TheObama administration released a plan to accelerate electric vehicle adoption inthe U.S., including providing up to $4.5 billion in loan guarantees to supportcommercial-scale innovative EV-charging facilities.
The plancenters on deployment of electric vehicles and charging infrastructure and willinvolve both federal and private sector entities. Participants include a groupof nearly 50 electric utilities, car manufacturers and the state of California,among other stakeholders.
"Byworking together across the federal government and with the private sector, wecan ensure that electric vehicle drivers have access to charging stations athome, at work, and on the road — creating a new way of thinking abouttransportation that will drive America forward," the White House said.
OnJuly 21, the U.S. Department of Energy's Loan Program Office issued asupplement to its Title XVII Renewable Energy and Efficient Energy ProjectsSolicitation to make certain EV charging facilities and associated hardware andsoftware eligible for support.
Anotherpart of the plan will identify zero-emission and alternative fuel corridorsacross the country, including for EV charging. To fulfill this goal, the U.S.Department of Transportation is seeking nominations from state and localofficials to help designate alternative fuel corridors with the aim of creatinga "national network of alternative fuel facilities."
Inaddition, the Office of Federal Sustainability will invite state, county andmunicipal governments to partner on procurement of electric vehicles andaggregate EV and charging infrastructure purchases in an effort to lower costsand expand technology availability.
Otherkey parts of the plan include a White House-hosted electric vehicle"hackathon" this fall to develop new solutions for EV charging; a newguide from DOE and DOT on federal funding, financing and technical assistancefor electric vehicles and charging stations, including applicable tax creditsand incentives; and a commitment from 35 new businesses, nonprofits,universities and utilities to provide EV charging access for their workforces.
Theinitiative is intended to make it easier and more affordable for consumers tocharge EVs and to enhance U.S. manufacturing competitiveness in the space.Those efforts could increase the number of electric vehicle charging stations,which have climbed from less than 500 in 2008 to more than 16,000 today, theWhite House said.
Inaddition to supporting a lower-emitting vehicle fleet than traditionalpetroleum-fueled cars and trucks, the deployment of EVs and charging stationscould provide a new source of demand for electric utilities. The administration's newplan would partly address vehicle-grid integration through solutions such asdemand response, to avoid potential disruptions from multiple chargers turning on at thesame time to take advantage of time-of-use utility rates.