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US West = EV Adoption Champion In USA

It’s widely known that California is the center of US electric vehicle adoption. California leads the country in terms of overall electric vehicle (EV) sales as well as EV market share of new vehicle sales. It’s also where Tesla was born and where nearly every US EV startup pops up.

But there are other states that are also well ahead of the US average for EV market share … and they’re basically all in the west. (Washington, D.C., is also in the top 10 if you want to include it in this ranking.)

Experian Automotive collected state-by-state data on EV sales and overall auto sales, and what it found is that only 6 states and D.C. had higher EV market share than the US as a whole. That highlights just how much a handful of states carry the country in terms of electric vehicle adoption. The above-average leaders, based on auto sales from the first half of the year, were:

  1. California — 3.6%
  2. Washington — 2.8%
  3. Hawaii — 2.21%
  4. Oregon — 1.7%
  5. Washington, D.C. — 1.48%
  6. Colorado — 1.3%
  7. Arizona — 1.2%

Note that the US EV market share for the first half of the year was 0.9%.

It will be interesting to see how these numbers shift in the second half of the year and next year. EV market share in California rose to 4.1% by the end of the 3rd quarter.

One topic that pops into mind looking at all of the data is EV availability. Automakers sell electric cars in California because they have to. Incentives are relatively strong in other top EV states, but the bigger matter is probably availability. Tesla sells its vehicles to customers all over the country, and you can probably find Nissan LEAFs on dealership lots all over the country as well, but many EVs are available only in California and a few other states. It’s pretty hard to buy electric cars in Alabama if dealers aren’t selling them, ya know?

Aside from exploring state data, Experian dove into cities. The top metro areas (“designated market areas”) in terms of EV market share were:

  1. San Francisco Oakland San Jose (California) — 7.9%
  2. San Diego (California) — 4%
  3. Juneau (Alaska) — 3.5%
  4. Seattle Tacoma (Washington) — 3.4%
  5. Santa Barbara (California) — 2.9%
  6. Monterey Salinas (California) — 2.9%
  7. Los Angeles (California) — 2.8%
  8. Honolulu (Hawaii) — 2.2%
  9. Portland (Oregon) — 2%
  10. Sacramento Stockton Modesto (California) — 1.8%

The next 10 were: Denver, Eugene, Palm Springs, Phoenix, Eureka, Austin, Washington DC, Atlanta, Charlottesville, and Bend. The only cities in that list not in the west are Austin (Texas), Washington (DC), Atlanta (Georgia), and Charlottesville (Virginia).

It’s interesting that Tesla’s birthplace is #1 on this list as well, which I assume has to be in part due to Tesla’s presence and influence in the area.

A key matter for the market growth of electric vehicles is word of mouth. Friends don’t let friends drive gasmobiles! The leading cities and states above will likely see their EV adoption grow exponentially (as we’ve seen in Norway over the past several years). For the foundation of EV sales growth, the big matter is just getting electric cars into the area and getting adoption off the ground.

Strong state incentives, consumer awareness organizations or campaigns, and EV dealerships could all help a great deal with that — as can the Tesla Model 3 and Model Y. Before putting everything on Tesla’s shoulders, though, something you might want to consider is what role you could play for quicker EV uptake in your area. There are organizations waiting to be formed, policies waiting to be drafted, and commercials waiting to be produced. Remember — ask not what your community can do for you, but what you can do for your community!

If you want to get involved politically to promote EV uptake, be sure to check out our Cleantech Revolution initiative and put your name in the hat.

And by the way, the three paragraphs above apply to people in California too. It’s easy to conclude that California is doing well, but 3.6–4.1% EV market share is still pretty lame, and far less than is needed. The state suffers from poor air quality that is largely due to dirty transport. It faces tremendous risk from climate disruption. And it benefits economically from a shift away from fossil transport. The home of Tesla should be sporting 100% EV market, 70% EV market share, or at least 30% EV market share. One out of every 24 auto sales is totally meh.

Any other takeaway thoughts from the data?

 

US West = EV Adoption Champion In USA, by Zachary Shahan, Clean Coalition, December 2, 2018.

PG&E Proposes Ditching Demand Charges for Commercial EV Charging

Businesses generally need to see cost savings in order to justify switching to an electric vehicle fleet.

