DOE Award Supports Largest Single Deployment of EVs and Infrastructure Yet; Up to 5,000 Nissan LEAF EVs in 5 Regions
One of the projects receiving support in the massive $2.4-billion award for advanced battery and electric drive projects from the US Department of Energy (DOE) (earlier post) will result in the largest deployment of an electric vehicle and supporting charging infrastructure yet undertaken.
Lead grant applicant Electric Transportation Engineering Corporation (eTec), a subsidiary of ECOtality, received a $99.8 million award, which will be matched by regional project participants for a combined value of approximately $199.6 million, for installation of approximately 2,500 charging stations in each of five markets: Tennessee, Oregon, San Diego, Seattle and the Phoenix/Tucson region. The project will also deploy up to 1,000 Nissan LEAF EVs (earlier post) in each market, for a total EV deployment of up to 5,000 units.
The project will collect and analyze data characterizing vehicle use in diverse topographies and climate conditions, evaluate the effectiveness of charging infrastructure, and conduct trials of various revenue systems for commercial and public charging infrastructure.
To test and analyze electric vehicle usage and charging patterns in a simulated, mature charging environment, the deployment of charging infrastructure will target major population areas.
Nissan appreciates the support of the Department of Energy in helping jumpstart the electrification of the transportation sector. This is a major step in promoting zero-emission mobility in the United States. Nissan is looking forward to partnering with eTec to help make electric cars a reality and to help establish the charging networks in key markets.—Scott Becker vice president, Legal and General Counsel, Nissan North America
Nissan introduced the LEAF on 2 August. Designed specifically for a lithium-ion battery-powered chassis, Nissan LEAF is a medium-size hatchback that comfortably seats five adults and has a range of 100 miles on a city drive cycle (LA4). The Nissan LEAF will launch in the United States in late 2010. US production is planned to begin in late 2012 at Nissan’s manufacturing facility in Smyrna, Tenn.
Other demonstration/trial projects in the award. The DOE award funds a number of other plug-in demonstration projects, though no single project has the same scale as the Nissan/eTec project. Projects include:
- $70 million to Chrysler to develop, validate and deploy 220 plug-in hybrid electric pickups and minivans
- $45.4 million to California’s South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD) to develop a production plug-in hybrid system for Class 2-5 vehicles and to demonstrate a fleet of 378 trucks and shuttle buses.
- $39.2 million to Navistar to develop and deploy 400 battery electric delivery trucks with a 100-mile range.
- $30.5 million to GM to demonstrate the Volt EREV, with 125 Volts to electric utilities and 500 Volt EREVs to consumers
- $30 million to Ford to deploy up to 150 PHEVs, including 130 Escape PHEVs and 20 Ford E450 Van PHEVs
- $10 million to Smith Electric Vehicles to develop and deploy up to 100 electric commercial vehicles, including the Ampere, Faraday, Step Vans and Newton.
Combined, the awards are supporting the deployment and trial of up to 6,873 plug-in hybrid or battery electric vehicles.