Hats off to Auburn Hills!

More good news for our friends in Auburn Hills came out of the annual conference of the Electric Drive Transportation Association in Washington, D.C. last week.

The Oakland County city has been named a partner in the Workplace Charging Challenge—a collaboration between the Department of Energy and American innovators with the goal to increase the number of American employers offering workplace charging by tenfold in the next five years.Auburn Hills EV signage

The Workplace Charging Challenge was launched in response to President Barack Obama’s March 2012 announcement of the EV Everywhere Grand Challenge, aimed at “enabling the United States to be the first in the world to produce plug-in electric vehicles that are as affordable and convenient for the average American family as today’s gasoline-powered vehicles within the next 10 years.”

Auburn Hills was invited by the DOE to become a partner in the challenge because of the city’s leadership in promoting and providing infrastructure for plug-in vehicles.

“Over two years ago, Auburn Hills made an intentional decision to prepare for the fueling needs of plug-in electric vehicle drivers,” according to Steven Cohen, Auburn Hills’ director of community development. “With the support of the Ann Arbor-based Clean Energy Coalition and DTE, our example has become a model for Michigan, which in turn has made us a national player on the topic.”

In 2011, Auburn Hills became the first municipality in Michigan to adopt a comprehensive Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Ordinance. The city’s ordinance encourages, but does not require, developers, builders, homeowners and business owners to make electric car charging stations a regular part of construction.

Auburn Hills also has continued its electric vehicle leadership by testing demo plug-in hybrid gas and electric vehicles for Chrysler, creating a “best practices” standard for on-street charging stations and developing Michigan’s standard for charging-station signs

“As the home of Chrysler Group LLC, numerous auto suppliers and the huge footprint the auto industry has in our community, we have a common interest in supporting this emerging industry via unified public-private collaboration,” Cohen said.