Clean Transport

Published on November 7th, 2016 | by Cynthia Shahan

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48 New National EV Charging Corridors — Thank You, President Obama

November 7th, 2016 by  

The Obama administration has been on a role advancing EV charging and EV batteries across the US. The latest news from the administration is that the United State Department of Transportation (DOT) is establishing 48 national electric vehicle charging corridors. Thank you, President Obama, and we hope you and Michelle will be driving in an all-electric vehicle soon as well.

As part of “alternative fuel corridors,” 48 national EV charging corridors are bringing America 21st century transportation infrastructure. “With the designation of the first alternative fuel corridors, FHWA is establishing a national network of alternative fueling and charging infrastructure along national highway system corridors,” the White House press release states.

FHWA intends to support the expansion of this national network through a process that:

  • provides the initial opportunity for a formal corridor designation now and in the future on a rolling basis, without a cap on the number of corridors;
  • ensures that corridor designations are selected based on criteria that promote the “build out” of a national network;
  • develops national signage and branding to help catalyze applicant and public interest;
  • encourages multi-state and regional cooperation and collaboration; and,
    brings together a consortium of stakeholders including state agencies, utilities, alternative fuel providers, and car manufacturers to promote and advance alternative fuel corridor designations in conjunction with the Department of Energy.

A step towards relieving air pollution, this is the first time the DOT will set up EV infrastructure on US highways. We hope The White House sets more examples with this work and adds a lot of all-electric vehicles to its fleet. The administration does aim to cut emissions from federal fleets by 30% by 2025.

The White House highlights recent trends:

“Already, in the past eight years, the number of plug-in electric vehicle models has increased from one to more than 20, battery costs have decreased 70 percent, and we have increased the number of electric vehicle charging stations from less than 500 in 2008 to more than 16,000 today – a 40 fold increase. But there is more work to do. That is why, today, the Administration is announcing key steps forward to accelerate the utilization of electric vehicles and the charging infrastructure needed to support them.”

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fhwa.gov Maps

The announcement explained the goals of the administration, states, localities, and the private sector to direct more people toward longer-distance zero emissions travel.  The new electric vehicle routes cover nearly 25,000 miles, in 35 states.

  • 28 states, utilities, vehicle manufacturers, and change organizations are committing to accelerate the deployment of electric vehicle charging infrastructure on the DOT’s corridors;
  • 24 state and local governments are committing to partner with the Administration and increase the procurement of electric vehicles in their fleets;
  • The United States Department of Energy (DOE) is conducting two studies to evaluate the optimal national electric vehicle charging deployment scenarios, including along DOT’s designated fueling corridors; and
  • 38 new businesses, non-profits, universities, and utilities are signing on to DOE’s Workplace Charging Challenge and committing to provide EV charging access for their workforce.

As we reported at the time and the White House summarized again, “This summer, the Administration opened up to $4.5 billion in loan guarantees to support the commercial-scale deployment of innovative electric vehicle charging facilities and in collaboration with the Administration, nearly 50 industry members signed on to the Guiding Principles to Promote Electric Vehicles and Charging Infrastructure. This effort launched the beginning of a collaboration between the government and industry to increase the deployment of EV charging infrastructure that is carried forward in the announcements today.”

As the deployment of EV charging infrastructure continues along the designated highways, drivers can expect to find existing or planned charging stations every 50 miles, the Obama administration states. Here are two more actions the administration is taking to advance the EV movement:

  • Conducting Two Studies to Evaluate the Optimal National EV Charging Deployment Scenarios: Early next year, DOE plans to publish two studies developed with national laboratories and with input from a range of stakeholders to support broad EV charging infrastructure deployment, including along DOT’s alternative fuel corridors. The first is a national EV infrastructure analysis that identifies the optimal number of charging stations for different EV market penetration scenarios. The second will provide best practices for EV fast charging installation, including system specifications as well as siting, power availability, and capital and maintenance cost considerations.
  • Continuing to Partner with Stakeholders to Build Charging Infrastructure Along the National Charging Corridors: The White House will be convening key stakeholders in November 2016 to continue to encourage state and local governments and businesses to build public electric vehicle charging infrastructure along our national highways.

This comes immediately after the United States Department of Energy’s (DOE) first-ever Sustainable Transportation Summit.

Alongside the administration’s plans to cut emissions from federal government vehicles, 24 and local governments have joined the White House to electrify their fleets. “These new commitments will account for over 2,500 new electric vehicles in 2017 alone, and help pave a path for a sustained level of purchases into the future.”

