Electric vehicles are pretty neat (understatement), and they definitely have the potential to be one of the cleanest types of transportation around. Integrating them into the market, however, isn’t always an easy task. One of the issues is the hardware necessary to recharge EVs and plug-in hybrids at home, and getting a green light for that equipment can require cutting through a lot of red tape.
The US Department of Energy (DOE), however, recently took steps to standardize permission and inspection procedures in different regions. (Note: this is not the same as Japan’s CHAdeMO standard, which is using the same plug for EVs from different manufacturers.) The DOE’s first step was a 6-page template to help local governments set up their permission/inspection procedures. The idea is that, by giving everyone the same template, the same standards will be enforced (we’ll see how well that goes).
GITT – Working To Put an EV in Everyone’s Garage
The driving force behind the DOE’s action is the Grid Interaction Tech Team (GITT), which was established in 2009 to help commercialize electric vehicles. On the team are entities such as USCAR, the Electric Power Research Institute, EVSE (electric vehicle supply equipment) installers, the DOE, national laboratories, and utility partners. Their main focus is the market success of EVs. In other words, they’re supposed to figure out how to get you to like and eventually buy an electric car (I’m on board with this).
One of the issues GITT identified was the inconvenience of getting home chargers installed. Nobody likes having to wait for appliances, and something like a home charging station (as we mentioned above) has a lot of red tape involved. GITT is trying to make that process much, much easier.
Home charging station installation is, of course, not the only issue faced by EVs in today’s market, but it’s that extra bit of added hassle that can make even the most enthusiastic potential buyer back down. If local and regional governments can effectively use GITT’s template for installation and inspection requirements, and electrical contractors and inspectors can be competently trained according to these requirements, the market will be one step closer to mass integration of electric vehicles.
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Source: USCAR | Image: Wikimedia Commons.