A plug-in hybrid medium-duty vehicle programme: a national programme co-ordinated by the EPRI to procure three hundred and seventy eight vehicles for fifty fleets in the US. A total of USD 45.4 million has been allocated in federal stimulus funds for the development of electric vehicles and their commercialisation.
A solar assisted plug-in vehicle charging project: the EPRI, NYPA and Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) are developing a grid-connected, scalable solar covered parking canopy with vehicle charging.
A utility-automaker plug-in vehicle programme: the EPRI has formed partnerships with vehicle manufacturers to develop and test plug-in electric vehicles, and the NYPA is involved in vehicle demonstration projects with Ford and General Motors.
The Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 mandates a 40% increase in fuel economy standards for automobiles and light trucks over the next 10 years. By 2014 it is expected that plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) will be cost competitive with conventional cars. Two years’ later it is expected that will be USD 3,400 more expensive than existing hybrid vehicles; have a 40-mile all-electric range; be equivalent to 100 miles per gallon vehicles; and PHEV batteries will meet industry standards for economic life and safety. Whether these measures promote the domestic or export market remain to be seen.
Funding has also been given to eTec’s BEV Infrastructure Project. A USD 99.8 million grant from the Department of Energy will be used to deploy 10,950 LBEVel-2 220 volts/2 to 4-hour charging systems and 250 LBEVel-3 up to 480 volts/15 minute charging systems in eleven cities in Arizona, California, Oregon, Tennessee and Washington states, as part of a project involving Nissan and electric utilities. This is in addition to a BEV corridor built by SolarCity and Tesla Motors, an electric-car developer, along a 497-mile stretch of Highway 101. This is comprised of five Level 2 charging stations and a BEV corridor, which are located between San Francisco and LA.