US Government Wants Your Comments On Its “EV Everywhere Grand Challenge”


Although Likely Never To Be Read By Anyone, Your Comments Will Be Electronically Stored Here Forever

The Department of Energy (Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy) through the National Archives and Records Administration has put out a tender for public comment on its freshly minted “EV Everywhere” Grand Challenge.

What is the “EV Everywhere” challenge you ask?

According to the DOE, “The EV Everywhere Grand Challenge is a U.S. Department of Energy “Clean Energy Grand Challenge” with the goal of enabling U.S. companies to be the first in the world to produce plug-in electric vehicles (PEVs) that are as affordable and convenient for the average American family as today’s gasoline-powered vehicles within the next 10 years. President Obama announced the EV Everywhere Challenge on March 7, 2012.”

This EV Everywhere challenge is actually the second of the government’s Clean Energy Grand Challenges.  It is hoped this program will lead the way to having companies (inside the US) produce EVs that are inexpensive, while offering improved electric ranges, along with a vast (and faster) charging infrastructure.

Translation:  There is a $1 billion National Community Deployment Challenge, and $650 million of it has to be spent for advance vehicle and battery tech, and the government figures they should probably talk to ‘the people’ before handing out the cheques this time…because it didn’t go so well from a PR standpoint last time.

Who Knew The Government Even Kept A Journal?

Some highlights of the topics the government is looking for comments on:

EV Everywhere Mission and Scope: Is the mission statement, “to enable U.S. companies to be the first in the world to produce plug-in electric vehicles (PEVs) that are as affordable and convenient for the average American family as today’s gasoline-powered vehicles within the next 10 years” appropriate for the technology development and deployment programs of the Department? Is the goal of developing “PEVs with a payback time of less than 5 years and sufficient range and fast-charging ability to allow the average American family to meet their daily transportation needs” appropriate? Is a payback time of less than 5 years the right measure of affordability or is there a more appropriate metric? Should the scope be limited to “PEVs in which the majority of miles driven are electric” or should the goal be “to maximize the national total of electric vehicle miles driven”?

Plug-in Electric Vehicle Scenarios. DOE has identified three potential vehicle/infrastructure scenarios that might achieve the EV Everywhere goals. These scenarios are:Show citation box

  • 1. A plug-in hybrid electric vehicle with a 40-mile all-electric range (PHEV-40) with limited fast-charge infrastructure;
  • 2. An all-electric vehicle with a 100-mile range (AEV-100) with significant intra-city and inter-city fast charge infrastructure; and
  • 3. An all-electric vehicle with a 300-mile range (AEV-300) with significant inter-city fast charge infrastructure.
  • Have we correctly identified and structured these three scenarios?

Are there other scenarios that are more appropriate?

U.S. Plug-in Electric Vehicle Leadership. How can DOE activities best support leadership in plug-in electric vehicle innovation? In PEV manufacturing? In PEV deployment? How do we balance international competitiveness against international cooperation?

So if you feel like letting the government know how you feel about the “EV Everywhere Grand Challenge”  or would just like to know more about the program, then head on over to the official Federal Register.

(Federal Register via Green Car Congress)

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7 responses to "US Government Wants Your Comments On Its “EV Everywhere Grand Challenge”"
  1. Bonaire says:

    For the forseeable future, the use of “Payback time” is more polarizing than it is a short-term goal. Maybe in 2018, a BEV could be cheaper than a standard ICE vehicle. But until the R&D costs and battery prices drop enough to match the MSRPs, without incentives, they need to leave that off the table. Payback time now comes in many flavors. From owners knowing they are helping America become “Energy Independent [by 2020]” or they enjoy the quiet, smooth ride of an EV, to knowing they bought an American-assembled car such as the Volt instead of a 100% imported Prius. One of the only types of products now on the market with a subjective “payback period” is the EV. What is the payback period of buying a Mercedes AMG over a Mercedes standard car? There isn’t one – the buyer just wanted that AMG for performance reasons. The performance reasons of an EV can be the only reason a person chooses it (ie. Tesla over Leaf) where payback is not expected at all.

    The Solar PV array world also has strong incentives, even today, to make grid-partity of solar arrays nearly possible. Without incentives, Solar PV would still be a niche market and affordable only in terms of wealthy businesses and indivivduals wanting only to “do good”.

    I hope that “affordable EV” doesn’t come down to imported cars from China sold through Walmart Motors. Or even Coda, for that matter, which really isn’t an “American automaker”.

