view from the states
Compiled by Mike Koshmrl,
There are now seven highway-capa- ble mass-production consumer electric vehicles (EV) and plug-in
hybrid electric vehicles (PHEV) for sale in
the United States, with eight or 10 more
scheduled for sale within the next year
(for more information, see our high-efficiency cars feature on page 32). Adoption of this first wave of EVs is coming
faster in some areas than others, based
largely on local acceptance by dealers,
drivers — and municipalities.
Accommodating for an EV future
goes beyond building a bunch of charging stations (see the article “
EV-Charging Infrastructure,” by Daniel Davids,
page 28). Utilities must be prepared for
new electric load demands. Local governments will need to adopt permitting processes, develop incentives and
establish EV signage and other ways to
educate drivers about the availability
and proper use of charging stations.
Cities are essential to these developments. In 2010, Roland Berger Strategy
Consultants ( rolandberger.com) and
the Rocky Mountain Institute ( rmi.org)
took a snapshot view of the 50 largest U.S. cities’ EV preparations in their
report “Electric Vehicles in America.”
RMI also leads Project Get Ready (pro
jectgetready.com), which helps cities
overcome obstacles to PHEV adoption.
Here are updated summaries of 10 cities that are leading the charge toward
*Data from Roland Berger and the U. S. Department of
Energy’s (DOE’s) Alternative Fuels and Advanced Vehicles
* Charging station count as of April.
Driven to pursue EVs by its strong Climate Action Plan, Seattle
plans to install about 400 public chargers. The Puget Sound
region was a target of ChargePoint America (Coloumb Technologies’ program to provide EV-charging infrastructure to
nine U.S. regions), and there’s charging infrastructure both
from Coulomb Technologies and ECOtality in the area. A local
EV coalition received $1.4 million in DOE funding, which will
go in part toward the purchase of 15 diesel-electric hybrid
With a plan to attain 10 percent of vehicle miles traveled by EVs or PHEVs by 2030, Portland has been a
proactive and progressive leader in the EV space.
Its ECOtality ( ecotality.com) charging infrastructure,
streamlined permitting processes and “Charge Portland” public awareness campaign round out Portland’s
Land at Los Angeles International Airport and you can
a huge surprise that Enterprise Rent-A-Car chose the
L.A. metro area as a pilot location for its EV rentals. EV
infrastructure has been a major priority for one of L.A.
metro’s primary utilities, Southern California Edison,
and Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa. The city is also exploring some innovative incentives, such as free parking
for EV drivers.
• Initial target market for Ford, General Motors,
a goal to make his city the nation’s “EV capital.” It’s
not too far off the mark — as many as 1,000 of the
Department of Energy aims to deploy by the end of
2011 could be in the Bay Area. Meanwhile, City College
a training program for technicians to convert conventional hybrid vehicles to PHEVs.
The Colorado Plug-In Vehicle Working Group, which
Energy Lab, Xcel Energy and Rocky Mountain Institute,
will give Denver a good shot to hit its mark. Boulder,
25 miles to the northwest, is also gearing up for EVs —
it’s the location of a two-year “smart grid” experiment
that uses 18 Toyota Prius PHEVs owned and operated
by the Renewable and Sustainable Energy Institute.
The cars will be used for three months at a time by 108
volunteer Boulder households.
26 June 2011 SOLAR TODAY solartoday.org
Copyright © 2011 by the American Solar Energy Society Inc. All rights reserved.