Obama Administration launches series of actions to accelerate EV adoption; inc. $4.5B in loan guarantees, pursuing 350 kW fast charge
The Obama Administration has announced a series of actions from the Federal government, private sector, and states, as well as a new framework for collaboration for vehicle manufacturers, electric utilities, electric vehicle charging companies, and states, all geared towards accelerating the deployment of electric vehicle charging infrastructure and putting more electric vehicles on the road.
The collaboration, forged by the White House in partnership with DOE and the Department of Transportation (DOT), the US Air Force and US Army, and the Environmental Protection Agency, is centered on a set of Guiding Principles to Promote Electric Vehicles and Charging Infrastructure. 46 organizations have signed on to the principles so far.
Among the actions announced are:
Unlocking up to $4.5 billion in loan guarantees and inviting applications to support the commercial-scale deployment of innovative electric vehicle charging facilities;
Launching the FAST Act process to identify zero emission and alternative fuel corridors, including for electric vehicle charging across the country, and standing up an effort to develop a 2020 vision for a national network of electric vehicle fast charging stations that will help determine where along the corridors it makes the most sense to locate the fast charging infrastructure;
Announcing a call for state, county, and municipal governments to partner with the Federal government to procure electric vehicle fleets at a discounted value;
Leveraging the power of data and hosting an Electric Vehicle Hackathon to discover insights and develop new solutions for electric vehicle charging;
Publishing a guide to Federal funding, financing, and technical assistance for electric vehicles and charging stations; and
35 new businesses, non-profits, universities, and utilities signing on to DOE’s Workplace Charging Challenge and committing to provide electric vehicle charging access for their workforce.
During past eight years the number of plug-in electric vehicle models has increased from one to more than 20, battery costs have decreased 70%, and the number of electric vehicle charging stations has increased from less than 500 in 2008 to more than 16,000 today—a 40-fold increase.
Electric vehicle coalition. In collaboration with the Administration, 46 industry members signed on to the following Guiding Principles to Promote Electric Vehicles and Charging Infrastructure. This commitment signifies the beginning of a collaboration between the government and industry to increase the deployment of electric vehicle charging infrastructure.
The text of the Guiding Principles:
Building on existing partnerships among federal government, states and communities, electric vehicle and charging infrastructure manufacturers and retailers, electric utilities, national laboratories, universities, and nongovernmental organizations, we endorse the following guiding principles to enhance electric vehicle use and create a national, household, workplace, and urban charging infrastructure that is available to all Americans:
Drive the market transformation to electric vehicles by making it easy for consumers to charge their vehicles with grid-connected infrastructure that is accessible, affordable, available and reliable, and interconnected with other low-carbon transportation options where feasible.
Promote electric vehicle adoption by increasing access to charging infrastructure and supporting the development of plug-in electric vehicles that are as accessible, available, and convenient as gasoline-powered vehicles.
Promote a robust market for vehicle manufacturers, utilities, equipment service providers, and support industries that ensures a consistent user experience, customer choice, and allows for a streamlined permitting process.
Enhance American manufacturing competitiveness, innovation, and the development of advanced technology.
Attract and leverage private, State, and Federal investment in electric vehicle deployment, infrastructure, research and development, and education and outreach.
Enable smart charging and vehicle grid integration through solutions such as demand response, and other energy storage and load management strategies.
Signatories to the Guiding Principles to Promote Electric Vehicles and Charging Infrastructure include the following industry members, agencies, organizations, and states:
Berkshire Hathaway Energy
California Air Resources Board
Connecticut Green Bank
Dayton Power & Light Company
Edison Electric Institute
Electric Drive Transportation Association (EDTA)
Florida Power and Light Company
Hawai`i Electric Light
Indianapolis Power & Light Company
Kansas City Power & Light
Louisville Gas & Electric and Kentucky Utilities
Mercedes-Benz USA, LLC
National Association of State Energy Officials (NASEO)
NextGen Climate America
New York State
Orange and Rockland
Portland General Electric
PPL Electric Utilities
Pacific Gas & Electric
Puget Sound Energy
Southern California Edison
Southern Company: Alabama Power
Southern Company: Georgia Power
Southern Company: Gulf Power
Southern Company: Mississippi Power
State of California
The Administration also announced a series of executive actions and directions to increase the charging infrastructure in the US.
Charging infrastructure financing:
Unlocking Up $4.5 billion in Loan Guarantees and Inviting Applications to Support Innovative Electric Vehicle Charging Facilities: The DOE’s Loan Program Office (LPO) issued a supplement to its Title XVII Renewable Energy and Efficient Energy (REEE) Projects Solicitation, clarifying that certain electric vehicle (EV) charging facilities—including associated hardware and software—is now an eligible technology under the solicitation.
The solicitation can provide up to $4.5 billion in loan guarantees to support innovative renewable energy and energy efficiency projects in the United States. Loan guarantees can be an important tool to commercialize innovative technologies because these projects may be unable to obtain full commercial financing due to the perceived risks associated with technology that has never been deployed at commercial scale in the United States.
Publishing a Guide to Federal Funding, Financing and Technical Assistance for EVs and Charging Stations: DOE and DOT are publishing a guide to outline specific examples of funding programs, financing incentives, and technical assistance to help advance the nation’s economic, environmental, and energy security, through the support of EVs and charging stations that reduce petroleum use and greenhouse gas emissions from the transportation sector. It will also list current tax credits and incentives applicable to EV charging. The DOE’s Alternative Fuels Data Center provides a comprehensive database of federal and state programs that support EVs and infrastructure.
