steven chu

The big policy announcement at today's Public Policy day at the Washington Auto Show came from Department of Energy Secretary Steven Chu. The news is that President Obama's EV Everywhere program will be expanded to include a Workplace Charging Challenge, a plan to get more electric vehicle charging stations into more workplace parking lots. And the WCC is starting with a bang.

There are 21 Workplace Charging Challenge "founding partners and ambassadors," including all of the Big Three automakers, Nissan, Tesla, Plug In America, Google, Verizon and the Rocky Mountain Institute. By signing the Workplace Charging Pledge, the partners need to "assess workforce PEV charging demands, and then develop and implement a plan to install workplace charging infrastructure for at least one major worksite location." The ambassadors will work to "develop and execute plans to support and promote the workplace charging initiative." Speaking to reporters after the announcement, Chu said the DOE was not at this time providing taxpayer funding to promote the WCC and no target number of installed chargers was given that would indicate success. Press releases from the DOE, PIA and Calstart are available below.

As a refresher, the EV Everywhere program works to reduce the cost of plug-in vehicles, with the goal of making the cost premium for a five-passenger EV take less than five years. More details are available here.
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Thirteen Major Companies Join Energy Department's Workplace Charging Challenge
Challenge Launched to Support and Expand Workplace Charging Availability for U.S. Employees


WASHINGTON – Energy Secretary Steven Chu announced 13 major U.S. employers and eight stakeholder groups have joined the new Workplace Charging Challenge to help expand access to workplace charging stations for American workers across the country. In a speech at the Washington Auto Show, Secretary Chu outlined the new initiative, which aims to expand the availability of workplace charging, increasing the convenience of plug-in electric vehicles (PEVs) and providing drivers with more options.

"The market for electric vehicles is expanding dramatically, giving drivers more options to save money on gasoline while reducing carbon pollution," said Secretary Chu. "These 13 companies are taking strong steps to make charging infrastructure more broadly available to their workforce – setting an example for others to follow and helping America lead the global race for a growing industry."

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 the broader efforts of the Department's EV Everywhere Grand Challenge, announced by President Obama in March 2012, to make PEVs as affordable and convenient for the American family as gasoline-powered vehicles within the next 10 years.

Joined by representatives from several of the founding partner employers, Secretary Chu also announced the first 13 employers that have signed the Workplace Charging Pledge as Partners, including: 3M, Chrysler Group, Duke Energy, Eli Lilly and Company, Ford, GE, GM, Google, Nissan, San Diego Gas & Electric, Siemens, Tesla, and Verizon. The pledge commits each partner organization to assess workforce PEV charging demands, and then develop and implement a plan to install workplace charging infrastructure for at least one major worksite location.

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

Eight stakeholder organizations also have signed the Ambassador Pledge to develop and execute plans to support and promote the workplace charging initiative, including: California PEV Collaborative, CALSTART, Electric Drive Transportation Association, Electrification Coalition, International Parking Institute, NextEnergy, Plug In America, and Rocky Mountain Institute. To support the Partners and Ambassadors who sign the pledge, DOE will provide technical assistance and establish a forum for Partners and Ambassadors to share information.

The Energy Department also released the EV Everywhere Grand Challenge Blueprint, which describes PEV technology and deployment barriers, as well as steps to move forward in achieving the EV Everywhere goal. The full Blueprint can be found HERE.

For more information about the Challenge or EV Everywhere, please visit www.electricvehicles.energy.gov.

PLUG IN AMERICA HELPS DRIVE DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY'S WORKPLACE CHARGING CHALLENGE

Washington, DC, Jan. 31, 2013-Plug In America, the leading voice for consumer adoption of plug-in vehicles, today announced it has joined with the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) on the Workplace Charging Challenge. The program aims to increase the number of employers offering plug-in vehicle charging tenfold within five years. If workplace charging is widely implemented it could double the number of miles driven on clean, affordable, domestic electricity.

"We are proud to be working with the Secretary Chu, the Department of Energy, and the first of many major corporations on the Workplace Charging Challenge," said Jay Friedland, Plug In America's Legislative Director. "We are particularly pleased that our extensive network of EV drivers will be able to help recruit employers to further expand this effort."

