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Eindhoven (NL) and Columbus (Ohio): two Smart Cities Are Better Than One

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Smart mobility research seeks to ease traffic congestion by getting us where we need to be faster, safer, and with fewer negative impacts on the environment. To further this research, the province of North Brabant entered into an agreement with the state of Ohio, its capital city, Columbus, and Ohio State University (OSU) to share knowledge and experiences regarding innovations in smart mobility. Student exchanges between OSU and TU Eindhoven will also take place. It’s a nice idea, but the collaboration left some wondering why? Why partner with a city 6500 kilometers away when Eindhoven already has strong research facilities in the Automotive Campus and TU Eindhoven?

“For Dutch partners it’s a match made in heaven,” says Peter van Deventer, Director of the “Coast to Coast Smart e-Mobility” program, which is based at the Dutch Consulate of San Francisco. Coast to Coast played a major role in bringing this agreement together, and van Deventer was an important facilitator along with Eindhoven’s mayor Rob van Gijzel. Van Deventer first looked to Ohio because he received his PhD in engineering from OSU 25 years ago. He reconnected when he saw their research regarding smart mobility and informed them of what is happening between the Netherlands and the West Coast. Interested, OSU joined the Coast to Coast program in 2014 and a Midwest network began.

“A paradigm shift in mobility has occurred over the past 10 years,” says van Deventer. “What we once only dreamed of is becoming a reality and the auto industry is investing billions.” Self-driving cars and vehicles powered solely on electricity are no longer a science fiction fantasy. “Mobility is changing rapidly and there’s new initiative,” he continues. He cites the booming market in China for electric vehicles as an example, along with the demand for zero emission buses within the next decade. Increased mobility and transportation systems are also vital for cities’ livability standards. “If you look at the budgets for Smart City investments, somewhere between 50 to 75 percent is going towards new mobility solutions,” he says. “It’s wise for the Netherlands to align with international activity. Connections are key and this city (Columbus, Ohio) has the ambition and the resources.”

In 2016, Columbus competed against 77 other American cities to win the Smart City Challenge. The U.S. Department of Transportation challenged cities “to use emerging transportation technologies to address their most pressing problems through a mixture of competition, collaboration, and experimentation.” The city received $40 million from the U.S. Department of Transportation and an additional $10 million from Paul Allen’s Vulcan, Inc. The city already raised $90 million from private partners with the goal to becoming “an electrified, low-emissions transportation hub,” according to an article in Tech Republic.

“We were looking for opportunities beyond Silicon Valley and found Columbus’s size (population 860,000) appealing,” says Johann Beelen of Brainport Eindhoven. Some of the fields already in collaboration, according to Beelen, include smart traffic management, living labs, self-driving cars, traffic safety issues, and connected cars or “platooning” (a group of vehicles, usually self-driving cars, that can travel close together safely at a high speed). In addition, he says, “several smart mobility companies from Brainport Eindhoven are developing businesses over there.” For instance, NXP is working with Columbus to deploy wireless technology that allows cars to exchange data, preventing accidents and improving the flow of traffic. V-tron, 2Getthere, and OC Mobility also look to expand their business to Ohio.

Since the Eindhoven region is also steeped in technology, named the world’s “Intelligent Community of the Year” for 2011 by the Intelligent Community Forum, it makes sense for the two regions to form a partnership. Both Columbus and Eindhoven “are mid-sized growing cities,” says Bram Hendrix with AutomotiveNL. “This partnership is a good example of what can be done all over the world. We are working on similar projects and have lots of experience with self-driving vehicles and electrifying vehicles. It accelerates the development to study there and see how we can use it here.”

“The American Midwest is the hub of the auto industry,” says van Deventer. “We signed a letter of intent, positioning ourselves to set up businesses and create jobs. It is a stepping stone to further action.”

Published by, Cristin Middlebrooks

Project with S4C partner EV4 boost access to charging stations in Washington

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Energy Northwest recently finalized agreements to be the lead agency in the Washington state Department of Transportation Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Pilot Project. Electric vehicle supply equipment providers Greenlots and EV4 are also participating in the project. The goal of the $1 million project is to construct a network of publicly available electric vehicle charging stations along Interstate 90, I-82, I-182 and US-395.

