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C electric vehicle deployment as lead implementation partner.

Washington, D.C. — The Electrification Coalition (EC) offers its congratulations to Columbus, Ohio, just announced as the winner of the Department of Transportation (DOT) Smart City Challenge. Columbus emerged as the winner out of seven finalist cities by offering a highly competitive proposal that shared their innovative vision to transform the city’s transportation sector and revitalize the community. As winner, Columbus will be awarded up to $40 million from DOT to implement its strategy, and an additional $10 million from Paul G. Allen’s Vulcan Inc.

The EC also congratulates the other six semifinalists and the many other cities that offered thoughtful plans. The Electrification Coalition looks forward to continuing the discussion with these cities on how to develop urban transportation systems that are innovative, efficient, and slash oil dependence.

“Columbus showed incredible vision and leadership in developing a community-wide investment to become a national leader in EV adoption. We look forward to working with Columbus to make it a great place to plug in and drive,” said Ben Prochazka, Director of Strategic Initiatives for the Electrification Coalition.

The Columbus proposal demonstrated a comprehensive plan that included a $90 million matching fund from local area businesses. Other notable elements of the city’s plan include:

The Smart City Challenge, which drew applications from 78 cities around the country, created a critical discussion of “what’s possible,” exploring scalable solutions to improve the accessibility and efficiency of urban transportation as well as reducing oil consumption through vehicle electrification. The challenge has spurred cities to propose new ideas that, if implemented, could have far reaching impacts nationwide. Today’s announcement is part of DOT’s strategy to fully embrace technology and innovation to help solve today and tomorrow’s transportation challenges. As DOT’s launch partner, Vulcan’s goal is to catalyze reductions in greenhouse gas emissions through creative and practical solutions to transform transportation.

“Columbus is known as the ‘Test Market of the USA,’ with retail stores and restaurants trying new concepts in Columbus before expanding across the country. With DOT and Vulcan announcing Columbus as the winner of the Smart City Challenge, the Electrification Coalition believes Columbus to be the perfect test market to reshape urban transportation,” said EC President and CEO Robbie Diamond. “This country is desperate for innovation and 21st-century transportation solutions like electric and self-driving cars to end our dangerous dependence on the monopoly of oil in transportation. We are excited to see Columbus lead the way.”

As Vulcan’s implementation partner in the Smart City Challenge, the Electrification Coalition brings a long history of expertise creating and managing comprehensive “deployment communities,”—including the pioneering Drive Electric Orlando and Drive Electric Northern Colorado projects—to accelerate the adoption of electric vehicles. In the public sector, the EC collaborates with mayors and city managers to transition municipal fleets away from petroleum fuels through the Energy Secure Cities Coalition.

The EC looks forward to working with Vulcan and the City of Columbus as it redefines the concept of mobility within its city limits.

Addendum: Press Statements from Corporate Partners of the Smart City Challenge

American Automobile Association (AAA)

“With roads across the country increasingly congested, it’s essential that cities find smart ways to address 21st century challenges by leveraging new technology and data. The DOT’s Smart City Challenge has served as a catalyst for cities doubling-down on transportation innovation, and Columbus is a sterling example of how urban centers can take immediate action to improve safety and efficiency.”

Jill Ingrassia, Managing Director of Government Relations, AAA and Traffic Safety Advocacy and Board Chair of the Intelligent Transportation Society of America


“We’re excited to see a city taking charge in actively piloting new technology solutions for urban mobility, and catalyzing other cities globally to follow suit. BestMile, as a fleet management platform for autonomous vehicles, is perfectly aligned with the Smart City Challenge’s goals and is looking forward to partnering with cities to advance a truly integrated, networked and accessible transportation ecosystem.”


“We firmly believe that the Smart Cities challenge has been fundamental in establishing a culture of meaningful collaboration between the public, private, and not for profit sectors to extract tangible innovation for the 250 million Americans living within cities. Building off of our partnerships with cities around the country and around the world, Bridj is excited to continue to lead the market by working with the Smart Cities participants to deliver the promise of the future city, today.”

