Google, DOE Join to Accelerate Adoption of Electric Vehicles

The US Department of Energy announced a partnership with Google (Nasdaq: GOOG) and more than 80 stakeholders to accelerate adoption of electric cars.

DOE’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) will join with Google and other organizations to provide individuals and businesses with accurate, updated information on the locations of electric vehicle charging stations.

The partnership, called the GeoEVSE Forum, links Google’s mapping technologies and experience together with industry leaders that are installing charging stations in communities across the nation. This goal is to establish a primary data source for GPS and mapping services that track electric vehicle charging stations.

The data generated through the partnership will be housed on DOE’s online Alternative Fuels and Advanced Vehicles Data Center (AFDC), which is managed by NREL and funded by DOE’s Clean Cities initiative.

"Through this collaboration, key players from the electric vehicle and online mapping industries are coming together to ensure a consistent source of charging station location data that will allow consumers to find every charging station throughout the country," says NREL Project Manager Witt Sparks.

Although most EV charging will take place at drivers’ homes, publicly accessible charging stations extend the range of plug-in electric vehicles, giving people more choices for charging while on trips. The partnership will make all the available charging networks clearly accessible to people that need them.

The GeoEVSE Forum is made up of more than 80 public- and private-sector organizations, including charging equipment manufacturers, installers, and charging networks; vehicle manufacturers; Internet and GIS companies; and major consumer goods retailers planning to offer storefront charging. Participants include companies such as Coulomb, Pacific Gas and Electric Co., Tom Tom, and Best Buy.

DOE’s Alternative Fuels and Advanced Vehicles Data Center already provides locations of more than 600 EV charging stations through the Alternative Fueling Station Locator.

The GeoEVSE Forum will enhance the collection, cataloguing, and publishing of information on charging stations found on the AFDC website.

DOE is also making $5 million available to local governments and private companies to install electric vehicle charging stations and infrastructure. Communities will work to develop plans and strategies for EV deployment, update their EV permitting processes, develop incentive programs, or launch other local or regional initiatives that improve the experience of EV users.

More information on the Funding Opportunity Announcement, including application instructions and deadlines, is available under the title "DE-FOA-0000451 Clean Cities FY 2011 FOA."

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