Did you know that Raleigh was one of the first cities in the nation to get involved in a project to prepare cities for electric vehicles? Now over a year after Raleigh became a part of Project Get Ready, seven other cities have signed on. Project Get Ready is a pilot program developed and funded by the Rocky Mountain Institute, and designed to prepare communities, and ultimately the nation, for the transition to electric vehicles.
As part of the initiative, a small demonstration fleet of charging stations will be constructed and evaluated through a joint effort between the city of Raleigh, Progress Energy, and Advanced Energy. Adrienne Cole, executive director of Raleigh Economic Development, is taking advantage of the momentum and has developed a marketing strategy to inform companies and individuals across the country about the vast amount of assets the Triangle has to offer in the area of electric vehicles.
“We want to let companies who are working in this space know that Raleigh is a great place to locate their business and create jobs, as well as tap into our growing energy cluster, the research underway at our universities, and one of the most talented work forces in the country,” Cole said.
Driven by the joint efforts of academia, government, and the private sector, Raleigh is fast becoming a center for electric vehicle and smart grid research and development. Companies such asElster Solutions, Buehler Motor, and Eaton Corporation and research underway at North Carolina State University’s Future Renewable Electric Energy Delivery and Management (FREEDM) Systems Center and the Advanced Transportation Energy Center—along with the interest and leadership of elected officials— make this the ideal location for companies to enhance existing technologies and develop new ones.
FREEDM Systems’ vision is for residential users to take charge of their energy needs with innovative solar panels, wind turbines, and electric/hydrogen fuel cell vehicles. The center will partner with universities, industries, and national laboratories in 28 states and nine countries to develop technology to revolutionize the nation’s power grid and speed renewable electric-energy technologies into every home and business.