“They need the rates to be better than gas or diesel if they’re going to give up their diesel bus or truck,” said Cal Silcox, clean transportation strategy manager at California utility Pacific Gas & Electric.

Right now, there’s no guarantee that commercial and industrial customers in PG&E territory will see any fuel savings, he said. That’s largely because of the demand charges C&I customers are required to pay when their electricity use spikes — such as during a high-powered EV charging event.

That’s why PG&E is hoping to replace demand charges with a new subscription rate plan for customers that are using commercial EV (CEV) charging. The proposal, submitted to the California Public Utilities Commission Monday, allows customers to choose the amount of power they need for their charging stations and pay for it with a flat monthly fee — similar to picking a cellphone data plan.

The proposal would create a new rate class for CEV charging and would offer two types of rates within that: one for customers with charging up to 100 kilowatts and one for customers with charging over 100 kilowatts.

“As EV charging stations become more common in places such as multi-family residences, businesses, transit stations and other commercial spaces, PG&E has recognized that the existing rate structure does not best meet the needs of commercial EV charging,” according to a company press release. “Currently, public or fleet EV chargers on PG&E’s commercial electric rates can see higher costs than the typical business customer, on average. These costs pose challenges to the expansion of EVs and needed charging stations.”

CEV customers currently pay 30-40 cents per kilowatt-hour in PG&E territory, while commercial buildings pay 18-25 cents per kilowatt-hour, Silcox explained. The new plan brings customer costs in line with their cost of service. PG&E’s modeling shows that it could save a transit agency, for instance, 20-34 percent on what it is paying today.

“We think it should get the price down to equal or less than the cost of diesel so it’s competitive and…makes the business case for going electric positive for them,” he said.

While the subscription fee is lower than the demand charges PG&E’s commercial customers currently pay, the plan is not unlimited. So if a customer’s electricity usage exceeds its rate program, it will have to pay for overages. But because the plan is monthly (rather than yearly, as some commercial rates are), customers have more insight into their usage and can adjust quickly to avoid additional payments in the future.

Also, any CEV customer that buys a plan covering their maximum charging capacity installed on site should never go over that limit, unless they add more chargers. Some customers may intentionally pick a subscription plan that covers less load than their charging stations require, running the risk of overages. But they would only elect to do so if they thought they could save more money through managed charging.

In that scenario, imagine a transit agency has a fleet of five electric buses and five 50-kilowatt chargers to fuel them up, said Silcox. The agency could either buy a 250-kilowatt subscription plan and cover all of its needs for the five buses, or purchase a 200-kilowatt plan and cover the remaining 50 kilowatts of charging load with energy storage or load management and potentially pay less overall.

The new proposed rate also includes a basic time-of-use structure that remains the same every day of the week and throughout the year. The time-of-use rate is specifically designed to encourage CEV charging during the middle of the day (with super off-peak rates offered between 9 a.m. and 2 p.m.) so that customers are taking advantage of California’s surplus solar power.

Peak hours would start at 4 p.m. under the subscription plan, which aligns with new time periods approved by the California Public Utilities Commission earlier this year. The peak period for CEV customers would end at 10 p.m. (an hour later than other customers), when prices start to decline again.

A new approach to ratemaking

PG&E has been working with California’s other investor-owned utilities to develop a new framework for designing rates, which is focused less on conventional rate classes and more on meeting a customer’s specific needs, for, say, EV charging. The utilities recently outlined this “modern rate architecture” concept in a white paper.

Margot Everett, senior director of rates and regulatory analytics at PG&E, said the fundamental idea is that rates need to get more granular in order to reflect how electricity customers actually use a utility’s products, which include energy generation, as well as the poles-and-wires delivery system, other services around that, and the utility’s public policy initiatives such as low-income programs. This approach also involves creating a rate that reflects a customer’s fair share of their cost of service, without creating other distortions in rate design.

“That’s the direction the state is going,” Everett said. “Really creating transparency around rates, really making sure our rates are meeting customers’ needs and making sure customers are paying for what they use…and not paying for other people’s costs.”

When asked why other utilities don’t take the same approach, Everett posited it’s mostly because they’re hesitant to do so.

“I think you’re going against a norm that’s been part of rate design for 100 years,” she said. “Creating rate classes based on how big you are or who you are, your demographic…is just the way utilities have been doing this for years.”

