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Published on July 25th, 2016 | by Cynthia Shahan

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50 Industry Partners Join Obama & Commit To EV Investments

July 25th, 2016 by  


The private sector is a big part of the fresh plan to accelerate electric vehicle adoption in the United States. 50 industry partners have offered commitments/targets to help do so in collaboration with the Obama’s administration and its newest commitments to transportation electrification.

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White House Targets 350 kW, 10-Minute EV Fast Charging.

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ChargePoint is one of the mainstays in the EV charging arena, and it reached out to CleanTechnica.com as soon as the news was published. “Today’s White House announcement demonstrates that our nation’s leadership understands that the future of transportation in this country is electric,” said Pasquale Romano, CEO of ChargePoint.
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“At ChargePoint, we support this vision and believe that we need a network of charging stations in our communities and alongside our nation’s interstate highways. That’s why we’re committing to investing $20 million for the development and deployment of this network.”

Amen. Two things I would feel lost without these days are my ChargePoint swipe card and my EV charging phone apps. The fast chargers I use are limited, and just this week, several gas cars blocked me from fast chargers. More fast chargers are needed — yes. (We also need more considerate gas vehicle drivers.)

ChargePoint committed to a $20 million investment for high-speed charging stations across the United States.

Another major charging station company — EVgo — has made a similar commitment (but 5x bigger): $100 million for EV infrastructure (over 5 years).

Other than ChargePoint and EVgo, 10 utilities have announced commitments to roll out more EV charging stations.

I like commitment from Kansas City Power & Light (KCP&L) perhaps the most. It is a commitment to roll out EV charging infrastructure in low-income areas. This should be done everywhere.

Automakers also made (or reiterated) commitments. Regarding Nissan, whose LEAF EV I drive, it highlighted that it had led the 10-fold increase of CHAdeMO EV fast chargers since 2013.

EV fast charger 2 EV fast charger 1

Here are some more highlights from the fact sheet about what the private sector is doing:

PRIVATE SECTOR COMMITMENTS TO INCREASE ELECTRIC VEHICLE CHARGING INFRASTRUCTURE

Twelve utilities and charging companies are announcing commitments to increase deployment of EVs and charging infrastructure, and to use the Guiding Principles to Promote Electric Vehicles and Charging Infrastructure to work together to accelerate EV deployment.

Utilities

  • Avista commits to install electric vehicle supply equipment (EVSE) 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, Avista 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 7 DC fast chargers to enable regional EV travel.
  • Florida Power and Light (FPL) is committed to the mass market adoption of EVs by working with local, state, and federal stakeholders on initiatives that will help drive EV adoption.  FPL will continue to educate and support residential and commercial customers on the benefits of EVs and work with them to remove barriers to adoption.   FPL also commits to continue to place EVs into its fleet when possible.
  • The Hawaiian Electric Companies have committed to work with all stakeholders to support EVs as part of reaching the islands’ goal of 100 percent renewable energy for electricity by 2045. The Hawaiian Electric Companies will continue to install more DC fast charging stations, research demand management and demand response strategies in EV charging and seek new policy and infrastructure opportunities to provide reliable, clean power for EV charging.
