Aug. 29, 2022
A group of Black Detroiters in the Motor City are forging a path for the country’s transition to electric vehicles and ensuring it’s equitable.
From manufacturing, to installation of charging stations, and consulting, the EV entrepreneurs say their work is driven by the need to transition away from gas-combustion powered vehicles that contribute to global warming and climate change.
In the United States, the transportation sector makes up nearly 30% of the country’s annual greenhouse gas emissions, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. Transportation is also a significant source of pollution in low-income and communities of color, where the effects range from worsened respiratory and cardiovascular disease to increased risk of premature birth.
Meet the Detroiters at the forefront of innovative EV solutions who said they will be announcing the formation of a new EV trade association next month during the North American International Auto Show in Detroit.
A decade ago, King started one of the first Black-woman owned EV charging station companies in the country: Dunamis Clean Energy Partners.
“What better place to have EV infrastructure built than the city that put the whole world on wheels? We’re proud of making sure that it’s Detroit,” King said.
The Dunamis model is a holistic one that makes EVs accessible to underserved communities most affected by climate change through education, hands-on experience with EVs, and creating jobs.
The company employs 155 workers in southeast Michigan and plans to add approximately 30 more jobs with the launch of Dunamis Charge, a manufacturing plant recently constructed on East Grand Boulevard in Detroit. By 2025, the company expects to employ more than 150 employees at the east side plant.
“We will be hiring directly from that community as well as surrounding communities that have historically had environmental justice, environmental racism issues,” King said. “We want to focus there first and we’ve made a commitment to at least 50% of our workforce coming from those communities.”
The plant goes into soft production this month, she said, with full production expected in October. Dunamis’ charging stations will be marketed to utilities and municipalities.