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Press Release

Operation starts for Smart Community Demonstration Project in California

-Electric Vehicle Driving Behavior and Increasing Electric Vehicle (EV) travel distance-
November  15,2016
New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO)

NEDO together with Nissan Motor Co., Ltd., Nissan North America, Inc., and Kanematsu Corporation and in cooperation with the State of California and EVgo, begin a demonstration project named "DRIVE the ARC" from November 14, aiming to increase the distance traveled by electric vehicles (EV) in the metropolitan area of northern California, the United States.

By collecting and analyzing the data of EV drivers' driving behavior, it will validate the installation locations of DC fast chargers along inter-city routes, as well as a suitable navigation service system, with the aim to contribute further promotion of EV use through this demonstration project.

A Kick-Off ceremony of this demonstration project was held at one of the charging stations on November 14th.

  • Pic 1: DC fast chargers being installed along an inter-city route (left),

1. Overview

The United States focused on EVs at an early stage and has been making various efforts to encourage their use. In particular, the State of California is currently the leader in private EV sales in the country due to its strong policy of promoting zero emission vehicles (ZEVs), including EVs. For example, California has set an ambitious target of having 1.5 million ZEVs on its roadways by 2025. California's ZEV regulations require manufacturers to produce specific numbers of clean cars, such as EVs and plug-in hybrid vehicles, based on the scale of each manufacturer's sales in California. The state's ZEV regulations also allow EV users to access priority lanes.

However, even in EV driver-friendly California, EVs are mainly used for short-distance travel such as commuting and shopping in urban areas where the charging infrastructure is relatively accessible. This is because many EV drivers have range anxiety and tend to hesitate driving long distances, which is said to be one of the major barriers to promoting EVs on a large scale.

Against this backdrop, NEDO together with Nissan Motor Co., Ltd., Nissan North America, Inc., and Kanematsu Corporation and in cooperation with the State of California and EVgo, a company which provides EV charging solutions to begin a demonstration project named "DRIVE the ARC" from November 14, aiming to increase the distance traveled by electric vehicles (EV) in the metropolitan area of northern California, the United States.

50 units of direct current fast chargers will be installed at over 20 locations along inter-city routes in areas where the number of charging stations is insufficient, and services for EV users, such as a navigation service system, will be provided. Changes in EV driver behavior due to these efforts will then be analyzed in order to demonstrate the effectiveness of the inter-city charging stations and navigation service system in increasing the distance traveled by EVs, and to establish a model for promoting increased use of EVs.

The project is also expected to further expand the EV market in the future through the dissemination of its results to other regions and countries.

2. Kick-off ceremony

A ceremony to mark the start of the "DRIVE the ARC" demonstration project was held on November 14 (local time) at the parking lot of Raley's supermarket in El Dorado Hills, California. At the ceremony, Makoto Watanabe, Executive Director of NEDO; Hitoshi Kawaguchi, Chief Sustainability Officer of Nissan Motors Co., Ltd., Kaoru Tanigawa, Director of Kanematsu Corporation, Janea A. Scott, Commissioner of California Energy Commission, Tyson Eckerle, Deputy Director of Zero Emission Vehicle Infrastructure in the California Governor's Office of Business and Economic Development and Phil Serna, Sacramento County Board Supervisor & California Air Resources Board member participated and Shouichi Nagayoshi, Deputy Consul General, Consulate-General of Japan in San Francisco and Raley's Supermarket CEO Michael Teel joined.

  • Pic 2: Outline of
    Pic 2: Outline of "DRIVE the ARC" demonstration project
  • Pic 3: Image of DC fast charger site map
    Pic 3: Image of DC fast charger site map

3. For more information, please contact

NEDO Smart Community Department Tel:+81-44-520-5274