Inspired by the environmental injustices her community, labeled a “disadvantaged community” by the state, and so many other communities face due to vehicle pollution, Michelle Pierce has fought to bring EVs and cleaner air to the residents of the Inland Empire in Southern California.

With the savings in gas and maintenance costs from her first EV in 2012, a Nissan LEAF, Michelle was able to upgrade to a 2020 Chevy Bolt last year. Both are significant improvements over her non-electric pickup truck.

She knows firsthand the challenges of charging an EV at an apartment, especially when the one available charger is always broken. As a former city employee who worked on installing charging, Michelle also recognizes the challenges people face when seeking permits for charging stations. She has testified to legislators and regulatory boards on these and other EV issues and emphasizes the importance of sharing her personal story, particularly since she represents a citizen in a community which will be most affected by the policies. 

The founder of her own company called EV Nirvana, focused on supporting the adoption of EVs, and a leader of the Inland Empire Electric Vehicle Association, she also dedicates time to EV education and outreach through events and connecting with people of all backgrounds on EVs. 

In conversation with Michelle, she discusses the importance of clean transportation for disadvantaged communities, her personal connection to her work in EV policy advocacy, and the methods she uses to best connect with policymakers.