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On the Hill/Around the Nation
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Wednesday, February 23, 2011
feature story
Website Reveals Early Lessons in Electric Vehicle Deployment

Cities and states have new blueprints to follow as they prepare for the arrival of plug-in electric vehicles. The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) just released an online collection of case studies in electric vehicle deployment. The case studies detail the early experiences of four U.S. locations on the leading edge of home charging implementation.

All-electric vehicles (EVs) and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) hold great promise for reducing U.S. dependence on foreign oil. However, before widespread adoption is possible, cities and states must have the appropriate systems in place for deployment of home charging equipment.

NREL developed the online resource for DOE’s Clean Cities initiative, which works to reduce petroleum consumption in transportation. The newly compiled information is housed on Clean Cities’ Alternative Fuels and Advanced Vehicles Data Center (AFDC) at www.afdc.energy.gov/plugin_case_studies.

“This first-of-its-kind collection of information will prove invaluable to cities and regions that are getting ready for electric vehicles,” Clean Cities Co-Director Linda Bluestein said. “They can take advantage of the work done by early leaders, so no one will have to reinvent the electrically powered wheel.”

The new Plug-in Hybrid and All-Electric Vehicle Deployment Case Studies section of the AFDC website offers ideas for industry leaders and public officials looking for answers on residential charger permitting procedures, tax incentives, regulatory mechanisms, technical guidelines, equipment inspection requirements, and more.

Among the case studies is a detailed account of Oregon’s path to plugging in. Manufacturers and public officials there are working with consumers to deploy charging equipment in 900 residences and 1,150 public locations in and between the cities of Portland, Salem, Eugene, and Corvallis. The case study includes Oregon’s step-by-step process for permitting, installation, and inspection of home charging equipment. And it provides links to a trove of Oregon’s legislation, regulations, and reports that other regions can use in their own deployment efforts.

“EVs and PHEVs have the potential to transform transportation in our nation,” Bluestein said. “Preparation by municipalities, utilities, states, and regions will determine how quickly and smoothly that transformation takes place.”

The other locations featured on the website include Raleigh, Houston, and Los Angeles. All the case studies are housed within the comprehensive Hybrid, Plug-in Hybrid, and All-Electric Vehicles section of the AFDC website at www.afdc.energy.gov/electricdrive.

The AFDC is produced by NREL for the Clean Cities initiative, a government-industry partnership of DOE’s Vehicle Technologies Program.

NREL is the Department of Energy’s primary national laboratory for renewable energy and energy efficiency research and development. NREL is operated for DOE by The Alliance for Sustainable Energy, LLC.

Source: National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL)

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