Electric vehicle adoption to accelerate under White House P3 plan

Just days after the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Sustainable Transportation Summit earlier this month, the White House has released a framework for public-private collaboration to accelerate the adoption of electric vehicles and construction of electric vehicle infrastructures.

The framework for collaboration was created by the White House, DOE, Department of Transportation, Air Force, Army and Environmental Protection Agency. It is meant to include vehicle manufacturers, electric utilities, electric vehicle charging companies and states working under a set of Guiding Principles to Promote Electric Vehicles and Charging Infrastructure.

The initiative includes unlocking up to $4.5 billion in loan guarantees and inviting applications to support the commercial-scale deployment of innovative electric vehicle charging facilities; developing a 2020 vision for a national network of electric vehicle fast charging stations; a call for state, county and municipal governments to partner with the federal government to procure electric vehicle fleets at a discounted value; and publishing a guide to federal funding, financing and technical assistance for electric vehicles and charging stations.

In the past eight years the number of plug-in electric vehicle models increased from one to more than 20, battery costs have decreased 70 percent and the number of electric vehicle charging stations has increased from less than 500 in 2008 to more than 16,000 today – a 40-fold increase.

Nearly 50 industry members signed up to follow the Guiding Principles, including numerous energy companies, electric car manufacturers, the states of New York and California, the National Association of State Energy Officials, the Electric Drive Transportation Association and others.

One of the signers committed to installing electric vehicle supply equipment in its Eastern Washington service territory, as part of a two-year pilot program recently approved by the Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission.  Provided full participation levels, the company expects to install a total of 272 EVSE connection ports in approximately 200 different locations: 120 in residential homes, 50 at workplaces and 30 in public locations, including seven DC fast chargers to enable regional EV travel.

New Mexico’s largest electricity provider will provide the associated infrastructure to the City of Albuquerque for its purchase of an all-electric bus fleet for the soon-to-be-built Albuquerque Rapid Transit system. The project is the first of its kind in New Mexico and the first all-electric Bus Rapid Transit system in the United States.

The world’s largest network of EV charging stations committed up to $20 million toward the deployment of a national network of high-speed charging stations as part of a public-private partnership. This includes research and development investments, site identification, smart city deployments and DC fast charger corridors. The company will work with the DOT, other federal, state and local government agencies and private entities to determine the optimal location for such high-speed charging stations and to secure financing from private entities and through public-private partnerships.