Last year, Governor Little proclaimed that February 14th, 2019 would be Electric Vehicle Day, stating “electric vehicles are the future of transportation — both in Idaho and throughout the nation.”
On the anniversary of EV Day, we wanted to give an update on what’s happened with electric vehicles in Idaho since then.
REV West: EV Infrastructure
In December 2019, Governor Little followed up his proclamation by signing our state onto the Regional Electric Vehicle West memorandum of understanding. Composed of eight western states, this memorandum commits to building up EV charging infrastructure along major transportation corridors within the intermountain West.
EV Charging Resolution
After successfully protecting energy standards within Idaho building codes, we supported a bill to improve the EV charging infrastructure in new buildings. This resolution would have encouraged the Idaho Building Codes Board to study how electric vehicle charging stations in multi-unit housing would improve our transportation sector, making Idaho’s inevitable transition to EV’s easier and less expensive for everyday Idahoans. Unfortunately, the resolution failed on the Senate floor on Wednesday. Link to SCR131
After cheating emission standards, Volkswagen was forced into a major settlement with the federal government. As part of that settlement, Idaho received $17 million dollars for EV infrastructure and vehicle replacements. The 2020 settlement is now available here on the DEQ website. You can read more about the Volkswagen settlement and how we’re pushing for more electric vehicles in the second 2020 round of dispersed funding here.
The Firetruck of the Future
Today, Boise and Nampa city officials had the chance to view the next phase of firefighting – an electric fire truck. Not only do these electric fire trucks cut down on noise and harmful diesel emissions (contributing to a safer, healthier working environment for firefighters), but the trucks are designed to be more maneuverable and stable with greater acceleration and braking systems.
Volkswagen settlement funds, which are open to both governmental and nongovernmental entities, would be the perfect funding source to help Idaho cities transition their fleets to these types of electric fire trucks.
And, not to worry, the trucks can be painted in the classic red style.
For more information on electric vehicles, check out our 2019 EV Day blog post for a deeper dive.