Thirteen major U.S. employers and eight stakeholder groups have joined the new Workplace Charging Challenge to help expand access to workplace charging stations for American workers across the country. In a speech at the Washington Auto Show, Secretary Chu outlined the new initiative, which aims to expand the availability of workplace charging, increasing the convenience of plug-in electric vehicles (PEVs) and providing drivers with more options.

"This effort aligns well with Plug In America's new Plug In @ Work Campaign," said Kirk Brown, Managing Director of Plug In America. "Working in close partnership with companies from across the plug in marketplace, utilities, government agencies, and other market supporters, Plug In @ Work brings the entire new electric vehicle marketplace to a particular corporate campus for a day of pre-scheduled test-drives and supporting information about the shift to clean, electric transportation. We also work closely with corporate campuses to support and encourage workplace charging readiness and deployment as part of this national effort."

For more information about the Challenge or EV Everywhere, please visit www.electricvehicles.energy.gov.

About Plug In America: Plug In America is the preeminent advocacy organization advancing the plug-in vehicle market. The nonprofit organization works to accelerate the shift to plug-in vehicles powered by clean, affordable, domestic electricity to reduce our nation's dependence on petroleum and improve the global environment. For more information: http://www.pluginamerica.org.


CALSTART Announces Nationwide Program to Support DOE Pledge and Expand Workplace Charging

WASHINGTON, DC--(Marketwire - Jan 31, 2013) - CALSTART announced a nationwide campaign to expand the number of work places that are electric vehicle friendly and will enable more employers to take part in the Department of Energy's EV Everywhere Workplace Charging Challenge. The goal of the CALSTART program is to ensure that there is at least one EV charger at a workplace for every three plug-in electric vehicles sold nationally.

"The new generation of plug-in vehicles offers employers an unprecedented opportunity to step forward and be leaders in the fight to prevent climate change and reduce the nation's dependence on oil. EV friendly workplaces can make plug-in vehicles practical and affordable. We applaud the DOE's challenge to employers and hope it will encourage them to take action," said CALSTART President and CEO John Boesel.

The Employer Electric Vehicle Initiative (EEVI), to be managed by CALSTART, will be a national campaign to encourage employers to install EV charging stations and take other steps to support the use of electric vehicles by their employees. The EEVI will act a central point of information on best practices and enable facilities managers and sustainability officers to interact and exchange information about the real world and practical issues associated with workplace charging. CALSTART has developed a website to provide information on this campaign: www.evworkplace.org.

CALSTART is already working with organizations in Ohio, Michigan, and California to educate employers and recruit more employers to join the cause and be part of the campaign.

EV drivers are finding that the ability to leave work fully charged is an excellent means to decrease concerns about range. General Motors also reports that workplace charging allows Volt owners to increase the number of all electric miles they drive.

"Many employers are interested in the concept and want to support employees who buy EV's, but they want to do it right and at the lowest cost. The EEVI campaign and our website will be an effective means for employers to learn from each other and develop a set of best practices," Boesel said.

Among the leading employers to date who are working the EEVI and pursuing workplace charging are: Google, 20th Century Fox, Northrup Grumman, and the California Department of General Services. CALSTART has signed on as an official Ambassador of the DOE Workplace Charging Challenge.

"Our campaign is targeting one workplace charger for every three plug-in EV's sold because the number of chargers should keep pace with the over-all growth of the market. Yet, not all plug-in drivers go to work every day, so a one to one ratio is not critical," said Boesel. If EV's sales increase at a rate similar to the hybrid cars, that will result in a need for 300,000 workplace chargers by 2017.

Through its work with employers to date, CALSTART has identified a very high level of enthusiasm, but also questions and issues that arise from the fact that the employer begins to play a role that used to be occupied by a gasoline service station. Among the common issues that arise are about cost. Employers are interested in learning about how much it will cost to install chargers, and also wondering if they should charge for the use of electricity. There are no single answers to any of these questions, and through the EEVI CALSTART is seeking to provide a lot of information about the different paths employers are pursuing, and identifying what's working best.

In 2012, CALSTART installed an 84kW solar system that powers its headquarters and provides electricity for four cars on a daily basis. CALSTART is collecting cost and performance data on its system, and will be helping employers who want to take the additional step and make its employees EV's even better for the environment.

Employers interested in learning about best practices and becoming part of the EEVI should contact CALSTART's Jasna Tomic at (626) 744-5695 or jtomic@calstart.org.