Pilot Projects

Through Greening the Grid, NREL and USAID work with in-country partners around the world to share best practices, build capacity, and provide technical assistance to accelerate electric vehicle adoption and deployment. The following are examples of recent and ongoing projects carried out in partner countries.

Pakistan

EV adoption is a key part of Pakistan’s efforts to create a more sustainable, reliable, and affordable energy sector. USAID and NREL, along with partners Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) and Argonne National Laboratory (ANL), provided direct assistance to both public and private organizations in Pakistan to enable EV deployment. Key activities supported the National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (NEPRA) in developing the regulatory framework for EV charging infrastructure.

For more information see:

Mexico

Mexico aims to reduce its carbon emissions by 2030 and achieve net zero CO2eq emissions by 2062. Electrifying mobility is seen as an attractive approach to reducing transport-sector CO2 emissions, improving air quality, and improving traffic congestions. NREL—through the 21st Century Power Partnership—is working with Iniciativa Climática de México (ICM) to reduce 140 Mtonnes of COby 2030 from the mobility sector. In 2018, NREL in partnership with USAID-Mexico’s Low Emissions Development Program (M-LED) program, worked with public transport authorities in Mexico City and León to evaluate the potential for transit bus electrification. Moreover, NREL partnered with a multi-sector stakeholder group in Mexico City to evaluate the potential benefits of motorcycle electrification, including improved air quality, reduced traffic congestion, and enhanced transit equity.  

For more information see:

Lao People’s Democratic Republic

As the government of the Lao People’s Democratic Republic (Lao PDR) seeks to diversify and strengthen its energy mix beyond existing hydropower and fossil fuels, EV deployment offers a promising pathway to reduce petroleum reliance. The Lao PDR is implementing EV goals contained within its forthcoming Clean Energy Transportation Strategy. EVs are being imported for personal use (cars and motorbikes) and commercial use (“tuktuks”). To support this growing demand, NREL and USAID are working with the Lao PDR Ministry of Energy and Mines (MEM) to develop EV charging infrastructure and support private companies that are beginning to explore business models. NREL conducted a series of trainings to support MEM decision-making on key technical topics. These trainings cover:

  • Business models—motivations for utilities and governments to build EVSE, and key considerations for business model identification.
  • Tariff design— business models for tariffs between an EVSE owner and customer, as well as tariffs between the electric utility and an EVSE owner.
  • Technical standards— codes (a set of rules recommended for others to follow) and standards (detailed documents that elaborate how to meet a specific code) design, and specific international standards including SAE J1772 and IEC 61851/62196. 

Thailand

USAID and NREL are working with the Thailand Department of Alternative Energy Development (DEDE) and the Thailand OERC to overcome the many challenges to large-scale EV deployment. This partnership seeks to improve planning and operational practices; provide technical assistance with tariff setting; increase understanding of the selection of charging infrastructure for specific fleets; enable an environment for private sector engagement; and increase access to and the appropriate use of tools and data for evidence-based decision-making. DEDE aims to have 1.2 million EVs on the road and to increase local manufacture of roughly 550,000 vehicles by 2030. NREL will provide technical support by utilizing the International Jobs and Economic Development Impacts (I-JEDI) model to evaluate impacts on the local biofuels industry resulting from a transition to EVs.

Colombia

USAID and NREL will be providing tailored technical assistance to four organizations in Colombia that are leading electric mobility and DER integration projects. The four organizations were selected based on their action plan proposals developed as part of the recent Young Professionals Leadership Program, which USAID and NREL co-led along with USAID’s Scaling Up Renewable Energy program administered by Tetra Tech and the U.S. Energy Association. In addition to the efficient integration of DERs, the planned technical assistance will support the implementation of electric mobility in Colombia at a time when institutions around Colombia are planning for broader growth of electric mobility and DERs. The four projects receiving technical assistance represent various technical and organizational aspects of the electric mobility and DER transition in Colombia, including utility fleet and regional electric mobility infrastructure planning; future distributed solar and EV penetration scenarios under different policy and regulatory frameworks; and technical and regulatory considerations to inform updates to Colombia’s distribution code to facilitate the integration of EVs.

Additional Support and Resources

Jamaica

Between 2017-2019, NREL and USAID, in partnership with the Jamaican Ministry of Science, Energy, and Technology and Jamaica Urban Transit Company, conducted a technical assessment of Jamaica’s policy options to reduce transportation-related greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. This included highlighting key metrics for transportation GHG reduction, creating a business-as-usual GHG emissions scenario out to 2030, and compiling a list of transportation projects that are most effective at achieving Jamaica’s first Nationally Determined Contribution to the Paris Agreement—10% reduction in GHG emissions by 2030. These options were assessed by cost, amount of GHG reduction, timeframe, and ancillary benefits.

For more information on this project, see:

Philippines

In 2013, NREL and USAID hosted a workshop in Manila to train Filipino transportation experts from 22 government agencies, universities, and local organizations. This workshop enabled them to use transportation tools to analyze and facilitate the assessment of petroleum savings, GHG emissions, air pollution, and economics associated with alternative fuels and advanced energy technologies, including EVs.

EV Deployment Virtual Training

In June 2021, The Advanced Energy Partnership for Asia, a regional program between NREL and USAID's Regional Development Mission for Asia, delivered a 6-week virtual training on the fundamentals of electric vehicle deployment to transport and energy practitioners in South East Asia. Designed specifically for Southeast Asian contexts, the trainings directly impact EV planning and policy development within energy and transport organizations across the region.

The training spans nine units across four modules: 1) Data and flee transitions, 2) Charging infrastructure, standards and protocols, 3) Tariff and grid planning, 4) Workforce and EV ecosystems; they are available to watch at any time here.

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