Washington, D.C. (April 19, 2011) – As part of the Obama Administration’s efforts to reduce U.S. oil imports by one-third by 2025, Energy Secretary Steven Chu on Tuesday announced new steps underway at the Department of Energy to accelerate the deployment of electric vehicles.
This includes the availability of $5 million in new funding for community-based efforts to deploy electric vehicle (EV) infrastructure and charging stations. He also outlined a partnership with Google Inc. and more than 80 EV stakeholders to help consumers find charging stations nationwide.
Secretary Chu and Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood made the announcement on a conference call with Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper, Tucson Mayor Bob Walkup, and St. Paul Mayor Christopher Coleman – leaders of three of the nation’s nearly 100 Clean Cities Coalitions.
“The Department of Energy’s Clean Cities initiative is bringing together local governments and industry to demonstrate the benefits of advanced technology vehicles and help communities use less oil and gasoline to power their vehicles,” said Secretary Chu. “The initiatives announced today are just the latest steps in our broader efforts to reduce America’s dependence on oil, improve our energy security, and save families and businesses money.”
Under the $5 million in electric vehicle funding announced today, local governments and private companies will partner to apply for funding to help accelerate installation of electric vehicle charging stations and infrastructure. Communities will work to develop plans and strategies for EV deployment, update their EV permitting processes, develop incentive programs, or launch other local or regional initiatives that improve the experience of EV users and help bring these highly energy-efficient vehicles in the marketplace.
More information on the Funding Opportunity Announcement, including application instructions and deadlines, is available https://www.fedconnect.net/FedConnect/PublicPages/PublicSearch/Public_Opportunities.aspx under the title “DE-FOA-0000451 Clean Cities FY 2011 FOA.”
In a related effort, DOE’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) is joining with Google Inc. and various industry leaders to provide consumers with consistent, up-to-date information about the EV charging stations in communities nationwide.
Drawing on Google Maps, this new collaboration will coordinate an online network of all U.S. charging stations and will serve as the primary data source for GPS and mapping services tracking electric vehicle charging locations. More information is available on the Alternative Fuels and Advanced Vehicles Data Center at http://www.afdc.energy.gov/afdc/vehicles/geoevse.php.
The Clean Cities Program is a public-private partnership that brings together federal, state and local governments, the auto industry, private sector fleet operators, and community leaders to help communities make their vehicle fleets more energy efficient. Since its inception in 1993, Clean Cities Coalitions and its stakeholders have saved nearly 3 billion gallons of gasoline. The Clean Cities Program supports a broad portfolio of technologies, including alternative and renewable fuels, fuel economy measures, idle reduction technologies, and emerging technologies like electric vehicles. More information on the Clean Cities program is available at http://www1.eere.energy.gov/cleancities.
Tucson, Arizona; Denver, Colorado; and St. Paul, Minnesota have been three of the leaders nationally in developing policies to reduce the dependence on oil and gasoline locally. Projects underway include the deployment of electric vehicles and chargers, E85 flex fuel vehicles and infrastructure, biodiesel facilities that turn used cooking oil into vehicle fuel, natural gas vehicles, and consumer education efforts.
The Twin Cities Clean Cities effort is by far the leading city in the nation with displacing 135,175,133 gallons of gasoline. The nearest second place city is Phoenix, with its Valley of the Sun Clean Cities program that displaced 86,739,806.