charging experience.”
- Elevate Economic Growth and Industry Leadership: “Building on the advanced manufacturing, engineering, research and development, and technological expertise of the Midwest, REV Midwest will coordinate to advance clean energy and mobility manufacturing, safeguard industry electrification leadership, grow the region’s share of electric vehicle production, and elevate access to tools required to equip the workforce of tomorrow. REV Midwest will work to create opportunity for all communities, with a focus on assisting those that are historically disadvantaged.”
- Advance Equity and Clean Environment: “REV Midwest will advance equity by providing the data and tools to drive an equitable, data-driven, transition to electric vehicles for all communities. To reduce emissions, REV Midwest will cooperate with energy providers to address the full emissions reduction potential and encourage community sustainability through grid advancement.”
REV Midwest is led by a taskforce composed of representatives from the participating states. The coalition’s MOU states that it is not legally binding and that a participating state may withdraw at any time. The MOU “may be modified, terminated, or expanded by unanimous agreement of the authorized representatives” of the participating states.
In related news, on October 5, Milwaukee-based WEC Energy Group announced that it had joined a multi-state effort to expand electric vehicle charging options for drivers. According to the company’s press release on the matter, “WEC Energy Group pledges to expand the EV charging network within the service territories of its electric utilities… WEC Energy Group joins 12 other utilities in a unified effort to make EV charging convenient and widely available throughout the Midwest.” The company currently operates 50 public charging ports and is working on pilot programs to help customers install charging systems in their homes and businesses.
In a recent story, The Hill reported that the infrastructure package currently before Congress includes $7.5 billion for electric vehicle chargers, $5 billion of which would be distributed among the states.