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June 23, 2022

IBEW leading the charge for electric vehicles

Opinion Electric Vehicles

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The pain at the pump is unbearable. Across America, the price for gasoline now exceeds $5 a gallon. The skyrocketing cost of gasoline and all petroleum-based products, coupled with the dire, worldwide need to reduce hydro-carbon emissions to save the planet from a looming climate crisis, has led to an accelerated manufacturing roll-out of Electric Vehicles (EVs).

Virtually every domestic and foreign automobile manufacturer has committed to all-electric fleets within the next 20 years or sooner. President Biden recently signed an executive order targeting 2030 as the year that fully half of all passenger vehicles sold in the U.S. will be electric. Of course, a nation of EVs will require an expansive network of charging stations along highways, roadways and driveways.

The IBEW is ready to handle all of it. In fulfillment of President Biden’s stated goals, we were among the first organizations in the country to join the National EV Charging Initiative. This diverse coalition includes automakers, utility firms, suppliers, investors and construction industry experts who will work cohesively to build America’s vast network of EV charging stations. It’s all made possible by President Biden’s unprecedented Build Back Better infrastructure investment program.

One of the primary goals of the National EV Charging Initiative is the development of guiding principles that will promote electric vehicle adoption and charging infrastructure deployment that builds upon national, state and regional goals. The initiative will also devise and deploy an action plan to accelerate the buildout of the national charging network for light, medium, and heavy-duty vehicles.

There is no doubt that the United States is poised for rapid, significant growth in the electric vehicle market. Fortunately for all IBEW members, including Local 98, our members are already performing the jobs of the future. EV charging technology has been a mainstay of our apprentice training curriculum for years now. The IBEW is excited to work with our National EV Charging Initiative partners to ensure the widespread consumer adoption EVs that will lead to a much cleaner and healthier climate, while creating thousands of good union jobs that will help rebuild America’s dwindling middle class. That’s the ultimate win-win.

Mark Lynch, Jr. is the Business Manager of IBEW Local 98 in Philadelphia.