Project Plug-IN Objectives

Project Plug-IN is a commercial scale pilot of plug-in electric vehicles (PEVs) and smart grid technology working together to demonstrate an energy efficient transportation system solution. It aims to develop, deploy, demonstrate, market and evaluate a range of PEVs powered by an integrated charging infrastructure located at homes, businesses, and parking facilities. The pilot will span the service territories of two regulated utilities and include the development of a model regulatory framework and network architecture needed to take smart grid and plug-in systems to scale. Furthermore, the project has been structured to promote participation by commercially sold plug-in vehicles so that technical and consumer data on hundreds of vehicles is likely by the end of the project.

Project Plug-IN received strong support through federal grant funding. The project was awarded a total of $6.4 million in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act dollars distributed through the State of Indiana, as well as partner contributions to support vehicle deployment, charging infrastructure and data collection and analysis.

Energy Systems Network’s (ESN) Project Plug-IN is comprised of partnering companies and institutions with capabilities spanning the entire plug-in ecosystem from vehicles, to grids and in-between. ESN partners for this project include:

  • Delphi Corporation
  • Duke Energy
  • Eaton
  • Ener1, Inc.
  • Indiana Economic Development Corporation
  • Indiana Office of Energy Development
  • Indianapolis Power & Light
  • ITOCHU Corporation
  • MISO
  • Purdue University
  • Rocky Mountain Institute
  • Tom Wood Automotive Group
  • Toshiba
  • Toyota Motor Corporation


Project Plug-IN has seven overall project goals, each of which will be implemented through ESN’s comprehensive collaborative systems approach.

  • Consumer adoption of electric vehicles: Accelerate adoption of consumer and fleet electric vehicles in greater Indianapolis area.
  • Charging infrastructure deployment: Provide corresponding charging capabilities in homes, businesses and parking facilities.
  • Collaboration and shared learning: Partner with other deployment communities to share best practices.
  • Outreach and education: Enhance awareness, workforce training and educational opportunities for the community.
  • Model regulatory environment: Lay foundation for smoother consumer adoption by successfully achieving regulatory requirements.
  • New technology and business model opportunities: Investigate related technologies to prepare for full market penetration and second generation EVs.