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Jun
17

Virginia Electric Vehicle ‘Get Ready’ Efforts Endorsed by Governor

Governor McDonnell recently endorsed and announced Virginia Clean Cities and stakeholder’s collaborative efforts to plan and address issues for facilitating vehicle electrification in the years ahead.  Working together, state and local government entities, fleets, universities, utilities, civic organizations, vehicle manufacturers, and businesses are represented in the Virginia electrification effort with Virginia Clean Cities through the Rocky Mountain Institute’s Project Get Ready.  During his campaign, McDonnell made transportation and innovative energy issues a priority, including emphasis on transportation fuel alternatives like natural gas and electricity as well as increased efficiency and smarter use of traditional energy sources such as oil.

“Electric cars will be an important means of transportation in the decades ahead, and they will play a role in helping to reduce our demand for foreign sources of energy.” Said Governor McDonnell. “We need to be prepared to integrate these vehicles into our existing transportation system as soon as it is feasible. Under the leadership of Sean Connaughton, my Secretary of Transportation, we are coordinating this effort among private and public entities. I am committed to having Virginia state government lead the way and the Secretary will be looking for every opportunity to transition existing state vehicles to electric power, and introduce new electric vehicles, at the appropriate times. The easier we make it for electric cars to operate in the Commonwealth, the more we will encourage private citizens and businesses, and local governments and agencies, to purchase these vehicles.”

In addition to Virginia’s established electric and nuclear infrastructure, the Commonwealth is home to companies that build high capacity electric vehicle chargers, produce electric motors, convert vehicles, and produce batteries.  Virginia companies have installed charging systems and converted and operated plug-in cars and trucks, and eagerly anticipate the arrival of the Chevy Volt, Nissan Leaf, and Electric Ford Focus as well as units from smaller manufacturers.  Northern Virginia is connected with the Department of Energy funded ChargePoint America charger deployment program in DC, and Charlottesville Virginia is involved in a robust smart grid program.  Even before the US release of electric vehicles late this year from major manufacturers, Virginia fleets currently have 35 electric vehicles through conversions and purchases from niche manufacturers.  Virginia already has one free access charging station available at the New Kent rest stop on Interstate 64.

“Electric cars are here, and this effort will help enable and better prepare Virginia fleets and consumers to purchase these advanced technology and low emissions vehicles if they choose,” said Chelsea Jenkins, Executive Director of Virginia Clean Cities.  “This collaborative effort positions Virginia for real success in transitioning to cleaner domestic sources of energy.”

The Virginia “Get Ready” plan will be refined in the coming months.  Government representation in the effort includes the Virginia Secretary of Transportation, the state Department of Mines Minerals and Energy, the Department of General Services, the Virginia Department of Transportation, the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles, the Virginia Economic Development Partnership, the Motor Vehicle Dealer Board, the US Department of Energy and Clean Cities program, Virginia Clean Cities, Fairfax County, Arlington County, Richmond, Henrico, Chesterfield , James Madison University, and the University of Virginia.

Utility representation includes Dominion Power and Old Dominion Electric Cooperative. Civic involvement includes Electric Vehicle Association of Washington DC, Richmond STIR, the Virginia Automobile Dealers Association, and Virginia Clean Cities. Business representation includes Nissan, Ford, Smith Electric Vehicles, the Advanced Vehicle Research Center, Richmond Segway, Evatran, Plugless Power, Aker Wade, Kollmorgen, Coulomb, and Encell.

Based on likely adoption predictions, infrastructure and vehicle efforts will be initially targeted for the specific regions of Northern Virginia, Charlottesville, Richmond, and Hampton Roads.

For more information about the Virginia electrification effort, please visit:

http://hrccc.org/get-ready/

Or for other press releases:

Governor McDonnell Announces Collaborative Effort to Prepare Commonwealth for Electric Cars– Virginia.gov – June 16, 2010

http://www.governor.virginia.gov/news/viewRelease.cfm?id=207  

Virginia Fleets to Boost Electric Vehicle Use- Government Fleet- June 20, 2010

http://www.government-fleet.com/Channel/Green-Fleet/News/Story/2010/06/Virginia-Fleets-to-Boost-Electric-Vehicle-Use.aspx

Va effort aims to increase electric vehicle use- Associated Press- June 16, 2010

http://www.dailypress.com/news/virginia/dp-va–electricvehicles0616jun16,0,202622.story