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USA: Vermont pledges support for electric vehicles

Elaine O’Grady
VT Agency of Natural Resources
Phone: (802) 583-7106

[March 28, 2012 – Montpelier, VT] – At a meeting of the Vermont Climate Cabinet today Natural Resources Secretary Deb Markowitz, Transportation Secretary Brian Searles, and Public Service Commissioner Elizabeth Miller signed an agreement to advance “Project Get Ready,” a collaborative effort to prepare Vermont for electric vehicles that will be facilitated by the Vermont Energy Investment Corporation and the Rocky Mountain Institute.

This partnership will engage stakeholders from electric utilities, automobile dealerships, and regional planning organizations, along with state and local government representatives, in order to facilitate the adoption of electric vehicles across Vermont.

“We are thrilled to be partnering with the state on this groundbreaking effort,” said Scott Johnstone, Executive Director of the Vermont Energy Investment Corporation. “If deployed in a thoughtful, systematic way, electric vehicles have great potential to improve the efficiency of both the transportation system and electric grid, while decreasing our nation’s carbon emissions. At the end of the day, they are essentially a large, mobile appliance – and charging a vehicle while at home overnight is just as easy as filling up at a gas station. We look forward to working with all the project partners to ensure that Vermont is at the forefront of this exciting transformation.”

“In a state where transportation accounts for nearly half of our greenhouse gas emissions and one third of our energy consumption, the electrification of motor vehicles is essential to achieving Vermont’s climate change and renewable energy goals,” said Deb Markowitz, Vermont Climate Cabinet Chair and Natural Resources Secretary. “Project Get Ready is a wonderful opportunity to work with stakeholders to make this transformation happen in a way that works for Vermonters.”

“As the price at the pump continues to rise, Vermonters will need fuel choices,” said Transportation Secretary Brian Searles. “Project Get Ready will help lead the way to a new transportation era and provide cleaner and more affordable transportation options in the years to come.”

Commissioner Elizabeth Miller added that “Project Get Ready continues the broad stakeholder engagement on meeting our energy challenges that began last year with the Comprehensive Energy Plan. We look forward to working to ensure that Vermont’s electric utilities continue to lead as we work together to achieve the state’s energy goals.”

“We are fortunate to add the State of Vermont to Project Get Ready,” said Ben Holland, Project Manager for the Rocky Mountain Institute. “The leadership that the state and VEIC have taken in this space will create tremendous value for our network of stakeholders across North America.”

By the start of 2013, automobile manufacturers will have released twelve models of plug-in electric vehicles, which can be powered entirely with electricity rather than gasoline or other fossil fuels. The Vermont Comprehensive Energy Plan, which was finalized last December, called for increased adoption of these vehicles and consumer interest in them is growing. At least a dozen public charging stations have been installed throughout Vermont over the last year, and many more are planned in the coming months. Although electric vehicles can be charged in any conventional power outlet, these public charging stations provide a rapid and easily accessible source of power for drivers when they are not at home.

Project Get Ready, an initiative founded by RMI, aims to accelerate the electric vehicle industry by fostering ecosystems in which the technology can most succeed. To accomplish this goal, Project Get Ready works with cities and industry leaders to develop and disseminate best practices for electric vehicle integration and adoption. By creating a network of over 25 cities and 40 strategic partners, this work seeks to identify challenges and opportunities for the seamless transition to vehicle electrification.

The Vermont Energy Investment Corporation (VEIC) is a mission-driven nonprofit organization, founded in 1986, dedicated to reducing the economic, social, and environmental costs of energy consumption through cost-effective energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies. VEIC has consulted in 25 states, 6 Canadian Provinces and 7 countries outside North America to design programs that reduce energy use through energy efficiency and renewable energy. In addition, VEIC operates Efficiency Vermont – the nation’s first statewide energy efficiency utility – as well as other implementation services across the country. For more information:


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