From Barrels to Batteries: A Roundtable on Rural Transportation Electrification in the Southeast

Copy of Shift from Barrels to Batteries


This tool helps eligible recipients sort through available federal funds for transportation electrification and helps recipients understand how investments can be matched. It can also help users identify where technical assistance is available. As guidance on funding continues to become available, this site will be updated accordingly. The tool contains hypothetical case studies that detail possible funding options.  As applications are awarded, we would love to share your successes, amplify your innovative ideas, celebrate your leadership, and connect you with partners and businesses. 

The EC created the Dashboard for Rapid Vehicle Electrification (DRVE) Tool, providing unique, turnkey analysis for light-, medium-, and heavy-duty fleet electrification. By designing this custom-made tool with partner Atlas Public Policy, this total cost of ownership (TCO) tool allows users to upload simple fleet data into an easy-to-use Excel-based tool that can analyze and assess the best fit for EV deployment within minutes, greatly shortening timing from traditional fleet analysis work. This tool works for both private-sector and public fleets, including both local and state fleets.

Electric Vehicle Adoption Leadership (EVAL) Fact Sheet

Meet the Speakers

Senator Deandrea Salvador 

Senator DeAndrea Newman Salvador is a fifth-generation Charlottean, and very early in her career, she became dedicated to serving her community. Her impassioned focus on energy efficiency, affordability, sustainability, clean air, and climate predates her time in office, and she has been acknowledged nationally as a 2018 TED Fellow, as well as the founder of a Charlotte-based organization that focused on leveraging smart technologies and tools to alleviate energy burdens. 

Senator Salvador proudly represents Senate District 39 of Mecklenburg County, an area in which she has deep community ties and multi-generational heritage. 

As an elected official, Senator Salvador continues to elevate her voice in the energy sector, and since taking the oath of office in January of 2021, she has fought for, supported, introduced, and in a rare feat for a freshman senator serving in the minority party, successfully delivered upon key legislation that is reflective of the ‘all-important’ pillars that District 39 constituents, families, businesses, and community partners have communicated as being necessary to build, sustain, and elevate our quality of life and the values we share. 

Professionally, Senator Salvador works in the data privacy industry-leading content, and customer education strategy, optimization, and creation for a technology-centered data privacy firm and is a Certified Information Privacy Professional, amongst other professional credentials. 

Most importantly, Senator Salvador is a devoted mother, and she and her husband Kirk are raising two (very active) boys in the Steele Creek area of Charlotte. 

As a lifelong resident of District 39, Senator Salvador’s decision to serve is grounded in the deep ties to her community and constituency — past, present, and future. She feels obliged to give back to the community that so graciously poured into her and serves with the relentless tenacity to bring home meaningful results that will ensure her sons and future generations will thrive in District 39. 

Senator Vickie Sawyer

Vickie Sawyer is a state senator representing the 37th district, which includes Iredell County, the Town of Cornelius, and northern Huntersville. Her mission as a senator is to craft legislation that allows the citizens of her district the opportunity to realize the American Dream — as she has. Vickie has taken the lead on a variety of issues important to her district, including transportation infrastructure, raising the age of child marriage in NC, and protecting schools and parents from the financial fleecing of high school athletics by its governing organization.

Schools have always been important to Vickie. Growing up in a trailer park in rural Davidson County, she saw that education was the key to creating a better life for herself and her family. After graduating as Salutatorian from Winston-Salem’s Parkland High School, Vickie became an honor graduate of UNC Charlotte and a NC Teaching Fellow. She served as PTO President, overseeing a fundraising campaign that raised $175,000 for upgrades to the school’s playground, running track, turf, and new equipment. Vickie also served as Board Chairman for the Iredell County Crosby Scholars, leading a successful bond campaign where voters approved $125 Million in funding for school construction.

With a diverse resume of jobs ranging from waitress to race team marketing “grunt,” Vickie and her husband Brett built their agency, Sawyer Insurance & Financial Services, from the ground up in 2002. It is now one of the largest agencies in Iredell County, serving over 4,200 households. Vickie and Brett are proud to call Mooresville home, along with their daughters Sydney and Braedy.

Vickie was first elected to the North Carolina Senate in 2018 after handily defeating a 17-term state senator in the Republican Primary Election. 

Sidney Evering, City of Orangeburg, SC

Sidney Evering, II was born and raised in Orangeburg. He’s a 1992 graduate of Orangeburg-Wilkinson High School and earned his undergraduate and law degrees from the University of South Carolina. Mr. Evering spent the majority of his legal career working for a large regional law firm where his practice areas included public finance and
economic development.

