U.S. Department of Energy - Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy

Clean Cities

DOE Spotlights EV Chargers Installed Under the Recovery Act

May 25, 2011

Photo of a metal box on a pole.

Charging stations like Coulomb Technologies' pole-mounted charging station for electric vehicles are among the more than 1,800 installed so far as part of the DOE initiative.
Credit: Coulomb Technologies

DOE reported on May 13 that as of that date, more than 1,800 electric vehicle (EV) chargers have been installed under the American Recovery and Reinvestment 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. EV manufacturing and alternative vehicle infrastructure. President Obama has set a goal of putting 1 million electric vehicles on the road by 2015. Since 2009, DOE has invested more than $5 billion in grants and loans to spur the growth of the U.S. EV and advanced battery manufacturing industry.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 EVs. The eight projects under the Transportation Electrification Initiative represent the world's largest electric vehicle demonstration project and will result in the deployment of more than 13,000 grid-connected vehicles and 22,000 charging points in residential, commercial, and public locations nationwide by December 2013. Coulomb, which is providing $22.9 million toward the project cost, is deploying EVs—including 2,000 GM Volt, 200 Ford Transit Connect, 100 Ford Focus EV, and 100 Smart EV vehicles—and is establishing 4,600 EV charging locations nationwide. Through these cost-shared projects, DOE will collect information about how consumers use and charge electric vehicles.

To 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 to the marketplace. These projects will leverage the best practices and lessons learned from the initial deployment projects under the Recovery Act. See coverage in the EERE Network News of DOE's partnership with Google. And, DOE's National Renewable Energy Laboratory is joining with Google and industry leaders to provide up-to-date information about EV charging stations nationwide. See the DOE press release and the DOE Alternative Fuels and Advanced Vehicles Data Center.

Also, California-based AeroVironment announced on May 18 that the BMW Group has selected AeroVironment as the preferred provider of electric vehicle charging equipment, accessories, and installation services supporting the introduction of the all-electric BMW ActiveE, a new class of luxury vehicles. ActiveE vehicles will be distributed in the major metropolitan markets of Boston, Los Angeles, New York City, San Diego, the San Francisco Bay Area, and Sacramento. The charging stations will be installed with a 240-volt electric circuit in drivers' home garages. See the AeroVironment press release.