The Obama administration, a reliable booster of electromobility, has announced a new package of measures aimed at helping to put more EVs on the road. While EVangelists may be disappointed that the package contains little in the way of new money or mandates, it will hopefully lay the groundwork for more cooperation among governments, private companies and other institutions in the EV ecosystem.
Perhaps the most substantial part of the package is the expansion of a federal loan guarantee program to include EV charging stations. The DOE has issued a supplement to its Title XVII Renewable Energy and Efficient Energy Projects Solicitation, clarifying that certain EV charging facilities are now eligible for the program, which can provide up to $4.5 billion in loan guarantees.
There’s a long list of other measures, some new, some previously announced:
50 industry players, including automakers, utilities and charging providers, have signed on to a set of Guiding Principles to Promote Electric Vehicles and Charging Infrastructure.
The Energy and Transportation departments are teaming up to develop a guide for the federal government’s EV and charging infrastructure incentives, including available financing and funding.
As part of the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act, the DOT will solicit nominations from state and local officials to identify the best locations for EV charging corridors.
State and local governments will be encouraged to join forces with federal agencies to maximize their collective buying power for fleet vehicle and charging infrastructure purchases. The federal government has already committed to purchase more than 500 plug-in vehicles (although skeptics fear that many of these will be PHEVs that seldom get plugged in).
The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy will host an EV “hackathon” this fall, where coders, data scientists and interested members of the public will collaborate to develop new electrification solutions.
The Pacific Northwest National Laboratory is leading the Battery500 research consortium, which will receive up to $10 million per year for five years to drive progress on DOE’s goal of bringing battery costs below $100/kWh.