I enjoy being a staff writer for 3BL Media/Justmeans on topics - Social Innovation, Social Enterprise and Social Entrepreneurs. When I am not writing for 3BL Media/Justmeans, I wear my other hat as owner of Serendipity PR. Over the years I have worked with high-profile, big, powerful brands and organisations within the public, not-for-profit and corporate sectors; and won awards from my industry...
America's Electric Vehicle Workplace Charging Challenge
Sales of plug-in Electric Vehicles (EV) in the U.S. more than tripled in 2012 and continue to grow. The Obama administration has invested $7.5 billion, and billions more have been invested by car manufacturers, including companies like Ford, Nissan and BMW, who are putting out eight more new models of plug-in vehicles on U.S. roads this year. Nissan has invested $5 billion in electric cars while General Motors has invested a $1 billion. This continued support for the mass adoption of the EV is crucial, particularly as environmentalists believe it will help to control greenhouse gas emissions. All this means getting American drivers to think about what they are driving.
To help start changing habits and encourage more people to drive EVs, General Motors, in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), has joined 12 other companies to become founding Partners of the DOE's Workplace Charging Challenge. The goal is to increase the number of employers with workplace charging tenfold within five years. Successfully meeting the challenge will help strengthen the nation's expanding EV infrastructure and increase consumer exposure to plug-in cars.
The DOE will provide technical assistance and establish a network where Partners and Ambassadors can share best practices. Mike Robinson, GM Vice President, Sustainability and Global Regulatory Affairs says, "Since the introduction of the Chevrolet Volt, we have made a commitment to lead by example on workplace charging and to engage in encouraging other companies to help provide the infrastructure supporting the electric vehicle market. Now with 239 workplace charging spots for the use of GM employees to charge their personal plug-in vehicles, we are primed to meet this challenge."
The other 12 participating companies who are part of the pledge to promote workplace charging stations are 3M; Chrysler LLC; Duke Energy; Eli Lilly and Company; Ford Motor Co.; General Electric; Google; Nissan; San Diego Gas & Electric; Siemens; Tesla and Verizon. Behind the workplace charging goal is the EV Everywhere Challenge, which is dedicated to accelerating the development, affordability, convenience and commercialisation of the next generation of plug-in EVs to be on par with today's petrol fueled vehicles.
EVs have great potential for increasing the U.S.'s energy, economic, and environmental security, and can play a key role in the country's transportation future. Transitioning to these types of cars could reduce America's foreign oil dependence by more than 80 per cent and greenhouse gas emissions by more than 60 per cent. That's why social innovation initiatives like Workplace Charging Challenge and EV Everywhere Challenge are important. Together they also underpin the U.S.'s ambition to become the first nation in the world to produce plug-in EVs that are as affordable for the average American family as today's gas-powered vehicles within the next 10 years.
Photo Credit: U.S. Department of Energy