Mr. Evering is a graduate of Leadership South Carolina and a past recipient of the State Newspaper’s 20 under 40 award. He has served on numerous boards and community organizations, including the Executive Committee of the SC Chamber of Commerce, the Board of Governors of the SC Bar Association, President of the SC Bar Foundation and President of the SC Bar Association’s Diversity Committee.

Mr. Evering has spent his entire career working with local governments and is excited to return home to Orangeburg, where he has been serving as City Administrator since February 2021.

Sheena Ashley, CPCC

Sheena Ashley is the Director of Workforce Career Development at Central Piedmont Community College. She is student-focused and takes pride in building programs to enhance the lives of job seekers while strengthening our communities and contributing to an inclusive, thriving economy. Her areas of expertise include facilitating training, program implementation, and career guidance. Sheena is originally from West Virginia and graduated from Davidson College. She lives in east Charlotte with her husband and two young sons.

Lily Ballengee, US DOT ROUTES office

Lily Ballengee is the Rural Transportation Specialist / Acting ROUTES Program Lead at  USDOT. Lily has worked for the U.S. Department of Transportation for nearly 8 years on a wide range of transportation topics. Currently supporting the Rural Opportunities to Use Transportation for Economic Success (ROUTES) Initiative in the Office of the Secretary of Transportation, she works to address disparities in rural transportation infrastructure to ensure rural communities have equitable access to National transportation goals of safety, mobility, and economic competitiveness. She has a Bachelor’s degree from West Virginia University and a Master’s in Public Policy from American University.  

Brian Bradford, JULE Power 

Brian Bradford is Jule Energy’s Chief Commercial Officer. He is responsible for sales, marketing, business development, regulatory and strategy efforts to drive Jule Energy’s grid optimized fast charging infrastructure solutions. His primary goals are to scale the business and develop Jule Energy’s commercial leadership in the EV infrastructure space. 

 Prior to joining Jule Energy, Brian was Chief Revenue Officer for Allumia’s commercial Energy Efficiency as a Service business. Brian was also Vice President of Oracle’s Utility Industry Strategy Group. He was responsible for orchestrating strategy across Oracle application and technology solutions to the global electric, gas and water utility markets. Before Oracle, he was Product Line Leader of General Electric’s Software Solutions Grid IQ SaaS and Grid IQ Insight (hosted software and data analytics) solutions. He was also responsible for product marketing for the Software Solutions business and drove the strategy, commercialization and positioning of all of GE utility modernization software. 

 Brian has an MBA from Harvard Business School and an undergraduate degree in Finance from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. He and his family reside in Raleigh, NC. 

Olivia Campbell, ABB 

Olivia Campbell Andersen leads state public policy and market development for ABB E-mobility, the world’s leading EV charger manufacturer. Prior to joining ABB, Olivia advanced renewable electricity, heating, and EV policies as Executive Director of Renewable Energy Vermont.  Focusing on sustainability, energy, and transportation issues at all levels of government, her career also included time with former Congressional Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, Maryland’s Governor, and the National Wildlife Federation. Olivia earned degrees from Vermont Law School and Gettysburg College. An enthusiastic EV driver (car & lawnmower), Olivia lives on a solar-powered organic berry and flower farm with her family, 37 hens, and Rebel Great Pyr.   

With more than 130 years’ experience providing reliable technology, ABB employs nearly 20,000 people across 40 major facilities in the United States. ABB E-mobility has more than 13 years of experience delivering reliable EV chargers, deploying more than 1 million chargers across 85+ countries. With unparalleled reach, supported by a scaled service organization that meets the needs of customers everywhere, ABB E-mobility is the partner of choice for the world’s biggest electric vehicle manufacturers, public EV charging networks, transit bus operators, and commercial fleets. 

Michael Coleman, Upstate Forever  

Michael Coleman serves as the Energy Advocate for Upstate Forever, using his background in legislative and legal analysis to champion policies that promote clean energy and the electrification of the transportation sector while maintaining sustainable economic growth in the Upstate region. With experience ranging from political campaigns to the financial sector, Michael brings a wealth of expertise, advising executive leaders on public policy and regulatory compliance matters, spanning across 50 states. He also has extensive experience interfacing with various government agencies as well as coordinating national advocacy efforts. Michael holds a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from the University of South Carolina Upstate, and a Master of Public of Administration focusing on (Law & Public Policy) from Liberty University. He believes that empowered and informed citizens are the key to shaping more sustainable and equitable communities across South Carolina. Michael currently resides in Spartanburg, SC and outside of his advocacy work, you can find him fishing, spending time with his family and rooting for the New England Patriots. 

