In today’s Electrek Green Energy Brief (EGEB):

  • Governors of five Midwestern states create an EV charging network.
  • Natural gas prices have doubled in the US. Here are some cleaner alternatives.
  • UnderstandSolar is a free service that links you to top-rated solar installers in your region for personalized solar estimates. Tesla now offers price matching, so it’s important to shop for the best quotes. Click here to learn more and get your quotes. — *ad.

Midwestern EV charging

The governors of Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, and Wisconsin have signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to build a new Midwestern electric vehicle charging network.

Simply put, they want to make charging more accessible and easier to find across their five states in order to boost EV adoption.

The five states will speed up the establishment of a network that supports medium- and heavy-duty electric vehicles. They will coordinate their efforts to create consistent regulations and charging operations across the Midwest.

The new plan is called the Regional Electric Vehicle Midwest Coalition, or REV Midwest. The memorandum of understanding states:

Participating states will develop a coordinated approach to advance electrification that is
informed by industry, academic, and community engagement. Participating states will work
together to enable an equitable transition to electric vehicles for all with specific consideration
for communities that are historically disadvantaged. REV Midwest will position states in the
Midwest region to leverage and collectively increase public and private investment in electric
vehicles and electric vehicle infrastructure.

The Electrification Coalition released the following statement in response to the announcement of REV Midwest:

The historic transition from the internal combustion engine to clean electric motors will pay enormous dividends for our health, environment, economy and national security. It will require a bold mix of policies, incentives, investments and infrastructure, and today’s announcement lays an important part of the foundation in the Midwest. We look forward to working with state leaders on the continued actions and policies necessary to accelerate this vital transformation.

Natural gas alternatives

The price of natural gas in the US has more than doubled since this time last year, and it’s more than five times more expensive in Europe and Asia than a year ago.

Further, the US Energy Information Administration (EIA) reported yesterday that among 54 publicly traded crude oil producing companies, natural gas revenue accounted for 14% of total revenue in the first quarter of 2021. That’s the highest share among those oil-producing companies since at least 2018. 

So what should consumers do? Get off natural gas if possible – it’s a polluting, and now expensive, fossil fuel. We asked Michael Phillips, CEO of Sense, a technology company that makes a home energy monitor to track efficiency, cost, and reliability, what he thought good alternatives are.

Phillips recommends replacing oil and natural gas burning furnaces with heat pump technology, either air source or geothermal, and replacing gas stoves with induction stoves. He also suggests using an electric or solar-powered hot water heater. (I have electric hot water heaters and had an induction hob in the UK, and love both. I plan on switching out my electric hob in my current home for induction.)

Phillips said:

Besides the spike in natural gas prices, gas powered furnaces are unhealthy and emit too much carbon. A new gas furnace can create 30 years of carbon emissions. We need to stop making those purchases.

Photo: EVgo

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