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US Energy Department Accelerates the Deployment of Advanced Vehicle Technologies with Private Industry Partnerships

published: 2013-03-07 14:16

As part of the Obama Administration’s commitment to speeding the transition to more sustainable energy sources that will help drive economic growth, the Energy Department announced 16 major U.S. employers and two stakeholder groups have joined the Workplace Charging Challenge to give more American workers access to new transportation options, while another three U.S. corporations have joined the National Clean Fleets Partnership. These steps support President Obama’s goal to drive new technology that offers more vehicle fueling options to American consumers, as highlighted in his State of the Union address.

“The market for energy-efficient and electric vehicles is expanding dramatically, giving drivers and businesses more options to save money on fuel while reducing carbon pollution,” said Energy Secretary Steven Chu. “These American companies are taking strong steps to make their operations smarter and more fuel-efficient – setting an example for others to follow and helping America lead the global race for a growing industry.”

Workplace Charging Challenge

As part of the Energy Department’s EV Everywhere Grand Challenge, which celebrates its one-year anniversary this month, the Department today announced 16 new Partner employers have joined the Challenge, which aims to expand the availability of workplace charging for American workers – increasing the convenience of plug-in electric vehicles (PEVs) and providing drivers with more options.

More than doubling the original set of partners announced in January, these new partners include AVL, Bentley Systems, Biogen Idec, Bloomberg LP, The Coca-Cola Company, the City of Sacramento, Dell, Facebook, The Hartford, The Hertz Corporation, National Grid, New York Power Authority, NRG Energy, OSRAM SYLVANIA, Raytheon Company and Southern California Edison. By signing the Workplace Charging Pledge, each Partner organization commits to assessing workforce PEV charging demands, and then developing and implementing a plan to install workplace charging infrastructure for at least one major worksite location. In addition, the California Center for Sustainable Energy and the Green Parking Council have signed the Ambassador Pledge to develop and execute plans to support and promote the workplace charging initiative.

The Workplace Charging Challenge is a collaborative effort to increase the number of U.S. employers offering workplace charging by tenfold in the next five years. The Challenge also supports to the broader efforts of the EV Everywhere Grand Challenge, announced last year by President Obama, to make PEVs as affordable and convenient for the American family as gasoline-powered vehicles within the next 10 years.

PEVs can offer consumers significant advantages over gasoline-powered vehicles, including savings on fuel costs, added convenience and reduced maintenance costs. Electricity is also cheaper than gasoline to power a vehicle – generally equivalent to about $1 per gallon.

National Clean Fleets Partnership

The Energy Department also announced today that three new corporate partners – AMP Americas, Kwik Trip and Waste Management – are joining the National Clean Fleets Partnership, a broad public-private partnership that assists the nation’s largest fleet operators in reducing the amount of gasoline and diesel they use nationwide.

The new partners announced today join with 18 other major national companies that are improving the fuel economy of their commercial fleets, integrating alternative fuels like natural gas and electricity into their daily operations and reducing their overall fuel use.

The National Clean Fleets Partnership, first announced by President Obama in 2011, aims to speed the deployment of clean, energy-efficient vehicles and the infrastructure to support their widespread use. Through the partnership, Energy Department experts provide each company with specialized resources, technical expertise and support to develop a comprehensive strategy to reduce their fleets’ oil consumption. The Department also helps connect partners with clean fuel providers and equipment manufacturers where their fleets operate.

The new partners announced today have already begun taking action to develop and implement fuel-efficiency projects across their fleets. Serving more than 400 retail convenience stores across the Midwest, Kwik Trip both sells alternative fuels and uses them in its own fleet, AMP Americas is running 42 Class 8 long-haul trucks on natural gas, and Waste Management has the nation’s largest fleet of heavy-duty trucks that run on natural gas. The company has more than 2,000 trucks running on natural gas in North America and is working to convert its entire 18,000-truck fleet.

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