Top CEOs Drive the Launch of New Electrification Coalition

On Monday, a number of leading U.S. business executives ─ including Carlos Ghosn, president and CEO of Nissan Motor Company; David W. Crane, president and CEO of NRG Energy; and Frederick W. Smith, chairman, president, and CEO of FedEx Corporation ─ convened to announce the formation of the Electrification Coalition. The coalition describes itself as  a nonpartisan, not-for-profit organization committed to promoting policies and actions that will facilitate the deployment of electric vehicles on a mass scale in order to combat the economic, environmental, and national security vulnerabilities caused by our nation’s dependence on petroleum.

Electrification Roadmap

As its first official act, the organization released the Electrification Roadmap, a sweeping report detailing the dangers of oil dependence, explaining the benefits of electrification, describing the challenges facing electric cars, and providing specific policy proposals to overcome those challenges. PRTM, a global management consulting firm, provided market analysis and technical input for the Roadmap, including detailed modeling on vehicle costs.

"It is time for business leaders and policymakers alike to step up," Smith said. "Our unrelenting dependence on oil has threatened our nation for too long. Up to now, electrification seemed like a pipe dream. But we are offering a realistic, practical, achievable plan to build a transportation system that will enhance our national security, propel economic growth, and reduce carbon dioxide emissions."

The Electrification Roadmap presents a bold and specific vision: By 2040, 75% of light-duty vehicle miles traveled in the U.S. should be electric miles. As a result, oil consumption in the light-duty fleet would be reduced by more than 75%, and U.S. crude oil imports could effectively be reduced to zero.

"The first electric vehicles will be delivered in 12 months," Ghosn said. "The widespread acceptance of zero emission cars will require more than the efforts automakers can provide on their own. Public and private collaboration will be the key to mainstream acceptance."

Among its many policy recommendations, the Roadmap proposes the creation of electrification “ecosystems,” geographic areas in which all of the elements of an electrified transportation system are deployed, thus providing a crucial first step toward moving electrification beyond a niche product into a dominant, compelling, and ubiquitous concept.

"It is absolutely crucial that all of the key elements of an electrified transportation system are introduced in a highly coordinated fashion and in a way that is effective, affordable, and appealing to actual American consumers," Crane said. "Introducing all of the separate elements, from cars to infrastructure, simultaneously in select communities across the country will move electrification beyond the early adopters; policymakers will witness the national benefit derived from a new kind of transportation system while consumers will benefit firsthand from a new kind of driving experience."

In addition to electrification ecosystems, the Roadmap proposes specific policies in the following areas:

•    Batteries and vehicles
•    Charging infrastructure
•    Electric power sector interface
•    Consumer acceptance

Coalition Members

The executives that belong the Electrification Coalition come from a variety of entities, including utilities, automotive manufacturers, and other companies:

•    Timothy E. Conver, chairman, President & CEO, AeroVironment, Inc.
•    Peter L. Corsell, CEO, GridPoint, Inc.
•    David W. Crane, president and CEO, NRG Energy, Inc.
•    Kevin Czinger, president and CEO, Coda Automotive
•    Peter A. Darbee, chairman, CEO and president, PG&E Corporation
•    Seifi Ghasemi, chairman and CEO, Rockwood Holdings, Inc.
•    Carlos Ghosn, president and CEO, Nissan Motor Company, Ltd.
•    Ray Lane, managing partner, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers
•    Richard Lowenthal, founder and CEO, Coulomb Technologies, Inc.
•    Alex A. Molinaroli, chairman, Johnson Controls-Saft and president, Johnson Controls Power Solutions
•    Reuben Munger, chairman, Bright Automotive, Inc.
•    Frederick W. Smith, chairman, president, and CEO, FedEx Corporation
•    David P. Vieau, president and CEO, A123 Systems, Inc.

Coalition Praises U.S.-China Initiative

The Electrification Coalition applauded the announcement on Tuesday of the U.S.-China Electric Vehicles Initiative, and urged the Obama administration to go even further in its efforts to support an electrified transportation system.

"This is good news coming at an important time," Electrification Coalition President Robbie Diamond said. "The Electrification Roadmap released by our Coalition yesterday offers detailed policy proposals to create electrification ecosystems, which are similar in concept to the demonstration projects proposed by the U.S. and China in that they envision projects in specific cities. That said, our ecosystems would put as many as 100,000 electric vehicles per ecosystem on the road by 2013. We believe that is an ambitious but achievable goal, and one that is necessary if we are going to have timely mass penetration of electric vehicles. We are pleased that the administration is pursuing similar concepts, and hope they will pursue even more ambitious and specific goals."

Sources: Electrification Coalition, PR Newswire

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