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Charging Up with the Electric Drive Transportation Association

May 20, 2014 - 4:51pm

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Today at the Electric Drive Transportation Association (EDTA) 2014 conference in Indianapolis, Indiana, I joined industry and government stakeholders who are leading the charge to advance electric vehicle technologies and expand America’s charging infrastructure. EDTA and its partners support the goal of the EV Everywhere Grand Challenge, the Energy Department’s 10-year vision to enable the U.S. to be the first nation in the world to produce plug-in electric vehicles that are as affordable for the average American family as today’s gasoline powered vehicles by 2022.

The event location was particularly fitting, as Indianapolis is the first city in the United States to commit to transitioning their municipal fleet from foreign oil by 2025.  In addition, the city is rolling out the largest all-electric car sharing program in the country. Greg Ballard, the Mayor of Indianapolis, along with Peter Davidson, the Executive Director of the Energy Department’s Loan Programs Office, joined me at for a panel discussion on how government and industry are working together to bring innovative electric vehicle technologies to the marketplace.

During the panel, I was proud to share several Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) successes related to the development and deployment of electric drive vehicles. Here are just a few highlights:

  • Energy Department-supported battery R&D has helped reduce the cost of electric drive vehicle batteries to $325/kWhr, about 50% lower than just four years ago.
  • More than 97,000 plug-in electric vehicles (PEVs) were sold in 2013, nearly doubling 2012 sales.  There are already 16 vehicles from 11 different manufacturers on the market and eight new PEV models will be introduced for model years 2014 and 2015.
  • To encourage the growing demand for PEVs, the Energy Department has supported the installation of approximately 17,000 electric vehicle supply equipment such as Level 2 and DC Fast Chargers.
  • To help local governments and neighborhoods prepare for increased numbers of PEVs, 16 Clean Cities projects have developed strategies and best practices for PEV community readiness.
  • Clean Cities re-launched the Plug-in Electric Vehicle Community Readiness Scorecard to accommodate more users and released an iPhone app of the Alternative Fueling Station Locator, which helps PEV drivers quickly and easily find a charging station.
  • Energy Department-fuel cell R&D has already reduced the cost of electrolysis by 80% in the last decade and reduced the projected cost of hydrogen from natural gas to roughly $4/kg gasoline gallon equivalent if produced at high volumes.
  • More than 75 employers have joined the EV Everywhere Workplace Charging Challenge and pledged to provide charging access at more than 200 worksites across the country. We’re proud to recognize our first university partner, Georgia Institute of Technology, and our first hospital partner, the University of Maryland Baltimore Washington Medical Center. The remaining new partners include: Advanced Micro Devices; Baxter Healthcare Corporation; Capital One; ChargePoint; City of Atlanta; ClipperCreek; Concurrent Design, Inc.; Alameda County, California; Broward County, Florida; Eaton; EMC Corporation; Envision Solar; FEV, Inc.; Greenlots; Harris Civil Engineers, LLC; NASCAR; Phil Haupt Electric, Inc.; Portland General Electric; SAP; Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.; Southern Company; Sprint; TECO Energy, Territo Electric, Inc.; Utah Paperbox; and World Wildlife Fund. In addition to the new partners, we’re proud to count Clean Fuels Ohio among our 13 ambassador organizations working to promote and support workplace charging in their communities. 

I’m very excited that our collaborative efforts with U.S. employers are growing through the EV Everywhere Workplace Charging Challenge. The Challenge is gaining momentum thanks to the efforts of ambassadors and partners like EDTA and GM.  In fact, GM recently announced that they have installed more than 400 charging stations at their facilities.

At EERE, we will continue investing in the development of technologies that can help Americans save energy and money, move the clean energy economy forward, and protect the environment. By providing educational tools to consumers, preparing communities to adopt PEV technologies and increasing electric vehicle charging accessibility, we can reduce that nation’s dependence on foreign sources of oil, and build the foundation for a clean energy transportation future.

Employers interested in joining the Challenge can visit electricvehicles.energy.gov or email WorkplaceCharging@ee.doe.gov.

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