Federal Stimulus Funds for the Electric Vehicle Market: A Five-Fold Return on Investment

Federal Stimulus Funds for the Electric Vehicle Market: A Five-Fold Return on Investment

A recent Analysis Group report for Advanced Energy Economy – called Economic Impact of Stimulus Investment in Transportation Electrification – demonstrates a significant return on the stimulus funds spent on electric vehicle (EV) and transportation electrification initiatives as part of President Biden’s American Jobs Plan.

According to the report, a total of $274 billion is slated for transportation electrification initiatives nationwide, which would result in a nearly five-fold return on public investment, or $1.3 trillion added to the national GDP!

This public investment would also spur upwards of 11 million jobs,[1] including EV and battery manufacturing positions; generate over $230 billion in tax revenue for federal, state, and local governments; result in $19 billion annual savings for consumers, businesses, and governments by switching to EVs; and also attract significant private investments at $2.60 to each $1 of public investment.

What does this mean for Wisconsin?

There are legislative discussions underway to allocate $5 million of Wisconsin’s Volkswagen Settlement funds for electric vehicle charging infrastructure. Governor Evers has also proposed $5 million in transportation-funded bonds to be used for EV charging infrastructure. If these two proposals pass, we would have $10 million in public funds investment in EV infrastructure. Using the Advanced Energy Economy report’s finding of a five-fold return on investment for public dollars spent for EV initiatives, these funds have a potential return of $50 million. This would bring Wisconsin’s current GDP of $294 billion to $344 billion, which is significant given that Wisconsin’s GDP dropped by almost $14 billion from 2019 to 2020.[2]

Of course, this $50 million return on investment doesn’t factor in any other future state or local public investments in transportation electrification, including grant programs, utility investments, and other local monies spent on rebates and incentives programs for electric vehicles and charging infrastructure.

Additionally, using the report’s estimated $2.60 in private investments for every $1 of public investment spent, the above combined $10 million in projected public investment from VW Settlement funds and transportation-funded bonds could spur an additional $26 million in direct private investments within the state.

None of the above returns take into account the number of potential Wisconsin jobs to be created by these investments, the fuel and maintenance cost-savings consumers and businesses can expect by switching to EVs, the tax generation that would trickle down to state and local governments from the federal stimulus, or any additional tax revenue generated from investments within the state.

Investing in the electric vehicle market may be the boost to Wisconsin’s economy and jobs that we so badly need.

[1] Measured in job years, i.e., a job created by stimulus spending that lasts one year equals one job-year. See report.
[2] Statista, Real Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of the federal state of Wisconsin from 2000 to 2020, https://www.statista.com/statistics/188150/gdp-of-the-us-federal-state-of-wisconsin-since-1997/


New bill will ensure Wisconsin doesn’t get left behind in the electric vehicle marketplace

New bill will ensure Wisconsin doesn’t get left behind in the electric vehicle marketplace

Senator Dale Kooyenga (R-Brookfield) and Representative Adam Neylon (R-Pewaukee) circulated a bill earlier this week that would allow for a direct sales business model of electric vehicles (EVs). If passed, EV manufacturers could sell their vehicles directly to consumers, either online or from a manufacturer-owned dealership, rather than through the traditional dealership model we know today.

The Kooyenga/Neylon Bill is key to increasing EV adoption and is a much-needed policy to overcome a free market barrier. It would permit Wisconsin’s consumers greater access to EVs that better suit their financial and driving needs by allowing them to purchase online or directly from the manufacturer-dealership.

Consumer purchasing power is especially relevant when considering increased demand in the electric vehicle market. Edmunds predicts the U.S. will experience record EV sales in 2021, while Bloomberg projections demonstrate increased demand in the coming decades, with a projected 54 million EV sales in 2040. Even here in Wisconsin, we can expect anywhere from 25%-50% EV adoption by 2050[1]. Adopting the Kooyenga/Neylon bill would give consumers more EV purchasing options, granting direct access to their electric vehicle models of choice as EV demand continues to climb and more models become available.

Online consumer spending increased over the past year, and most consumers prefer a portion of their vehicle purchasing decisions to be online. The virtual EV marketplace is expected to grow alongside a rapidly growing EV market, lending greater free-market support for the Kooyenga/Neylon bill.

