Automakers around the globe have announced their intentions to release all-electric vehicles in the coming years.
The arrival of thousands of new all-electric vehicles is an exciting development, which will hopefully mark the beginning of a transition to alternative fuels in the transportation sector. Yet the first wave of full‐electric vehicles faces a major obstruction to entering the mainstream market: there is simply no infrastructure to support electric vehicle (EV) technology in the US. Project Get Ready is an initiative that helps cities across the continent make the shift away from fossil fuels in the transportation sector by implementing a network of plug‐in charging stations. And on January 20th, 2010 at the Northeast Auto Show, The Rocky Mountain Institute, the state of Rhode Island, the city of Providence and National Grid announced Project Get Ready Rhode Island (PGR RI), the first statewide effort to bringing in plug-in electric vehicles. This move towards alternative fuel is an enormous development: currently, 40% of Rhode Island’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions are from transportation and 99% of these emissions are due to petroleum. PGR RI hopes to help prepare for and welcome 10,000 plug-in EVs to the state by 2015 in order to reduce Rhode Island’s carbon emissions, lessen its dependency on oil and alleviate the range anxiety of driving an EV.
Rhode Island policymakers, environmental advocates, transportation experts, business leaders and the state’s major electric utility provider are working together to form pragmatic strategies that will promote the adoption of EVs. These include: encouraging the installation of charging stations at both commercial and public locations; assisting fleet managers in evaluating the potential cost savings of EVs; bundling consumer incentives at the point of purchase; and expediting permitting for charging stations.