Good News for PEV Charging, Battery Efforts

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If it all doesn’t go out the window with a new administration next year, there’s some good news on the PEV charging front from the federal government.

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A federal efficient energy loan guarantee program has been expanded to make up to $4.5 billion in loan guarantees available to builders of public PEV charging facilities. The goal is to create a nation-crossing network of super-powerful rapid chargers.

Additionally, the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory will get up to $10 million a year for the next five years to help the Battery 500 research program’s effort to increase the energy density of plug-in-vehicle batteries while slashing PEV battery pack costs to less than $100 per kilowatt-hour. That’s the magic number, researchers say, that will make PEVs competitive, price-wise, with internal combustion vehicles.

To compliment the funding for construction of public PEV charging stations, the Obama Administration also has pulled together a coalition of 50 state, local, and federal agencies and private organizations to identify zero emissions and alternative fuel corridors throughout the country . These are transportation corridors that would be good candidates for installation of chargers and other alternative fuel “filling” stations.

The programs are part of a larger package of “actions to accelerate electric vehicle adoption in the United States” that were announced by the administration in the aftermath of the Energy Department’s recent Sustainable Transportation Summit.