Research output: NRELManagement


As cities around the country launch efforts to use data and mobility technology in more innovative and effective ways than ever before, smart cities are serving as living laboratories for increasing the energy efficiency and reducing the emissions of urban mobility systems, while increasing mobility services. The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Energy Efficient Mobility Systems (EEMS) program envisions an affordable, efficient, safe, and accessible transportation future in which mobility is decoupled from energy consumption. Technologies that may help achieve this vision include advanced vehicles and systems that are automated, connected, efficient, and/or shared (ACES). EEMS supports research and development that investigates these technologies and other opportunities to increase mobility energy productivity [1] in communities. As a part of an interagency Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) in support of the EEMS Program, DOE and the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) are working together to accelerate innovative smart transportation systems research. Through this coordination, DOE paired a Technologist in Cities (TIC) with Columbus, Ohio after the City of Columbus' Smart Columbus project won the DOT Smart City Challenge in 2016. The TIC works with the City and its partners throughout the life of the Smart Columbus project. The Smart Columbus initiative is supported by two grants, totaling $50 million. A $40 million DOT grant supports multiple projects, including smart mobility hubs, automated electric shuttles, enhanced communications, such as Dedicated Short-Range Communications (DSRC), and truck platooning. Complementing the DOT grant is a $10 million grant from the Paul G. Allen Philanthropies (formerly Vulcan) to accelerate adoption of plug-in electric vehicles (PEVs), to enhance charging infrastructure to support PEV adoption, and to provide a cleaner and more efficient electric grid. Now in its third year of the DOT grant, many of the projects, particularly with respect to PEV adoption, are highly mature, and many of the mobility based projects are nearing full implementation. With the end of the grant period looming in 2020, Smart Columbus is now planning for the transition from grant funded projects to sustained initiatives within the city.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages8
StatePublished - 2020

Bibliographical note

See the Vehicle Technologies Office Technology Integration 2019 Annual Progress Report at

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/MP-5400-78701


  • energy efficiency
  • Energy Efficient Mobility Systems (EEMS)
  • mobility


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