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EV Everywhere: America’s Plug-In Electric Vehicle Market Charges Forward

January 22, 2014 - 6:35pm

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The EV Everywhere Grand Challenge is the Energy Department’s 10-year vision to enable the U.S. to be the first nation in the world to produce plug-in electric vehicles that are as affordable for the average American family as today’s gasoline powered vehicles by 2022. This Challenge is bringing together America’s best and brightest scientists, engineers, and businesses to work collaboratively to make plug-in electric vehicles less expensive and more convenient to own and drive. Follow this series to learn about just a few examples of how this vision is becoming a reality.

Advanced technology vehicles from carmakers throughout the world were on display at the Washington Auto Show today as Secretary Moniz described the Energy Department’s progress on improving plug-in electric vehicles. With U.S oil consumption at one-fifth of the world’s total and our transportation system producing a third of the country’s carbon pollution, improving plug-in electric vehicle technology and increasing the number of plug-in electric vehicles is essential.

In 2012, the Energy Department launched the EV Everywhere Grand Challenge with the goal for the U.S. to be the first nation in the world to produce plug-in electric vehicles that are as affordable and convenient for the average American family as today’s gasoline-powered vehicles within the next 10 years. As the Secretary explained, the Energy Department, partnering with industry and national laboratories, continues to help expand the plug-in electric vehicle market.

FUELING AN EVER-GROWING FLEET

Plug-in electric vehicles are an increasingly common sight on America’s roadways. Today, there are more than 15 models on the market and sales have doubled from 2012 to 2013. In fact, plug-in electric vehicles’ rate of growth is higher than the rate of growth hybrids experienced after their market introduction. Infrastructure to support this tremendous growth is sprouting up as well. Nearly 7,000 public locations across the country offer charging stations, which drivers can find using the Alternative Fuel Station Locator website and iPhone app

REPORTING R&D SUCCESS

The Energy Department’s role in this success is highlighted in the new "EV Everywhere Grand Challenge: Road to Success" report. The report identifies key successes and milestones that the Energy Department has accomplished from the original EV Everywhere Blueprint, which outlined broad steps for the Department and industry to take in order to move towards these goals.   

In particular, the Department’s research and development work helped lower the volume production cost of electric drive vehicle batteries from $625/kWh in 2010 to $325/kWh in 2014, a decrease of about 50%. This reduction could lead to a substantial drop in the average price of plug-in electric vehicles.

CHARGING UP AT WORK

The Energy Department is also making it easier for plug-in electric vehicle drivers to charge up through the Workplace Charging Challenge. The Challenge, launched at last year’s Washington Auto Show, aims to increase the number of U.S. employers offering workplace charging by tenfold in the next five years.

Since its initial 13 partners, the Challenge has expanded to more than 50 partners who have installed or pledged to install charging for their workforce. 

SUPPORTING FUTURE ADVANCEMENTS

To maintain this momentum, the Energy Department continues to support innovative research.  The Department just released a new funding opportunity for more than $49 million to reduce the cost and improve the performance of critical vehicle technologies that increase fuel efficiency and accelerate the adoption of plug-in electric vehicles.  The funding will support the development of technologies that cut costs for consumers and improve vehicle performance, including:

  • Advanced light-weighting materials,
  • Innovative battery technologies,
  • Cost-effective power electronics,
  • Advanced heating, ventilation, air conditioning systems,
  • Improved fuels and lubricants.

Through the EV Everywhere Grand Challenge, the Energy Departmentin partnership with industry and the Department’s national laboratoriesis helping reduce the nation’s dependence on carbon-based fuels, strengthen our economy, and protect the planet for future generations. 

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