Biden administration picks former Chicago, D.C. transit leader to lead EV charging program

Washington, DC
CNN business

Gabe Klein, who has led the transportation departments in Washington, DC and Chicago, will lead the Biden administration’s $7.5 billion program to build the nation’s electric vehicle charging network.

Klein will serve as executive director of the Joint Office of Energy and Transportation, which implemented the bipartisan infrastructure bills, and coordination between the US Departments of Energy and Transportation. The department announced the news on Tuesday morning.

“We look forward to working with Gabe to help implement President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Act and ensure that every community – from the largest cities to rural areas – can reap the benefits of the electric vehicle revolution,” US Transportation. Secretary Pete Buttigieg said in a statement.

Klein was previously a partner at Cityfi, a consulting firm focused on urban transportation and planning. He also served on the Biden-Harris transition team at the Department of Transportation. His leadership in DC and Chicago was among the first transportation departments to embrace transportation trends like car sharing, bike sharing, and bike lanes.

Klein has long spoken about climate change and the role of transport. Transportation is the largest source of greenhouse gas emissions in the US, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.

“I will seize the opportunity to drive a critical shift in our transportation economy from fossil fuels to clean electric power systems, as there has never been a more important mission in our recent history than solving the climate crisis,” Klein said in a statement. .

US President Joe Biden has called for a network of 500,000 chargers to accelerate the adoption of electric vehicles and combat the climate crisis. Electric vehicles have a much smaller carbon footprint over the life of a vehicle than gas-powered vehicles.

Governments are increasingly embracing the electric vehicle. Biden has called for the federal government to switch its fleet to electric vehicles, and for half of all new vehicles to be electric by 2030. California has passed regulations that essentially require all vehicles sold in the state to be electric, hydrogen-powered or electric by 2035. plug-in hybrids. The federal government approved new tax credits for electric vehicles last month.

But many consumers are concerned about whether they will be able to charge an electric vehicle. The nation’s charging network is nascent compared to the long-established gas pumping network. Last week, the Biden administration announced that it had approved EV charging plans in 35 states. Many stations will be built along the highway corridors to facilitate long journeys.

The Joint Energy and Transportation Office has already advised states on their EV charging plans and has worked with the Federal Highway Administration on minimum standards for chargers.

The Biden administration has called for 40% of climate change and clean energy investments to flow to disadvantaged communities that are neglected, underserved and overburdened with pollution.

Klein, who has previously called for the country to recognize its racial history when it comes to urban planning, owns an electric car and an electric bicycle, both of which are charged by the sun, according to the department.