Morgan Crapps, Redwood Materials 

As Director of Public Affairs & Government Relations, Morgan Crapps leads external affairs for Redwood Materials in the Southeast. Redwood Materials is developing a fully closed-loop, domestic supply chain for lithium-ion batteries. Redwood combines recycling, refining and remanufacturing on the same continent to return critical battery components to local battery manufacturers in a sustainable, closed-loop fashion. Today, Redwood is headquartered in Nevada and is in the process of building battery materials campuses in Northern Nevada and South Carolina. At each campus, Redwood plans to produce over 100 GWh of cathode and anode components per year – enough to power more than two million EVs. Prior to joining Redwood, Morgan was a principal at Parker Poe Consulting, where she led site selection and incentive negotiation projects for manufacturers across the country. She has also practiced law at a large regional law firm and served as a project manager and international business recruiter for the South Carolina Department of Commerce. She is a graduate of Clemson University and the University of South Carolina School of Law. 

Corey Epps, Scout Motors

Corey Epps is an HR Director for Scout Motors, overseeing the company’s HR Business Partner team. Based in South Carolina, Corey brings 23 years of experience at BMW Manufacturing including roles in Associate Relations, Logistics, and HR, as well as 7 years of experience in management roles at Fruit of the Loom. Corey is a graduate of the University of South Carolina, a proud resident of the Columbia area, and a loving husband, father, and grandfather. 

Christopher Facente, Central Piedmont Community College 

Chris Facente serves as associate Dean for Transportation at Central Piedmont Community College, and he has over 30 years of experience in various aspects of the Transportation IndustryChris has been a Technician, Shop foreman, Parts Manager, Service Manager and Fleet Manager. Currently, Chris is the Associate Dean of Transportation at Central Piedmont Community CollegeHe holds a Masters in Business Administration from Montreat College and Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) certifications in Automotive (Master), Heavy Duty Truck, advanced diagnostics and hybrid/EV drive systems. 

Trey Gowdy, Research Lead, Duke University Nicholas Institute for Energy, Environment & Sustainability 

Trey Gowdy is a Research Lead at the Duke University Nicholas Institute for Energy, Environment & Sustainability. He supports the Nicholas Institute’s research, project management, and educational programs. This includes work on transportation electrification in the Southeast – including as a co-facilitator of the Southeast Electric Transportation Regional Initiative (SETRI), research on open energy data, and coordinating interdisciplinary energy and climate student programs. Trey holds a M.A. in public administration and a B.A. in political science from the University of North Florida and has previously worked in state government energy office and higher education sustainability programs. 

Nikki Lynberg, North Carolina Statewide Association of Electric Membership Cooperatives 

Nikki is part of the Innovation and Business Development team at the NC Electric Cooperatives, where she leads their electric transportation goals of bringing accessible electric transportation to the rural areas of North Carolina. This includes managing the cooperatives’ public charging network of nearly 100 chargers from the mountains to the coast. Nikki is a two-time NC State University graduate with degrees in sustainability, supply chain, and analytics. Previously, she has helped over 50 companies work towards B Corp Certification and is passionate about aligning economic growth with sustainability goals 

James McLawhorn, NC Utilities Commission Public Staff 

James McLawhorn is Director of the Energy Division of the North Carolina Utilities Commission – Public Staff, North Carolina’s consumer advocate for utility matters. He has held this position since 2006. James leads a staff of 12 engineers in evaluating electric and natural gas utility customer service, rates, operations, and planning, including review and implementation of North Carolina’s Carbon Plan. He has an undergraduate degree in industrial engineering from North Carolina State University, and a master’s degree in management with a finance concentration from the same school. 

GP McLeer, Director of the Upstate Mobility Alliance and Mayor of Fountain Inn, SC

GP McLeer is the Director of the Upstate Mobility Alliance, a founding partner of Pecan Public Relations, LLC., and is also the Mayor of Fountain Inn, SC 

A South Carolina native, in 2019 GP was elected Mayor of the City of Fountain Inn, South Carolina, one of the fastest growing cities in the state, at age 31, making him the youngest mayor in the city’s history. As Director of the Upstate Mobility Alliance, he works to advance transportation solutions across ten counties in the Upstate of South Carolina including public transit, vehicular innovations, walkability, trails, and other methods of connectivity. In 2021 he founded Pecan Public Relations, LLC which focuses on advocacy, communications, and governance for nonprofits across the state. 

