Electric Car Adoption Accelerating
Automobile manufacturers aren’t the only ones preparing for a green driving future. With several plug-in cars, including the fully electric Nissan Leaf and General Motors' rechargeable Chevrolet Volt, expected to be on the market this year, and some 51 electric models coming online by 2012 , there’s a lot of grass roots support for the green driving option.
Here’s the buzz on what just a few organizations, businesses and government entities are doing to accelerate the adoption of electric cars:
- Project Get Ready, a non-profit initiative led by the Rocky Mountain Institute, is helping cities and states nationwide prepare their infrastructure for plug-in electric vehicles.Here’s a map that details their progress: www.projectgetready.com/category/city
- KB Home,one of the largest U.S. home builders, now offers to pre-wire homes for charging stations for electric cars! The Los Angeles-based company has announced that it will offer the feature on custom-built homes so consumers won't have to add a 220-240 high-voltage box later. KB Homes, which operates in 10 states, has built about 500,000 homes since its founding in 1957. The cost of adding home charging is one-third hardware (the box itself) and two-thirds installation and labor costs, according to a story in the New York Times. Homes built in the 1990s or later usually have adequate 200-plus amp service but not older ones.
- The U.S. Postal Servicehas asked Bright Automotive to create a prototype for an electric mail truck. The automaker is one of five companies working with the postal service to create an electric version of the classic Grumman LLV. Quantum Technologies Inc., Zap!, EDAG Inc., AC Propulsion and Auto Port Inc will work with the USPS to test the feasibility of an electrified fleet. Bright Automotive, working with AC Propulsion, will supply an electrified mail truck in July, when it will undergo testing in Washington D.C. for a full year.
- Edmunds.comis advocating that vehicle energy consumption should be expressed as Monthly Fuel Cost (MFC) -- what it will cost to fuel up — or more accurately "energy up" — a vehicle in dollars per month, no matter how that energy is stored and delivered. A common MFC figure will make all fuels and energy sources easily comparable, and most directly support consumers' efforts to manage their transportation budgets. For more information and to see charts showing the monthly cost of gasoline, electric and other alternative energy sources for various make and model cars visit: http://www.edmunds.com/industry-car-news/fuel-mileage-equivalency.html
- GE (NYSE: GE) and Juice Technologies are working together to create intelligent plug-in electric vehicle (PEV) charging devices for U.S. and global markets. The chargers integrate GE’s smart meters with Juice Technology's Plug Smart(TM) engine to help consumers charge their cars during low-demand, lower cost time periods. Smart chargers will hasten acceptance of plug-in cars by making them more attractive to consumers and utilities. Consumers will benefit by receiving the lowest-possible charging rates for their cars. Utilities will be able to better control the demand for electricity and take on the added load of electric vehicles without over taxing their grids. Utilities will also realize greater value from their capital equipment during overnight and other low-demand times, when it is substantially less utilized
- /span>The States of California and Hawaii are working with Better Place, Inc, a leading electric vehicle services provider, accelerating the global transition to sustainable transportation.
o Hawaiian Electric Companies and Better Place Hawaii signed a historic Memorandum of Understanding to collaborate on the infrastructure and energy needs to power Better Place's unique network of public charging spots and battery swapping stations with renewable energy, in order to make mass adoption of electric vehicles a reality in the state by 2012.
o California’s plan to create a network of public charging spots for electric cars will make electric cars cheaper to own and run, and so more appealing to consumers. As the eighth largest economy in the world, and with a per-household vehicle ownership rate among the highest in the world (about 1.8 cars per household), California joins Israel, Denmark and Australia as world leaders in executing this bold vision. For more information, visit http://www.betterplace.com.
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