  • Kansas City Power & Light (KCP&L) commits to continuing its leadership and support of the electric transportation market by deploying 10 percent of its Clean Charge Network in underserved and low-income areas of its service territory. KCP&L believes that charging infrastructure should be available and accessible to its customers of all income levels.
  • National Grid commits to help accelerate EV and EV charging market growth in the Northeast, by bringing forward regulatory proposals for new EV charging infrastructure development and consumer education in the territories it serves. These initiatives will build on the company’s planned efforts to demonstrate new technologies such as DC fast charging, expand workplace charging for employees, and increase plug-in vehicles and technology deployment within the company fleet.
  • Portland General Electric (PGE), Oregon’s largest electric utility company, commits to engage stakeholders and submit a proposed plan to Oregon Public Utility Commission in 2016 defining the utility role in transportation electrification, pursuant to recently passed Oregon legislation, which identifies transportation electrification as key to meeting Oregon’s greenhouse gas emissions targets.  PGE also commits to work with Federal partners, including DOT and DOE, and the Edison Electric Institute in appropriate leadership roles to continue to advance transportation electrification.  PGE will spend 5-10 percent of its corporate fleet budget on electrification, and commits to encourage and incentivize PGE employees to acquire EVs and serve as ambassadors for electrification.
  • The Public Service Company of New Mexico (PNM) will provide the associated infrastructure to the City of Albuquerque for their 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.
  • Southern California Edison (SCE) will collaborate with stakeholders to develop plans to meet California Senate Bill 350 requirements for on-going, comprehensive utility programs and investments to accelerate widespread adoption of transportation electrification. SCE’s plans will complement stakeholders’ efforts to expand available charging infrastructure, deliver effective market education and outreach, encourage incentives, and improve customers’ experience. SCE will also launch its Clean Fuel Reward program in 2016 to provide incentives to residential EV owners using proceeds from California’s Low Carbon Fuel Standard program.
  • Southern Company and its electric-generating traditional operating companies – Alabama Power, Georgia Power, Gulf Power, and Mississippi Power – have been and will continue to be leaders in the advancement and promotion of the electric transportation market. Southern Company remains active in both the on-road and non-road markets, working with industry, municipalities, government, and the military to further the use of electric transportation and to ensure the development of necessary charging infrastructure. Southern Company is committed to consumer education through social media outreach and community charging programs as well as special concierge events provided through the REVolution program. The Southern Company Energy Innovation Center, meanwhile, continues to facilitate and encourage industry research aimed at improving the effectiveness and cost-efficiency of EV technology.
  • The Edison Electric Institute (EEI) will work with its member electric companies and their associated state regulatory commissions to a) provide the charging infrastructure needed to scale electric transportation, b) develop measures that support the market while controlling costs and ensuring benefits are shared by all customers, and c) engage in direct outreach and education to customers.

