USA Goes For Coast-to-Coast Zero Emission Mobility

Ford C-Max Energi and Honda Fit EV at a public charging station in front of San Francisco City Hall (Photo by mariordo59)


WASHINGTON, DC, November 7, 2016 (ENS) – The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Highway Administration has announced 55 Interstate highways that will serve as the basis for a national network of alternative fuel corridors spanning 35 states plus the District of Columbia.

The announcement includes designating 48 out of the 55 routes electric vehicle charging corridors, totaling almost 25,000 miles of electric vehicle routes in 35 states.

EV drivers can expect either existing or planned charging stations spaced about every 50 miles.

President Barack Obama in the Oval Office (Photo by Pete Souza courtesy The White House)

The White House will be convening key transportation stakeholders in this month to encourage state and local governments and businesses to build public electric vehicle charging infrastructure along the national highways.

In this final chapter of President Barack Obama’s administration, the White House issued a statement Thursday saying the President continues to be committed to “taking responsible steps to combat climate change, increase access to clean energy technologies, and reduce our dependence on oil.”

Over the the past eight years the number of plug-in electric vehicle models in the U.S. market has increased from one to more than 20, and battery costs have decreased 70 percent. And the USA has increased the number of electric vehicle charging stations across the country from less than 500 in 2008 to more than 16,000 today – a 40 fold increase.

Still, there is plenty of work to do.


To make it easier for drivers to identify and locate charging stations, states designated as “sign-ready” are authorized to use signs developed by FHWA that identify electric vehicle charging stations and other alternative fuels along the highways similar to existing signage that alerts drivers to gas stations, food, and lodging.

To date, 28 states, utilities, vehicle manufacturers, and change organizations have committed to accelerate electric vehicle deployment on the Department of Transportation’s corridors.

These initial and future corridors will serve as a basis for a national network of electric vehicle charging infrastructure to enable coast to coast zero emission mobility.

The Private Sector Shows Interest

These automotive corporations, energy-producers and charge station firms have announced their participation in the Obama Administration’s coast-to-coast zero emission transportation effort:

Ameren Missouri
Berkshire Hathaway Energy

In Seattle, Washington, BMW’s ReachNow car share service held a launch event April 8, 2016. ReachNow has been issued
permits for a fleet of 370 vehicles that are made up of BMW 3 Series, Mini Cooper or electric i3 cars that can use on-street paid parking and zone parking spots, April 2016 (Photo courtesy SDOT)

Connecticut Green Bank
Edison Electric Institute
Electric Drive Transportation Association
EV Connect
Eversource Energy
General Electric
General Motors
Kansas City Power & Light
MidAmerican Energy Company
New York State
NV Energy
Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E)
Pacific Power
Portland General Electric
Public Service Company of New Mexico
Rocky Mountain Power
Southern California Edison
Texas-New Mexico Power
Vision Ridge Partners

Pledges and Actions by States

California state agencies strive to cut greenhouse gas emissions and since 2010, greenhouse gas emissions from state operations have been cut in half.

Incorporating zero-emission vehicles (ZEV) into the state fleet is a central component of the state’s sustainability strategy. Fulfilling a commitment made by Governor Jerry Brown in 2012, more than 10 percent of non-public safety light duty vehicles purchased by the State of California in fiscal years 2014/2015 and 2015/2016 were zero-emission vehicles.

In support of the 2016 ZEV Action Plan, the state commits to increasing the number of non-public safety light duty ZEVs to 50 percent by 2025. To reach that goal, the state will target yearly step increases of five percent beginning in fiscal year 2017/2018, over its current 10 percent purchasing commitment.

For 2017, the State of California commits to purchase a minimum of 150 ZEVs for its fleet, bringing the total to over 600 ZEVs in the state fleet.

California commits to providing electric vehicle charging at a minimum of five percent of state owned parking spaces by 2020.

charging station
A couple waits for their Tesla Model S to charge at the Supercharger station off I-90 in Worthington, Minnesota. (Photo by Michael Hicks)

Minnesota has developed a fleet action plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions that involves transitioning the state’s internal combustion engine light fleet to a fleet integrating hybrid electric vehicles; plug-in electric hybrid vehicles; and zero emission vehicles.

