Here’s a great piece by Brian Foley from the Sierra Club. . .
Just like the two-way street, car innovators are focusing more than ever on the two-way plug that could revolutionize cars’ relationship with the grid. The idea is to give plug-in cars the ability to feed energy back into the grid when parked. And part of the vision includes small payments to people whose vehicles become energy providers when the grid is in need of balancing during peak hours. This innovation will be particularly useful for backing up energy sources like wind and solar that can vary by time of day or weather.
Using 15 plug-in Mini E’s donated by BMW, the idea is being explored by Prof. Willett Kepton of the University of Delaware. These days cars sit idle and unused for a large majority of their lives. Creating back-and-forth capabilities with the grid –
and the home — would sharply increase the car’s efficiency and role in our lives while challenging the traditional energy provider and consumer relationship.
Dubbed the “cashback car,” the consumer-friendly technology could make EVs even more appealing to people who are tired of burning funds at the gas pump. As Autoblog Green explains:
Kempton estimates that in the high-value grid markets, an EV at a charging point with the capability to charge or discharge at 10kW can generate $2,000 or more each year. It’s a very appealing proposition to go on vacation while leaving your car at home in the garage generating a paycheck for when you return. And, over a typical 5-10 year ownership period, it’s enough to pay for the cost of the battery and still provide you the benefit of EV motoring at its spectacular two- to three-cents-per-mile operating cost.
In this world, the rules of car ownership change dramatically. Drivers can quit oil, provide clean energy to the grid, and get paid for it.
The original version of this article can be found here.
There’s no doubt that electric car charging infrastructure is booming in the United States. In fact, a recent infographic posted by the folks over at plugincars.com just posted a new infographic that details just how rapidly this space is growing. You can check it out here.
Don’t want to end up like New York Times reporter John Broder, freezing to save power in your electric car? Sign up for AAA.
The American Automobile Association has never been the most progressive organization, but they seem to be anticipating the growing market for electric vehicles. Yesterday AAA-Washington announced its first “PTO driven level-3 roadside charging unit,” a truck that can deliver a fifteen-minute roadside jolt to electric car drivers in the Seattle area.
What does that jargon mean? Well, AAA already has a few mobile charging vehicles deployed in Oregon and California, but this truck, pictured above, isn’t just a pick-up with a gas-powered generator in the bed. Its electric power is produced by the “power takeoff” of the truck’s engine.
Ten to fifteen minutes of charge, according to the AAA press release, will allow a vehicle to drive “three to 15 miles” to a charging station (instead of being towed there). That’s a pretty big range, but the Seattle region has one of the U.S.’s best power networks for EVs — there are over a hundred in downtown Seattle alone.
The original version of this article can be found here.
Southern Company just released this great video about the future of electric vehicles. You can check it out here.
Good news, EV supporters. The Federal Alternative Fuel Infrastructure Tax Credit has been extended to apply to all projects installed before December 31, 2013. See http://www.afdc.energy.gov/laws/law/US/10513 for details.
Maryland Clean Cities Coalition member, BEVI, has been awarded a Constellation Energy to Educate grant to advance Youth Energy and Environment Service (YES) Corps 2013 summer internships. The YES Corps Program advances Science Technology Engineering Arts and Math (STEAM) electric vehicle education.
BEVI will be working with the Electric Vehicle Association of DC (EVADC) and four Maryland universities – Johns Hopkins University, the Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA), and the University of Maryland College Park (UMCP) and Baltimore County (UMBC) to create paid summer internships and fellowships at the universities, and to encourage broader engagement of unpaid interns and high school students interested in participating.
BEVI is actively pursuing collaborations with sisters states as well, including Virginia and the District of Columbia, to leverage these valuable resources to drive clean transportation and clean cities opportunities.
Constellation Energy’s award to BEVI follows an inaugural 2012 YES Corps program in which YES Corps summer interns began the critical work of mapping social media to stage EV education and outreach. That work will continue with the 2013 program, along with social entrepreneurship engagement to explore how to get more EVs into operation, and more communities EV ready.
Thanks to Constellation Energy’s progressive program encouraging clean energy outreach and education, including its interest in supporting electric vehicles and STEAM education. Special thanks also to the Maryland Energy Administration and our Clean Cities Coalition for being the springboard for these clean transportation programs, the incredible educators and thought leaders at our collaborating institutions and BEVI partners at EVADC.
More to come in the new year.
The second-ever National Plug In Day is just around the corner. It is the Sunday after next, September 23rd to be exact. Thanks to a generous donor of the event organizers, Plug In America will be giving away one new Apple iPad at 10 separate National Plug In Day events.
Here’s all you need to do for a chance to win a new, lightning-fast, 4G LTE iPad:
1. Like the Plug In America Facebook Page.
2. Share this contest with your friends on Facebook. Don’t be afraid to forward this Email on to your entire contacts list either. There maybe someone on that list that either wants an iPad or wants a plug-in electric vehicle.
4. Show up. Winners must be present at the National Plug In Day event he or she has registered at to win. Hurry, the contest ends on September 21!
Or go to pluginday.org to find one near you. This year, more than 60 cities will help throw this national party celebrating plug-in vehicles from Spokane to San Antonio to Sarasota and parts in between. Many events will feature ride-n-drives, because we all know that nothing turns a newbie into an EV buyer like experiencing the cool, clean, quiet real-thing.
Check out some of the vehicles lined up:
Tesla Model S, Nissan Leaf, Tesla Roadster, Chevy Volt, Coda, Mitsubishi iMiEV, Zero Motorcycles, BMW ActiveE, Honda Fit EV, Plug-In Prius, Toyota RAV4 EV, Fisker Karma, Smart ED, Ford Focus EV, eBikes
National Plug In Day activities across the country include plug-in rallies and parades, charging-infrastructure demos with fast-chargers aplenty, solar power presentations – so we can all drive on sunshine – EV-readiness awards, smiling city officials, even an EV-themed pinata, we hear.
So, sign-up for your chance to win a new LTE iPad NOW, and tell a friend! Even more important: attend an event with a friend who has never driven an EV.
Contest ends September 21, 2012 11:59pm. Terms and conditions apply.
National organizers of National Plug In Day are Plug In America, the Sierra Club, and the Electric Auto Association.
Jill Sorensen for BEVI and Joseph Lado
National Plug In Day Captain for Washington, DC and vicinity
Member of the Electric Vehicle Association of Greater Washington, DC
Check out BEVI’s own Jill Sorenson on Emerald Planet. . .
A new piece in the Seattle Times shows PHEV sales are soaring. Check it out here.