Driving Change: Defining Success for Electric Vehicle Deployment in Oregon
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The December 2010 release of the first mass-produced electric vehicles by major automotive manufacturers (the Nissan LEAF and the Chevrolet Volt) marks the beginning of a new era in transportation. Electric vehicles, or EVs, bring multitudes of benefits to drivers, cities and our national transportation infrastructure as a whole. However, there are significant barriers to adoption – particularly in the areas of electric grid interface, charging infrastructure and education. Hence, the success of electric vehicles depends heavily on the extent to which governments and stakeholder groups can work together to overcome these barriers. This master’s project examines the EV deployment planning processes for four cities that are widely recognized as being leaders in the EV space – Houston, Indianapolis, Orlando and Raleigh – and compares them to the process in the client city of Portland, OR. Relying on a review of benchmarking and performance measurement processes in the available business literature, cities were evaluated on stakeholder engagement, areas of focus and process integration. Data was collected via stakeholder group websites and phone interviews with key contacts in each city, and was bolstered by planning documents and other available reports from the nationwide community of EV planners and leaders. The results show that cities have been successful in engaging the right stakeholders, and some cities have also been ambitious in selecting areas of focus for these stakeholder groups, while other cities have a more limited scope of operation. Most cities, however, could strengthen their efforts in the area of process integration – determining a mission for the stakeholder group, setting goals, establishing metrics by which those goals will be evaluated, and assigning ongoing responsibility. Recommendations are made for Portland to adopt best-in-class practices from other cities in order to enhance the city’s planning process. As electric vehicles begin to hit the road in larger numbers over the next couple of years, these efforts will be ever more important to transforming the face of personal transportation. By taking cues from other EV-forward cities and addressing current areas of weaknesses, Portland can continue its EV leadership and provide a national model of safe, clean, sustainable urban development.
CitationLiedel, Elizabeth (2011). Driving Change: Defining Success for Electric Vehicle Deployment in Oregon. Master's project, Duke University. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10161/3698.
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