Atlanta Electric Vehicle Development Coalition

Atlanta's Home for Electric Vehicle News and Information


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NRG EVgo: Confidence, Leadership, Innovation underpin Freedom Stations

On October 6th, I had the opportunity to catch up with Jeremy Desel, Communications Director for NRG’s EVgo business by phone and asked him to share some thoughts about the EVgo charging station network. Here’s what Jeremy told me:

  • EVgo’s mission is to ‘provide confidence in charging by providing all standards of EV charging – which today is Level 2/J1772, and DC Fast Charge stations offering both the Japanese ChaDEmo and European DC connectors at the Freedom Station. Desel added that this approach to EV infrastructure helps sell electric vehicles by providing the confidence that charging/recharging from EVgo will accomodate all types of EV/PHEVs.
  • EVgo is the nation’s leader in providing public charging, especially for DC Fast Charge stations. EVgo’s goal is to ensure that Freedom stations are no more than a mile from a highway corridor and are located where there are many amenities for EV drivers ranging from retail stores and restaurants to ‘well stocked’ convenience stores.
  • EVgo is committed to advancing the technology behind EV charging. Mr. Desel indicated that EVgo is looking across the EV infrastructure to bring drivers innovative solutions which result in faster charging times, more conveniently located Freedom Stations with a focus on providing adequate infrastructure within a given city yet ensuring intra city charging is conveniently located.  Their philosophy is to put the right charger at the right place.

While time ran out before we could discuss metro Atlanta and Georgia specifically, NRG eVgo Site Developer for Atlanta Metropolitan Area Jules Toraya, provided the graphic below depicting current and future installations of DC Fast Chargers in metro Atlanta and the outlying areas (Braselton, Dawsonville, Calhoun).  Looks like EVgo is going to have Atlanta and Georgia EV drivers well covered!

EVGo Atlanta network pic

Check out what’s new at NRG’s EVgo at NRG EVgo website


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Georgia on My Mind: What’s Being Written about the Georgia Legislature and the Plight of EVs

Smart Grid News adds their story on the EV Conflicted Georgia State Legislature.

Atlanta Electric Vehicle Development Coalition

Here are links to recent articles published by VICE and SaportaReports and Smart Grid News concerning the defeat of the EV Tax Credit and adding the $200 EV Road User Fee and Rep Jay Roberts praising the Transportation Bill while remaining silent on the EV tax credit repeal and Road User Fee:

VICE: https://news.vice.com/article/the-georgia-legislature-just-pulled-the-plug-on-electric-cars

SaportaReports:  http://saportareport.com/georgia-is-driving-in-reverse-when-it-comes-to-electric-vehicles-going-from-being-a-leader-to-last-place/

Smart Grid News: http://www.smartgridnews.com/story/georgia-legislature-conflicted-over-evs/2015-04-08

Atlanta- Journal Constitution Guest Column by House Rep Jay Roberts, author of the Transportation Bill

Atlanta Journal Constitution Guest Column Jay Roberts and Transportation Bill 04062015

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Adding 30,000 EVs to Georgia Roads adds $914 Million in economic benefit over next 3 years!

Are Georgia Legislators missing a $900 Million opportunity by maintaining an EV Tax Credit?

Atlanta Electric Vehicle Development Coalition

An independent economic analysis undertaken by the Atlanta Electric Vehicle Development Coalition shows that adding 30,000 new EVs (BEV and PHEV) to Georgia roads versus only 12,750 if the $5,000 tax credit is eliminated over the 2016-2018 Fiscal Years the would benefit the Georgia state economy by $914.3 million as follows:

1). $845 million in incremental sales revenues:  Using a constant $47,000 EV selling price  generates $1.5 Billion in sales revenues for 30,000 new EVs vs. only $600 million if just 12,750 new EVs are sold with the elimination of the $5000 ZEV tax credit. Deduct another $75 million for the $2,500 EV tax credit/10,000 per year/3 year tax incentive lifeand the net is $845 million in higher auto dealer sales for EVs with a $2,500 capped EV tax credit.

2).$63 million in incremental Ad Valorem tax collection:  the EV higher sales price and higher EV sales (30,000 vs 12,750)…

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Georgia Power to Invest $12 Million to Advance Electric Vehicle Charging Infrastructure

The  Atlanta Business Chronicle reported that Georgia Power is about to launch a broad-based round of incentives to stimulate residential, commercial and public charging infrastructure development in its service areas. The reported $12 million program provides for a $250.00 rebate for consumers who install a level 2 EV charging system at their homes, and $500.00 for commercial properties who install a level 2 (AC 240v/40 amp) or $250.00 for level 1 (AC 110v/16 amp) charger at their workplace.  Home and work are the top two places EV drivers want to charge up their vehicles.

