From Portland to Charlotte, Ford recently named the top twenty-five cities that are ready for the influx of electric vehicles. By the end of 2012, more than twenty plug-in vehicles will be available on the market. Electric vehicles require different necessities compared to the common gas running cars we are used to driving. Major metropolitan areas and currently working with utility companies to provide an infrastructure for public charging stations to meet the new demands of plug-in cars.
“Over the next twelve months we will see at least 18,000 new change stations in U.S. Cities,” said Mike Tinskey, manager of vehicle electrification and infrastructure for Ford. “Please will start seeing charging stations in some pretty familiar places,” he explained.
The launch of the all-new Ford Focus Electric and the C-MAX Energi plug-in are right around the corner, and more electric vehicles from other automakers will be available over the next two years. With the increasing number of electric vehicles on the road, cities will need to make changes. Ford has compiled the top twenty-five cities not only to recognize which cities are getting EV-ready, but also to encourage other cities to start preparing.
The majority of the cities on the list are those flanking the East and West coast, with very few dotting the middle. According to Tinskey, it is up to city governments to streamline the permit process for the installation of EV charging stations. In addition, it is up to local utility companies to offer incentives for off-peak charging. Right now the biggest challenge for cities become EV-ready is budgetary constraints.
The twenty-five cities were not chosen on a single item, but rather a collection of items that help break down the barriers for plug-in and electric vehicles. “Some of the things we’ve seen in terms of the cities that are on our list of twenty-five include an advisory committee that looks at the electric utility partnerships, the OEM partnerships and even with the municipalities and cities,” commented Tinskey.
“A lot of decisions need to be made, like what the signage should look like, and whether or not local businesses can charge for the electricity, or just for the parking spot,” Tinskey said. “It ends up being an equal pull from the city and the local electric company. Then add a company like Ford, and it becomes the three-legged stool.”
For individuals who are considering buying an electric vehicle, Ford not only has the cars, but also the technology to make switching to an electric vehicle and easy transition. If consumers buy a Ford product with a navigation system, charging stations for local areas are displayed throughout the navigation system.
Individuals can also play a more active role in electrification within local government at the township or city level. Helping to streamline the permit process for installing outlets in homes and public areas is one of the first stepping stones. Consumers can also learn more about charging stations and other information for their area from the Alternative Fuels and Advanced Vehicles Data Center.