On July 21, 2016, the Obama administration announced, on the heels of the US Department of Energy’s (DOE) first-ever Sustainable Transportation Summit, a set of actions from the federal government, private sector and states, as well as a new framework for collaboration for vehicle manufacturers, electric utilities, electric vehicle charging companies and states, all geared toward accelerating the deployment of electric vehicle charging infrastructure and putting more electric vehicles on the road. This collaboration, forged by the White House in partnership with DOE and the Department of Transportation (DOT), the Air Force and Army, and the Environmental Protection Agency, is centered on a set of Guiding Principles to Promote Electric Vehicles and Charging Infrastructure (copied below) that has been adopted by nearly 50 organizations.

A key related action was the issuance by the DOE’s Loan Program Office (LPO) of a Sixth Supplement to add eligible electric vehicle charging facilities as “Illustrative Distributed Energy Project Technologies” to the LPO’s existing $4.5 billion Loan Guarantee Solicitation for Renewable Energy & Efficient Energy Projects1 under Title XVII of the Energy Policy Act of 2005, as amended.

Guiding Principles to Promote Electric Vehicles and Charging Infrastructure

Building on existing partnerships among federal government, states and communities, electric vehicle and charging infrastructure manufacturers and retailers, electric utilities, national laboratories, universities, and nongovernmental organizations, we endorse the following guiding principles to enhance electric vehicle use and create a national, household, workplace, and urban charging infrastructure that is available to all Americans:

  • Drive the market transformation to electric vehicles by making it easy for consumers to charge their vehicles with grid-connected infrastructure that is accessible, affordable, available and reliable, and interconnected with other low-carbon transportation options where feasible.
  • Promote electric vehicle adoption by increasing access to charging infrastructure and supporting the development of plug-in electric vehicles that are as accessible, available, and convenient as gasoline-powered vehicles.
  • Promote a robust market for vehicle manufacturers, utilities, equipment service providers, and support industries that ensures a consistent user experience, customer choice, and allows for a streamlined permitting process.
  • Enhance American manufacturing competitiveness, innovation, and the development of advanced technology. 
  • Attract and leverage private, State, and Federal investment in electric vehicle deployment, infrastructure, research and development, and education and outreach.
  • Enable smart charging and vehicle grid integration through solutions such as demand response, and other energy storage and load management strategies.
1 The draft of this solicitation was discussed in our April 17, 2014 Legal Update.