The common argument against electric vehicles as a viable form of alternative transport is not the EVs themselves, but the infrastructure to support them. EVs, from the Nissan Leaf to the Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Electric Coupe, all need to be recharged, a time consuming process. This means they need access to charging units (regular and fast ones), the right plugs, methods of tracking payment while charging, etc. The federal government, realizing the complexity in supporting EVs, has released a new tool to help local and state-level governing bodies prepare for such a task.
The Plug-In Electric Vehicle Community Readiness Scorecard, or PEV Scorecard, is an on-line tool that helps communities, from cities, counties, to states, to determine how well they can support plug-in electric vehicles (PEV). The PEV scorecard provides step-by-step guidelines on essential topics such as working with utility companies, installing charging stations, tax incentives, to the “take rate” of PEV by car shoppers.
Community leaders answer a series of questions which are then scored by the system. Ratings range from “Needs Improvement” to “Excellent”. The PEV Scorecard then provides suggestions and recommendations like where to go next for more research to providing contact information. Users can continuously use the PEV Scorecard to keep track of their progress as they prep their communities to support EVs.
The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), which is part of the Department of Energy, developed the PEV Scorecard. Says Mike Simpson, who lead the tool’s development, “The nationwide deployment of electric vehicles is a revolution in transportation. There’s a significant amount of thought and effort involved in shepherding these new technologies into our communities, and the Energy Department saw a real need to provide local and regional leaders with some interactive blueprints.”
The PEV Scorecard was created as part of the DOE’s Clean Cities act which aims to reduce fossil fuel use in today’s vehicles. The NREL is run by the Alliance for Sustainable Energy.