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Clean Transport

Published on July 21st, 2016 | by James Ayre


Obama Admin. Announces $4.5 Billion In DOE Loan Guarantees For Electric Vehicle Charging Infrastructure

July 21st, 2016 by  

The Obama administration has just announced that it will be making $4.5 billion in US Energy Department loan guarantees available for the support of a commercial-scale electric vehicle charging station buildout.

DC fast charging station FloridaThe initiative will see prominent auto manufacturers such as Ford Motor Company, GM, Nissan Motors, and Tesla Motors partnering with federal, state, and local governments for the buildout.

The move — announced by Brian Deese, Senior Advisor to the President, and Lynn Orr, Department of Energy Undersecretary for Science and Energy — is intended to support the faster (and easier) adoption of electric vehicles over the coming years.

The Obama administration intends that a national network of electric vehicle (EV) fast-charging stations be completed by 2020 — thereby making “coast to coast, nationwide zero emissions travel” a much simpler affair for owners.

Building upon DOT’s planned designation of alternative fuel corridors under the FAST Act, DOE and DOT, in cooperation with the DOE National Laboratories, DOT Volpe Center, and other government and industry stakeholders, will commence efforts in fiscal year 2017 to develop criteria that will help identify specific locations for siting fast charging infrastructure adjacent to the DOT-designated national and community corridors. The proposed effort will address four key areas important to evaluating the potential for a national network for fast charging including: (1) siting criteria for charging locations; (2) charging and utility infrastructure needs and cost assessment; (3) impacts of electric demand charges to consumers and utilities; and (4) potential longer-term innovations including evolution up to 350 kilowatt (kW) fast charging. The partnership will address these questions to provide the necessary information for the basis of a dialogue with stakeholders to help define public-private partnerships, funding, and financing models for implementing a national fast charging network. Along those lines, the DOE and DOT will be convening stakeholders this fall to identify critical needs for a national network of fast charging stations. 

Nissan LEAF Charging What to do

The announcement also notes that, “The Office of Federal Sustainability is inviting State, county and municipal government fleets to join forces with Federal agencies to maximize their collective buying power, and aggregate their EV and charging infrastructure purchases.

Going on: “In doing so, governments at all levels can lower their procurement costs, expand technology availability, and increase automotive manufacturers’ demand certainty. The Office of Federal Sustainability will partner with government and agency fleet purchasers to coordinate and aggregate the purchasing of EV fleets, with distinct acquisition procurement strategies to be determined. Alone, the federal government plans to purchase more than 500 plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEV) or EVs in fiscal year 2017.”

Given that one of the primary reasons cited by those surveyed for not purchasing an EV is lack of charging infrastructure, the initiative will presumably lead to a faster rate of EV adoption.

In an email sent to CleanTechnica, Sierra Club Transportation Representative Andrew Linhardt was quoted as saying: “Encouraging the transition to electric vehicles is an all-around win for our climate, our public health, and our economy. Coupled with renewable power, electric vehicles offer the promise of 100% clean transportation. The Obama administration’s efforts to increase accessibility to electric vehicle charging at home, work and on the road will help speed our transition to a 21st century clean transportation system and help break Big Oil’s monopoly on American transit.”

Photos by Cynthia Shahan for CleanTechnica & EV Obsession


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About the Author

James Ayre's background is predominantly in geopolitics and history, but he has an obsessive interest in pretty much everything. After an early life spent in the Imperial Free City of Dortmund, James followed the river Ruhr to Cofbuokheim, where he attended the University of Astnide. And where he also briefly considered entering the coal mining business. He currently writes for a living, on a broad variety of subjects, ranging from science, to politics, to military history, to renewable energy.

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