The midsection of the country is being gripped by ferocious winter weather, but that hasn’t stopped Indiana from virtually blooming with alternative energy news. Just yesterday CleanTechnica posted a story about the development of the biggest thin film solar plant in the U.S. in Tipton, Indiana and now the state has become the first in the U.S. to take delivery of new domestically manufactured THINK electric vehicles for its fleet – equipped with made-in-the-U.S.A. batteries, of course.
Clean Electric Vehicles for Indiana Parklands
To ice the green jobs cake even more, the new THINK electric vehicles were manufactured in Elkhart, Indiana. Its lithium ion batteries were also manufactured in Indiana, by the company Ener 1, Inc. The fleet of fifteen cars will be under the purview of the state’s Department of Administration, which has assigned them mainly to the Department of Natural Resources to be used in the state’s parks. Not only are there certain operational logistics that make parklands an ideal proving ground for electric vehicles, but they will also enable visitors to see how super quiet, zero emission vehicles improve the park-going experience.
Electric Vehicles and Project Plug-IN
None of this happened by accident, of course, and Indiana has already begun the planning needed to prepare a reliable, convenient network of plug-in opportunities. The initiative, Project Plug-IN, is a program of the state’s Energy Systems Network, which in turn is a new clean tech initiative of a business group called the Central Indiana Corporate Partnership, which aims to make Indiana a “center for energy innovation” that attracts new investment and creates new green jobs across the board in wind, solar, biofuel, smart grid technology and more. That’s pretty ambitious, given the stinkeye that the U.S. Chamber of Commerce has cast upon clean energy initiatives but then again, when was the last time a Hoosier backed down from a tough game?
Image: THINK electric vehicle by KF60AK on flickr.com.
Tina Casey specializes in military and corporate sustainability, advanced technology, emerging materials, biofuels, and water and wastewater issues. Tina’s articles are reposted frequently on Reuters, Scientific American, and many other sites. You can also follow her on Twitter @TinaMCasey and Google+.