11th Hour Project Announces Eight Innovators to Ignite EV Adoption, $1M Awarded

After receiving over 100 submissions, The 11th Hour team narrowed in on eight projects aimed at increasing the adoption of EVs in the United States.

PALO ALTO, Calif. - September 17, 2014 - The 11th Hour Project, a program of The Schmidt Family Foundation, announced today its selected recipients following a recent Electric Vehicle (EV) Request for Proposals.

After receiving over 100 submissions, The 11th Hour team narrowed in on eight projects aimed at increasing the adoption of EVs in the United States, with a specific focus on supporting business leaders in the field and on encouraging solutions in urban areas.

They are the following:

The selected eight include private and public sector organizations representing coalitions as near as Oregon and Washington and as far as Texas and Indiana.

EVs emit less than half the amount of pollutants than that of gas cars and have lower global warming emissions than average new gasoline vehicles, no matter where in the US the electricity is generated. EVs are also more energy-efficient: while an electric motor uses about 90 percent of the energy put into it, the internal combustion engines used in most cars lose between 80 and 85 percent of their energy to heat and friction.

 “We are committed to accelerating the shift towards a 100 percent renewable energy economy,” said Wendy Schmidt, Co-Founder and President of The Schmidt Family Foundation, “and catalyzing EV adoption in the U.S. is an important part of this work.  Each of these projects reflects our mission to find solutions to the unintended environmental problems that were born of the industrial infrastructure built in the 19th and 20th centuries.”

Many of the selected projects reflect the ever-growing trend of cities as innovators or agents of change. Charge Across Town’s project ‘Driving on Sunshine’ is a collaboration between the San Francisco Department of the Environment and Envision Solar to showcase the world’s first fully autonomous, mobile, and renewable EV charging station.

"The 11th Hour Project recognizes the importance of linking transportation to clean, renewable energy in order to move our nation away from its dependence of fossil fuels, and the ‘Driving on Sunshine’ project will help people realize that electric cars can be fueled by just the sun," said San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee.  "As the Innovation Capital of the World and the EV Capital of the Nation, San Francisco and the Bay Area region are creating solutions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and keep our air clean."

Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard is partnering with finalist Electrification Coalition, whose work includes transitioning 100 percent of Indianapolis’ municipal fleet off of oil by 2025 and building a coalition of 10 American cities to implement the same commitment.

“As a Marine, I know how America’s oil dependence forces our armed services to bear the burden of securing the world’s oil supply lines,” said Mayor Ballard. “And as a mayor, I understand that the same dependence hurts our economy and hinders municipal budgets. Thank you to the The 11th Hour Project for investing in the Electrification Coalition. I appreciate their confidence in our work here in Indianapolis and their support of our efforts to drive change in cities across America."

The 11th Hour Project Renewable Energy & Climate Program’s strategic approach of zeroing in on market-driven, pragmatic solutions to spark EV adoption is evident in the work of recipients Plug In America and Vermont Energy Investment Corporation.  Plug In America supports the nation's leading plug-in electric vehicle market promotion efforts, known as National Drive Electric Week and Plug In @ Work.  Both programs build momentum within important, targeted early adopter communities. Similarly, Vermont Energy Investment Corporation tackles a critical barrier to EV adoption - the high upfront costs - by providing businesses with financial and technical assistance and supporting incentive programs for workplace charging.                                   

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A program of The Schmidt Family Foundation, The 11th Hour Project promotes a more responsible relationship with the world's water, energy, and food resources by championing a fuller understanding of the impact of human activity within the web of interdependent living systems.