If it “takes a village to grow a child,” then it takes a network to incubate clean tech. A new international network of automotive manufacturers, banks, fleet owners, and state governments (the “EV 20”) is committed to working together to get one million electric cars on the road by 2015. The global alliance was recently announced at Climate Week NYC 2010.
While electric vehicle stakeholder networks in the U.S. are gaining momentum (e.g. The EV Project), the EV20 is the first international alliance created to facilitate plug-in vehicle deployment. EV 20 members aim to achieve this through “brokering international fleet procurement alliances,” “developing national, state and municipal policy frameworks,” and providing access to financing solutions.
But why is the EV20 so critical to global plug-in success?
In my own research on the development of the electric car industry in the U.S., I found that a growth in network partnerships is a requisite for market emergence. This is particularly true for a plug-in car market, which benefits substantially from organizations that work together to create a charging infrastructure, evaluate and demonstrate test fleets, develop a battery supply chain, and craft policies to increase production and consumer purchases.
The U.S. Plug-In Vehicle Network has been largely successful because it helped mobilize the resources necessary for plug-in vehicle deployment. Formal partnerships for plug-in vehicles (both plug-in hybrid and all-electric cars) increased significantly from 2007-2010. Major automaker commitments and national policies for the support of electric vehicles also gained serious momentum at this time. As of 2010, we are now witnessing unprecedented growth in the domestic electric car industry.
Can the EV20 create the same kind of momentum on an international scale? EV 20 members appear to hold a lot of weight. They include the global fleet owner TNT, car manufacturers PSA Peugeot Citroën and Smith Electric Vehicles, Johnson Controls Inc., Better Place, Deutsche Bank and the state governments of Basque Country, New York, Quebec, South Australia and Victoria.
I anticipate that the EV20 will be increasingly influential for shifting our global transportation system off of oil. I look forward to following this network’s developments in the coming months.
Shannon Arvizu, Ph.D., is a clean tech educator and researcher in the transportation industry. To learn more, visit MissElectric.com.