Electric Vehicles in Underserved Markets

Environmental justice is the fair treatment and meaningful involvement of all people, regardless of race, color, national origin, or income, with respect to the development, implementation, and enforcement of environmental laws, regulations, and policies. This goal will be achieved when everyone enjoys the same degree of protection from environmental and health hazards, and equal access to the decision-making process to have a healthy environment in which to live, learn, and work.

Projects will reduce diesel fumes in the air we breathe by supporting EV purchases, charging station installations, and outreach efforts to notify communities of these resources. The funds will also help small businesses and rural cities accelerate their transition to electric vehicles in Missouri and Kansas.

Eight businesses and municipalities are managing cost-shared projects that operate within Kansas and Missouri environmental justice areas, opportunity zones, and other underserved areas. In addition to sedans, they are replacing small and heavy trucks with electric models. Additionally, thanks to generous 15% overmatch contributions from these 8 funding recipients, this program will fund a small grants program for underserved communities.

Small grant recipients will define for themselves what project features would be locally most beneficial, like projects to install public EV charging stations in parking lots and curbsides near multi-unit residential complexes and retail businesses. The success of the program depends upon placing EV charging stations within underserved or rural areas that feel the effects of environmental justice issues. Diesel emissions from heavy vehicles and off-road machinery contribute to early deaths, asthma rates and family illness keeping people away from jobs and school. Those are just some of the health and social impacts from diesel fumes that affect the community members MEC serves.

Launched in March 2022: A $5.2 million award to install electric vehicle (EV) and charging station projects, funded by U.S. Dept of Energy.

Planned Project List and Minimum Outcomes

Planned Project List

  1. Fleet Electrification
    1. City of Lee’s Summit, MO
    2. Hirschbach
    3. Johnson County Community College
    4. Kansas City International Airport
    5. Lazer Logistics
    6. WaterOne
  2. Public Charging Stations
    1. City of Osawatomie, KS
  3. Grant-making to Underserved Communities
    1. Outreach campaigns via competitively selected community organizations in underserved areas of KS and MO.
      1. Jerusalem Farms
    2. Approximately $1million available for grant-making that will launch in mid 2024.

To learn more about the project or available funding, contact Miriam Bouallegue.

This material is based upon work supported by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) Vehicle Technologies Program under Award Number DE-EE0009863.