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Google, Ford, GE Pledge Workplace EV Stations

Google, Ford and GE are among the 13 companies that have joined with the DOE to launch the Workplace Charging Challenge, an effort to increase the number of US employers offering electric vehicle charging tenfold in the next five years.

And Nissan, another signatory to the challenge, has separately announced plans to build at least 500 public and workplace quick-charging stations.

The other nine companies that have signed the Workplace Charging Pledge as partners are: 3M, Chrysler Group, Duke Energy, Eli Lilly and Company, General Motors, San Diego Gas & Electric, Siemens, Tesla and Verizon.

The pledge commits each partner organization to assess workforce plug-in electric vehicle (PEV) charging demands, and then develop and implement a plan to install workplace charging infrastructure for at least one major worksite location.

Eight stakeholder organizations also have signed the “ambassador pledge” to develop and execute plans to support and promote the workplace charging initiative. They include California PEV Collaborative, CalStart, Electric Drive Transportation Association, Electrification Coalition, International Parking Institute, NextEnergy, Plug In America and Rocky Mountain Institute.

The DOE will provide technical assistance and establish a forum for partners and ambassadors to share information.

The new initiative is part of the DOE’s EV Everywhere Challenge, announced by President Obama in March 2012, to make PEVs as affordable and convenient for the American family as gasoline-powered vehicles within the next 10 years. The DOE’s EV Everywhere Blueprint outlines its goals for electric vehicle technology, such as improving battery storage and reducing the cost of electric drive systems.

According to the DOE, electricity is cheaper than gasoline to power a vehicle — generally equivalent to about $1 per gallon.

In related news, Nissan has outlined its strategy for tripling the current electric vehicle quick-charging infrastructure in the US with the addition of at least 500 quick-charging stations in the next 18 months, including the greater Washington DC area’s first fast-charge network.

Nissan says about 160 fast chargers are currently available for public use across the United States, and no fast chargers are available for public use in Washington, DC.

Nissan’s strategy is a three-pronged approach to increase the number of available fast chargers though its dealer network, workplace campus charging and local neighborhoods where drivers spend the bulk of their time and do the majority of their driving.

The automaker says it’s working with its dealers, local municipalities and infrastructure partners, including NRG Energy and its eVgo Network, to increase the current number of public charging options. This will include a network of 40 eVgo Freedom Station sites across the Washington, DC area. Each Freedom Station site will have a Nissan fast charger that can provide EVs with up to an 80 percent charge in less than 30 minutes.

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