U.S. cities will soon be able to compete for $5 million in federal funding to accelerate installation and deployment of electric vehicles, and drivers will be able to view a Google-powered mapping database of electric vehicle charging stations throughout the country, the Department of Energy (DOE) Secretary Steven Chu announced April 19.

The pilot program, a partnership with Internet search engine Google, is intended to spur local development of electric vehicle infrastructure. Grants will be in the amounts of $250,000 and $500,000, according to the Environment News Service.

To earn the funding, local governments and private companies must develop projects that streamline the electric vehicle deployment process or make the vehicles more readily accessible. Those programs may include forming incentive programs or revising local permitting processes, according to a news release.

The Department of Energy will also team up with Google Inc. and 80 electric vehicle stakeholders to generate an online map of all U.S. charging stations.

“The initiatives announced today are just the latest steps in our broader efforts to reduce America’s dependence on oil, improve our energy security, and save families and businesses money,” Chu said in the release.

The DOE’s Clean Cities Program—which works with state and local governments, the auto industry and private sector fleet operators to aid in the development of energy efficient vehicle fleets—has saved nearly 3 billion gallons of gasoline since its inception 18 years ago.

Nearly 100 cities participate in the coalition. Tucson, Ariz.; Denver, Colo. and St. Paul, Minn. are regarded as the leaders among cities that have developed local policies to reduce dependence on oil through the deployment of electric vehicles, natural gas vehicles and biodiesel facilities.

President Obama has set as a goal 1 million electric vehicles on U.S. roads by 2015 and the reduction of U.S. oil imports by one-third by 2025.

To learn more about electronic vehicle funding opportunities, visit https://www.fedconnect.net/FedConnect/PublicPages/PublicSearch/Public_Opportunities.aspx
under the title “DE-FOA-0000451 Clean Cities FY 2011 FOA.”