LISLE, IL - A group of transportation and utility industry leaders formed the Electrification Leadership Council (ELC) - a new group dedicated to overcoming barriers to broad-scale electric vehicle deployment.

ELC members already include FedEx Express, Hertz, Navistar, Azure Dynamics, A123 Systems, CODA Automotive, Pacific Gas and Electric Co., ECOtality, Automatiks, GE Capital. Large delivery service companies and vehicle manufacturers - as well as representatives from national, state and local agencies - have also joined.

The ELC's initial task is to design a demonstration project that focuses on large‐scale deployment of EVs within densely populated local markets. All of the components of an "EV Ecosystem" can be brought together to better understand the interoperability between EVs and the electric grid across a variety of vehicle classes and applications, according to council leaders. The EV Ecosystem components include everything from EV deployment, charging stations, the electrical grid, energy storage devices and battery second‐life applications, to communication systems and support networks.

"Our council recognizes that no one entity can create a comprehensive solution for the broad-scale deployment of EVs," said Mark Aubry, vice president of Navistar's eStar electric vehicle brand. "That's why we have come together to create a public and private model that will help us understand what will be required to operate thousands of EVs within a community."

The ELC's strategy also leverages the work of other prominent national organizations, such as the Electrification Coalition and the Electric Drive Transportation Association.

"This is about developing a more efficient, effective and environmentally friendly EV Ecosystem," said Dennis Beal, vice president of global vehicles for FedEx Express. "We work with many companies across the EV Ecosystem, have learned a lot and are hungry to share our learning, expand collaboration and further the future of transportation electrification with this large‐scale, cross‐industry project."