driving toward net-zero
13 initiatives receive grant funding from new EV-focused, Houston-led program
Evolve Houston awarded its inaugural microgrants this week to 13 groups, neighborhoods and an individual working to make electric vehicles accessible to all Houstonians.
Launched in 2022, Evolve's eMobility Microgrant Initiative supports community efforts that propose electric vehicle, micro-mobility and charging infrastructure projects in some of Houston's most underserved neighborhoods. The grants ranged from $10,000 to $15,000.
Shell, NRG, CenterPoint, the University of Houston, and the city of Houston are partners in Evolve Houston. GM and bp America helped found the microgrant program.
“The eMobility Microgrant Initiative is a culmination of my vision and the collaborative efforts from many individuals and corporate supporters who recognize the importance of the transition to electric transportation,” Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner says in a statement. “The grant winners we recognized today are trailblazers in their communities, leveraging EV technology to residents in neighborhoods that have been historically underserved.”
Winners of the Round 1 eMobility Microgrants and their proposed projects included:
- Alliance for Multicultural Community Services: Adding a charging station for the Gulfton area and a youth advocacy initiative
- Third Ward Real Estate Council & Northern Third Ward Neighborhood Implementation Project: Introducing an interactive “mobility hub” to show what EV infrastructure would look like in Third Ward
- Coalition of Community Organizations: Bringing eBikes and a charging station in the Fifth Ward
- Edison Arts Foundation: Installing an EV charging station and green energy awareness at the Edison Center in Fort Bend
- GROW: Promoting green energy careers to youth in underserved communities through EV education and outreach events
- Hiram Clarke Fort Bend Houston Redevelopment Authority: Brining a bike share program to Southwest Houston
- Houston Southeast: Expanding its existing rideshare program that offers free and reduced rides in partnership with Uber EV fleet of electric vehicles
- Pangea Charging: Adding EV chargers to two Complete Communities apartment complexes/buildings
- RYDE: Brining a free micro-transit service in the Third Ward, including two electric shuttles that could serve more than 1,000 passengers per month
- Shawn R. Owens: Introducing a new eBike food delivery service, called Electric Eats, to bring food from from the Third Ward food pantries to the area's senior, underserved and immobile residents
- South Union Community Development Corporation: Creating a workforce development program for green energy careers
- The Reflections of Christ's Kingdom (The R.O.C.K.) Church–BroadwayCampus: Adding a DC-Fast charger in the South Houston/Hobby Airport area
- University of Houston-Downtown: Installing a no-cost EV charging station on campus
“This program is designed to provide launch funding to community-based, EV ecosystem-related projects," says Evolve Houston President and Executive Director Casey Brown. "We see significant opportunities to make meaningful progress by using an exciting new technology that is centered around community-based direction. Our governance system puts the community in charge and knows that the ideas of those that know their communities best will carry the greatest impact.”
Applications for the second round of microgrants are now open.Information can be found here. The application deadline is Friday, September 22, 2023.
Evolve Houston was founded in 2019 through Houston's Climate Action Plan. The nonprofit relaunched in 2022, naming Brown as its new president and executive director. The organization's main goal is to improve air quality, reduce greenhouse gas and to accelerate EV adoption so that half of all new vehicles sold in the Houston area would be EVs by 2030.