This plan will decrease petroleum consumption by 25 percent and result in a decrease in greenhouse gas emissions of 21 percent. Cost savings for fuel and maintenance is expected to be $2.5 million annually.

Minnesota has set its commitment as follows:
Acquire 25 PHEV/ZEVs in Fiscal Year 2017.
Install 15 Level 2 charging stations in Fiscal Year 2017.
Require all new vehicles have EPA ratings of 7 or higher.
Achieve a fleet composition of 20 PHEV or ZEV by 2027.

Montana’s State Energy Office commits to swapping out two hybrid vehicles for two plug-in hybrid electric vehicles in 2017. These vehicles will be the first plug-in electric vehicles in Montana’s state fleet and will help Montana better understand how electric vehicles can be incorporated into the fleet as well as the charging infrastructure necessary to support these vehicles. Montana commits to reaching out to local governments and universities about opportunities for electrification from the VW settlement allocation.

Rhode Island commits to purchasing 25 percent of new light-duty state vehicles as electric by 2025.

Vermont commits to convert 50 percent of its state motor pool to plug-in electric vehicles by the end of 2017, which far exceeds the previous level of 38 percent.

Vermont is also committing to purchase 10 percent of the total state’s centralized light duty fleet, including agency and department assigned vehicles, as plug-in electric by the end of 2017 which far exceeds the seven percent accomplished this year. And to install one dedicated charging port for each of these vehicles at the locations where they are parked and assigned to employees for state trips.

Washington is committed to reducing carbon pollution from the transportation sector and deployment of electric vehicles is a critical element of the governor’s climate strategy. Last December, Governor Inslee announced a new Washington State Electric Fleets Initiative to accelerate adoption of electric vehicles in public and private fleets. This initiative will ensure that at least 20 percent of all new annual state passenger vehicle purchases are EVs, beginning in 2017.

In 2017, Washington State’s cabinet agencies commit to purchasing 250 EVs and installing 125 new level 2 charging stations.

Pledges and Actions by Cities

The City of Atlanta has reduced Actions emissions 12.5 percent and fossil fuels by 23 percent since 2008. The City commits to further reducing greenhouse gas emissions 40 percent by 2030 through the continued addition of zero emission vehicles and electric infrastructure. The City is encouraging public adoption of electric vehicles and is installing charging stations in 100 dedicated EV parking spaces at the Hartsfield Jackson Atlanta International Airport by the end of 2016.

Atlanta commits to convert 20 percent of its municipal fleet to electric vehicles by 2020 through commitments to:
* – Construct an additional 300 charging stations at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport by the end of 2017.
* – Spend $3,000 dollars per electric vehicle for infrastructure installation through December 2018.
* – Conduct an education campaign for city employees about efficient usage of electric vehicles and charging stations.

Columbus, Ohio was selected as the winner of the Smart Cities Challenge grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation in June 2016. Initiatives under the program include fleet electrification, electric vehicle charging infrastructure, smart lighting and traffic signals, self-driving technology, connected vehicles, transportation apps and other initiatives to modernize Columbus’ transportation system.

Columbus commits to:
Procure 200 electric vehicles for its fleets and install the appropriate charging infrastructure over the next three years.
Add 1,600 new Level 1 and 300 new Level 2 charging stations in the region.
Add 448 electric vehicles to city’s private fleets.

The City of Fort Collins, Colorado is taking strategic actions to reduce its transportation greenhouse gas footprint by purchasing electric and hybrid vehicles.

In 2017, the City of Fort Collins commits to purchase seven new electric vehicles, some of which will replace standard gasoline engine vehicles. Fort Collins will continue to provide an electric charging station for each electric vehicle in the fleet in 2017.

The City of Denver, Colorado is proud to join the White House in making an ambitious commitment to incorporate plug-in electric vehicles into our operations. Denver is leading by example, with the city taking a prominent role in transitioning its operations to more sustainable fuel sources. This action will not only move Denver towards its 2020 sustainability goals and reduce costs, but inspire other businesses, cities and residents to consider how plug-in electric vehicles could work for them. Denver commits to procure and operationalize 200 plug-in electric vehicles and required infrastructure by 2020.

The City of Detroit, Michigan is making new efforts to increase the percentage of city service vehicles that are electric, develop new charging infrastructure, and join the U.S. Department of Energy’s Workplace Charging Challenge.