GP was recently named one of the “50 Most Influential People” by Greenville Business Magazine, and one of Greenville’s “Best and Brightest 35 & Under”. 

Sara Nichols, Land of Sky 

Sara Nichols is a dedicated advocate for sustainable transportation and clean energy. She currently serves as the Director of Land of Sky Clean Vehicles Coalition, an initiative to help support transitions into clean fuels across Western North Carolina.   

With over 16 years of experience in local government, she has worked on a variety of projects including economic development, water conservation, planning, and broadband. Sara has developed a deep understanding of the complex challenges facing our region’s ability to thrive and seeks to remove barriers to sustainable community development. She has worked with a wide range of stakeholders, including government agencies, industry leaders, and community organizations, to problem-solve community solutions.  

Sara holds a Bachelor’s degree in Biology from Mars Hill University and completed programs in leadership. Sara recently bought an electric vehicle she’d love to tell you about, and in her free time, she can be seen playing upright bass on many stages. She is a frequent speaker at industry conferences and events and is widely recognized as a leading expert. 

Catherine Reed, National Association of State Energy Offices

Catherine Reed serves as Senior Project Director in NASEO’s Electricity Program, which informs and educates the states on issues related to generation, transmission, and distribution. Prior to joining NASEO, she served as Deputy Director of the State Energy Office in the South Carolina Office of Regulatory Staff.  This was her second tenure with the SC Energy Office, having first worked there between 2007 and 2012, implementing various energy efficiency and renewable energy federal grant programs, including the American Reimbursement and Reinvestment Act. She also worked in the private sector on the implementation of a commercial and industrial demand side management program for an investor-owned utility. She has more than 20 years of experience in resource conservation and management, public policy and planning, and stakeholder engagement, including stints in the public, private, and non-profit sectors. Earlier in her career, she also worked in the field of land and water conservation in both South Carolina and Florida.  She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and a Master of Public Administration from the University of South Carolina.  

Lang Reynolds, Circle K  

Lang has been working in the EV industry since 2015 overseeing the deployment of large utility EV infrastructure programs and now the strategic, commercial and execution elements of CK’s Public Charging deployment across North America. He is the Director of Public Charging at Circle K and worked for Duke prior to that. He earned his MBA in Finance from the University of Colorado.  

Michael Spurr, ADS-TEC Energy 

Michael Spurr is public affairs manager for ADS-TEC Energy, where he oversees public and government affairs for the company, which produces battery-buffered, ultra-fast EV charging solutions plus battery storage systems for commercial and industrial use. He previously covered regulatory affairs at EnBW, one of the largest energy supply companies in Europe and Germany’s largest charge point operator. Michael holds a dual MA in Asian and European Affairs from King’s College London and Renmin University of China, and a BS in International Business from Pforzheim University. 

Nina Staggers, SC Department of Employment and Workforce 

Nina Staggers is the Assistant Executive Director for Workforce Development at the SC Department of Employment and Workforce (DEW). Ms. Staggers is a collaborative leader, who engages and often leads a broad network of partners to identify solutions that will improve the state’s workforce system and the employment outcomes of South Carolinians. During her 11-year career in higher education and workforce development, Ms. Staggers has led small and large projects involving the development of new programs, improved processes, grant implementation, and system-wide strategic planning. She is driven by her desire for thriving South Carolina communities with residents who have access to high-quality employment and training resources and employment opportunities that provide family-sustaining wages. Ms. Staggers earned her Bachelor’s degree from Clemson University and her Juris Doctorate from Widener University. She is resident of Columbia, SC.

Mike Smith, Electric Cooperatives of South Carolina   

Mike Smith serves as vice president of business and technology strategy for The Electric Cooperatives of South Carolina, the state association of 18 independent, member-owned electric utilities in the state. 

Mike works with state and national partners to develop understanding of how technology is changing the utility industry. A registered professional engineer in South Carolina, his work includes contributions to the development of the Distributed Energy Resource Program Act (Act 236), adopted by the General Assembly in 2014. The legislation was a compromise across multiple interests and organizations that opened the way for more distributed energy production in South Carolina. He contributed to another inclusive effort to develop the South Carolina State Energy plan.  Currently his focus is on the electrification of transportation and the economy along with the challenges of decarbonizing the cooperatives generation sources.   

Prior to coming to the co-ops’ association, Mike worked 11 years at Central Electric Power Cooperative, the generation and transmission cooperative that acts as the power aggregator for South Carolina cooperatives.      

He is a graduate of Clemson University with a BSEE and Georgia Institute of Technology MSEE.  Mike served 4 years in the US Army as an officer in the Signal Corps.