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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.