Read the whole article in the Seattle Times

New pilot with SolaRoad technology for heavy vehicle traffic

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The province of Noord-Holland is going to test the SolaRoad solar-surface for heavy vehicle traffic. After the successful pilot on a cycling lane in Krommenie, the municipality of Haarlemmermeer and the province are looking for a suitable location for heavy vehicle traffic to drive over SolaRoad. The pilot will test the behavior of the road surface for heavy traffic and what the solar-surface means for the daily management and maintenance of the road. In addition, the province will test how the energy-yield can be maximized.

SolaRoad captures sunlight falling on the roadsurface through solar cells and converts this into electricity. The pavement acts as a large solar panel. By making smart use of the existing road network, it is possible to use a larger surface for collecting energy without affecting the landscape. Vice-governor Elisabeth Post: “It is time for a next step. The pilot in Krommenie has taught us a lot. We know that the road surface performs well under the cycling traffic, now we are going to investigate how it behaves when heavy vehicle traffic drive on the SolaRoad. If the pilot is successful, this greatly increases the possibilities for large-scale application of solar roads. “

 Living Lab
The test location for heavy vehicle traffic in the Haarlemmermeer will become a living lab. This means that the test environment is set up on a public road. The test compartment is set up in phases, which also involves working with ridomovies different materials. The Vice-governor has made € 2.700.000,- available for the pilot, the research and the further development of the product.

 Cooperation and further development
SolaRoad is a development of the province of Noord-Holland, TNO and Strukton Civiel. In 2018, the province of Zuid-Holland will also carry out a trial with SolaRoad for heavy vehicle traffic. The province of Zuid-Holland wants to test the solar road surface on a bus lane, where the traffic situation is different from the road in Noord-Holland. The provinces work closely together and share knowledge and results.

In addition to the concrete pilot in the Haarlemmermeer, the province of Noord-Holland, TNO and Strukton Civiel are currently exploring the chances and opportunities for further commercialization of the SolaRoad initiative in a joint venture.

Smart roads and sustainable energy transition
The energy generated with sunlight can be used for many purposes, such as street lighting, households, traffic installations and electric driving. The innovation is in line with the sustainability objectives that many governments and companies, in the context of the Paris Climate Agreement, endorse. It contributes to CO2 reduction and makes a valuable contribution to the development of smart roads and sustainable energy transition.

More information about SolaRoad:

Electrify America Chooses Coast 2 Coast partner Greenlots To Charge EVs Every 70 Miles On Highways Across USA

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Electrify America announced the selection of Greenlots to provide the network operating platform for its historic coast-to-coast deployment of “Fueling Stations of the Future” along highway corridors as a part of Electrify America’s historic $2B investment in electric vehicle charging infrastructure over the next ten years. With over 2,000 high-power charging stations deployed at more than 250 sites nationwide, whether driving across the country or across town, people will be able to find a user-friendly fast charger along the way. Well done, Greenlots!

Amsterdam E-Challenge, National Plug-in Day and Coast to Coast E-Mobility make live connection on September 28, 2013

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On Saturday September 28, 2013 Amsterdam E-Challenge ( and National Plug-in Day events in Los Angeles and Silicon Valley ( will have live connection, supported by the Coast to Coast E-Mobility program.

During the live connection a symbolic “hand-over” will be made by speakers from government, industry and academia in The Netherlands and West Coast of the US. This unique event symbolises the international drive towards more sustainable transportation and further introduction of electic mobility. Amsterdam E-Challenge, National Plug-in Day and Coast to Coast E-Mobility look forward expanding this event into an “International Plug-in Day 2014” inviting additional partners to join.

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A Case for Open Standards – Brett Hauser

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For many EV proponents, the back-to-back bankruptcies of Ecotality and Better Place have been sobering, but not surprising.

