The arrival of plug-in electric vehicles

Cities and states have new blueprints to follow as they prepare for the arrival of plug-in electric vehicles (EVs). The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) just released a convenient online collection of case studies in EV deployment. The case studies detail the early experiences of four U.S. locations on the leading edge of home-charging implementation.

All EVs and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) hold great promise for reducing U.S. dependence on foreign oil. However, before widespread adoption is possible, cities and states must have the appropriate systems in place for deployment of home-charging equipment.

NREL developed the online resource for DOE’s Clean Cities initiative, which works to reduce petroleum consumption in transportation. The newly compiled information is housed on Clean Cities’ Alternative Fuels and Advanced Vehicles Data Center (AFDC) at

“This first-of-its-kind collection of information will prove invaluable to cities and regions that are getting ready for EVs,” Clean Cities Co-Director Linda Bluestein says. “They can take advantage of the work done by early leaders, so no one will have to reinvent the electrically powered wheel.”

The new Plug-in Electric Vehicle Deployment Case Studies section of the AFDC website offers ideas for industry leaders and public officials looking for answers on residential charger permitting procedures, tax incentives, regulatory mechanisms, technical guidelines, and equipment inspection requirements.

Among the case studies is a detailed account of the state of Oregon’s path to plugging in. Manufacturers and public officials there are working with consumers to deploy charging equipment in 900 residences and 1,150 public locations in and between the cities of Portland, Salem, Eugene, and Corvallis. The case study includes Oregon’s step-by-step process for permitting, installation, and inspection of home charging equipment. And it provides links to a trove of Oregon’s legislation, regulations, and reports that other regions can use in their own deployment efforts.

“EVs and PHEVs have the potential to transform transportation in our nation,” Bluestein says. “Preparation by municipalities, utilities, states, and regions will determine how quickly and smoothly that transformation takes place.”

The other locations featured in Deployment Case Studies include Raleigh, N.C., Houston, and Los Angeles. All the case studies are housed within the comprehensive Hybrid, Plug-in Hybrid and All-Electric Vehicle section.