At any rate, aren’t the purchasing decisions of Wisconsin’s consumers better left to them? The free market says so, and this is exactly what the Kooyenga/Neylon bill would allow.

For more information, please contact Jeremy Orr at (608) 210-1428 or jeremy@renewwisconsin.org.

[1] Plug-In Electric Vehicle Analysis of Wisconsin, RENEW Wisconsin and University of Wisconsin-Madison Energy Analysis and Policy Capstone Project, May 2019.

EVs for Good Program Announcement

EVs for Good Program Announcement

UPDATE: The first grant cycle for EVs for Good closed Saturday, May 1, 2021. Applications for the second grant cycle are now being accepted on a rolling basis.

March 5th, 2021

RENEW is happy to announce EVs for Good, a new grant program created to foster the expansion of and transition to electric vehicles among nonprofits in Wisconsin. EVs for Good will reduce the upfront costs of purchasing an electric vehicle while reducing vehicle maintenance costs and transportation emissions. 

RENEW Wisconsin’s mission is to lead and accelerate the transformation to Wisconsin’s renewable energy future through advocacy, education, and collaboration. Transportation accounts for approximately 25% of Wisconsin’s energy use and emissions. This presents a huge opportunity to transition our state’s vehicles away from fossil fuels and onto clean, renewable electricity sources. Electrifying transportation will result in lower carbon emissions and improved air quality for all Wisconsinites. 

EVs for Good is possible thanks to a generous donation from Carol and Andy Phelps. The Phelps installed a solar array at their Middleton home in 2019 and recently purchased an electric vehicle to further reduce their carbon emissions. The Phelps are extremely happy with their shift from gasoline and want to ensure everyone has the same opportunity.

“Everyone thinks electric cars are only for rich people, but EVs are for everybody,” said Andy Phelps.

This interview of Carol and Andy Phelps explains why they are so passionate about the EVs for Good program.

EVs for Good will offer grants for 20% of the cost of an electric vehicle, with a maximum grant of $5,000. Larger grants, capped at $10,000, are available for organizations seeking to purchase an electric van or bus. In addition, $500 grants are available for organizations who choose to install Level 2 (or higher) electric vehicle charging equipment.

Preference will be given to organizations that work on issues related to social justice or education.   Preference will also be given to organizations that serve black, indigenous and people of color (BIPOC), low-income, or rural communities, as well as, those that serve children or seniors.


Nonprofits can apply for the following:

  • Vehicle Grant: Covers 20% of the cost of a new or used electric vehicle, with a $5,000 maximum amount. Grants may also cover 20% of an electric bicycle or an electric cargo bicycle purchase. 
  • Van or Bus Grant: Covers 20% of the cost of a new or used electric van or bus, with a maximum grant amount of $10,000. The vehicle must be able to transport eight or more persons safely.
  • Electric Vehicle Charging Equipment Grant: $500 grant for nonprofits installing a Level 2 (or higher) electric vehicle charger.


Organizations that receive an EVs for Good grant must agree to promote their awards in their communities. This outreach can be a media event, an open house for the solar + charging infrastructure, a vehicle demonstration, or a “ride and drive” for an electric vehicle purchase.

Grants will be distributed on a first-come, first-served basis, with the initial grant cycle opening in Spring 2021. If all funds are not awarded in Spring 2021, grant applications will be accepted on a biannual basis until all funds are dispersed.

The initial grant cycle for EVs for Good opens on Thursday, April 1, 2021. Applications are due by Saturday, May 1, 2021. Questions can be emailed to sam@renewwisconsin.org.

Did You Miss the Earth Day Electric Vehicle Parade?

Last Thursday (April 22), RENEW Wisconsin partnered with the Dane County Office of Energy and Climate Change and Slipstream on the 2nd Annual Earth Day Electric Vehicle (EV) Parade. 

Several dozen EV owners and car dealers gathered in Madison with an assortment of all-electric vehicles, hybrids, and electric motorcycles, including the new Ford Mustang Mach-E, BMW Roadster, and the Harley LiveWire Motorcycle, amongst other makes and models. 

Parade participants started at Brittingham Park in Madison, drove through the city and Capitol Square, and then returned to Brittingham Park. You can watch the parade on Channel 3000.com.