Charging Companies

  • ChargePoint commits up to $20 million toward the deployment of a national network of high-speed charging stations as part of public-private partnerships.  This includes research and development investments, site identification, smart city deployments and DC fast charger corridors.  ChargePoint 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. In order to future-proof the network, ChargePoint is committed to developing a line of high-speed DC fast chargers with 125-350 kW charging capacity. ChargePoint commits to work with the broader industry to develop the standards necessary for interoperability, allowing drivers to use one account to charge at stations manufactured by multiple vendors.   ChargePoint commits to make access to its high-speed network simple, accessible and convenient through industry-leading driver services and mobile applications. ChargePoint commits to work with original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) to make data available to help optimize their vehicle programs and better understand driver behavior. ChargePoint commits to work with utilities to make data available to help improve vehicle grid integration and better understand driver behavior.
  • EVgo commits to invest $100 million in EV infrastructure over the next 5 years to expand its nation-leading charging network.  This investment will focus on providing customers with access to high-speed charging at charging rates significantly faster than what is available on the market today.

BUILDING ON PROGRESS

The above-mentioned private sector commitments announced today build on a history of progress to increase EV adoption and promote EV charging infrastructure, which is illustrated by the following:

Automakers

  • BMW Group is dedicated to improving EV technology and increasing EV adoption. In pursuit of this goal, the BMW Grouphas committed to producing BMW iPerformance vehicles, or plug-in hybrid versions of all of its volume models. The first model, the BMW X5 xDrive40e, was released in fall 2015, and was followed this year by the 330e Sedan and the 740e xDrive Sedan. The BMW Group is committed to advancing battery technology through research partnerships, including with the DOE’s Argonne National Laboratory, and will continue to support DC fast charging infrastructure in the United States. BMW successfully launched ‘project i’ with the plug-in hybrid i8 and the all-electric i3 in 2014, and the inclusion of a plug-in hybrid version in all of its volume models.
  • Ford is investing an additional $4.5 billion in electrified vehicle solutions, adding 13 new electrified vehicles to its product portfolio by 2020. More than 40 percent of Ford’s nameplates globally will be electrified by the decade’s end.
  • General Motors will introduce the industry’s first long-range, affordable EV later this year. The Chevrolet Bolt EV will provide more than 200 miles of range on a full charge, be priced under $30,000 (net full federal tax credits) and will be produced at General Motor’s assembly plant  in Orion Township, Michigan. The 2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV, along with the range-extended electric Chevrolet Volt, will soon be included in the General Motors and Lyft Express Drive fleets in select markets. This short-term vehicle access program will provide exposure to EVs from the largest EV fleet in ridesharing to drivers and passengers alike. General Motors also will continue investing in battery technology and expertise, including at the largest battery lab of any automaker in North America, and remain a champion of workplace charging. General Motors has installed over 500 workplace chargers for use by employees and visitors to General Motors campuses around the United States.
  • Mercedes Benz will have 10 plug-in hybrids available by next year.
  • Nissan has sold more than 95,000 LEAF EVs in the United States, and uses a multi-pronged approach to invest with charging partners to install EV charging infrastructure at corporate workplaces, metro communities and Nissan dealerships. Nissan has led the tenfold increase in CHAdeMO fast chargers available nationally since 2013 with now more than 1,840 fast chargers available at retail, hospitality, fueling station, and dealership locations. These fast chargers can charge an all-electric LEAF up to 80 percent in 30 minutes, greatly extending the range of the vehicle. In addition, under the ‘No Charge to Charge’ promotion, Nissan has made over 900 of these public Fast Chargers available for free to new LEAF buyers for 2 years across 38 key markets, with another 12 markets launching in 2016. As a result, Nissan’s expansion of metro-area fast charging will cover cities and communities representing 90 percent of LEAF sales. Nissan continues to work collaboratively with charging network providers, charger manufacturers, utilities, retail site hosts and importantly, other automotive OEMs to ensure the continued growth of open-standard fast charging to expand and connect Nissan’s community charging network investment across the country.
  • Tesla will start volume deliveries of Model 3 in late 2017, which will have a range of at least 200 miles, meaning that affordable long range EVs will be available on the market sooner than analysts predicted. Tesla has already started operations at the $5 billion Gigafactory it is building outside Reno, Nevada, which will manufacture batteries, ensuring that EVs are powered by American-made, high-quality, and affordable batteries.

Charging Companies

  • ChargePoint operates the largest and most open EV charging network in the world, with more than 30,000 total charging spots and over 330 DC fast charging locations. To date, ChargePoint drivers have traveled 396,800,000 miles on the ChargePoint network. Recently, ChargePoint successfully completed the Express Corridor project, in which it deployed nearly 100 DC fast chargers along the East and West Coast, including in partnership BMW.
  • EVgo works closely with automakers like Nissan, BMW, and Ford to develop a vehicle-centric customer experience. These partnerships have brought customers faster charging speeds and more charging locations, allowing EVgo to operate 700 DC fast chargers in more than 35 top metro markets across the country. In 2015, EVgo’s public high-speed charging network delivered more than 21 million EV miles, saving nearly 900,000 gallons of gas and offsetting nearly 10 million pounds of carbon dioxide.