Additionally, Georgia Power is working with the City of Atlanta to support the creation of 50 public charging ‘islands’ where both level 2 and Fast Charge (DC 480v/100 amp) will be built to dramatically enhance the public availability of fast charging systems which will improve EV charging infrastructure in metro Atlanta and begin to build fast charge corridors to the outlying metro Atlanta areas including Athens, Newnan and Conyers GA.

Here’s the link to the Atlanta Business Chronicle’s breaking story:  http://www.bizjournals.com/atlanta/blog/atlantech/2014/10/georgia-power-to-invest-12m-in-driving-electric.html.

Georgia Power is no stranger to building electric vehicle infrastructure.  In the early 1990s,  Georgia Power installed over 500 level 2 charging stations in support of GM’s EV1 program when Atlanta was a test city.  Some of those stations can still be found in and around Atlanta.

CleanCitiesGeorgia Coordinator Don Francis, a 31 year veteran of Georgia Power, will help oversee this new program.


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Interview with Michael Chance, Marketing Director for Solar Energy USA

Interview with Michael Chance, Marketing Director, Solar Energy USA

Based in Atlanta, Georgia, Solar Energy USA is a national solar integrator specializing in affordable residential and commercial solar solutions including photovoltaic (PV) solar panels, solar thermal systems, and energy efficient lighting including T5 and LED lighting. AEVDC had the opportunity to speak with Michael Chance, Marketing Director with Solar Energy USA, a self-proclaimed solar + EV enthusiast.

1). From a solar power standpoint, why would Atlanta and Georgia be a great market for PV2EV? 

Anyone who has spent a summer day outside knows that Georgia is a warm and sunny place. Georgia averages over 2,900 sunny hours each year, and over 100 clear days.  The potential for solar energy use in Georgia is dependent upon the amount of sun shining on the earth’s surface —called “solar insolation”. Insolation values are expressed in kWh/m² per day, or the amount of solar energy measured in kilowatt-hours striking a square meter of the earth’s surface.

Southern states like Georgia, North Carolina, and Florida all average 5 peak kWh of sunlight per day. By comparison, Northeastern states like New York, Vermont, and Maine all average 4 peak kWh per day. Southwestern states such as New Mexico, Arizona, and parts of California can average up to 6.8 peak kWh per day!

Photovoltaic

Additionally, anyone who has spent rush hour in Atlanta’s horrible traffic (ranked 7th worst in the nation in 2011 by the Texas A&M Transportation Institute) has seen a first-hand account of how congested our interstate system is and how much smog and carbon we are emitting into the air.

Solar powered electric vehicles (PV2EV) take advantage of Georgia’s awesome solar resource and provide a solution to our smog levels caused by transportation congestion. Every EV that hits the road creates a level of clean air, and solar powered EVs use clean, unlimited sunshine as a fuel source (how’s that for a Clean Air Campaign).

2). What are the economic and environmental benefits of PV2EV?

From an economic standpoint, PV2EV presents a situation to realize tremendous financial savings. Ask yourself this, “How much money do I spent on gasoline each month?” If you are like me and have a roundtrip commute of 70 miles each work day, you are driving 1,500+ miles each month and spending in excess of $150 dollars on gasoline. If you are a stay-at-home mom or dad who runs errands during the day in a gas-guzzling SUV, chances are you could be spending more than $300 dollars per month on gasoline.

PV2EV allows a driver to use sunlight collected by solar panels as a fuel source, with the added convenience of the fueling station being brought into your garage electrical outlet. By recharging an EV each day with power generated by a solar energy system, you are, in fact, producing your own transportation fuel. Since you are no longer using gasoline to drive around, every mile that is driven in a solar powered car is a trip in which you are saving money.

House and Car

Here’s an analogy to put this into perspective: Imagine someone came to your door and offered you a credit card which could be redeemed at the gas station which would allow you to pay just $1 dollar per gallon of gasoline purchased for the rest of your life. You would be really interested, right?

The same is true with a home solar energy system – Solar panels are used to generate the necessary power for an electric car.  By installing a solar power system on your home you are essentially locking yourself into a set cost of power. If the price of power increases over time, and it will, you are immune to the price increases because you produce your own power thanks to the solar panels.

A number of environmental benefits relate to PV2EV as well. First, we are eliminating the carbon emissions associated with burning gasoline in an internal combustion engine.

According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), About 19.64 pounds of carbon dioxide (CO2) are produced from burning a gallon of gasoline that does not contain ethanol. About 22.38 pounds of CO2 are produced by burning a gallon of diesel fuel.

EIA estimates that U.S. gasoline and diesel fuel consumption for transportation in 2013 resulted in the emission of about 1,095 and 427 million metric tons of CO2 respectively, for a total of 1,522 million metric tons of CO2. This total was equivalent to 83% of total CO2 emissions by the U.S. transportation sector and 28% of total U.S. energy-related CO2 emissions.