Matthew George, CEO, Bridj


“Columbus laid out a compelling and achievable vision for becoming a truly smart city. This transformation will attract a new wave of growth, innovation and job creation to the region. ChargePoint is pleased to support this effort, focusing on how Columbus can drive widespread adoption of electric vehicles and charging stations, allowing everyone to charge their cars everywhere they go. We congratulate Columbus, its leadership and all of the public and private partners for this winning proposal. ChargePoint stands ready to work with Columbus and smart cities across the nation to accelerate the transition to an electrified transportation future.”

Pasquale Romano, President & CEO, ChargePoint

BYD America

“BYD is a proud partner for the U.S. Department of Transportation’s (US DOT) Smart City Challenge, and we look forward to bringing advanced, zero-emission transportation vehicles to this community in the near-future. As the world’s largest electric vehicle manufacturer, BYD knows that clean, zero-emission transportation is readily available and reliable for a variety of vehicle applications. BYD’s mission around the world is to create true zero-emission communities that produce minimal environmental impacts, and I’m excited this community will have the opportunity to soon experience this with BYD as a partner and with the support of the US DOT through this innovative and exciting grant program.”

Stella Li, President, BYD America


“Daimler and its U.S. business units moovel and car2go congratulate Columbus on the city’s winning Smart Cities bid. The smart cities of the future will need to create and use multiple innovative mobility models, and Daimler is excited to work with Columbus to help build a visionary city employing a suite of urban mobility concepts. The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Smart Cities contest will kick-start cities’ initiatives to revolutionize and create the true American cities of the future.”

Jessica Nigro, Manager of Outreach & Innovation Policy, Daimler

DC Solar

“The Smart City Challenge is a visionary initiative, and DC Solar is proud to be named a corporate partner with Vulcan Inc., and the U.S. Department of Transportation. We congratulate Columbus and are thrilled to provide DC Solar’s mobile solar solutions and EV infrastructure on behalf of this program.”

Jeff Carpool, CEO, DC Solar


“It’s certainly a good day to be an Ohioan! We extend our congratulations to Columbus on the exciting news. Shared, connected electric vehicles will be an essential part of developing the city’s next-generation transportation ecosystem, and as a leader in the space we’re pleased to have the opportunity to collaborate on a world-class solution.”

Michael Brylawski, CEO, Evercar


“EVgo congratulates the City of Columbus on winning the Smart City challenge. As that Smart City knows, public high speed electric vehicle charging is key to economic growth in a sustainable manner. As the owner of the nation’s largest high speed public charging network, EVgo stands ready to help Columbus build on the 7 chargers we already have installed on the path to a best in class city-wide fast charging network.”

General Motors

“General Motors congratulates the City of Columbus on their Smart City Challenge win and for their leadership role in transforming urban transportation systems. We look forward to working with the Columbus community and our partner Lyft on how best to incorporate our advanced technology and learnings into real world demonstration.”

Dan Turton, Vice President of Federal and Administrative Affairs, GM


“Greenlots is very excited for Columbus. The Smart City Challenge selection will allow Columbus to transform itself while setting an international example for embracing the future of transportation. Greenlots wishes to congratulate Columbus, but also all of the cities that spent countless hours thinking about the future of transportation in their communities. The Smart City Challenge process has jumpstarted new thinking that will lead to a smarter, safer, and cleaner transportation future in this country.”

Brett Hauser, CEO, Greenlots


Honda congratulates Columbus on earning the Smart City grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation. This represents an important role Columbus and the state of Ohio will play in advancing transportation technology. We believe central Ohio is an ideal place to create and evaluate innovative solutions to critical challenges and we look forward to working with the city and the other Smart City business partners to foster an integrated approach to the future of mobility.

