New coalition pushes ‘bold’ electrification vision

Electrification reportWASHINGTON — A brand new coalition of major business leaders across multiple industries calling itself the Electrification Coalition has come together to call for a revolutionary transformation of America’s auto fleet and fueling infrastructure.

By 2040, the coalition wants 75-percent of the miles driven by light-duty vehicles in the United States to be electric miles.

In a press release announcing the formation of the EC published Nov. 16 (2009), the coalition says its “bold” electrification “vision” would reduce oil consumption in Amercia’s light-duty fleet by more than 75 percent and U.S. crude oil imports “could effectively be reduced to zero”.

More than a dozen business leaders — among them Carlos Ghosn, President & CEO of Nissan Motor Company; David W. Crane, President & CEO of NRG Energy; and Frederick W. Smith, Chair, President & CEO of FedEx Corporation — are members of the coalition.

“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.”

An ‘Electrification Roadmap’
As its first official act, the Coalition released the Electrification Roadmap¸ a 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. Our unrelenting dependence on oil has threatened our nation for too long.
— Frederkick W. Smith, Chair, President & CEO of FedEx

The formation of the Electrification Coalition is premised on the recognition that electric vehicles can’t just take off by themselves, or if only one group or industry advocates for them, says Nissan’s Ghosn.

“The first electric vehicles will be delivered in 12 months,” Ghosn notes. “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 an important first step toward moving electrification beyond a niche product into a dominant, compelling, and ubiquitous concept.

Need to make EVs/PHEVs attractive to consumers
“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 says.

“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

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Members of the Electrification Coalition

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

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