Electric Vehicles (EV’s) are inherently better than ones with a gas powered ICE (Internal Combustion Engine).  EV’s perform better with a lower center of gravity and better acceleration making them fun to drive.  (Ask a Tesla owner.)  With almost no moving parts, they are much less costly to maintain and provide way more room for passengers and storage on a similar size frame.  There is no need to spend time standing out  at a gas station anymore in the rain, cold, snow or heat as you will be able to charge up at home, work or while shopping.  And of course, you’ll save money paying for electricity over gas even at today’s low gas prices.  You’ll also have the satisfaction of knowing that you’re not destroying the climate or polluting the air.  

I know, you’re saying, “what about all the pollution that is being created by generating the electricity to power my EV?”  Well, as more and more of our power comes from renewable sources, that issue is being solved as well.  And if you install solar panels on your roof (if you can) you can solve that hurdle right now.

There are three principal barriers to universal adaptation of EV’s that are most often cited:  Range anxiety, cost and time to charge.  All three are about to crumble very soon. 

Range anxiety and cost:  You might have expected Tesla to be the company to bust this barrier in 2017 when it plans to deliver a smaller sedan than the current Model S with a 200 mile range and a price of about $40,000.  Well guess who is going to beat them to the punch??  General Motors with the Chevrolet Bolt coming out THIS fall.  200 miles of range and a price of about $30,000 after government rebate.  200 miles of range covers the daily driving habits of somewhere north of 80 to 90% of all people.  It certainly does for me.  And I am already getting in line to buy one of the first ones.  If by chance I think I will need more mileage and can’t find a place to recharge, I’ll rent an ICE for the time I need it.  I don’t anticipate ever having to do that.

Time to charge:  This too is being addressed.  I am reading of technical innovations that are reducing times to recharge to 10 minutes!  As these developments move to commercial application I will let you know.  But with 200 miles of range and readily available public charging stations , most people won’t need this unless traveling long distances.

There’s one last barrier that has come up.  That is where people who live in apartments or high rises will charge.  And that is the topic of the following article.  The key passage is this:

“It’s really a game changer in the economics of installing charging in workplaces and apartments,” said John Boesel, president and CEO of CALSTART, an alliance of companies and groups supporting renewable energy. “Before, the economics were getting in the way. Now, there’s a real solution being offered.”

So buckle up.  Massive change is coming very soon in the auto world.  


Plan to add EV stations with cost on electric bills advances

Anne C. Mulkern, E&E reporter
Published: Friday, January 15, 2016

California has started the ignition on a plan to expand access to electric vehicle charging, part of a push to cut the petroleum use in the car-filled state.

Los Angeles-based Southern California Edison Co. (SCE) yesterday received approval from the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) to build the infrastructure for 1,500 EV charging stations. Ratepayers will foot the bill for the $22 million cost.

SCE is the first of the state’s three investor-owned utilities to win authorization for its EV charging pilot program. Pacific Gas and Electric Co. (PG&E) and San Diego Gas & Electric Co. also have proposals pending.

“It’s really a game changer in the economics of installing charging in workplaces and apartments,” said John Boesel, president and CEO of CALSTART, an alliance of companies and groups supporting renewable energy. “Before, the economics were getting in the way. Now, there’s a real solution being offered.”

California wants 1.5 million clean cars on state roads by 2025, about a tenfold jump from the current number. In addition, the state’s Legislature effective this year has ordered the CPUC to push utilities to add programs and investments that “accelerate widespread transportation electrification to reduce dependence on petroleum, meet air quality standards” and reach the goals of S.B. 350, which passed last year.

S.B. 350 mandates that by 2030 utilities make half their electricity come from renewable sources. The measure also requires a doubling of the energy efficiency in buildings by that year. At one point, it included language directing the state’s Air Resources Board to find ways of cutting petroleum use in half within the same time frame. Following pressure from the oil industry, that was stripped out. But the language aimed at boosting EV adoption was preserved.

Under SCE’s program, the utility will build the infrastructure up to the stations, then allow private companies to install the charging boxes. The average cost to add one charging station is about $15,000, Boesel said. He estimated that under the program, SCE will foot as much as 80 percent of the expense. The CPUC said it’s closer to 70 percent.

To drive participation, the utility will also offer property owners rebates toward the base cost of the stations and their installation. The highest incentive, at 100 percent of costs, goes for putting the charger in a disadvantaged community. The program calls for a minimum one-tenth of the stations to be added in those places.
Rebates for half the costs can be earned for adding a charger in the parking of a multi-unit housing complex. The 25 percent rebate is for workplaces, employer fleet sites and other similar locations.
“There aren’t enough charging stations where people normally park their cars,” said Caroline Choi, SCE’s vice president for energy and environmental policy, in a statement. “We believe that by giving electric vehicle owners more options to charge their vehicles, this program can actually help to accelerate the market in Southern California.”
Open vs. closed markets
Business, consumer and environmental groups widely had preferred the SCE program above those from PG&E and SDG&E, because the one from the Los Angeles-based utility allows participation from companies that build charging stations.
“Southern California Edison’s pilot is a model program that should be adopted in states across the nation,” said Pasquale Romano, CEO of ChargePoint, the world’s largest EV charging network.

After the pilot ends, SCE said it plans to seek approval from the CPUC to expand the program to a total 30,000 charging stations at an estimated cost of $355 million.

PG&E and SDG&E under their pilot proposals would own and operate their stations. There’s a tentative agreement on SDG&E’s plan, and the CPUC could vote on that as soon as the end of this month.
The draft compromise for SDG&E would allow it to deploy and own up to 350 EV site installations and up to 3,500 EV chargers during a three-year sign-up period. The cost would total $45 million.
That’s down from the utility’s request to own and operate 550 sites and as many as 5,500 charging stations at $103 million.
SDG&E wants to combine the program with a electricity rate that’s based on when it’s used. The utility would give EV owners an incentive to charge when there’s plenty of power on the grid from renewable sources, which it says are usually at non-peak periods of energy demand.
Consumer group Utility Consumers’ Action Network has pushed back against the utility’s proposal, saying it’s too big and expensive.
“What the commission did was get rid of 36 percent” of requested stations, said Don Kelly, UCAN’s executive director. “We still think that it’s oversized. We still think SDG&E does not need to be owning all of the equipment.”
UCAN wants a new cost analysis of the proposed decision. It also wants the CPUC’s energy division to create a working group of participants that would oversee the utility’s pilot program.
PG&E has significantly reduced the size of its EV charging proposal from its original, which sought to own 25,000 stations. The San Francisco-area utility has submitted two alternatives to the CPUC that are expected to be reviewed next month.
In the smaller one, PG&E proposed installing 2,510 stations over two years at a cost of $87 million. It also offered an “enhanced proposal” of the 7,530 stations over three years with a $222 million price tag.
“PG&E respectfully believes a Phase 1 deployment of only 2,510 charging stations over 24 months does not meet the stated program objectives or provide sufficient data or learnings to adequately inform a potential Phase 2 deployment,” the utility said in its filing.
Mindy Spatt, spokeswoman at the Utility Reform Network, said the program should be as small as possible, given that a small portion of ratepayers have EVs.
“We feel the enhanced one puts too much risk and too much expense on customers,” Spatt said. “That’s why we

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