Electrification Coalition’s Drive Electric Northern Colorado Case Study Released as National Drive Electric Week Kicks into Gear - Drive Electric Northern Colorado

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Electrification Coalition’s Drive Electric Northern Colorado Case Study Released as National Drive Electric Week Kicks into Gear

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Case study highlights key lessons learned from the first-ever electric vehicle accelerator community and best-practice tools to increase adoption rates at the local level.

WASHINGTON, D.C.—The Electrification Coalition (EC), a nonpartisan group of business leaders committed to facilitating the deployment of electric vehicles on a mass scale, today released a case study documenting the nation’s first electric vehicle accelerator community: Drive Electric Northern Colorado (DENC).

The accelerator community concept was first published by the EC in its 2009 Electrification Roadmap which outlined a vision for a replicable and scalable model to drive the adoption of electric vehicles (EVs). This fully integrated model leverages public-private partnerships that best utilize limited resources to drive widespread EV deployment and help to reduce our nation’s dependence on oil in the transportation sector.

The DENC case study examines the successful strategies, tactics and outcomes of the inaugural implementation of this integrated community framework that first began in February 2013 in the City of Fort Collins and the City of Loveland, Colorado. The program was also accomplished in partnership with Colorado State University.

“Since 2013, DENC has worked with an amazing collection of partners throughout Northern Colorado to successfully establish this first-of-its-kind model to accelerate the adoption of EVs. By utilizing the EV ecosystem approach and coordinating highly engaged community partnerships we are excited to broadly share the lessons learned from this program to strengthen EV adoption efforts already under way in communities around the country,” said Ben Prochazka, Vice President of the Electrification Coalition.

A key finding from the case study was the importance of leveraging the entire EV ecosystem by engaging all stakeholders from the beginning and combining their efforts with a supportive public policy framework to achieve a strong consumer response. Thanks to DENC’s comprehensive approach, the rate of EV purchases in Northern Colorado was found to be approximately three times higher than the national average. The EC’s case study also provides a sample toolkit to guide communities interested in applying this model locally.

The case study highlighted five core strategies and tactics that contributed to the project’s success:

  • Creating a supportive ecosystem: A successful EV accelerator community requires participation from stakeholders including city administrators, local car dealerships, business leaders, utilities, infrastructure providers, current EV owners, and educational institutions.
  • Policy: The identification and mobilization of key advocates in the DENC community has proved key in creating an environment conducive for EV adoption, such as point-of-sale tax credits and preferential parking and infrastructure installation.
  • Infrastructure: While there may be a sense of urgency to immediately deploy large numbers of public chargers to mitigate potential concerns over EV range, there is value in conducting a region-wide study to find strategic locations where stations will be highly utilized before installing.
  • Workplace charging: Workplace charging is key to EV adoption because evidence shows that employees are six times more likely to purchase or lease an EV if they have access to charging at the workplace.
  • Ride and drives: DENC’s first-hand experience with consumer engagement reinforces a growing body of national marketing data which shows Ride and Drives are among the most effective methods for selling EVs. Follow-up with participants after a ride and drive is crucial to encouraging the sale.

Building upon its success in Northern Colorado, the EC is working to support communities around the country and has recently launched the newest accelerator community in Rochester, NY.  The EC is co-hosting National Drive Electric Weeks events around the country. It’s first Ride and Drive event for NDEW was last Saturday at the Rochester Institute of Technology in Rochester, NY. Please visit National Drive Electric Week for more information on upcoming events in Colorado and Ohio.

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About the Electrification Coalition

The Electrification Coalition is a nonpartisan, nonprofit group of business leaders committed to promoting policies and actions that reduce America’s dependence on oil by facilitating the deployment of electric vehicles on a mass scale. The members of the Electrification Coalition are leaders of companies representing the entire value chain of an electrified transportation system.