Washington, D.C. – The Electrification Coalition (EC) today recognizes the Department of Energy’s (DOE) decision to allocate $4.5 billion in loan guarantees to expand the nation’s electric vehicle charging infrastructure and encourage the widespread adoption of electric vehicles. Increasing fuel diversity in the transport sector is an urgent priority to sever the nation’s dependence on oil and boost American energy security.
“Charging infrastructure is an important priority when getting electric vehicles on the road, but it’s not the only piece of the puzzle,” said Robbie Diamond, CEO of the Electrification Coalition. “Dollar for dollar, infrastructure is most valuable when it is accompanied by robust consumer education, public-private partnerships, experiential marketing, and support from the business community.”
The EC notes a number of important considerations when it comes to EV deployment and charging infrastructure:
- The U.S. transportation sector relies on oil for more than 92 percent of its energy, a dependence that undermines national security and economic prosperity due to anticompetitive behavior of foreign governments and national oil companies. Last year, the United States spent almost $600 billion on petroleum fuels. The sooner the transportation sector diversifies away from a single fuel source, the better.
- Given those anti-competitive forces, public investment in the U.S. is necessary to decouple our transport system from the global oil market.
- EVs offer consumers an opportunity to opt-out of the uncertainties of the global oil market and rely instead on electricity for transportation, which is diverse and domestic in source and stable in price.
- Development of a robust charging network sends an important signal to potential buyers that EVs are a viable choice, not hindered by infrastructure availability.
- Simultaneously, 90 percent of charging occurs at home and in the workplace. Priority should be given to projects that boost charging at these locations.
- Fast-charging is a key component of improving public electric vehicle charging infrastructure.
- In addition to building infrastructure to alleviate range anxiety, experiential marketing campaigns—putting motorists behind the wheel of an electric vehicle to familiarize them with the technology—has proven to be a highly effective method of overcoming consumer reticence, increasing exposure to new vehicle models and, ultimately, boosting electric vehicle sales.
- The EC advocates for use of accelerator communities as a policy tool—targeted geographic regions for EV deployment in which everything necessary to support this important technology is deployed simultaneously.
- Installation of alternative fuel infrastructure through corridors, for both natural gas trucking and electric vehicle fast-charging, can serve to amplify the benefits of public funding while maximizing oil savings.
Over the past four years the Electrification Coalition has launched a thriving EV accelerator community in Northern Colorado, where electric vehicle sales are often over three times the national average on a percentage basis. Drive Electric Northern Colorado (DENC) leverages partnerships with the local government, university, dealerships, and the business community to educate consumers on the benefits of electric vehicle ownership. Critical to this approach has been an experiential marketing program, workplace charging, and a favorable regulatory framework to drive EV adoption. Additionally, residents are never more than six miles from a charging station. The EC is currently working to apply the lessons from its success towards the $50 million Smart City Challenge project in Columbus, Ohio.
About the Electrification Coalition
The Electrification Coalition is a nonpartisan, nonprofit group of business leaders committed to promoting policies and actions that reduce America’s dependence on oil by facilitating the deployment of electric vehicles on a mass scale. The members of the Electrification Coalition are leaders of companies representing the entire value chain of an electrified transportation system. For more information, visit www.electrificationcoalition.org.