Deployment Communities

The Electrification Coalition’s central policy recommendation is to establish electric vehicle deployment communities in defined geographic areas throughout the United States. This proposal has been supported by the White House and a bipartisan group of members of the House and Senate. It has been included in the President’s Annual Budget and introduced as legislation in both chambers of Congress.

If our deployment community proposal is enacted, defined geographic regions—cities, counties, and even clusters of both—would apply to the Department of Energy for competitive selection. Winning communities would be eligible for temporary, amplified incentives designed to ensure that each of the elements of an electrified transportation system is deployed simultaneously and at scale, thereby providing a crucial first step toward moving electrification beyond a niche product into a dominant, compelling, and ubiquitous concept.

Deployment communities would include all of the elements necessary for the successful market adoption of plug-in electric vehicles (PEVs). These electrified cities and regions will:

  • Move the concept beyond early adopters
  • Drive economies of scale in vehicle manufacturing
  • Facilitate learning by doing

Putting this concept into action, the Electrification Coalition is partnering with the cities of Fort Collins and Loveland, Colorado, and Colorado State University in “Drive Electric Northern Colorado” (DENC), a first-of-its-kind electric vehicle deployment community initiative. DENC brings together key public and private sector stakeholders and focuses on community readiness, consumer education, consumer experience, fleet transition, and deployment in order to create a seamless experience for electric vehicle owners so that  widespread electric vehicle ownership can be achieved. To learn more, please visit

Critically, deployment communities will help avoid the ‘hybrid trap.’ Despite having debuted 13 years ago, the just over 2 million hybrid vehicles now on America’s roads account for less than 1 percent of the total 250 million cars and SUVs. From an energy security perspective, that number is insignificant. Deployment communities will guarantee that electric vehicles are not relegated to a niche product owned and operated solely by environmentalists and technological enthusiasts.

By deploying vehicles at scale in select communities, deployment communities offer a responsible, effective way to finally do what we have talked about doing for decades: ending our dangerous dependence on petroleum.

Featured Quote

“The revolution may not be televised, but it will begin in ‘electricity ecosystems,’ or select cities ripe for high levels of electric-vehicle penetration."

Keith Johnson
Wall Street Journal
November 16, 2009