The city of Columbus, Ohio has won the Smart City Challenge, a competition organized by the DOT to encourage cities to develop plans for a 21st-century intelligent transportation system. 78 cities submitted applications for the award, which will provide up to $40 million from the DOT and an additional $10 million from Paul Allen’s Vulcan Inc.
The Columbus proposal, which included a $90-million matching fund from local businesses, calls for the city to expand its municipal EV fleet, and for the area’s 50 largest businesses and institutions to purchase EVs and install charging stations for employees.
Other elements include: improving low-income access to ride-sharing and other public transportation; enhancing smart grid technology, using EVs as distributed energy storage devices; and installing significant wind and solar power generating capacity over the next four years.
“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,” said Robbie Diamond, President of the Electrification Coalition. “Columbus [is] the perfect test market to reshape urban transportation.”