The Missouri Public Service Commission recently voted on Ameren Missouri’s proposed “Charge Ahead” electric vehicle (EV) program, a proposal designed to accelerate EV use among Missourians, meet a growing need for charging infrastructure, and reduce tailpipe emissions. Transportation pollution plays an outsized role in undermining public health and environmental quality in the Show Me State, where gas-burning vehicles are responsible for nearly half of the ozone-forming gases that cause Missouri to violate federal standards, as well as nearly a third of greenhouse gas emissions.
During a meeting yesterday, the Commission voted 4-1 to approve a modest investment of $4 million in a fast charging corridor that will support the state’s plan for use of its Volkswagen settlement funds but denied the remainder of Ameren’s $18 million plan, cutting incentives for off-road equipment and denying Missourians support for infrastructure needed to support widespread EV adoption in the state.
The “Charge Ahead” proposal provided an opportunity to reduce transportation emissions and lower overall energy costs through incentives for EV charging stations at multi-family dwellings, workplaces, and fast charging stations along highway corridors–the locations they are needed most by EV drivers–as well as incentives for commercial customers transitioning to efficient off-road equipment, such as electric forklifts at warehouses and electrified ground support equipment at airports.
In response, Andy Knott, Senior Campaign Representative with the Sierra Club’s Missouri Chapter, released the following statement: “We need all hands on deck to support critical electrification infrastructure and maximize the benefits of the electric vehicle revolution. Yesterday, the Commission missed the mark by rejecting important elements of Ameren’s ‘Charge Ahead’ program. While we’re excited to see some progress, we’re disappointed that Commissioners didn’t take the bold action required to address our climate and public health crises largely stemming from transportation pollution.”