Utilities

  • Avista, in Spokane, Washington, is committed to supporting electric transportation, starting with its first installation of three public EV charging stations in 2010.  Avista followed this with a commitment to electrify its fleet with at least 5 percent of fleet budget allocated to electrification, installation of workplace charging and participation in DOE’s Workplace Charging Challenge, with over 40 port connections planned at its facilities over the next four years; ongoing technical support and education for residential and commercial customers; and collaboration with regional utilities to form the Pacific Northwest Utilities Transportation Electrification Collaborative as a forum to share best practices and accelerate the transition to electric transportation.  Most recently, Avista successfully filed and received approval from the Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission to proceed with a pilot program to install utility-owned EV charging infrastructure at customer homes, businesses and public locations.
  • Consumers Energy has submitted a proposal to the Michigan Public Service Commission to advance EV infrastructure in Michigan. Consumers has developed a  comprehensive program to enable EV travel across the state with the placement of DC fast chargers at 30 locations, increase the presence of Level 2 chargers by 400 units, generate Workplace Charging programs with 40 employers, and reinstate home charging incentives for 2,500 customers. This broad approach will help escalate EV adoption, expand customer transportation options, incite and support Michigan’s motivation toward smart mobility, emerging technologies, job creation, and sustainability.
  • Eversource Energy, with a goal of reducing the region’s carbon footprint, has created EV opportunities for its customers, and employs a multifaceted approach to reducing emissions for its fleet vehicles as well.  As of the end of 2015, there were about 6,500 EVs in the company’s service territory with over 700 publicly accessible charging stations in the region. In 2014, along with other utility members of the Edison Electric Institute, Eversource pledged to commit five percent of its annual fleet spending on EV technologies. The company’s support has funded EV rebates for about 450 vehicles in Connecticut. In Massachusetts, Eversource serves as a commissioner on the Commonwealth’s Zero Emission Vehicle Commission, which serves to study the economic and environmental benefits and costs of increased use of zero emission vehicles in the Commonwealth. Eversource is working with the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources on programs to advance the EV market through a combination of studies, outreach and education, and the rate pilot program.  Eversource is committed to explore solutions that support EV owners in its service territory, while ensuring system reliability for all of its customers.
  • Florida Power and Light (FPL) launched its EV program in late 2010 with a focus on ensuring that it meets customer EV needs, enabling the market to grow, and ensuring reliable service.  Initiatives include education and outreach, technology pilots, employee workplace charging, fleet charging, an EV website, and local, state and federal industry involvement.  The company operates a large electric fleet with over 570 HEVs and 156 PHEVs / EVs, and has installed 74 Level 1 charging stations with 139 charge ports, and 83 Level 2 stations with 160 charge ports to support both its fleet and employee vehicles.  In June 2015, the company joined DOE’s Employee Workplace Charging Challenge and saw employee ownership of EV’s increase 500 percent in 12 months.
  • Georgia Power, the largest subsidiary of Southern Company,launched a Get Current.Drive Electric TM initiative intended to help facilitate the adoption and use of EVs in Georgia.  This comprehensive program promotes public education, the building and operation of public/community charging stations, and the offering of promotional rebates to residential and business customers for installing EV chargers. Through this two-year program, the company estimates that more than 2,500 charging stations will be installed statewide to support current and future EV drivers.
  • The Hawaiian Electric Companies have provided customers with EV charging options since 2010, including discount utility rates for EV charging and partnerships to increase home and public charging opportunities.  Hawaiian Electric, Maui Electric and Hawaii Electric Light companies have installed eight DC fast charging stations on Oahu, Maui and Hawaii Island with more to come. The stations are strategically located to reassure the islands’ growing number of battery EV drivers struggling with range anxiety or unable to charge in their residences. A utility proposal for improved time-of-use rates at present is before regulators. And the JUMPSmartMaui is a collaborative demonstration project between Japan, Hawaii and Maui that incorporates Smart Grid, renewable energy, and all-EV solutions to achieve a cleaner future for Maui.
  • Kansas City Power & Light is deploying over 1,100 charging stations as part of its Clean Charge Network to transform the market in Kansas City, Missouri. The Clean Charge Network is a network of ChargePoint Level 2 charging stations as well as DC fast chargers available to the public at locations throughout the KCP&L’s service territory.  Since deployment of the Clean Charge Network began in January 2015, the Kansas City metropolitan area has become number one in the United States for EV driver growth and has experienced a more than 400 percent increase in EV charging sessions, number of EV drivers, and electrical usage for EV charging.
  • Louisville Gas & Electric Co and Kentucky Utilities Co developed a program that strives to expand EV infrastructure around the Commonwealth of Kentucky. In 2016, the Kentucky Public Service Commission approved the companies’ application to install up to 20 Level 2 public charging stations in its service territories and an unlimited number of private entity sponsored stations. The companies will begin to roll out the stations in 2016.
  • Michigan Utilities in conjunction with the Michigan Public Service Commission introduced a variety of Level 2 home charging reimbursement incentives in 2011. The incentive programs helped stimulate Michigan’s EV adoption with over 3,500 customers participating.
