Secretary Chu Highlights More Than 1,800 Electric Vehicle Chargers Installed Under the Recovery Act

May 13, 2011

As part of the Obama Administration's comprehensive plan to address rising gas prices and reduce oil imports one-third by 2025, U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu today announced that to date, more than 1,800 electric vehicle chargers have been installed under the Recovery Act. Coulomb Technologies, ECOtality, General Motors, and others have been moving forward to install the charging stations as part of the administration's investments in U.S. electric vehicle manufacturing and alternative vehicle infrastructure. Secretary Chu made the announcement at an event today in Exposition Park in Los Angeles, California, where he was joined by Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and Coulomb Technologies founder and Chief Technology Officer Richard Lowenthal. The event marked the installation of the 500th electric vehicle (EV) charger by Coulomb, which received a $15 million award under the Recovery Act.

"President Obama has set an ambitious goal of putting 1 million electric vehicles on the road by 2015. Investing in the U.S. electric vehicle industry will help us reduce our dependence on foreign oil, create jobs for U.S. workers, and provide American families and businesses with alternatives to protect them from future spikes in gas prices," said Secretary Chu. "Building energy-saving electric cars and trucks, and the infrastructure to power them, will help Americans save money at the pump and improve the nation's energy security."

Since 2009, DOE has invested more than $5 billion in grants and loans to spur the growth of America's electric vehicle and advanced battery manufacturing industry. These investments are supporting U.S. manufacturers and small businesses as they expand to better compete in this fast-growing global market.

Under the Transportation Electrification Initiative, which received $400 million under the Recovery Act, companies are developing, deploying, and analyzing EVs and EV infrastructure, and educating the public to help accelerate the market adoption of advanced electric-drive vehicles. The eight projects under the Transportation Electrification Initiative, including Coulomb's project, represent the world's largest electric vehicle demonstration project and will result in the deployment of over 13,000 grid-connected vehicles and over 22,000 charging points in residential, commercial, and public locations nationwide by December 2013. Through these cost-shared projects, DOE will collect information about how consumers use and charge electric vehicles, which will be critical to informing the broader rollout of electric vehicles and chargers nationwide.

Coulomb's project includes the deployment of electric vehicles, including 2,000 GM Volt, 200 Ford Transit Connect, 100 Ford Focus EV, and 100 Smart EV vehicles, as well as establishing 4,600 EV charging locations nationwide. The vehicles and charging infrastructure will be deployed in residential, workplace, and public locations in Austin, Texas, Los Angeles, California, New York, New York, Orlando, Florida, Redmond, Washington, Sacramento, California, San Francisco, California, Southern Michigan, and Washington, D.C. In addition to DOE's investment, Coulomb is providing $22.9 million in cost share for a total project value of $37.9 million. Coulomb is based in Campbell, California, and manufactures its charging equipment in San José, California.

To further build on the foundation laid out under the Recovery Act, DOE recently announced the availability of $5 million in electric vehicle funding for local governments and private companies to continue to 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. These projects will leverage the best practices and lessons learned from the initial deployment projects under the Recovery Act. Learn more about DOE's Funding and Partnership with Google to Promote Electric Vehicles.

Additionally, 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 (AFDC).

Keep up with more ideas and innovations to realize a secure energy future at DOE's EnergyBlog. View the most recent EnergyBlog post on electric vehicles.