LINCOLN–(News Release July 20)–Mayor Leirion Gaylor Baird and local officials today said Lincoln’s new Electric Vehicle (EV) Readiness Plan lays the foundation for the community’s continued transition to electric and alternatively fueled vehicles.

The EV Readiness Plan is the first major accomplishment of the Climate Smart Collaborative, an entity comprised of the City of Lincoln, Lincoln Public Schools, the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Lincoln Electric System, and Lancaster County.

The plan identifies paths to overcome challenges for individuals and businesses to switch to electric vehicles, recommends strategies for identifying the best placement and type of EV charging stations in our community, and identifies solutions for management of additional demand for electricity as more drivers charge their vehicles.

“Our EV Readiness Plan, the first one of its kind in Nebraska, is a roadmap for easing the local transition to electric vehicles by identifying and clearing barriers to adoption, preparing our infrastructure for the additional electrical load, and identifying opportunities for cost-savings along the way,” said Mayor Gaylor Baird.

Joining Mayor Gaylor Baird at Nebraska Innovation Campus were Brittney Albin, Lincoln Public Schools Sustainability Coordinator; Morgan Hartman, University of Nebraska-Lincoln Sustainability Coordinator; Marc Shkolnick, Lincoln Electric System Energy Services Manager; and Pat Wenzl, City of Lincoln Fleet Manager.

Representatives of the Collaborative said the EV Readiness Plan will strengthen their efforts to:

  • Continue conversion of the City fleet to 100% electric, renewable or alternative fuel by 2040;
  • Continue progress on UNL’s Environment, Sustainability, and Resilience Master Plan by developing strategy around future fleet diversification and charging infrastructure;
  • Help prepare for LPS transition of more than 300-vehicle fleet to electric and alternative fuels;
  • Continue LES planning for expansion of capacity and infrastructure to help the City become more EV-friendly.

“The path to a successful electric transportation future will require collaboration and engagement from a wide array of stakeholders, including EV owners and prospective owners, dealerships, property owners, businesses, fleet operators, non-profits and many others,” Shkolnick said.

The Collaborative’s first steps to implementing the EV Readiness Plan will be to determine optimal locations for additional charging stations, work with public and private partners to provide the best access for Lincoln residents and seek grant funding to expand Lincoln’s charging infrastructure, Mayor Gaylor Baird said.

Mayor Gaylor Baird also noted that Lincoln is one of 15 cities nationally that has been selected to participate in the Clean Energy to Community Cohort offered through the Department of Energy, the World Resources Institute, and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory. The program will provide technical expertise and coaching from some of the country’s experts regarding installation of public EV chargers.

“With consumer demand for EVs increasing, technology that extends battery range advancing, and infrastructure funding from the federal government emerging, now is the perfect time to accelerate our city’s transition toward an EV and a climate-smart future,” Mayor Gaylor Baird said.

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