Washington, DC, U.S.A. — (METERING.COM) — November 18, 2009 – More than a dozen business leaders in the U.S. have come together to form the Electrification Coalition, a nonpartisan, not-for-profit organization committed to promoting policies and actions to facilitate the deployment of electric vehicles (EVs) on a mass scale.
As its first official act, the Coalition has released an Electrification Roadmap¸ setting out a policy guide to transforming the U.S. light-duty ground transportation system, i.e. cars and light trucks, from one that is oil dependent to one powered almost entirely by electricity.
“It is time for business leaders and policymakers alike to step up,” said Frederick W. Smith, chairman, president and CEO of FedEx Corporation. “Our unrelenting dependence on oil has threatened our nation for too long. Up to now, electrification seemed like a pipe dream. But we are offering a realistic, practical, achievable plan to build a transportation system that will enhance our national security, propel economic growth, and reduce carbon dioxide emissions.”
The Roadmap sets out the vision that by 2040, 75 percent of the light-duty vehicle miles traveled in the U.S. should be electric miles. This would reduce oil consumption in the light-duty fleet by more than 75 percent, from 8.6 mbd to 2 mbd, and could effectively reduce the nation’s crude oil imports to zero.
Among its policy recommendations, the Roadmap proposes the creation of electrification “ecosystems,” geographic areas in which all of the elements of an electrified transportation system are deployed, thus providing a crucial first step toward moving electrification beyond a niche product into a dominant, compelling, and ubiquitous concept.
The Roadmap says that while home charging will be important for achieving high rates of EV deployment, public charging is arguably more important for moving past the very early stages of adoption. Especially early on, a readily available network of Level II public charging facilities (208 and 240 V) may assist in minimizing range anxiety. This should be supplemented by public Level III chargers capable of providing a high voltage “fast charge” that can charge vehicle batteries in minutes rather than hours. Level III chargers will also likely need to be deployed along intercity roads to provide charging opportunities for longer trips.
The Roadmap notes that 150 million light-duty EVs each consuming 8 kWh of power a day would represent an additional 440 billion kWh of power consumed each year. However, if much of the vehicle charging takes place during off-peak hours, there may be relatively little need for additional generating capacity. Moreover, by flattening the load curve and increasing the utilization rates of existing power generating plants, utilities should be able to spread their fixed costs over a greater volume of power and reduce maintenance costs, perhaps lowering costs for all of their customers.
Nevertheless utilities will be required to address several issues. Some utilities will have to upgrade distribution level transformers, and along with investments in smart meters and smart charging software, utilities will need to invest in IT infrastructure to support a range of smart grid applications including EVs. Further, both utilities and electricity market retailers will need new rate plans to reliably serve EVs.
The Roadmap also points out that widespread consumer acceptance of electrification will remain a difficult proposition without a change in consumer attitude. The market for these technologies will only reach a “take-off” point if they can offer a compelling alternative to conventional internal combustion engines on either cost or performance grounds.
The members of the Coalition are:
Timothy E. Conver, Chairman, President and CEO, AeroVironment, Inc.
Peter L. Corsell, CEO, GridPoint, Inc.
David W. Crane, President and CEO, NRG Energy, Inc.
Kevin Czinger, President and CEO, Coda Automotive
Peter A. Darbee, Chairman, CEO and President, PG&E Corporation
Seifi Ghasemi, Chairman and CEO, Rockwood Holdings, Inc.
Carlos Ghosn, President and CEO, Nissan Motor Company, Ltd.
Ray Lane, Managing Partner, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers
Richard Lowenthal, Founder and CEO, Coulomb Technologies, Inc.
Alex A. Molinaroli, Chairman, Johnson Controls-Saft and President, Johnson Controls Power Solutions
Reuben Munger, Chairman, Bright Automotive, Inc.
Frederick W. Smith, Chairman, President and CEO, FedEx Corporation
David P. Vieau, President and CEO, A123 Systems, Inc.