In a non-PV2EV scenario, the carbon emissions associated with recharging an EV are a function of how dirty (or clean) is the power that is generated by the utility. Burning fossil fuels to make power, like coal-fired power generation for example, is one of the dirtiest forms of power generation. EIA estimates 2.08-2.18 lbs of CO2 are produced per kWh generated by coal. Because of this, the U.S. EPA recently announced regulations designed to encourage less power generation from coal (read more about that on our blog).

In a PV2EV scenario we are using the sun as a power source. There are no carbon emissions associated with harnessing clean, unlimited solar energy, so environmental benefits thanks to PV2EV driving are a double bonus – No emissions from burning gasoline or from burning fossil fuels.

3). What factors support PV2EV and what needs to be overcome to really drive installations?

One of the biggest misinterpretations about solar energy is that it is too expensive. In fact, going solar is actually a really smart financial decision. Ask yourself, “How much did I spend on power over the past 10 years?” My thought is that the cost of NOT going solar is a lot more expensive.  And when you factor in the savings from powering an EV with solar and no longer paying for gasoline (see above example) the savings is even greater.

Additionally, the cost of solar panels has decreased tremendously in the past few years. According to PV Magazine, solar PV system prices have fallen by 50% compared to 2010 prices. This is directly related to demand as more and more homeowners are going solar. In 2013, for example, a new solar energy project was installed in the U.S. every 4 minutes. Solar power in America now exceeds 14.8 GW (gigawatts), or enough to power more than 3 million homes.

There is also a misconception that an EV cannot support an average person’s driving habits. According to U.S. Department of Transportation, Bureau of Transportation Statistics from 2014, 85% of American drivers commute less than 26 miles to work one way.

Commute Distance Table

Their report found that 29% of Americans have a one way commute of 1-5 miles, 22% of Americans have a one way commute of 6-10 miles, 17% 11-15 miles, 10% 16-20 miles, 7% 21-25 miles, 5% 26-30 miles, 3% 31-35 miles, and just 8% of Americans have a one way commute of more than 35 miles. According to Green Car Reports, the 2014 Nissan Leaf has a driving range of 84 miles, long enough for 85% of American drivers to get to work and back on a single charge.

According to the Clean Air Campaign, in 2012 the average commute distance in metro Atlanta was 35 miles. So, in Georgia we travel a little bit further than the average American commuter, but it is still within the range of a Nissan Leaf. And a recent human resource news report found that offering on-site EV charging is a new trend being offered by HR departments, so there isn’t much cause for major range anxiety concerns.

4). What about home charging for EVs and Solar Power? Can I use my solar panels to power my home charging unit?  Does it help with payback?

Car

Yes, you can certainly use solar panels to power your home charging unit (we’ve already touched on this in an above answer). Solar Energy USA is available to design a solar power system to generate the equivalent amount of kWh to meet the daily or monthly needs of Georgia EV drivers. We have a number of solar powered EV customers whose installations can be viewed on the Residential Solar Case Studies page of our website. I encourage current and future EVdrivers to reach out to us to learn more about our line of Affordable Solar Solutions.


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EVSE Manufacturers and Networks Infographic

The rising demand for EVs in the United States and the metro Atlanta area is driving a necessary expansion in EV supply equipment (EVSE), or “charging stations.” The infographic below provides a brief look at the state of charging stations in the U.S. and the major manufacturers and charging station networks available. While not exhaustive, this infographic provides familiarity with the companies leading the way in the EVSE field.  Written by Daniel S. Cohen, Contributor

 

EVSE Manufacturers and Networks (3)


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Workplace Charging in the Garden State Courtesy of PSEG

Charging your electric vehicle at work in New Jersey just got a little easier thanks to a WorkPlace Charging program sponsored by PSEG. PSEG will provide up to 150 charging systems for free. Participating workplaces will need to install the units and pay for the electricity. PSEG will own the charging systems and collect usage data to better understand the impact of workplace charging on electric demand and the electric delivery system.

PSEG also released data on the first year of operations of its own employee electric car incentive program launched one year ago, including:

  • The 13 employees in the program are estimated to have driven 120,000 miles on electric commuting to and from work in the first twelve months of the program.
  • The participants are estimated to have saved 5,300 gallons of gas and avoided spending nearly $19,000 on gas just on their commute.
  • By commuting on electric, it is estimated that the program helped avoid 50 to 60 tons of CO2 being released into the air as well as reduced  particulate, SOx and NOx emissions in communities through the state.

 Workplace charging programs are pickingup steam across the US! Recently, the Department of Energy through the CleanCities program announced a $4.5 million funding program to encourage greater consumer engagement with alternative fuel vehicles. No doubt many of those pilot programs will focus on workplace charging. Georgia is expected to compete for funding given the very strong CleanCitiesGeorgia program under the leadership of Director Don Francis.