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Photo: Smith Collection/Gado/Getty Images

The big electric vehicle charging network EVgo has registered an in-house lobbyist for the first time.

Driving the news: Alex Beaton, a former longtime aide to Sen. Bernie Sanders, joined the company in May as a public policy manager.

  • It's one of several recent hires at EVgo, which is going public via merger with a special purpose acquisition company.
  • While it's the first time the company has registered its own lobbyist, it began working with the outside firm Cassidy & Associates last year (a firm that has long worked with EVgo parent LS Power), filings show.

Why it matters: It's an active time for EV policy. The bipartisan infrastructure outline includes $7.5 billion in grant funding to build out charging. But Democrats want a major expansion of consumer purchase incentives in the reconciliation package they also hope to move.

What they're saying: "We have added experienced talent to our team to continue to advocate for policies that expand the reach of electric vehicles to drivers across the country," EVgo chief commercial officer Jonathan Levy told Axios.

Go deeper

Exclusive: White House signals "clean" standard push in budget reconciliation

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The White House hopes to use the filibuster-proof budget reconciliation process to mandate that power companies supply escalating amounts of zero-carbon electricity, according to a memo from two top aides obtained by Axios.

Why it matters: The policy, called a "clean energy standard," is a priority for environmentalists, and the memo comes as activists fear infrastructure talks will leave major climate measures on the cutting room floor.

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Go deeper: Full Axios coverage

Bezos beats Branson in space billionaires' battle for attention

Photo illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios. Photo: Imtiyaz Shaikh (Anadolu Agency), Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Jeff Bezos' flight into space generated more interest from the public than Richard Branson's, and both billionaires overshadowed their respective space companies.

Why it matters: Data shows an outsized public interest in the personalities at the center of the space trips, compared to the companies behind them — which could reinforce public suspicion that the ventures were partly vanity plays.