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HMEI Intern, Vehicle Electrification Policy
Environmental Defense Fund in San Francisco, California
Date Posted 02/09/2021
Employment Type Fulltime
Application Deadline Open until filled


With world attention on both the environment and the economy, Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) is where policymakers and business leaders turn for win-win solutions. By focusing on strong science, uncommon partnerships and market-based approaches, we tackle urgent threats with practical solutions. We are one of the world’s largest environmental organizations, with more than two million members and a staff of approximately 700 scientists, economists, policy experts, and other professionals around the world. We operate in 22 geographies with unique projects running across four programs. You will be part of a vibrant workplace where innovation and results are a way of life.

EDF envisions a world in which people from all backgrounds and experiences feel connected to the environmental challenges we face and are engaged in creating durable, equitable solutions. We seek talented candidates who share our Core Values of Respect, Results, Innovation, Optimism, and Integrity, and support our Commitment to Diversity.

Responsibilities :

EDF offers internships and fellowships for students and recent graduates in a variety of programs and departments throughout the organization. The ultimate goal of our internship and fellowship program is to provide high-quality experiences (including relevant projects and opportunities for networking) that form the foundation for any individual who is serious about pursuing an environmental career.

Program/Department Overview

The Policy Intern will sit within the Energy Program in our office in San Francisco, CA, or in Boston, MA. The EDF Energy program delivers tangible environmental and public health gains while accelerating the energy sector's transition to a low carbon future. We drive transformation in the electricity, oil and gas, and transportation sectors.

Transportation, already a major source of greenhouse gases (GHGs), is expected to be the largest source of new emissions through 2050. Over 80% of the growth in transportation emissions will be from modes associated with freight movement: ships, medium- and heavy-duty vehicles (MHDVs) and aviation. MHDVs account for nearly 60% of these new emissions and are projected to rival light-duty vehicles as the largest source of transportation GHGs by 2050. Heavy transportation also results in serious air-quality impacts to human health. In 2015, 385,000 premature deaths resulted globally from air pollution associated with transportation, with on-road diesel vehicles accounting for half of this impact - by far the largest contributor.

Environmental Defense Fund's goal is that by 2030, 30% of new MHDV sales in the U.S., Europe and China are electric, putting us on a pathway toward achieving our 2050 vision. Our initiatives have begun in New York, Los Angeles, and Houston. By partnering with commercial fleet operators in these cities and demonstrating the viability, cost-effectiveness and environmental benefits of electrifying transportation we can start to work towards this goal.

Overall Function

The overarching function of this internship will be to help to accelerate the uptake of MHDV from public and private fleet owners with supporting research and analytics.

One core research project will be to evaluate the potential for bus and truck EVs to improve local air quality." The research, analysis and reporting project will have three parts (a) to evaluate ongoing state and Federal policy proposals, (b) examine the untapped potential for MHDV bus and truck electrification to be seen as a mitigation measure in SIPs for NAAQS, and (b) document public and private fleet commitments to electrify to begin building the evidence needed for air quality management agencies to include as air quality control measures, for corporations to consider as ESG measures, and politicians as local community economic development. As well, the Policy Interns will summarize the economic dimensions of policy proposals, conducting quantitative analyses using EDF tools, including, but not limited to,

regulatory cost-effectiveness for local air pollutant reductions, notably oxides of nitrogen, volatile organic compounds, methane and other air pollutants that degrade local air quality and impact human and ecosystem health. Total cost of ownership for BEVs Equity impacts in terms of ownership and opportunity to earn incomes from fleet vehicles.

The intern will also be researching case studies and documenting lessons learned from MHDV electrification projects. Lastly, the intern will be providing support as EDF evaluates and engages policy proposals at the state and federal levels.

The intern will have the opportunity to synthesize data gathered into research memos and associated communications materials, such as blogs and fact sheets, and to collaborate with the team, participate on calls, attend relevant webinars, and to engage with industry stakeholders.

Key Responsibilities

  • Provide support to the team in various research and analytical capacities, specifically to help the EDF team engaging in MHDV policymaking.
  • Conduct research and evaluation of policies to electrify MHD vehicles, to catalog BEV products and corporate commitments related to transportation electrification. Primary research methods will be literature review, data gathering and analysis, engaging with industry stakeholders, and data gathering and analysis.
  • Participate in team calls and meetings
  • Synthesize findings in research memos and associated communications materials


  • Highly proficient in excel and firm analytical capabilities; modeling experience preferred
  • Motivated to learn a lot and dig into new material
  • Demonstrated interest in transportation
  • Firm understanding of energy systems and climate change
  • Basic understanding in air quality assessment and management with respect to National Ambient Air Quality Standards
  • Must be able to work independently and in a fast-paced team environment
  • Must be well organized, motivated, and detail-oriented
  • Ability to multi-task, prioritize and meet deadlines
  • Ability to work in a team setting
  • Demonstrate initiative and problem solving skills
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills


San Francisco, Sacramento or Los Angeles, or Remote


12 weeks


35 hours a week


This internship is supported through the High Meadows Environmental Institute internship program at Princeton University.

Application Materials

Interested applicants should attach their cover letter and resume to the EDF application.

EEO Information:

Environmental Defense Fund is an equal opportunity employer where an applicant's qualifications are considered without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, veteran status, genetic information, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or any other basis prohibited by law.
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