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Innovative Finance Strategies Summarized in Two New Guides

Nov. 24, 2015

Photo collage of a natural gas station and an electric vehicle charging station.

Switching to natural gas for fleets and taking advantage of favorable conditions for installing EV charging are the topics of two new guides.

Two new publications, released by the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions (C2ES) with support from the National Association of State Energy Officials (NASEO) and the U.S. Department of Energy's Clean Cities Program, detail the findings of a two-year research initiative to develop innovative finance mechanisms aimed at accelerating the deployment of alternative fuel vehicles and fueling infrastructure.

Researchers found that public and private fleet operators could save money by switching to natural gas vehicles if they adopted the same business model that energy service companies apply to energy efficiency projects. One of the new publications, Strategic Planning to Enable ESCOs to Accelerate NGV Fleet Deployment: A Guide for Businesses and Policymakers, can help investors and state and local policymakers make decisions about deploying natural gas vehicles in public and private fleets. The guide is an important tool to help investors and policymakers reduce reliance on imported oil, improve air quality, and stimulate economic growth.

The initiative also found that while new business models can make publicly available electric vehicle (EV) charging projects profitable for private businesses, public support is important. Support in the form of grants, low-interest loans, and vehicle purchase incentives is still needed in the near-term to make public charging projects an attractive investment. The comprehensive report, Strategic Planning to Implement Publicly Available EV Charging Stations: A Guide for Businesses and Policymakers, answers questions that private investors and state and local agencies, such as state energy offices, may have when deciding whether—and to what extent—they should invest in publicly available charging infrastructure.

Learn more about the initiative on the C2ES Alternative Fuel Vehicle Finance Initiative page.

  • Kathryn Ruckman, National Renewable Energy Laboratory
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