  • National Grid has supported the EV market in the Northeast since 2011 when it began installing more than 150 public charging stations, in partnership with the EVSE industry, host site customers, and state agencies.  Today, more than 3,000 drivers have used these stations, filling up at locations across Rhode Island, Massachusetts, and upstate New York.  National Grid has also installed work place charging in more than 10 different company facilities and hosted multiple “ride-n-drives” for employees.
  • NV Energy, a Berkshire Hathaway Energy operating company, has proudly supported the electrification of transportation in Nevada since 2009.  The company embraced a three-pronged effort and various strategic partnerships to achieve its EV success.  First, it established a favorable rate structure for residential and commercial customers to charge EVs at their homes or businesses, which has the ability to lower both EV charging and overall home or business energy costs.  Second, a shared-investment program and partnership with major customers resulted in more than doubling the number of public charging stations in Nevada.  These public charging stations are providing charges to EV owners at no cost for the first five years. NV Energy’s third major initiative has been to partner with the Nevada Governor’s Office of Energy, the DOT and rural electric associations to develop the Nevada Electric Highway, which is connecting major population centers in the state with a DC fast charging network that aligns with interconnecting highways.
  • Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) continues to expand its fleet of alternative-fuel vehicles—one of the nation’s largest among electric and gas utilities—by investing at least one-third of its annual fleet procurement on EVs, totaling more than $100 million.
  • Portland General Electric (PGE) has demonstrated a commitment to EV charging and education on electrification, including: operation and improvement of “Electric Avenue” – which highlights colocation of 6 chargers, four of which are DC fast chargers; installation of  EV chargers at PGE workplace locations, with 51 total chargers planned; encouraging business customers’ installation of  workplace charging and their participation in the DOE’s Workplace Charging Challenge; delivery of education and technical assistance on electrification to retail customers; and continued annual sponsorship of the EV Roadmap Conference that emphasizes sharing of best practices and lessons learned.
  • PPL Electric Utilities is working to encourage the everyday use of EVs throughout its service territory in central and eastern Pennsylvania. The utility uses 15 Chevy Volt vehicles as part of its fleet, and has developed an internal car-sharing program to make the EV cars available for employees’ business use. PPL also offers free charging to employees through EV chargers installed at several locations. PPL is committed to investing more than 10 percent of its fleet budget on fleet electrification and is committed to buying only bucket trucks with electric lifts. Finally, the company has created a website to share information on cars and incentives with its 1.4 million customers.
  • San Diego Gas & Electric recently received approval from the California Public Utilities Commission to install 3,500 charging stations at 350 locations in San Diego County.
  • Southern California Edison (SCE) recently started a pilot funded by all customers to install up to 1,500 EV charging stations and launch expanded EV market education programs; is conducting a one-year pilot at the Los Angeles Air Force Base to demonstrate vehicle-to-grid vehicles; and recently completed pilots on workplace smart charging for its employees. SCE spent 20 percent of its recent annual fleet budget on electric drive vehicles; offers seven residential and commercial rates designed for transportation electrification; includes EV charging and solar carport as part of its energy efficiency contract with Federal Aviation Administration in Palmdale California; and conducts on-going testing and evaluation of several heavy duty EVs for air districts.
  • Southern Company launched SO Prize in 2014, an internal ideation competition that elicited nearly 1,000 innovative ideas from among the employee workforce. One of the winners of SO Prize was a proposal called REVolution, which provides for a special concierge-type service designed to help consumers pick the best EV for their lifestyle. The REVolution team has since conducted onsite events in Pensacola, Destin, and Panama City, Florida, and is exploring other ways of expanding consumer outreach through online methods. In addition, the Southern Company system’s internal fleet of cars, line trucks and other vehicles is moving toward a goal of being 10 percent electric by 2018.
  • The Edison Electric Institute signed an MOU with the DOE last year that has since led to collaboration between utilities and the Federal government on a wide range of actions, including launching an education and outreach campaign, building analytical support for investment in EV infrastructure and technology, and providing a forum for stakeholder engagement.
  • Westar Energy was an early adopter of EVs with 10 percent of on-road fleet being electric, and has committed more than 5 percent of annual spending on EVs.  Westar also installed 65 charging stations throughout its service territory.  Additionally, Westar has responded to the DOE Workplace Charging Challenge by making EVs available to employees through a centralized vehicle pool for business travel and by providing free workplace charging to employees who purchase EVs.

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Related Stories:

Obama Administration Rolls Out Federal & Private Sector Actions To Scale Energy Storage

White House Targets 350 kW, 10-Minute EV Fast Charging

Tesla, IBM, Stanford, & PNNL Lead Obama’s Battery500 EV Battery Initiative

Images by Cynthia Shahan (with special thanks to David Marsh and his oh-so-cool Dark Green Tesla at the EcoFriendlyFloridaFest and its appealing license plate.)





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About the Author

is a Mother, an Organic Farmer, Licensed Acupuncturist, Anthropology Studies, and mother of four unconditionally loving spirits, teachers, and environmentally conscious beings who have lit the way for me for decades.



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