Private-Sector Companies Pledge Support for the Deployment of Electric Vehicles in Northeast and Mid-Atlantic States
The Transportation and Climate Initiative announced this week that seventy organizations have pledged to help facilitate the deployment of electric vehicles in the northeastern United States - in large part due to work being done by states to develop the Northeast Electric Vehicle Network.
The network is a project of the Transportation and Climate Initiative and was launched in late 2011 to enable travelers to drive plug-in cars and trucks throughout northern New England to DC and everywhere in between.
Organizations stepping forward to pledge their commitment include BMW, Frito Lay, Ford, Price Chopper, IKEA, National Grid, Public Service Electric and Gas Company (PSE&G), and Ceres' BICEP on behalf of its member companies, which include Starbucks, Nike, eBay and Clif Bar.
"Many of these companies have long been supporters of electric vehicles," said Beverley Swaim-Staley, Secretary of the Maryland Department of Transportation. "Our goal here is to get everyone working together - both the public and the private sector - so that our region can maximize resources and lead the way in the deployment of electric vehicles."
"We're seeing a lot of momentum build behind this effort, and that bodes very well for the future."
Frito Lay, for example, currently has 47 electric trucks in the Northeast, and plans to add another 30 to its fleet in the TCI region in 2012. Others, like ECOtality, Coulomb Technologies and AeroVironment have pledged to work with the initiative to better understand and help overcome electric vehicle deployment obstacles.
"The commitment and support from these organizations is critical to TCI developing an electric vehicle infrastructure throughout the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic, said Francis J. Murray Jr., President and CEO of NYSERDA. "In New York, Governor Cuomo recently awarded funding for the installation of 325 electric vehicle charging stations throughout the State which will complement the efforts of the other states within TCI."
Additional early signers of TCI's pledge to support the deployment of electric vehicles include: the Electric Drive Transportation Association, the Baltimore Electric Vehicle Initiative, Mass Audubon, Converdant Vehicles, The Bozzuto Group, Atlantic County Utilities Authority, Vanasse Hangen Brustlin, Conservation Law Foundation, American National Standards Institute, Project Get Ready Rhode Island, Environment Northeast, Southern New Hampshire Planning Commission, The Climate Group, Timber Rock Energy Solutions, Pair Networks Inc., Consolidated Edison Company of New York, Central Connecticut Regional Planning Agency, Maryland Science Center, City of Albany, University of Albany, City of Baltimore, Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus, AutoPort, Vermont Energy Investment Corporation, Fuji Electric Corp. of America, Green Mountain Power, Partnerships 1, Vermont Department of Public Service, Vermont Electric Power Company, EVermont, SemaConnect, Beacon Hill Athletic Club, Pittsburgh Climate Initiative, Howard County, Pittsburgh Region Clean Cities, and Ceres' BICEP on behalf of their member companies, which also include Annie's Inc., Anvil Knitwear, Aspen Skiing Company, Avon Products, Ben and Jerry's, Eileen Fisher, Gap Inc., Jones Lang LaSalle, KB Home, Levi Strauss & Co., Limited Brands, New Belgium Brewing, The North Face, Outdoor Industry Association, Seventh Generation, Stonyfield Farm, Symantec and Timberland.
Additional stakeholders are expected to continue signing the pledge, and TCI officials say they will continue to work with the private and public sector and NGOs to obtain additional voluntary commitments in support of electric vehicles.
Last week, transportation, environment and energy agency heads from 11 states and the District of Columbia advanced that effort, meeting with a number of company executives at their third annual TCI Summit to develop a shared vision that promotes the use of alternative fuels in the region. Companies that participated in the discussion included UPS, Coulomb Technologies, Nissan North America, and National Grid.
Agency heads also discussed next steps on efforts to foster sustainable communities, improve freight efficiency and make mobile apps more accessible to relieve congestion, promote transit use and locate and reserve electric vehicle charging stations.
Jurisdictions participating in the Transportation and Climate Initiative are Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and Vermont. TCI states work closely with Clean Cities Coalitions throughout the region on the Northeast Electric Vehicle Network.
The Transportation and Climate Initiative (TCI) is a collaboration of 11 states and the District of Columbia that seeks to expand the clean energy economy in the transportation sector and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The TCI is facilitated by the Georgetown Climate Center through funding from the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, Emily Hall Tremaine Foundation, Rockefeller Foundation, Oak Foundation, Barr Foundation, Surdna Foundation and NYSERDA through a U.S. Department of Energy Electric Vehicle Readiness Planning Grant.