Research Triangle Cleantech Cluster’s Transportation Innovation Award is given to a project that involves a cleantech innovation which creates a positive impact on transportation, the economy, and the environment for the citizens of North Carolina.
RALEIGH, N.C. (May 18, 2021) – The City of Raleigh’s Electric Vehicle Service Equipment Mapping Tool was recognized by the Research Triangle Cleantech Cluster (RTCC) as the winner of its Transportation Innovation Award for their GIS-based mapping tool to identify the most suitable locations to install publicly-available Level 2 electric vehicle (EV) charging stations to serve EV drivers in the city of Raleigh. A joint development of the City’s Office of Sustainability & Information Technology Department, the program analyzes the suitability of locations based on several criteria, including EV driver behavior, charger utilization data, location convenience, economic development potential, and environmental equity. The project was designed to support the city’s overall Transportation Electrification Study.
RTCC’s Second Annual Cleantech Innovation Awards included several initiatives, projects, and other contributions from companies, organizations, and government agencies that are part of the growing cleantech ecosystem in North Carolina. The Research Triangle Cleantech Cluster (RTCC) is an initiative of business, government, academic and nonprofit leaders focused on accelerating the growth of the statewide and regional cleantech economy.
“This RTCC award provides an opportunity for the City of Raleigh to showcase this unique planning tool, which not only incorporates transportation and property data, but also reflects community priorities by taking a holistic approach to identifying EV charger locations with variables associated with environmental justice and equity, such as proximity to minority and women-owned businesses,” said Megan Anderson, Sustainability Manager for the City of Raleigh. “Being a member of RTCC helps the City of Raleigh facilitate the sharing of this innovative program with all communities within Wake County, as well as the rest of North Carolina.”
“RTCC’s Transportation Innovation Award recognizes a transportation or mobility project which uses innovative cleantech solutions to create a positive impact for the environment, economy, and residents of NC,” explained Emmit Owens, RTCC interim executive director. “The City of Raleigh’s EVSE mapping tool will accelerate the electrification of Raleigh’s transportation infrastructure and the adoption of electric vehicles, and importantly, does so by taking into consideration economic justice and equity factors that will benefit all citizens.”
The City of Raleigh’s EVSE mapping tool uses Geographic Information System (GIS) data to integrate property and geographic locations with economic and environmental equity information to determine optimum locations for installing Level 2 EV charging stations. For example, the mapping tool specifically considers economic development opportunities by identifying suitable locations with an emphasis on proximity to variables such as minority and women-owned businesses that can benefit from nearby EV charging stations through increased customer traffic and customer dwell time that can generate additional revenue for those nearby businesses. With a user-friendly interactive interface that provides visualization of the data, the system can be easily replicated for other municipalities, and updated/adapted to reflect new data and community priorities.
Transportation sources account for 42% of greenhouse gases (GHGs) emissions in Raleigh, and current modeling indicates that the expansion of electric vehicle infrastructure will increase the adoption of EVs, making this mapping system a key element in helping accelerate transportation electrification – one of the most impactful strategies to reduce emissions. A further benefit of EVs is that they eliminate tailpipe emissions, improving the local air quality, which enhances the health and well-being of citizens.
In developing its mapping tool, the City of Raleigh used data sources from the City of Raleigh Transportation Department, NC Department of Transportation, Office for Historically Underutilized Businesses, US Census Bureau, Wake County government, and Environmental Systems Research Institute (ESRI). In addition, Raleigh consulted with other City departments, as well as several peer cities and counties, including Asheville, Cary, Durham, Charlotte, Apex, and Orange County to provide feedback on the tool and methodology.
NOTE: This is the second in a series of articles detailing the Research Triangle Cleantech Cluster’s Annual Cleantech Innovation Award winners, designed to recognize and celebrate the top cleantech projects from across North Carolina. Nominations for the 2021 Cleantech Innovation Awards will open in September 2021.
About City of Raleigh Office of Sustainability
The City of Raleigh Office of Sustainability (OS) works collaboratively to prioritize sustainability, climate, equity and resilience efforts at an individual, city-wide and community-wide level. The OS serves as a catalyst, convener, consultant and technical expert to work on behavior change, education, resource efficiencies, and to strengthen innovative partnerships through pilot projects, testing new technology and encouraging new ways of thinking that positively impact the environment, our economy and all who live, work and play in Raleigh.
Climate change is a critically important environmental, economic and social issue for humankind today. A major focus of OS is Raleigh’s Community Climate Action Plan. This plan aims to meet City Council’s goal of an 80% reduction in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 2050, with the 3 main objectives of GHG emission reduction, building community resilience and addressing climate equity.
About Research Triangle Cleantech Cluster (RTCC)
The Research Triangle Cleantech Cluster (RTCC) is an initiative of business, government, academic and nonprofit leaders working to accelerate the region’s cleantech economy through collaboration and partnerships that promote innovation and sector growth. For more information, visit www.researchtrianglecleantech.org.
For more information, contact:
Interim Executive Director
Research Triangle Cleantech Cluster
Sustainability Manager, Office of Sustainability
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