Below are a couple of photographs I took last Thursday of the new electric vehicle charging station at the headquarters of Lansing Board of Water and Light. Needless to say, there appears to be enough “volts” for charging . : )
Posts Tagged ‘EVs’
Posted in Alternative energy, Alternative transportation, Cars, Climate Change, Environment, pictures, product design, Renewable Energy, Technology, Transportation, tagged alternative energy, charging stations, climate change, electric vehicles, EVs, renewable energy on April 6, 2012 | 4 Comments »
Posted in Alternative energy, Cars, Climate Change, Environment, EVs and hybrids, pollution, Renewable Energy, Technology, Transportation, tagged automobiles, cars, electric cars, environment, EVs, hybrids, transportation on August 10, 2011 | Leave a Comment »
The table below prepared by the Natural Resources Defense Council shows the states that lead in number of energy-efficient auto-related jobs. Congratulations to Michigan, Ohio, and Indiana for leading the nation forward and taking the top three positions.
Here is also a link to a cool interactive map on the subject.
Not only are the Nissan Leaf and Chevy Volt environmentally friendly, but they both will be receiving the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’s highest rating for safety. According to the story by Chris Woodyard, the top honors are awarded to vehicles based on the following:
To be designated a top pick, a vehicle must score the highest rating of “good” in front, side and rear crash tests, as well as in a roof-crush test. The institute has awarded the rating to certain gas-electric hybrids in the past, such as the Honda Civic hybrid, but not yet to a plug-in from a major maker.
Kudos to both Nissan and GM for this impressive twofer of environmentally friendly and safe cars.
- Washington State is considering a flat $100 per year fee.
- Oregon is considering charging electric vehicle and hybrid drivers a fee based on the number of miles they drive.
- Mississippi and Texas considered plans similar to Oregon, but the legislation was withdrawn due to opposition.
Certainly, a methodology for maintaining critical road and bridge infrastructure is necessary, especially since EVs and hybrids create wear and tear too. My question is whether a flat fee is the best idea and whether now is the best time to impose such a fee?
Here are a couple of incremental ideas to consider instead of the flat fee or a year-end odometer reading.
- Since the electricity used by EVs is not free and there are state taxes of one form or another already incorporated in to electricity billing costs, perhaps levying a monthly fee into the utility bill of EV owners based on electricity used would be an worthy option. This would seem easier than relying on year end odometer readings or getting a large flat fee bill all at once like Washington State is considering. Looking at my current utility bill, I will be paying $6.12 in sales tax. It would not be hard to apply the the applicable sales tax associated with electricity used for recharging an EV toward road and bridge projects.
- Motor pool vehicles at my office have a card and code that we enter each time we fill up one of the vehicles. Among the data we enter, is the vehicle mileage. A similar method could be use when using recharging stations. Then the tax on the electricity used could be included in the monthly utility bill.
In regards to the timing of the fee, I think there should be a threshold of EVs on the road that must be reached before such taxes are first imposed. Otherwise, we might be creating an unnecessary impediment to quick and early adoption of EVs. My proposal would be to eliminate oil company subsidies and use a portion of that savings to offset the early stage ramp up of the EV market. Once EVs reach five percent of the market based on sales, then begin to introduce the necessary taxes to assure a safe and modern system of roads and bridges.
I certainly do not have all the answers. So, if you think you have a better solution, please feel free to send it to us here at Progressive Blogic. We would love to hear from you.
The provincial government of Ontario has set a goal of one in every 20 cars being EVs (electric vehicles) by the end of this decade. Currently, there are approximately 10.5 million registered vehicles in Ontario. Using that figure as a base, by 2020, approximately 525,000 vehicles on the province’s roads will be EVs. While an ambitious and exciting goal, let’s all hope that both Canada and the United States will surpass that objective. According to the story on cbc.ca:
“The first commercial plug-in electric vehicles, the Chevrolet Volt, the Nissan Leaf, and the electric Ford Focus are expected to become available in Canada later in 2011, and the provincial government hopes that one in 20 vehicles in Ontario will be electric by 2020.”
“By demonstrating leadership in the adoption of electric vehicles, Ontario is positioned to capture the research and production jobs as the plan gains momentum. It’s about taking a long-term view for the clean jobs of tomorrow for our families.”
It is refreshing to know that some governments get it. Kudos to the Province of Ontario for charging forward.
The artist’s rendering above is an exciting conceptual design of an EV charging station. To me it resembles some mid-20th century rest areas along our highways. It will not be long before EV (electric vehicle) charging sites are popping up all across the American landscape. These newest generation of chargers (built at a plant near Detroit) will be able to re-charge your EV in approximately 30 minutes. Compare that to the standard re-charge time of seven hours and you can see where this is headed. Here’s a snippet from the story on earth911.com’s website:
“ECOtality will be installing more than 15,000 Blink chargers all over the country. These chargers can fully charge a Nissan LEAF in just 30 minutes; a standard 220/240V charge would take almost seven hours.”
“ECOtality also recently announced the start of mass manufacturing of the Company’s Blink Charging Stations (cool video) at the Roush Manufacturing facility outside of Detroit. Blink Home Charging Stations are available now to EV drivers and are free of charge to EV Project participants. The smart Blink Home Charger allows for increased cost-savings through improved power management and boasts an intuitive set of features, including a 7-inch color touch-screen control panel, and a stylish, easily configurable design. The units can be installed inside or outdoors at commercial locations, with both hardwire and plug-in versions available.”
Initiation of this $230 million EV infrastructure project (largest in American history) began in Arizona back on February 25th. In the not too distant future, EV charging units may surpass gas pumps. These leftover dinosaurs of the fossil fuel era may just become as commonplace as horse and buggy repair shops, unless they happen to be converted to EV stations at some point.
In my humble opinion, getting big oil off everyone’s back cannot happen soon enough for the good of the country. Don’t know about you, but I am geeked about this transportation revolution.
Congratulations to Ford – the new electric Ford Focus looks terrific and was a big hit at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES). Also, congratulations to both Best Buy and Ford, who will be partnering to sell EV charging stations. I am looking forward to the day that EVs are no longer the exception, but are the rule.
Photos are available through the link below.