KANSAS CITY, Mo., October 31, 2011 — U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu recently announced awards for 16 electric vehicle community readiness projects supporting activity in 24 states. One of those awards is made to Metropolitan Energy Center, MEC, which is also continuing work on a $15 million DOE grant in 2009 for alternative fuel vehicle deployments and fueling infrastructure development. Its new EV readiness award, called Electrify Heartland, will support planning work in Kansas and Missouri.
“By developing the next generation of automotive engineers and preparing communities to adopt plug-in electric vehicles (EVs), these technologies will reduce petroleum dependence and build the foundation for a clean transportation system. With these projects, the Department of Energy is readying its neighborhoods to develop and use the next generation of vehicles,” said Secretary Chu. “A natural complement to the Department’s research and development efforts, these initiatives will enhance America’s national, energy, and environmental security.”
Through the $8.5 million Clean Cities’ Community Readiness and Planning for Plug-in Electric Vehicles and Charging Infrastructure awards, local public-private partnerships will collaborate to develop EV deployment strategies. Depending on the needs of the location, activities may include updating permitting processes, revising codes, training emergency personnel, educating the public, and developing incentives. All awardees will create a public plan that upon completion will be available for other stakeholders to learn from their experiences.
In addition to EVs, Clean Cities supports a broad portfolio of technologies, including alternative and renewable fuels, fuel economy measures, idle reduction technologies, and emerging technologies. Since its inception in 1993, Clean Cities and its stakeholders have decreased the equivalent use of more than 3 billion gallons of gasoline.
MEC’s Electrify Heartland project will develop phased EV infrastructure installation plans for the Kansas City metropolitan area, Lawrence and Wichita, Kan., and smaller Kansas communities, including the travel corridors between them. It will develop and implement replicable actions for adoption by individual municipalities in the areas of planning, zoning, construction, permitting, and fleet policies.
“We are very pleased to receive this support to continue the good work begun in 2010 by the Greater Kansas City Plug-in Readiness Initiative,” said Kelly Gilbert, MEC’s Director of Transportation.
About Kansas City Regional Clean Cities Coalition
A program of Metropolitan Energy Center, Kansas City Regional Clean Cities Coalition is a public/private partnership among fleet managers and manufacturers, vendors, and service providers in the vehicle sector. Kansas City’s coalition has been active since 1996 and was designated a partner with the U.S. Department of Energy’s Clean Cities Program in 1998. Clean Cities’ vision is energy independence and cleaner air through clean fuels and advanced vehicles adoption. The coalition administers more than $32 million in clean transportation projects in Kansas, Missouri, and Nebraska.
About Metropolitan Energy Center
The Metropolitan Energy Center, MEC, is a Missouri not-for-profit organization. Founded in 1980, its mission is to help create resource efficiency, environmental health and economic vitality in the Kansas City Metro. MEC is a catalyst for community partnerships focused on energy conservation. It does so through a variety of educational and training programs, including Kansas City Regional Clean Cities Coalition, Home Performance, Project Living Proof and EnergyWorks KC. Every energy dollar conserved through MEC’s work remains available for investment in the local economy.
MEC was awarded more than $17 million in federal grants in recent years and is a partner in other multi-million-dollar projects in Kansas and Missouri. MEC has been the recipient of many awards recognizing its contribution to energy conservation and was host of the national Affordable Comfort Conference in 2003 and 2009. For more information, please visit www.kcenergy.org.