“Other utilities can start thinking in terms of creating different customer classes and recognizing that with technology evolution and customer choice, customers are not as homogenous as they used to be,” Everett continued. “This type of rate design worked fine in the 1970s, when everybody had pretty much the same type of load. […] Now you have customers that have a lot of choice, and we need to be thinking about how our customers are different and [considering] that it costs us something different to serve them.”

Moving to this new ratemaking model will require finding ways to gather more data. It could also be met with some pushback. Rooftop solar supporters have long opposed putting solar customers into a separate rate class from other residential customers, because these proposals typically reduce the economic benefits of going solar.

Things could be changing now that the solar market is maturing, though. And things could be different for EVs from the get-go, given that the additional load is generally a positive thing for utilities, whereas rooftop solar took load away.

PG&E says stakeholders have generally reacted favorably to the new subscription rate proposal so far. Everett said the California Public Utilities Commission and the advocacy group at the commission have also seen the plan receive positive responses. Regulators are highly motivated to approve this rate or something like it, she said, given that California’s two other investor-owned utilities already have CEV rates in place.

Because PG&E’s latest proposal isn’t tied to an EV infrastructure build-out and consequently doesn’t come with a big rate request, as previous EV filings have, the utility is hopeful it will move quickly.

Some industry members are too.

“ChargePoint applauds PG&E for the innovative commercial electric vehicle rate proposal that will, if approved, benefit EV drivers by significantly reducing barriers for operating charging stations in California,” said Renee Samson, director of utility solutions for ChargePoint, in a statement. ChargePoint hopes the new rate design will serve as an example for utilities around the country moving to support transportation electrification.”

“Creative new rate designs that help transit fleets like ours save on fuel costs will help enable us to make the transition to a 100 percent clean fleet, further reducing emissions on behalf of the residents that rely upon our fleet for safe, efficient, and reliable transportation throughout San Joaquin County,” said Donna DeMartino, chief executive officer for San Joaquin Regional Transit District. “PG&E’s proposed rate design provides a critical portion of that solution, and its approval will help bring us closer to our zero emissions goal.”

 

PG&E Proposes Ditching Demand Charges for Commercial EV Charging, by Julia Pyper, Greentech Media,  November 7, 2018.

Greening the Heart of the Central Valley

Huron is a small town in the heart of the Central Valley. That’s literal–ten miles or so south and east of Harris Ranch, it’s about the halfway point for drivers making the trek between Los Angeles and the Bay Area. But culturally and economically, Huron is about as far from the touristic setting of Harris Ranch as you can get.

Huron’s residents are mostly farmworkers, many of whom have lived in the area for generations. Not only does the entire region suffer from some of the worst air quality in the nation, being surrounded by farms doesn’t so much lend it a bucolic setting as one filled with dust, pesticides, and, according to residents, asbestos in nearby streams. The region has some of the highest asthma rates in the state, and residents do hard physical labor for not very much money.

Many people living in Huron do not have access to a car. And to reach medical or social service appointments, they have to somehow get to Fresno, which is about fifty miles away. That’s an hour’s drive in a car–or a three- to four-hour trip on a bus.

For years, Huron residents have helped each other get to medical and other appointments, and shopping trips, using an informal ride-sharing system they call “raiteros.”

The word is a loose Spanish borrowing from the English word “ride,” and raiteros can be the people giving the rides as well as the people who ride as passengers. Long before Uber or Lyft, residents of Huron who have a car would offer rides to those without one, sharing the cost of gas and the company. They might be relatives, or neighbors, or acquaintances. Huron’s mayor Rey León calls it “indigenous ingenuity.”

It was a problem that the mostly low-income community solved by itself, with its own resources.

The raiteros are doing good work, not only helping people get where they need to get in a timely way, but increasing the average number of riders per car making that long drive. However, for the most part they drive older cars that are neither clean burning or fuel efficient. That part is not good for anybody; not only do private vehicle trips account for the single largest chunk of emissions (28 percent), but there’s that polluted Central Valley air.

Some of those trips to Fresno are about to get a lot cleaner, with a new program called Green Raiteros. Two new all-electric vehicles—a Chevy Volt and a BMW 13—will be made available for use by the raiteros, along with a more formal dispatch system to keep it organized. Huron recently held a celebration to launch it, which also served as the official opening for a new community center that will offer an air-conditioned spot to hang out, computers with wifi—which is not so easy to come by in the rural town—and a maintenance yard and electric charging station for the new vehicles, as well as electric vehicles that will come to Huron in the future.