Detroit commits to:
Purchase 10 percent of service vehicles as plug-in electric in 2017.
Set an annual goal of 10 percent of light-duty replacement vehicles purchased be plug-in electric.
Use low speed Electric Vehicles for transit police and safety and security staff.

The City of Los Angeles commits to tackle climate change and will procure 50 percent of all new light duty vehicles as battery electric vehicles by 2017 and 80 percent of municipal-fleet procurements as BEVs by 2025.

LA commits to nearly triple the city’s current plug-in electric fleet from 165 BEVs and 38 PHEVs to over 400 BEVs and 155 PHEVs by the end of 2017. Of those 352, 200 will be for the LA Police Department.

LA will spend $22.5 million dollars on electric vehicle charging stations by June 2018, which includes making 500 additional public electric vehicle charging stations available throughout the city by the end of 2017, for a total of 1,500.
LA will launch an EV car share for disadvantaged communities by 2017.
LA will electrify 10 percent of the Los Angeles Department of Transportation bus fleet by 2017.
LA will test 20 near-zero emission natural gas tractors at the LA Port and plan for five zero emission plug-in battery yard tractors at the LA Port container terminal.

The City of New York commits to invest in at least autonomous 30 solar power carports for charging of City EV fleet citywide and will also provide some public access as part of this initiative and implement over 200 Stealth alternative power units and batteries in City ambulances that will reduce idling and enable these units to charge up through land based EV chargers.

The City of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania commits to purchase six new electric vehicles annually for the next three years. The charging infrastructure for these vehicles will service the public during the day and charge Pittsburgh’s fleet vehicles at night.

The City of Portland, Oregon is deeply committed to reducing carbon emissions. In 1993, Portland was the first U.S. city to develop a plan to address climate change and in 2009 a goal was established to reduce carbon emissions 80 percent from 1990 levels by 2050, with an interim goal of 40 percent by 2030. Electrifying the transportation system is a critical piece of Portland’s strategy to reduce carbon emissions and Portland’s 2015 Climate Action Plan contains transportation-related actions including a commitment to lead by example by electrifying the City’s fleet vehicles. Portland commits to increasing the percentage of its electric and plug-in electric hybrid sedan fleet from 20 percent to 30 percent by 2020.

The City of San Francisco was an early and strong proponent of coordinated urban and regional climate action across jurisdictional and national borders, including efforts to decarbonize both the transportation and energy sectors.

Ford C-Max Energi and Honda Fit EV at a public charging station in front of San Francisco City Hall (Photo by mariordo59)

From 1990 to 2014, carbon emissions declined 24 percent in the city. San Francisco’s Municipal Transportation Authority operates the city’s historic cable car lines, the nation’s largest fleet of 333 electric trolley buses, plus 151 metro streetcars and 26 historic streetcars. This fleet collectively drives 24.7 percent of the citywide passenger miles traveled and uses clean, greenhouse gas-free electricity from San Francisco’s Hetch Hetchy hydropower system.

To date, the city has procured over 60 electric vehicles and 130 charging stations across 20 municipal facilities. Out of San Francisco’s fleet of 5,200 vehicles, San Francisco commits to purchase a minimum of 10 percent of new Fleet vehicles annually as electric vehicles.

The City of Seattle, Washington is nationally recognized as operating one of the greenest fleets in the country, and now operates one of the largest municipal fleet of electric vehicles in the nation.
Drive Clean Seattle is a key piece of the City’s climate action agenda and is a comprehensive commitment to electrify transportation.

Seattle commits to a 50 percent reduction in greenhouse gas pollution from the municipal fleet by 2025 and will achieve this in part through committing to:
Purchase 100 EVs through 2017, to achieve 40 percent electrification of its current light duty fleet.
Purchase 250 EVs by 2020, with a target of 400 EVs by 2023 to achieve 100 percent of light duty fleet.
Install 200 electric vehicle charging stations for fleet vehicles in 2017/2018, 300 electric vehicle charging stations by 2020 and 400 electric vehicle charging stations by 2023.
Work with Original Equipment Manufacturers to participate in fleet demonstrations of EV technology in medium and heavy duty vehicles over the next five years.

Many smaller municipalities and counties, too, are expanding their electric and plug-in vehicle fleets, installing charging stations and encouraging public adoption of the technology.

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