Rick Schostek, Executive Vice President, Honda North America


“By selecting Columbus as the winner of their Smart City Challenge, the U.S. Department of Transportation and Vulcan are sending a strong message about the power of technology to transform mobility for all Americans. We are thrilled to work with the City and our partner General Motors to expand access to affordable, sustainable transportation in Columbus communities, while laying the groundwork for deployment of advanced vehicle technologies.”

Emily Castor, Director of Transportation Policy, Lyft

Momentum Dynamics

“The intent of this program is to demonstrate new technologies that can revolutionize transportation while making our environment healthier—by blending autonomous electric vehicles with autonomous wireless charging from Momentum Dynamics, this program has the potential to be a true model for many other cities.”

Andrew Daga, CEO, Momentum Dynamics


“moovel applauds Columbus for winning the USDOT’s Smart City Challenge. The award will help bring Columbus’ bold vision to life and pave the way for the rapid innovation of mobility in all cities through connected technologies that enhance safety and improved quality of life for our communities. moovel imagines a world where people and cities can take advantage of existing transportation infrastructure in a more efficient and connected way, and we look forward to collaborating with Columbus to implement their winning proposal.”

Joseph Kopser, President, moovel Global


“We congratulate the city of Columbus on winning the Smart City Challenge, and we thank Secretary Foxx, U.S. Department of Transportation and Vulcan for their shared vision of intelligent transportation. As the global leader for EV sales, we look forward to working with the city to help them make that vision a reality. In fact, Nissan recently invested in a network of EV fast chargers, and we are pleased to announce the launch of our No Charge to Charge promotion for Nissan LEAF buyers in the Columbus area beginning July 1.”

Andrew Speaker, Director of EV Sales and Marketing, Nissan


“We congratulate Columbus for winning the Smart City Challenge. Nohm looks forward to working with Columbus to achieve its Smart City goals, as well as other forward-thinking cities to realize the benefits of global electrification. Electrification at scale offers tremendous economic and environmental benefits to cities and businesses, and Nohm is leading the way using its proven zero-emission commercial electric platform to replace carbon-based fuels with clean, connected energy.”

Bryan Hansel, CEO & Founder, Nohm


“PlugShare proudly partners in a spirit of collaboration for change with the Smart City Challenge partners and Columbus to eliminate uncertainty and empower citizens through technology by providing them with reliable data, clean EV charging infrastructure, and a voice in industry decision-making. We will amplify the often unheard voice of the user to design a city that facilitates the movement of goods and people faster, safer, and most importantly a city with cleaner air.”

Ashley Horvat, Vice President of Strategic Initiatives, PlugShare


“Everyone at Proterra would like to congratulate Columbus on winning the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Smart City Challenge and applaud its vision for clean, ubiquitous, and future-proofed mobility. Whether it’s through battery-electric transit or similar sustainable infrastructure solutions, cities across the United States have the potential to drastically reduce greenhouse gas emissions and street congestion. We hope that Columbus’ success will inspire these cities to improve air quality, enhance mobility, and address climate change locally and beyond.”

Ryan Popple, CEO, Proterra


“Telefonix is thrilled to be part of this great program for Columbus as the winner of the Smart City Challenge. EV infrastructure at workplaces, like schools, airports, and medical centers are the perfect locations to encourage and support EV drivers for their Monday through Friday commuting. We at Telefonix are a pound partner and looking forward to helping accelerate EV Adoption in Columbus as well as the other cities that applied for this award.”

XL Hybrids

“As a leader in connected fleet electrification solutions for commercial and municipal fleets, XL Hybrids is proud to support the Smart City Challenge. We developed XL Link™ to provide cloud-based vehicle connectivity solutions and make fleet electrification as cost effective and simple as possible.  Congratulations to Columbus, Ohio!”

Tod Hynes, Founder & CEO, XL Hybrids

 Source Electrification Coalition. Thursday, June 23, 2016

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