The Green Raiteros program has been in the works for several years. Huron’s mayor, Rey León, founder and executive director of San Joaquin Valley Latino Environmental and Advancement Policy (Valley LEAP), has been cobbling together funding—and community capacity—from a variety of sources, including grants from Just Transit and the California Endowment, and funds from a pot of money created when the CPUC settled fraud charges with an electricity company.

The money is not just for the two electric vehicles. The program launch also necessitated the installation of charging facilities in Huron and Fresno, the hiring of a program manager, and the creation of the dispatch system.

Brian Smith, an activist for clean air in the Central Valley, told Streetsblog that bringing electric cars to Huron “was a little like landing a space vehicle on the moon.”

“Just getting the power to a rural community was a major undertaking,” he said. “Green Raiteros faced many technical hurdles, but they never gave up.” Those included getting the right power lines out to Huron, which required coordinating with PG&E and EVGo, a company that is building a network of charging stations in the Central Valley. The cars have a range of 60 to 75 miles, enough for a one-way trip, so charging again in Fresno will be necessary to get home.

Reyes Barboza, the Director of Operations, has been working on bringing the project to reality since January. He’s also a native of Huron, but spent time in the Bay Area and on the East Coast getting educated and working as a planner before returning to Huron to work on the Green Raiteros project.

Even so, he sometimes feels like a newcomer. The raiteros have been around for a long time. Many are retired or semiretired people “who for the most part have been working in the fields for their whole lives,” he said. “They want to be active community participants. One of the ways they do that is making themselves available to offer transport to others who really need it, maybe on their regular weekly trip to Fresno.”

Barboza sees the possibilities of the Green Raiteros program being a model for other areas, but wants to focus on building capacity first in his hometown. “There’s a lot of talk about innovation and tech, but here you have a town that’s between L.A. and S.F. that lacks a lot. We’re not far from these tech capitals, and yet our fastest internet speed is DSL.”

“Without capacity,” said Barboza, “it’s harder for a place like Huron to find and apply for funds for these kinds of programs, which means you have folks from outside coming in. That means there aren’t any locals learning about this, and they become reliant on outside resources.”

In addition to the electric vehicles, Green Raiteros offers a dispatching service and a way to pay drivers who use their own cars for their expenses, similar to the way many volunteer organizations function. “We want to make sure we don’t creep into the taxi area,” said Barboza. “We want to keep it affordable.” Drivers who use the electric vehicles won’t be reimbursed, but they do get to drive the cleanest cars in town.

Eventually, says Barboza, “We can grow the EV program to establish a membership or a coop to rent the vehicles out to people” in Huron. The bigger picture, he said, is to make it part of “a farmworker community network.”

Huron is far from the only rural, farmworker-resident town in California, and the raitero system is widespread. Its informality makes it hard to know who or even where all the raiteros are, even in Huron. Part of what Green Raiteros has to offer is a model for other places to figure out how to implement a similar program to support the community as well as to clean up emissions, and other cities, such as Stockton, are watching to see how the program works out the kinks.

“Wherever there are campesinos, there are raiteros,” said Mayor León. “It’s a a social network of support among comadres, compadres, neighbors, relatives, and an innate sociocultural aspect of who we are.”

Green Raiteros is “just matching it up with today’s technologies, to make it easily consumable, understandable, safe, and secure,” he said.

The program is still in the process of hiring dispatchers and setting up a system, but they plan to begin offering rides this week. “The wheels are grinding slowly,” said León, “but definitely each revolution is very productive and instructional for us. We’re getting rid of the air bubbles and getting rid of potholes” so other cities and towns can emulate Huron’s success.

The first trips they will focus on are for medical and family services appointments. In a video about the project, and the mayor, León counts the ways Green Raiteros is an important resource for Huron in addition to the community center: it provides economic justice, serving those who need it most; it offers environmental benefits by providing cleaner transportation; it’s one of many solutions for climate change; and it offers transportation justice, putting those without vehicles on an equal footing as those that have them.

The future, León told Streetsblog, is “not just about edifice or infrastructure; it’s more than that. What is physical should reflect what is cultural, what is on the ground.”

