Energy Secretary Chu Announces New Funding and Partnership with Google to Promote Electric Vehicles

Washington, DC–(ENEWSPF)–April 19, 2011.  As part of the Obama Administration’s efforts to reduce U.S. oil imports by one-third by 2025, Energy Secretary Steven Chu today announced new steps underway at the Department of Energy to accelerate the deployment of electric vehicles.  This includes the availability of $5 million in new funding for community-based efforts to deploy electric vehicle (EV) infrastructure and charging stations. He also outlined a partnership with Google Inc. and more than 80 EV stakeholders to help consumers find charging stations nationwide. Secretary Chu and Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood made the announcement on a conference call with Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper, Tucson Mayor Bob Walkup, and St. Paul Mayor Christopher Coleman – leaders of three of the nation’s nearly 100 Clean Cities Coalitions.

“The Department of Energy’s Clean Cities initiative is bringing together local governments and industry to demonstrate the benefits of advanced technology vehicles and help communities use less oil and gasoline to power their vehicles,” said Secretary Chu. “The initiatives announced today are just the latest steps in our broader efforts to reduce America’s dependence on oil, improve our energy security, and save families and businesses money.”

Under the $5 million in electric vehicle funding announced today, local governments and private companies will partner to apply for funding to help 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. More information on the Funding Opportunity Announcement, including application instructions and deadlines, is available FedConnect.net under the title “DE-FOA-0000451 Clean Cities FY 2011 FOA.”

In a related effort, 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).

The Clean Cities Program is a public-private partnership that brings together federal, state and local governments, the auto industry, private sector fleet operators, and community leaders to help communities make their vehicle fleets more energy efficient. Since its inception in 1993, Clean Cities Coalitions and its stakeholders have saved nearly 3 billion gallons of gasoline. The Clean Cities Program supports a broad portfolio of technologies, including alternative and renewable fuels, fuel economy measures, idle reduction technologies, and emerging technologies like electric vehicles.  Read more information on the Clean Cities program.

Tucson, Arizona; Denver, Colorado; and St. Paul, Minnesota have been three of the leaders nationally in developing policies to reduce the dependence on oil and gasoline locally.  Projects underway include the deployment of electric vehicles and chargers, E85 flex fuel vehicles and infrastructure, biodiesel facilities that turn used cooking oil into vehicle fuel, natural gas vehicles, and consumer education efforts.

Below is a chart of top 25 Clean Cities Coalitions and amount of gasoline their efforts have helped displace from 2005-2009:

Rank State Coalition Cumulative Displacement 2005-2009 (Gallons of Gasoline)
1 MN Twin Cities Clean Cities 135,175,133
2 AZ Valley of the Sun Clean Cities (Phoenix) 86,739,806
3 OH Clean Fuels Ohio 84,137,431
4 IN Greater Indiana Clean Cities 67,576,029
5 NY New York City and Lower Hudson Valley Clean Communities 63,728,157
6 MD State of Maryland Clean Cities 53,849,126
7 IL Chicago Clean Cities 47,758,243
8 CA Los Angeles Clean Cities 47,524,841
9 TX Dallas-Ft. Worth Clean Cities 44,525,015
10 CA Southern California Clean Cities 42,295,552
11 KY Commonwealth Clean Cities Partnership 38,495,681
12 AZ Tucson Clean Cities 37,138,418
13 NY Greater Long Island Clean Cities 32,865,885
14 CA Western Riverside County Clean Cities 31,734,027
15 WI Puget Sound Clean Cities (Seattle) 29,387,885
16 MO St. Louis Clean Cities 29,269,485
17 KS Kansas City Regional Clean Cities 27,409,150
18 CA San Joaquin Valley Clean Cities 26,569,597
19 CO Denver Clean Cities 24,030,743
20 UT Utah Clean Cities 23,577,151
21 OR Columbia-Willamette Clean Cities 22,495,293
22 CA San Diego Clean Fuels Coalition 21,765,744
23 GA Clean Cities-Atlanta 21,172,066
24 TX Central Texas Clean Cities (Austin) 20,218,686
25 NV Las Vegas Clean Cities 19,687,387

Source: energy.gov