February 24, 2012 – Washington, DC – Community level adoption of emerging electric drive technology is critical to spurring growth and adoption at the national level, the Electric Drive Transportation Association (EDTA) said today. A more electrified transportation fleet can be a vital solution to reducing America’s dependence on foreign oil, creating a cleaner, healthier environment and boosting the U.S. economy. A number of U.S. communities are already demonstrating their commitment to that solution by becoming EV-friendly, including: Austin, Los Angeles, Normal, Ill., and Mercer Island, Wash.
“These cities are truly the pioneers for electric drive across America,” said EDTA President Brian Wynne. “EV-friendly communities are developing charging infrastructure, creating policies to support electric drive, and have strong programs in place to offer local residents cost savings and other non-financial incentives to drive electric. Local and state public-private partnerships are also important for accelerating national electric vehicle adoption, as they help expand manufacturing and grow jobs in the electric drive industry.”
Some key examples of these local electric drive programs and policies include:
- Austin: Austin Energy has created the first charging station network to be powered completely by renewable energy through Austin Energy’s GreenChoice© program
- Mitsubishi Motors, manufacturer of the Mitsubishi i battery electric vehicle, has partnered with this Illinois community to create EV Town,
- : Mercer Island is promoting the MI Green Ribbon Commission Carbon Challenge
- Los Angeles: Los Angeles Department of Water and Power
“Knowing that electricity is even cheaper in off-peak hours will inspire EV owners to charge during these times and will thus decrease the stress placed on the power grid, offering efficient use of already available electric power that would otherwise be lost,” said Scott Briasco, manager of fleet environmental compliance and electric transportation for the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power.
EDTA offers some tips for how other communities can become more EV-friendly:
- Partner with a local utility to offer rebates for customers who use home charging systems for their electric vehicle, or offer overall reduced rates for customers who are charging electric vehicles at home;
- Offer a variety of incentives—such as tax credits, access to HOV lanes, fast-tracking permitting processes and/or free parking benefits to consumers who purchase and drive an electric car;
- Identify code changes for new construction to make it easier to install public charging stations; and
EDTA will also present a leading EV-friendly community with the E-Visionary Award at the 26thInternational Electric Vehicle Symposium (EVS26.org) in Los Angeles from May 6-9, 2012. Two other international cities will also receive an E-Visionary award at EVS26 from the European Association for Battery, Hybrid and Fuel Cell Electric Vehicles and the Electric Vehicle Association of Asia Pacific.
E-Visionary recipients have placed high expectations on electric drive technology regarding investment, performance and their recognitionof the advantages that electrification provides. The honorees will have worked tremendously to ensure that their communities thrive, while also leaving a much lighter ‘footprint’ on the environment. Each winner of this award has demonstrated long-term thought and concern for the health of their community by choosing electric drive as a means to achieve better air quality and increased fuel economy for their fleets.