“There is huge value where there’s not great wealth,” he added. “That’s why we need to invest in [places like Huron], so we can bring about some equity while we identify new ways to improve the larger infrastructure, transit, and other needs.”

 

Greening the Heart of the Central Valley, by Melanie Curry, Streetsblog California, October 26, 2018.

Electrify America Announces Second $200M Zero Emission Vehicle Investment Plan For California

Electrify America announced its next $200 million investment in Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) infrastructure as well as education and awareness in California which is outlined in its Cycle 2 California ZEV Investment Plan submitted to the California Air Resources Board (CARB). Cycle 2 is a 30-month investment period, which begins in July 2019.

The investment will build on Electrify America’s initial priorities and expand into new areas, where the need for electric vehicle charging stations and technology are greatest or are most likely to be used regularly. Consistent with the guidance of CARB, Electrify America plans strive to ensure that 35 percent of Cycle 2 investments are in low-income or disadvantaged communities.

Highlights of the California Cycle 2 ZEV Investment Plan include:

– Metropolitan Areas: The central focus of electric vehicle charging infrastructure investment in Cycle 2 will shift to more DC Fast Charging (DCFC) stations within metro areas, where electric vehicle (EV) drivers are expected to charge most often. Electrify America will invest in nine metro areas inside California, including these new metro areas added for Cycle 2: Riverside-San Bernardino, Santa Cruz-Watsonville and Santa Rosa.

Electrify America also will continue to invest in the six Cycle 1 metros: Fresno, Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, Sacramento-Roseville-Arden-Arcade, San Diego-Carlsbad, San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward and San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara.

These metro areas are expected to account for 89 percent of expected battery electric vehicles (BEVs) in operation through 2022, according to a 2017 Navigant report. The DC Fast Charging stations will be placed in retail locations but also consider the needs of adjacent multi-unit dwellings where Level 2 (L2) residential charging deployment is oftentimes challenging.

Electrify America also will invest in DCFC stations specifically targeting shared mobility drivers – car share, taxis and transportation networking company (TNC) drivers.

– Highways & Regional Routes: The new Cycle 2 investments announced today will continue to build out a highway network of DCFC stations featuring charging power up to 350 kilowatts which can refuel a vehicle at up to 20 miles of range per minute. This will include building new sites connecting regional destinations, such as supporting travel to the Sierra Mountain communities and destinations like Lake Havasu.

– Residential: The primary, most convenient and cost efficient fueling option for many drivers is residential charging. The Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy at the Department of Energy reports that EV drivers conduct ‘more than 80 percent of their charging at home.’ However, the cost and complexity of installing home charging can be a barrier to ZEV adoption for some buyers, especially in low-income communities. To address this need, Electrify America will develop a comprehensive residential charging solution.

First, Electrify America will develop an online tool that promotes and connects EV buyers with the wide range of residential charging incentives and rebates already available in California and simplifies the application process. This program will be designed to integrate with CARB’s recently announced ‘one-stop-shop,’ which focuses on incentives for the ZEV purchase itself, and together these offerings will provide customers support throughout the entire purchase process.

In addition, Electrify America will offer ‘no-money-down’ residential chargers and installation, enabling buyers who cannot or choose not to pay for the L2 charger installation at home. The cost of installation will be incorporated into a monthly fee.

Finally, Electrify America will develop a platform that will allow drivers with a home charger to earn financial rewards for plugging in and supporting a demand response platform for grid electric power stability.

– Bus and Shuttle Charging: To help spur adoption in this sector, Electrify America plans to collaborate with transit operators to provide charging infrastructure at depots, layover points, and on key routes. This approach offers another means of serving disadvantaged and low-income populations who rely on public transportation.

– Rural: To further support the adoption of ZEVs in rural communities in California, Electrify America will deploy L2 chargers in rural areas with a potential focus on health care facilities and education institutions located in the Central, Coachella and Imperial Valleys.

– Autonomous: To support the growth of autonomous ZEVs, Electrify America will build up to two commercial deployments of charging stations for autonomous electric vehicles where this need is emerging.

Renewable Generation: Electrify America will invest in renewable generation for select stations to help to reduce station operating costs and reduce the carbon content for EV refueling which is consistent with California’s broader air quality goals.

