Head of New Lead Joint US DOE, DOT Office of Energy and Transportation Named

Sept. 20, 2022
As the first-ever Executive Director, Klein will oversee efforts to support the deployment of $7.5 billion to build a national electric vehicle (EV) charging network

The U.S. Departments of Energy and Transportation announced that Gabe Klein — former Commissioner of the Chicago Department of Transportation and Director of the Washington D.C. Department of Transportation — will lead the Joint Office of Energy and Transportation, which was created by the President’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.

As the first-ever Executive Director, Klein will oversee efforts to support the deployment of $7.5 billion to build a national electric vehicle (EV) charging network with a focus on filling gaps in rural and disadvantaged communities and hard-to-reach locations, as well as other vehicle electrification programs across the departments.

The joint office provides technical assistance, analysis and support to states and localities to help modernize the US transportation system and provide the option to choose electric vehicles and save money fueling vehicles.

“DOE is pleased to welcome Gabe Klein as Executive Director of the Joint Office — the latest milestone for our interagency efforts to kickstart the electric transportation future here in the United States,” said U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm. “Gabe has spent his career spurring innovation for sustainable transportation, and we couldn’t be more excited to have him working for more electric cars and trucks on our roadways.”

"We look forward to working with Gabe to help deliver on President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law for the American people and ensure that every community—from the largest cities to the most rural areas—can reap the benefits of the electric vehicle revolution,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg.

“I will seize the opportunity to steward a critical shift in our transportation economy from fossil fuels to clean, electric energy systems, as there has never been a more important mission in our recent history than solving the climate crisis,” said Gabe Klein, Executive Director of the Joint Office of Energy and Transportation. “Our task to bring together private and public investments to support the deployment of 500,000 electric vehicle chargers nationwide is a major step toward President Biden's Bipartisan Infrastructure Law investment in American Jobs and equitable access to affordable transportation while creating good-paying jobs for Americans.” 

Communities that are traditionally underserved often lack adequate EV charging infrastructure and investments. The joint office provides technical assistance and analytical support to states, cities, and localities to develop EV charging plans that will ease the clean energy transition for underserved communities and create good-paying jobs that accelerate the growth of the clean energy workforce.

Since its launch in late 2021, the Joint Office of Energy and Transportation has:

Provided technical assistance to all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico to support the development of EV infrastructure deployment plans which enabled all states to submit their EV plans by the August 1 deadline. Certification by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) of the state plans is expected by September 30, 2022 and 35 have already been approved, unlocking $900 million in federal investments.

Signed a memorandum of understanding with the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials and the National Association of State Energy Officials — and awarded $1.5 million to both agencies — to enhance collaboration among national, regional, state, local, tribal, and private sector companies to build an equitable EV charging network that meets local needs.

Established and solicited membership for an EV Working Group to enable EV manufactures, labor organizations, public utilities and regulators, tribal governments, the trucking industry and other transportation groups to make recommendations to the joint office regarding EV development, adoption, and integration across the US.

Collaborated with the FHWA to develop program guidance and proposed minimum standards and requirements for projects funded under the National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Formula Program to ensure the national EV charging network is user-friendly, reliable, and accessible to all Americans. 

Under Klein’s leadership, the office will support states, cities, and local communities with implementing investments in zero-emission passenger, transit, and heavy-duty vehicles that support the Biden Administration’s Justice40 Initiative goal of delivering 40% of the benefits from federal climate and clean energy investment to undeserved communities. These efforts will also support President Biden’s national goal for half of all new United States passenger vehicle sales to be EVs by 2030. 

As the former Commissioner of the Chicago Department of Transportation and Director of the Washington D.C. Department of Transportation, Klein launched two of the first and largest partially-electric bikeshare systems in the U.S., directed the building of protected bike lanes and better pedestrian infrastructure for vulnerable citizens citywide, and facilitated carsharing and ridesharing services which included EVs to help each city’s mobility goals.

As a member of the Biden-Harris Transition Team at the U.S. Department of Transportation, Klein worked on an interagency taskforce to implement an all-of-government approach to electrifying federal fleet and charging. Klein is also former Partner and Co-Founder at CityFi, an urban change management group that equips leaders with the understanding of new business models and cutting-edge solutions, and the policy frameworks and approaches cities can use to leverage current and new sustainable technology. He is passionate about electrified transportation, owning and driving an electric vehicle and electric bicycle, both of which are charged using at-home solar power.