    I think we need to look north to Quebec where price per kWh is about .06 and price per gallon of petrol is about $5.50. There, EVs have a stronger payback period statement. Until the USA gets its gasoline to be more at parity with other industrialized countries and uses some of that tax on the gasoline for incentive to buy EV, these statements from DoE are simply the same old “solution looking for a problem”. Let’s do something about it rather than talking about it. What can DoE do to educate the public in a non-partisan manner to position against the right-leaning pundits who continue to help hold-back EV adoption? The First Amendment, in this case, is working against a general good.

    1. FB says:

      Well said.

    2. pjkPA says:

      The best thing our government can do for EV development is to level the playing field for GM and FORD. Right now the “global” market is rigged against them. Try to buy any American car in our major competitors markets like Japan Germany or Korea… you find huge tariffs.
      Try to buy a Chevy Volt in Japan and it will cost you $80,000 … while we give Japanese electrics $7500 per car to sell here in the US… yes they put a $40,000 tariff on our Chevy Volt while we give them $7500 for every Nissan Leaf sold here!

      This has to stop.

  2. Delta says:

    The goal is to reduce foreign oil imports. This requires looking at all alternatives. One of the cheapest and quickest ways is to make a real effort to encourage people to ride their bikes to work where possible. Currently less than 2% of people bike to work. If you could get than to 4 % , that would have a huge effect on oil consumption. The benefits are many and the cost is relatively small. In fact, nearly everyone already has a bike collecting dust in their garage. If just 2 more people out of a100 would try out their bike, That would be the effect of millions of EV’s.

    So yes, more and cheaper EV’s are crucial but we really have to grab the low hanging fruit -riding bikes, walking and transit need to be part of the answer. I guess it’s alot like loosing weight. We want a magic pill instead of making lifestyle changes.

    1. Bonaire says:

      Car pooling would also be a huge effect. And teaching guys that they don’t really need to drive a pickup truck everywhere they go including commuting to work with an empty pickup bed. That may be one of the last things that changes in this country – the guy/pickup standard that is in the mid-west and some rural communities.

      1. Bonaire says:

        I also wanted to say (besides – “get us an edit button”) was that I have had a hard time convincing my son who is in 12th grade to take the bus to school. He wanted to drive. About 200 of the 300 12th graders drive to school and have to purchase parking spots in the lot there at his school. Some do have after school jobs but some don’t and yet drive to school. Multiply that out by thousands of high schools in the country and you can sense there is an issue there too.

  3. Sandy says:

    Yes, there are other scenarios that are more appropriate. This listed scenarios miss the lowest hanging fruit, namely PHEV-20 and even PHEV-10. Many people, like myself, have everything I need on a daily basis within 10 miles (20 round trip, assuming worst-case scenario no charging outside of the home). So with a PHEV-40, I’d be paying a lot of money for the extra 20 miles of battery I’d rarely use, and I’d also need to transport that weight around uselessly. That’s why sales of the Toyota Prius Plug-in, which is probably only a PHEV-10 or PHEV-15, will sell well. Cheaper, more efficient on electric, and better mileage on gas than the Volt. Yes, the Volt has 20 extra miles of electric, but I’d rarely use it. Sure, in another city and life situation, the Volt might be my choice instead. But you’re missing the cheapest niche if you don’t also include PHEV-20. In high volume, a PHEV-15 or PHEV-20 should barely be any more expensive than an HEV of the same basic design — all the electric components could be very similar.

    Also, charging rate is important, and not just “quick charge” at 50 kW and 100 kW + rates that could never be achieved in a residence. The sweet spot for a modern home is charging station is about 30-50 Amps at 240 V because this is equivalent to the largest standard household appliance (central A/C, oven, dryer, heat pump, etc.) for which standard residential wiring is available. The current Leaf (2012) and Volt charge at only 15 Amps at 240 V.

    The 7 kW charge rate (with 30 Amps at 240 V) seems to be the common thing that is getting implemented by charging station companies for public chargers across the country right now, and there is no strong reason why all EV’s and PHEV’s should not be able to utilize that completely. In some cases, drivers will be able to get more electric miles per day with opportunity charging by having a higher charge rate, even with a smaller battery than a car with a larger battery and a smaller charge rate. It’s not difficult to come up with some examples. You have the same effect on a faster timescale with the Indy 500 — during their pit stops, it’s the speed with which they can fill the tank that matters, not the size of the tank.