– Education and Awareness: In Cycle 2, Electrify America will invest in additional education, awareness, and outreach activities to help drive ZEV adoption. Efforts will primarily focus on boosting awareness and consideration by informing the general public on the benefits of ZEVs through traditional media advertising, similar to Electrify America’s Cycle 1 “JetStones” TV/radio campaign. Electrify America’s marketing outreach will continue to coordinate with ZEV awareness initiatives by collaborating with key non-profit organizations like Veloz.

Electrify America also will work to generate awareness of its charging network to promote station utilization through digital activations and targeted digital media interactions such as paid search and web banners for specific groups most likely to be able to utilize the Electrify America charging network.

Electrify America will continue to support the Green City Initiative in Sacramento. The initiative, which includes two ZEV car share programs, two BEV bus/shuttle services and substantial investments in associated charging infrastructure, will showcase new uses of ZEV technology while promoting increased ZEV usage across many channels serving low-income or disadvantaged communities. While these programs are funded in Cycle 1, the services – and benefits – of this $44 million Cycle 1 investment will launch and be fully operational during Cycle 2. Electrify America will provide strategic guidance and operational support for these services over the course of Cycle 2.

The California Cycle 2 ZEV Investment Plan benefited from collaboration with the California Air Resources Board and Staff and a comprehensive national outreach period, during which Electrify America received more than 700 submissions and spoke with more than 100 individual submitters. The company held community meetings across California focused on local government and community-based organizations and engaged with California’s leading academics at UC Davis, UCLA and the National Laboratories.

Electrify America was established to implement the $2 billion ZEV Investment Commitment outlined in Volkswagen’s Court-approved settlement involving 2.0L TDI diesel vehicles in the United States. The investments will be made in four, 30-month investment cycles that will direct $800 million in electric vehicle infrastructure, education and access programs in California, one of the largest ZEV markets in the world; $1.2 billion is budgeted for states outside California through 2026.

Under the Consent Decree for this settlement, investment decisions are Electrify America’s to make and plans are subject to review by the California Air Resources Board (CARB) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for consistency with the requirements of the Consent Decree.

 

Electrify America Announces Second $200M Zero Emission Vehicle Investment Plan For California, by Blagojce Krivevski, Electric Cars Report, October 4, 2018.

Porsche drops diesel engines, switches to hybrid and electric power for alternative energy

PORSCHE once famously pledged it would never build a diesel car — then went on to sell thousands of diesel-powered Cayenne SUVs.

Indeed, diesel cars accounted for 12 per cent of all Porsches sold last year alone.

But times have changed.

After almost 10 years of using engines once deemed to be unbecoming for a Porsche, the performance brand is set to drop diesels forever.

A diesel option was conspicuous by its absence when the new, third-generation Cayenne went on sale earlier this year.

Last year the company initially said a new diesel Cayenne was in the works but didn’t provide any details.

It was rumoured Porsche was doing its own emissions work on a new engine rather than relying on parent company and diesel engine supplier Volkswagen in the wake of the “dieselgate” scandal.

But in an apparent U-turn some time in the past few months diesel is now off the cards for Porsche.

“Porsche is not demonising diesel. It is, and will remain, an important propulsion technology,” Porsche Chief Executive Oliver Blume said in a statement issued over the weekend.

“We as a sports car manufacturer, however, for whom diesel has always played a secondary role, have come to the conclusion that we would like our future to be diesel-free.”

The company assured owners of existing diesel vehicles they will continue to be supported with parts and service.

Porsche says demand for diesels is dropping globally and it will instead invest more than 6 billion euros ($9.9 billion) in hybrid and electric technology by 2022.

“We have never developed and produced diesel engines ourselves. Still, Porsche’s image has suffered. The diesel crisis has caused us a lot of trouble,” Blume was quoted as saying in an interview with German newspaper Bild am Sonntag.

Porsche’s announcement came the same day as a meeting was held by German Chancellor Angela Merkel to investigate whether the car industry should pay for costly hardware upgrades for older diesel vehicles.

Next year, Porsche will launch its first fully electric car the Taycan. It already has a plug-in hybrid versions of the Panamera sedan and Cayenne SUV.

The next generation Porsche 911 will also be available with plug-in hybrid power, although it is unclear if it will arrive with the new model next year or be introduced later in the model cycle.