Though both were early pioneers in the EV charging space, many believe their fatal flaw was the closed network model adopted by both. Rather than making all chargers available to all drivers and providing site hosts the flexibility to mix and match different types of chargers to specific needs, Ecotality and Better Place ended up frustrating drivers by enforcing “member-only” policies and have now left more than 12K stranded chargers for site hosts to deal with.

To date, the initial rollout of publicly funded networked charge stations for plug-in electric vehicles (PEVs) in California has been administered by proprietary network management systems and vendors. Read More

The Workplace Charging Challenge – Ubiquitous Level 1 by Marc Geller

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It’s been one full year since first Tesla S deliveries began. In the luxury car market you can feel that the ground has begun to shift. After numerous awards and accolades, it seems fair to say that the best luxury car is an electric car. Given its range, and the rapidly growing free Supercharger network, the Tesla Model S works well for virtually everyone who can afford one. Without paid advertising, Tesla is selling all they can manufacture. Legislative roadblocks promoted by old-line automaker dealerships boomeranged into an eco-libertarian cri de couer that garnered well over 100,000 petitioners. Tesla’s luck continues to hold, unchallenged as either a luxury or longer-range EV. Automakers continue to only offer sub-100 mile range vehicles. The electric Infiniti has been “postponed,” and BMW is entering the market with a car that doesn’t challenge Tesla.

Although Tesla gets the headlines (and stock price boost), Nissan and Chevrolet make the sales. Plug-in vehicle sales are indeed increasing, with the LEAF and Volt selling 2420 and 3351 units respectively in August 2013. Workplace charging certainly isn’t a concern of Tesla S owners, but it should become the focus for getting middle-class drivers into EVs and PHEVs. With leases in the $200 – 300 range, for commuters the numbers already add up. Simple access to power while at work is a tremendous additional incentive for PEV sales of these lower-range cars. With access to Level 1 (120V) charging at work, a LEAF becomes a 100+ mile range car.

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Our world is in trouble – Paul Scott

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Our world is in trouble. From global economic hardships, to wars over oil, to the specter of anthropogenic climate change. These are serious problems that affect the entire globe and all its people. Oil clearly plays a significant role in all of these problems. However, transatlantic cooperation between countries that have recognized this problem, and have developed alternatives to oil, will result in mitigation of the worst effects of these problems.

We are approaching 900 million internal combustion vehicles throughout the world. It won’t take much longer to get to one billion. Over 99% of these are internal combustion vehicles powered by oil. The oil industry around the world generates tens of billions in profits every year, but it’s the gross revenue that is the eye popping number. From 2007-2011, just five years, total revenues for the top five oil companies (ExxonMobil, Chevron, BP, Shell, ConocoPhillips), tallied $7,766.2 billion. Almost eight trillion dollars removed from general circulation and squirreled away into the coffers of those who run the oil industry, both private and state run entities. This money, if spent on local goods and services, would generate millions of jobs throughout the world, creating massive wealth that would be distributed widely instead of concentrated in the hands of some of the more evil people in the world.

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Official launch of Coast to Coast E-Mobility Website: the EV world connects

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Today at the 2013 AltCar Expo in Santa Monica, California, the Coast to Coast E-Mobility website is launched. Historic and unique from different perspectives.

Historic because exactly four years ago the 2009 AltCar Expo was one of the locations in the US where the initial research on the third wave of EV introduction, was performed (see weblog video from September 2009). This research was the basis for the Netherlands School for Public Administration to advise to set up a transatlantic e-mobility program between Dutch and West Coast governments, universities and private organizations ( This advice lead to the current Coast to Coast E-Mobility program. Read More

Coast to Coast Partnership Presents Dutch E-Mobility Experience at AltCar Expo September 20-21, 2013

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During the AltCar Expo in Santa Monica, CA (September 20-21), the Coast to Coast EMobility Connection (C2C) will present a world premiere: the first results of a comprehensive study comparing US and Dutch government policies supporting the introduction of electric vehicles. The study offers advice to US and Dutch governments, universities and industry to further promote the development of e-mobility into the next phase of EV adoption. Read More