Supporting the development of electric vehicle charging corridors. The DOT is now soliciting nominations from State and local officials to assist in making designations for alternative fuel corridors. Section 1413 of the FAST Act requires that the Secretary of Transportation designates national EV charging, hydrogen, propane, and natural gas fueling corridors, and the nomination process will ensure that the corridors proposed for designation will create a national network of alternative fuel facilities.
In designating corridors, the DOT will (1) consider the nominated facilities, (2) incorporate existing corridors designated by States, and (3) consider the demand for, and location of, existing fueling stations and infrastructure. DOT will also evaluate applications based on their ability to reduce emissions and collaborate across the public and private sector. Details on this program can be found here or here.
DOE and DOT have also agreed to partner on the development of a 2020 vision for a national network of fast charging stations for EVs in order to facilitate coast to coast, nationwide zero emissions travel.
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:
- siting criteria for charging locations;
- charging and utility infrastructure needs and cost assessment;
- impacts of electric demand charges to consumers and utilities; and
- 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.
Expanding the EV fleet. 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. 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.
Municipal fleet electrification. DOE’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) will be signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the American Public Power Association (APPA) to collaborate on municipal fleet electrification.Through this agreement, EERE and APPA will ensure collaborative efforts to enable electrification of personal and fleet transportation in municipalities throughout the United States. EERE and APPA will provide information to increase education and awareness of the benefit of EVs to public power utilities and local officials, and develop a community action plan focused on smaller communities with fewer than 200,000 electric customers. The partnership will also work to enhance workplace charging efforts at public power utilities, study the impacts of EVs in public power communities, and share insights regarding infrastructure installation and EV interaction with the modern grid.
Technology innovation. The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) will host an EV hackathon this fall. Hackathons are events that bring together coders, data scientists, topic experts, and interested members of the public to discover insights and develop new solutions. The event will take place in concord with the release of anonymized data on EV charging stations to the research and software development community. The ‘EV Hackathon’ represents a unique opportunity to bring together the EV and software communities to collaborate to enhance EV deployment.
On another front, DOE will partner with industry, the National Laboratories, and other stakeholders to develop a study that will examine the vehicle, battery, infrastructure, and economic implications of direct current (DC) fast charging of up to 350 kW, which is expected to be completed by the end of 2016.
A 350 kW charging system could charge a 200-mile range battery in less than 10 minutes. The implementation of DC fast charging has the potential to impact many technology areas and tackle key technological barriers associated with high rate charging (50 kW and above), and fast charging increases the utility of EVs, aides in their adoption, and helps enable widespread use of EVs.
A multi-partner team, led by PNNL as part of the Battery500 research consortium, will receive an award of up to $10 million per year for five years to drive progress on DOE’s goal of reducing the cost of vehicle battery technologies.
Battery costs exceeded $500/kWh when President Obama launched his EV Everywhere Grand Challenge goal of making EVs that are as affordable and convenient for the American family as gasoline-powered vehicles, and low-cost, high performance batteries are a key component of the strategy to attain the President’s goal.
The Battery500 Consortium aims to triple the specific energy (to 500 Wh/kg) relative to today’s battery technology while achieving 1,000 electric vehicles cycles. This will result in a significantly smaller, lighter weight, less expensive battery pack (below $100/kWh) and more affordable EVs. The Battery500 consortium will include four DOE National Laboratories and five universities in an effort aimed at achieving revolutionary advances in battery performance. Consortium partners include the following:
- Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (research partner and advisory board)
- Brookhaven National Laboratory
- Idaho National Laboratory
- SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory
- Binghamton University (State University of New York)
- Stanford University (research partner and advisory board)
- University of California, San Diego
- University of Texas at Austin
- University of Washington
- IBM (advisory board)
- Tesla Motors, Inc. (advisory board)
Increasing charging infrastructure in homes and workplaces. The Standard for High Performance Green Buildings will consider a revision to encourage EV-ready building practices. By employing EV-Ready building practices, multi-unit dwelling and commercial building developers can prepare a facility with electrical infrastructure to accommodate a future charging station installation, resulting in significant cost savings for building owners and tenants.
To encourage more EV-Ready development in cities and states across the country, an EV-Ready building code measure has been introduced to the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) 189.1, a standard for high performance green buildings that in 2018 will become the basis for the International Green Construction Code. Through the adoption of this EV-Ready building practice, cities and states can align with the EV building strategies identified by Federal agencies in the 2016 Guiding Principles for Sustainable Federal Buildings.
Expanding DOE’s Workplace Charging Challenge. DOE’s Workplace Charging Challenge encourages America’s employers to commit to providing EV charging access for their workforce. Participating employers include organizations that are assessing their employees’ need for charging to those who have successfully launched workplace charging programs. DOE’s Workplace Charging Challenge has grown to more than 350 partners since its launch in January 2013, and is on track to meet its goal to partner with 500 United States employers by 2018. The 35 new partners include:
Berkshire Hathaway Energy
CenterPoint Energy, Inc.
City of Seattle
Clean Future, Inc.
Confluence Environmental Center
Duke Energy Carolinas
Duke Energy Florida
Duke Energy Indiana
Duke Energy Kentucky
Duke Energy Ohio
Duke Energy Progress
Eugene Water & Electric Board
Fresh Start Detail Co.
Hawai`i Electric Light Company
Hawaiian Electric Company
Joseph Hughes Construction
Maui Electric Company
Morris Energy Consulting
North American University
North Coast Electric
Orange and Rockland Utilities
Southern Company: Alabama Power
Southern Company: Georgia Power
Southern Company: Gulf Power
Southern Company: Mississippi Power
Southwest Clean Air Agency
Sustainable Future LLC
The Valley Hospital
University of Oregon
Utah Valley Hospital
Private sector commitments to increase EV charging infrastructure. Twelve utilities and charging companies announced 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.
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.
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.