The Chattanooga Area Regional Transportation Authority (CARTA) received a "smart city" award for its innovative electric vehicle charging and carshare project.
The Smart 50 Awards, which recognize smart cities projects from around the world, is a partnership of Smart Cities Connect, Smart Cities Connect Foundation, and US Ignite.
CARTA's new network of publicly accessible electric vehicle charging infrastructure was deployed across the community to promote transportation choice through integration with traditional transit, electric shuttle operations, the Bike Chattanooga Bicycle Transit System, and public parking infrastructure.
With the construction of 80kW of solar energy production and related power provider agreements, a compensatory amount of clean energy is provided to the electric grid to match vehicle energy use. So far, CARTA has installed 64 electric vehicle charging ports across 22 site locations promoting electric vehicle charging access at no cost to the user.
CARTA selected Green Commuter, a California-based benefit corporation, to introduce 20 Nissan LEAF all-electric vehicles as part of a new carshare program, with vehicles accessible by the hour or day through smart phone technology. This ownership model of the electric vehicle supply equipment by CARTA provides for continued maintenance and connectivity of the charging network through revenues produced by solar energy production.
The expansion of the publicly accessible electric vehicle charging network and the introduction of a new carshare program to the city promotes the further use of smart and clean energy transportation choices. Coordination of data collection from these transport systems provides CARTA the opportunity to develop enhanced and integrated transportation bundles to promote consumer choice and better utilize the community's transportation resources. This new electric vehicle framework will also provide a foundation for the introduction of connected and autonomous vehicle technology as well as mobility-on-demand solutions.