Porsche has promised the plug-in hybrid 911 will be “the most powerful 911 we’ve ever had; 700 horsepower might be possible.”

It will also have a “special button for the electric punch”, similar to a ‘push to pass’ button in Formula One.

 

Porsche drops diesel engines, switches to hybrid and electric power for alternative energy, by Joshua Dowling, News.com.au, September 24, 2018.

Electric Vehicle Owners Join up to Advocate, Share Info

There’s a new group in town — the Davis Electric Vehicle Association!

As an affiliated sub-group of the Sacramento Electric Vehicle Association (SacEV), a chapter of the national nonprofit Electric Auto Association, DEVA advocates for electric vehicle adoption and supports the development of EV infrastructure regionally.

DEVA is a special kind of car club made up of electric vehicle owners, prospective owners and enthusiasts from the Davis and Sacramento area and is a working group of Cool Davis.

DEVA held its first meeting, hosted by members of SacEv and Cool Davis, on Aug. 27, when 24 members gathered to share stories and enthusiasm for alternative fuel vehicles.

At upcoming DEVA events, community members can experience EVs from behind the wheel. Johan Verink/Courtesy photo

“I can do anything I need to do around town (in my Volt), and I don’t need gas,” said member Katrina Sutton, a program analyst for the Plug-in Hybrid & Electric Vehicle Research Center at UC Davis. “It’s just awesome!”

Sutton said she joined DEVA because she likes to talk to people “who are on the fence” about EVs, while encouraging EV adoption and sharing stories with fellow EV owners. She sees DEVA as an opportunity to “encourage people to reduce emissions and join the community in a fun way.”

DEVA meetings will host guest speakers presenting on various EV topics. The group’s first meeting featured Robert Haran’s presentation on vehicle-to-grid technology, a potential way for plug-in EVs to transfer energy back and forth to the grid.

Members discussed future meeting guest speakers (possibly from Tesla) and topics such as EV market updates, the Valley Clean Energy Alliance, EV charging and battery care, PG&E EV charging station rollouts and EV travel stories.

The group also proposed fun events like a Davis EV parade and field trips to the California Independent System Operator and the Wind Farm.

First up is an EV Show & Tell from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 16, on Fourth Street between C and D streets, adjacent to the Farmers Market. The event will feature ride-and-drive opportunities with dealer vehicles and several workshops, including “EV 101 — What EV is Right For Me?,” “Charging Levels, Power and Your Electricity Bill,” “EV/PV Driving on Sunshine!” and “EV Future — New Tech, Battery Backup and Autonomous Vehicles.”

Ride-and-drive vehicles will include Nissan Leaf, Chevy Bolt and Volt, Honda Clarity, BMW i3, Ford Focus, Ford Cmax and Ford Fusion.

Show-and-tell vehicles will include Fiat 500e, Honda Clarity, Kia Soul, Tesla S and X, Chevy Bolt, Nissan Leaf and Toyota Rav 4.

DEVA also plans to host an EV/PV Home Tour on Sunday, Oct. 22. Details will be forthcoming.

DEVA plans to meet every other month; the next meeting will be in October, with the date, time and location to be announced. For more information, email deva@cooldavis.org.

More resources:

* National Drive Electric Week: https://driveelectricweek.org
* Sacramento Electric Vehicle Association: https://www.saceva.org/cars

Electric Vehicle Owners Join up to Advocate, Share Info, by Jessica Driver, The Davis Enterprise, September 14, 2017.

San Joaquin County – Hub of Electric Vehicle Innovation

EVI Sign

Welcome Sign of Electric Vehicles International, LLC facility in Stockton, California. Recently acquired by First Priority GreenFleet, Ltd.

Named after the lengthy river that runs through it, San Joaquin County was the Valley’s first location where settlers took up permanent residence. With a readily accessible water source, it’s easy to see why it was originally developed for agriculture and ranching. I was born and raised in Tracy (about 30 miles from the County seat of Stockton), and it wasn’t unusual to see cows grazing along town roads as I grew up.

Over the past few decades, San Joaquin County has undergone a stark transformation as farms have given way to more homes and businesses. The influx of commercial development is welcomed by residents seeking growth for the local economy, but inevitably demands more resources. As a lawyer with a background in energy and environmental law, I’ve come to appreciate the magnitude of energy needed to power our communities, and energy’s impact on our environment, including air quality. As our communities grow, it’s clear we must innovate to move toward sustainability.