The parade was inspired by EV drivers who see the transition to electric vehicles as another tool in the fight against climate change. Other EV owners mentioned that EVs are fun to drive and even stand up to the challenges of Wisconsin’s cold winters!

For more information about the parade or upcoming electric vehicle events, please contact Jeremy Orr at (608) 210-1428 or jeremy@renewwisconsin.org.

Funding Opportunity Announcement: $162 Million to Decarbonize Transportation

Funding Opportunity Announcement: $162 Million to Decarbonize Transportation

The Department of Energy recently announced $162 Million in grant funding to electrify medium- and heavy-duty trucks, expand electric vehicle infrastructure, and increase vehicle efficiency.  This funding is an important step towards EV adoption, decarbonization, and emerging technologies in general. The programs will help to electrify transportation while allowing enough flexibility for project applicants to focus on different low emissions concepts that suit their communities.

$100 Million in SuperTruck 3 Funding

The Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy (EERE)’s Vehicle Technologies Office (VTO) and Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technologies Office are partnering on the “SuperTruck 3” funding opportunity, which will provide up to $100 million to electrify medium- and heavy-duty truck projects that increase vehicle efficiency and decrease emissions. The funding will be available over four years and can be used for:

  • All-electric vehicle concepts
  • Hybrid systems using renewable biofuels
  • Hydrogen fuel cell technologies and hybrid concepts such as fuel cell range extenders

$62 Million for Low Greenhouse Gas Vehicle Technologies

In addition to SuperTruck 3 funding, the Vehicle Technologies Office is offering $62 Million for on- and off-road vehicle projects that reduce emissions and increase vehicle efficiency. Eligible activities include the expansion of electric vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure and community-level projects that reduce barriers to EV adoption, such as the installation of EV charging stations at multi-family dwellings.

Concept papers are due May 13, 2021, at 5 PM EST, with full applications due July 12, 2021, at 5 PM EST. Applicants for both funding opportunities are required to submit a plan detailing diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts, including project benefits for underrepresented communities.

For more information, please visit the EERE Funding Opportunity Exchange.

Second Annual Earth Day Electric Vehicle Parade to be Hosted by Dane County, RENEW Wisconsin, and Slipstream

Second Annual Earth Day Electric Vehicle Parade to be Hosted by Dane County, RENEW Wisconsin, and Slipstream

On Thursday, April 22, the Dane County Office of Energy and Climate ChangeRENEW Wisconsin, and Slipstream, will be hosting an Earth Day Electric Vehicle (EV) Parade in downtown Madison. At 1:30 PM, a variety of electric vehicles will converge at Brittingham Park. The parade will depart the park at 2 PM, drive through the city and university, make a loop around Capitol Square, and then return to Brittingham Park around 2:30 PM.

All electric cars (as well as electric trucks and electric motorcycles) are welcome to join the parade. For more information and to register for the event, please visit Earth Day EV Parade.

Spectators are encouraged to attend at Brittingham Park, Capitol Square, or along the parade route. All attendees are asked to social distance and wear masks when interacting with others.

With transportation emissions accounting for the largest share of greenhouse gas emissions in the United States, EVs are a significant solution to the climate emergency. Electric vehicles are clean and produce zero tailpipe emissions. Even in a state like Wisconsin, where coal-fired power plants are the largest supplier of in-state electricity generation, EVs emit lower annual emissions than comparable internal combustion engine vehicles. As Wisconsin continues to transition to clean energy, the environmental benefits of “driving electric” will continue to increase.

“Dane County is excited to participate in the Earth Day EV Parade and help showcase that electric vehicles are already being utilized in our community,” said Dane County Executive Joe Parisi. “This parade gives people an opportunity to learn more about the benefits of EVs. Dane County added several EVs to our fleet in 2020, and we hope to see even more on the road in the future.”

Local citizens organized Madison’s first Earth Day EV Parade in 2020, which went from Middleton to Capitol Square and back to Middleton. Several dozen EVs participated in last year’s event, and more are anticipated this year. Vehicles that have signed up this year include the Mustang Mach-E, Volkswagen ID.4, Tesla Model 3, Chevy Bolt, Nissan Leaf, Hyundai Kona, Toyota Prius Prime, Audi E-tron, and Harley Davidson Livewire.