This ChargePoint station is located in the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area in Stevenson, WA, -- an area that is adjacent to the city's shops, restaurants, spas and art galleries. | Photo courtesy of Port of Skamania.

Three years ago, the Energy Department announced an unprecedented series of Transportation Electrification projects under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. Since that time, we have seen an acceleration of the manufacturing and deployment of plug-in electric vehicles, batteries and components in America. And because of advancements in technology and increased manufacturing, battery costs have shrunk by 50 percent.

More recently, the Department launched the EV-Everywhere Grand Challenge, a national initiative to reduce the cost and increase the convenience of electric vehicles. Easy access to charging stations will be key to meeting these goals, and thanks to companies like ChargePoint, finding a charging station is getting more convenient than ever.

ChargePoint recently finished installing 4,600 U.S.-manufactured Level 2 charging stations in residential and commercial locations across the U.S. as part of its ChargePoint America Program -- which was supported with a $15 million grant from the Energy Department and dollar-for-dollar matches by ChargePoint. Level 2 chargers typically add 10-20 miles to the range of the electric vehicle per hour of charging. The company also worked with vehicle manufacturers Chevrolet, Ford, BMW and Nissan to provide home charging station hardware at no cost to their customers in exchange for collecting operational data from the charging station.

The success of the ChargePoint America Program has enabled the Campbell, California-company to raise more than $50 million in investment from the private sector and grow from 16 ChargePoint employees in June 2009 to more than 150 employees today.

The ChargePoint America Program was deployed in 10 regions across the nation where installation costs were supported by private industry and state-level grants. Over the next two years, ChargePoint and the Energy Department will collect data from these charging stations to help manufacturers and community planners optimize electric vehicle charging infrastructure.

To find an EV charging station near you, check out our Alternative Fuels Data Center Station Locator, which is now on!