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Delaware partners with Northeast states to promote use of electric vehicles

Contact: Joanna Wilson, DNREC Public Affairs, 302-739-9902
Brett Taylor, DelDOT Public Affairs, 302-760-2492
Delaware partners with Northeast states to promote use of electric vehicles
Newly announced $1 million federal grant to support collaboration’s first project

DOVER (Oct. 20, 2011) – A partnership of Northeast states and jurisdictions including Delaware has just finalized an agreement to develop an electric vehicle network to promote and support energy-efficient transportation in the region – and a newly-announced grant of nearly $1 million from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) will kick start the new network’s first project.
The Northeast Electric Vehicle Network agreement involves Delaware and nine other states – Connecticut, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and Vermont – plus the District of Columbia. Through the agreement, the partnership is committed to boosting economic growth, maintaining the region’s leadership role in the clean energy economy and reducing greenhouse gas emissions and dependence on oil by planning transportation infrastructure to support vehicles using fuel sources such as electric, biofuels and natural gas.

The agreement was forged by the Transportation and Climate Initiative (TCI), a consortium including the 10 states and the District of Columbia that formed in 2010 with the goal of developing clean-energy transportation-related projects. The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) was awarded the $994,500 DOE grant in partnership with TCI, and 16 Clean Cities Coalitions, which are DOE-chartered local organizations that promote alternative fuel vehicles.
“Delaware is proud to be part of this regional initiative that will pave the way to more energy-efficient transportation,” said Delaware Governor Jack Markell. “This network and grant helps Delaware and its partnership with other cities and states who want to move forward with developing our clean energy transportation economy and the jobs that will accompany it.”
The network agreement will encourage the use of electric vehicles (EVs) through a variety of means: identifying obstacles to deployment, developing guidelines to locate reliable, convenient charging stations, and creating permitting and zoning language that can be adopted by local governments to make installation of charging stations easier. Work will also include training key stakeholders and promoting public awareness of the benefits of EVs.
“Over the past two years, Delaware has emerged as a national leader in electric vehicles with vehicle-to-grid innovations at the University of Delaware, the attraction of leading plug-in electric hybrid vehicle manufacturer Fisker Automotive, and the growth of electric vehicle conversion company AutoPort,” said DNREC Secretary Collin O’Mara. “Now, with the help of a strong regional partnership agreement and grant funding, Delaware will be able to help accelerate the widespread adoption of electric vehicles across the region and seize greater air quality and economic development benefits for our state.”
“The Northeast Electric Vehicle Network demonstrates how the transportation sector can play a key role in improving air quality and reducing greenhouse gases that affect climate change. Efforts such as TCI also show how transportation, energy and environmental officials across our region can work together to develop alternatives to save our environment while maintaining or improving the quality of life for our citizens,” said Shailen Bhatt, Secretary for the Delaware Department of Transportation.
The DOE Electric Vehicle Readiness Grant will be used to develop a plan to accelerate the introduction of a network of EV charging stations throughout the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic regions to ensure that travelers can drive electric vehicles with ease locally and region-wide, from northern New England to the District of Columbia. The grant project also seeks to attract private investment and encourage development of an EV market both for consumers by making the EV experience common, standardized and easy to use, and for the EV industry by simplifying local regulations, building codes and permitting processes.
Delaware is a leader in electric vehicle technology, development and promotion. The University of Delaware has led the nation in research, with UD professor and engineer Dr. Willett Kempton pioneering vehicle-to-grid (V2G) electric car technology and the first V2G vehicles – production automobiles specially modified by Wilmington-based AutoPort – driving on Delaware roadways. Delaware passed a first-of-its-kind bill in 2009 to allow V2G users to take advantage of the technology by paying for only the net amount of electricity the vehicles draw. On Sept. 26, UD signed an agreement with renewable energy company NRG to promote V2G technology. Delaware is also home to a Fisker Automotive plant in Wilmington, which began gearing up this summer to begin production of electric vehicles.
The Transportation and Climate Initiative is a collaboration between 35 transportation, energy and environmental agencies from 11 states: Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and Vermont, plus the District of Columbia. The Northeast Electric Vehicle Network represents one of several regional projects TCI has launched. Other work includes efforts to improve the efficiency of freight movement throughout the region, expand the use of innovative information and communication technologies in the transportation sector, facilitate a range of alternative fuels and vehicles, and implement the recently announced regional agreement by TCI states to work together to build more sustainable communities. For more information about the Transportation and Climate Initiative, please visit
The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority is a public benefit corporation which offers objective information and analysis, innovation programs, technical expertise and funding to help New Yorkers increase energy efficiency, save money, use renewable energy and reduce reliance on fossil fuels. Other partners involved in the DOE grant are the Georgetown Climate Center, which will receive about half the grant funds to be administered through TCI; the National Association of State Energy Officials; and the 16 Clean Cities Coalitions from the 12 jurisdictions. Sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Vehicle Technologies Program (VTP), Clean Cities is a government-industry partnership designed to reduce petroleum consumption in the transportation sector. Established in 1993, the partnership contributes to the energy, environmental and economic security of the United States by supporting local decisions to reduce our dependence on imported petroleum. Nearly 100 coalitions, government agencies and private companies voluntarily come together under the umbrella of Clean Cities. The Delaware Clean State program was one of the first coalitions established in 1993 and has more than 45 stakeholders.
Vol. 41, No. 404