My enthusiasm for green power was “reenergized” when I learned that Stockton will be home to a renewed electric vehicle production facility. First Priority Greenfleet Ltd has acquired the assets of Electric Vehicles International (located in Stockton), and is looking to build and sell hybrid and electric specialty vehicles, including electric school buses. This is particularly significant in light of the up to $1,000,000 recent award from California Air Resources Board to the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District to make local school buses safer and less polluting.

First Priority Greenfleet’s acquisition comes at a dynamic time in the electric vehicle market, as car companies around the world are racing to dominate the commercial and mass market. San Joaquin County is already home to another star-studded electric vehicle maker – Tesla. In 2014, Tesla purchased a 431,000 square foot distribution facility in Lathrop, California. The facility, previously owned by Daimler-Chrysler, is currently being utilized for manufacturing Tesla components.

It’s exciting to think of San Joaquin County as a potential hub of energy innovation and greenhouse gas reductions. We’re well-positioned geographically, given our proximity to both the booming Bay Area and to Sacramento, the state capital. Our recent shift toward electric vehicle production is a step in the right direction – proving that communities can reap economic and environmental benefits on their path toward sustainability.

A Spark of Change in Fresno

Fig Garden-EV Parking

EV parking at Fig Garden shopping center

The City of Fresno is situated in the heart of California’s agricultural powerhouse the San Joaquin Valley, and is often viewed as the economic capital of the area. Despite its importance and continual growth, the state’s fifth largest city struggles with some of the worst air pollution in the country.

To address this issue, the city is taking a look at its transportation sector. A significant amount of the San Joaquin Valley’s main sources of air pollution, including Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs), and Nitrogen Oxides (NOx), can be attributed to emissions from passenger vehicles. Promoting the benefits of electric vehicles, in conjunction with renewable energy, is a viable way that the city can reduce air pollutants.

Fresno hopes to encourage the use of electric vehicles (EVs) by expanding charging stations throughout the city, with the goal of making them as ubiquitous as gas stations. In the past year, the city has unveiled multiple EV charging stations in different location. In 2015, the city approved charging stations from NRG Energy’s eVgo program to be placed at two popular shopping areas: three for customers at the Fig Garden Village, a popular shopping plaza that houses a Whole Foods Market, and three for public use at Fashion Fair Mall. Payment for charging at these locations is made through the eVgo’s payment program via an app. Also during this time, the Fresno Area Hispanic Foundation, in alliance with the San Joaquin Valley Electric Vehicle Partnership and NRG eVGo, installed four charging stations in the downtown area through grant funding.

In the summer of 2015, California State University, Fresno announced the installation of six charging stations on campus for use by students, staff, and the public. The stations are situated in a parking with solar panels that produce 20% of energy for the college. Obtained through grant funding from the California Energy Commission, charging costs at the campus stations is at a reasonable $1 per hour flat rate.

In January of 2016, electric car maker Tesla unveiled ten Supercharging stations along Highway 99 in Northwest Fresno. Located at the El Paseo shopping center, the Supercharging stations are the first of their kind in the area, and incentivize travelers to stop in Fresno and charge their vehicles.

Looking ahead, the potential for growth is promising. On June 9, 2015, State Treasurer John Chiang announced the Electric Vehicle Charging Station Financing Program, which provides incentives to businesses and landlords who install EV charging stations for their employees, customers, and tenants. Participants will receive a rebate of up to 15%. More information on the program can be found here.

Time will tell if the recent expansion of charging stations will spur demand for electric vehicles in the area. Fresno’s investment in electric transportation shows its commitment to reducing greenhouse gases and air pollution, and positions the city as a leader to transition away from fossil fuel programs and towards alternative, green energy.

Such a shift in fuel demand would provide the perfect opportunity to revive a serious discussion about Community Choice Energy for the area. Community Choice is an energy model tha gives local agencies control over the sourcing and pricing of their electricity. Programs currently exist in Marin and Sonoma Counties, and the cities of Lancaster and San Francisco. These communities are saving homeowners and businesses millions of dollars, generating local jobs, keeping money in their communities, and significantly reducing greenhouse gases. It’s time for Fresno to take another close look at the benefits of Community Choice.