Oklahoma Emerging as New Leader in Electric Vehicle Charging

December 5, 2019

Oklahoma is now the number one state in the US to own an electric vehicle. With one of the lowest average electricity rates in the country, a high ratio of charging stations to population, and the highest year-over-year sales increase of EVs for the last two years, Oklahoma is embracing the electric vehicle revolution.

Clean Cities Coalitions Mobilizing Oklahoma’s EV Transition

These Oklahoma Clean Cities coalitions have teamed up to capitalize on opportunities to lay the groundwork for the mass expansion of electrification.

This shift was made possible through the persistence and dedication from the Central Oklahoma Clean Cities (COKCC) and Tulsa Area Clean Cities (TACC) Coalitions and their stakeholders. Over the last few years, these Oklahoma Clean Cities coalitions have teamed up to capitalize on multiple opportunities to lay the groundwork for the mass expansion of electrification that is being seen today across the state.

In 2017, Eric Pollard, Coordinator for COKCC, and Adriane Jaynes, Coordinator for TACC, along with their stakeholders and their newly formed Oklahoma EV Coalition, partnered to respond to a Request for Proposals from Electrify America for its Zero-Emissions Vehicle (ZEV) initiatives in an effort to spur EV investment in Oklahoma.

Subsequently, the Coalitions partnered to submit several rounds of nominations to the Federal Highway Administration Alternative Fuel Corridors program. As a result, all of Oklahoma’s Interstate corridors and many state highways were designated as planned/projected electric vehicle corridors by the Federal Highway Administration.

Building a State-Wide Charging Network from the Ground Up

Building on this work, they mobilized Oklahoma EV Coalition members to attend public meetings and submit comments in support of the state using the maximum allowable amount of the VW settlement funds for public EV charging. This successfully led to the full 15%, approximately $3.1 million, being designated to fund light-duty zero emission vehicle supply equipment projects in Oklahoma. In order to build a statewide, cohesive, efficient, and effective public charging network, Oklahoma Clean Cities Coalitions also worked to ensure that the state agency administering the funds was fully educated on the different use cases for the various types of charging equipment.

Western Farmers Electric Cooperative and Francis Renewable Energy announced their partnership to install an unprecedented 250 DC fast chargers at 110 locations across Oklahoma.

The success of each of these efforts subsequently laid the groundwork for the next. These combined efforts over the years have paid off, and as market opportunities have arisen, their stakeholders were equipped to take the lead. In a press event on November 1, Western Farmers Electric Cooperative and Francis Renewable Energy announced their partnership to install an unprecedented 250 DC fast chargers at 110 locations across Oklahoma which will be up and running by early 2020. At the event, Oklahoma Energy Secretary Kenneth Wagner remarked, “We [Oklahoma] are going to be number one…in electric vehicle infrastructure charging ability in the network that is unveiled today.”

Ford Motor Company generously attended the event to showcase their all-electric prototype Ford F-150, highlighting the next generation of EVs. Many of the over 200 attendees were among the first to see the all-electric F-150 in person and are now anxiously awaiting the pickup’s release.

Collaborating for Oklahoma’s Cleaner Transportation Options

The coordinated efforts by Oklahoma’s Clean Cities Coalitions have played an integral role in building the foundation for the electric vehicle transformation taking place in Oklahoma. Both Coalitions maintain their commitment to working collaboratively towards the increased use of alternative fuels in Oklahoma, ensuring Oklahomans have access to cleaner and more efficient transportation options.