Early adopters will eagerly purchase the first grid-enabled vehicles once they hit the market. The primary challenge will be in expanding the market beyond these narrow groups to the general population of drivers. This will ensure that GEVs have a meaningful impact on U.S. energy security and that they do not become niche products. To facilitate that process, the government should launch a select number of electrification ecosystems — communities chosen on a competitive basis in which resources are concentrated in order to promote the deployment of GEVs. In doing so, a range of market participants can work together to demonstrate that GEVs meet drivers’ needs. Ecosystems will also allow participants to learn which business models work for supplying, selling, and servicing GEVs and help to create economies of scale. The lessons learned in electrification ecosystems can serve to inform other communities, thereby lowering the cost of deployment and accelerating national deployment rates.
Concentrating government resources in a small number of communities to serve as electrification ecosystems provides the United States the best opportunity to deploy a large number of GEVs as quickly as possible and achieve President Obama’s goal of placing 1 million electric vehicles on the road by 2015.
4.2 Demonstration Projects
Investing in electrification ecosystems will allow all interested parties to work together to demonstrate the viability of GEVs and identify business models that will allow each portion of the GEV supply chain to operate profitably, while taking advantage of the economies of scale achievable by concentrating resources in a select number of communities.
4.3 Phase One: 2010 — 2013
Between 2010 and 2013, the government can help lay the groundwork for the deployment of 700,000 GEVs in six to eight American cities. The effort will require a combination of focused government subsidies for consumers and utilities, in addition to the installation of a public charging network and other measures of support.
4.4 Phase Two: 2014–2018
By 2014, the electrification ecosystem program should expand to an additional 20 to 25 cities. Target deployment should be 7 million GEVs by 2018. By employing lessons learned in phase one, phase two ecosystems can achieve greater scale at reduced cost.
Hostile state actors, insurgents, and terrorists have made clear their intention to use oil as a strategic weapon against the United States. Steadily rising global oil prices add to the danger by exacerbating tensions among consuming nations. And excessive reliance on oil constrains the totality of U.S. foreign policy and burdens a U.S. military that stands constantly ready as the protector of last resort for the vital arteries of the global oil economy. Our dependence on oil not only undermines our national security and the conduct of our foreign policy, it undermines our economic strength. High and volatile prices result in the loss of hundreds of billions of dollars in our economy each year; destroy household, business and government budgets; and have been contributing, if not primary, factors leading to every recession over the past 40 years. It is impossible to escape the conclusion that reducing U.S. oil dependence is a critical task for the current generation of Americans.
ELECTRIFICATION ROADMAP: PART 2 – CHALLENGES & OPPORTUNITIES