Here are some highlights of some outstanding states:

  • California state agencies strive to cut greenhouse gas emissions and since 2010, GHG emissions from state operations have been cut in half.
  • Montana’s State Energy Office commits to swapping out two hybrid vehicles for two plug-in hybrid electric vehicles in 2017.
  • Rhode Island commits to purchasing 25 percent of new light-duty state vehicles as electric by 2025.
  • Vermont commits to convert 50 percent of its state motor pool to plug-in electric vehicles by the end of 2017 which far exceeds the previous level of 38 percent.
  • Washington is committed to reducing carbon pollution from the transportation sector and deployment of electric vehicles is a critical element of the governor’s climate strategy.

… and cities and counties:

  • The City of Atlanta has reduced GHG emissions 12.5 percent and fossil fuels by 23 percent since 2008.
    Columbus, Ohio has long served as a committed pioneer of alternative fuel fleet vehicle adoption.
  • The City of Fort Collins is deeply committed to the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions and improving residents’ lives through the efficiencies and savings produced by these efforts.
  • In 2017, the City of Fort Collins commits to purchase seven new electric vehicles, some of which will replace standard gasoline engine vehicles.
  • The City of Denver is proud to join the White House in making an ambitious commitment to incorporate plug-in electric vehicles into our operations.
  • The City of Detroit is committed to modernizing its overall fleet through the use of cleaner transportation technologies.
  • The City of Los Angeles commits to tackle climate change and will procure 50 percent of all new light-duty vehicles as battery electric vehicles by 2017 and 80 percent of municipal-fleet procurements as BEVs by 2025.
  • The City of New York commits to invest in at least autonomous 30 solar power carports for charging of City EV fleet citywide and will also provide some public access as part of this initiative and implement over 200
  • The City of Pittsburgh commits to purchase 6 new electric vehicles annually for the next three years. The charging infrastructure for these vehicles will service the public during the day and charge Pittsburgh’s fleet vehicles at night.
  • The City of Portland, Oregon is deeply committed to reducing carbon emissions. In 1993, Portland was the first U.S. city to develop a plan to address climate change and in 2009 a goal was established to reduce carbon emissions 80 percent from 1990 levels by 2050, with an interim goal of 40 percent by 2030.
  • The City of San Francisco was an early and strong proponent of coordinated urban and regional climate action across jurisdictional and national borders, including efforts to decarbonize both the transportation and energy sectors. to pool resources to lower procurement costs.
  • The City of Seattle is nationally recognized as operating one of the greenest fleets in the country. Seattle was an early investor in fleet electrification, and now operates one of the largest municipal fleet of electric vehicles in the nation.
  • Arlington County, Virginia is committed to a 76 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions from all sources, including transportation, by 2050. To that end, Arlington County commits to ensuring five percent of vehicle-miles traveled by County fleet sedans be in electric vehicles by 2020.
  • Boulder County commits to: Replace 5 sedans with electric vehicles and 9 sports utility vehicles (SUVs) with hybrid SUVs by 2020.
  • The Monterey County Board of Supervisors adopted a Municipal Climate Action Plan (MCAP) in 2013 outlining the Board’s goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions to 15 percent below 2005 emission levels by 2020. In Fiscal year 2015-2016 the county is at 52 percent of its GHG goal in part, through the purchasing of 12 electric vehicles.
  • San Mateo County is committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions with its vehicle purchasing policy requires that new non-specialized vehicle purchases be hybrid, alternative fuel or zero emission vehicles. In 2017, the County is making the following commitments:
  • Sonoma County in California is continuing its commitment to reducing greenhouse gas emissions through integrating plug-in electric vehicles into the County’s Fleet, expanding the electric vehicle charging infrastructure necessary to support these vehicles and encouraging public adoption of the technology.
  • Ulster County, New York, has committed to reducing GHG emissions from County government operations 25 percent by 2025

You can read much more of each state, city, and county in the fact sheet.

Being sensitive to polluted air, I think in terms of breathing in air that does not create grey cancer-building cells and give me brain fogs. EVs are a critical path forward.

Leading US charging station company ChargePoint also appreciates the new measures, of course. CEO Pasquale Romano states:

“This announcement marks a big step forward in the effort to make EV charging available from coast to coast. There are more than 500,000 EVs on the road today, and every day, more Americans make the choice to go electric. This initiative will help make sure that EV drivers can travel anywhere in the country. We appreciate the Obama Administration’s leadership on this issue and are committed to doing our part to make electric transportation a reality nationwide.”

Indeed.

To close, Michelle, for a smoother and more electrifying spell, next time try carpool karaoke in an EV. Still, this is fun:

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Check out our new 93-page EV report, based on over 2,000 surveys collected from EV drivers in 49 of 50 US states, 26 European countries, and 9 Canadian provinces.

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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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