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PEV Readiness Study - Electric Vehicles in America

2010

America is on the verge of a tipping point in its transportation paradigm. Electric vehicles are evolving from an uncertain experiment to an increasing relevant modality for the future.

The debate around plug-in electric vehicles (PEVs) has long revolved around technology, costs, charging stations, and consumer acceptance. For many years, PEVs seemed to be a distant scenario, but recently, rapid advancements in technology (especially batteries) have been achieved thanks to massive investment by industry and governments. Now, PEVs have become a reality and attention is shifting from technology viability and pilots to resolving infrastructure, incentives, education, and overall readiness issues.

Roland Berger Strategy Consultants and Rocky Mountain Institute's Project Get Ready have endeavored to identify which cities in America are currently readiest for PEVs, which are making progress to develop the necessary eco-systems in the near future, and which need to accelerate to accommodate the imminent launch of electric vehicles. Based on a combination of research and city stakeholder interviews conducted from January through August 2010, we have assessed America's top 50 metro areas in terms of their readiness. We considered key framework elements (barriers, enablers, accelerators), evaluating factors from regulatory requirements, incentives, public charging, permitting and planning to power reliability, payback, education, consumer behavior, and the weather.

As the situation related to PEVs is extremely dynamic, and since our analysis is based on a mix of objective and subjective criteria, we understand that our findings should be considered indicative. Nonetheless, we hope our work will inform readers about critical topics, including where cities should focus their readiness efforts, the best practices from leading cities, and where e-mobility will likely thrive over the next few years. A summary of our findings can be downloaded free of charge.

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