Atlanta Electric Vehicle Development Coalition

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Tell Your Representatives to Reduce the Punitive EV User Fee

Tell Your Representatives to Reduce the Punitive EV User Fee
Georgia has the highest EV user fee in the U.S. – let’s fix that!

Reposting from Southern Alliance for Clean Energy – Take Action Now

In 2015, Georgia passed a new user fee on electric vehicles (EVs). This $200 fee (increasing annually) makes EVs the highest taxed vehicles on the road in Georgia. It is negatively impacting adoption and reducing the ability of more Georgians to adopt this new, cleaner technology.

Georgia lawmakers have the opportunity, right now, to help reduce that fee. HB 317 was introduced that will reduce the fee from $200 to $100. While this fee is still higher than many of the other states that impose such a fee, it will reduce the burden to current and future EV owners. Help us keep the pressure on!

Please contact your Representative and the Transportation Committee Chairman (instructions below) TODAY! Time is critical!

Personal emails are more effective than automated emails, so please copy, paste and send from your personal email address. Add your personal story to the sample text provided below.

Follow these steps to TAKE ACTION TODAY:

  1. Email the Transportation Committee Chairman: kevin.tanner@house.ga.gov
  2. Find your legislator here and add them to your email going to the Chairman
  3. Copy and paste the sample text; customize it, especially if you drive an EV!
  4. Hit send!

Dear Representative [Insert Name] and Chairman Tanner,


I am writing to urge you to support HB 317 that would lower the punitive electric vehicle user fee. I drive a (INSERT YOUR EV HERE). I am paying more in road use fees than a pickup truck or an SUV. I agree that a road use fee is fair for an electric vehicle, but the current fee is unfair and punitive.

I currently pay tax on the electricity I use to power my EV, but I am now also paying the $204.20 user (registration) fee plus an additional fee for the Alternative Fuel tag ($35).


EVs are now the highest taxed vehicles on the road in Georgia. It is negatively impacting retention and adoption of electric vehicles and reducing the ability of more Georgians to adopt this new, cleaner technology.

Alternative fuel vehicles are good for the Georgia economy as they are using power generated in Georgia and the dollars stay in Georgia.

Please reduce the user fee and support bill HB 317.

Thank you for your consideration.

Sincerely,

[Insert your name / address]


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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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What’s more popular Battery Electrics or Plug-In Hybrids?

According to the electric vehicle blog, insideevs.com, using data supplied by the EDTA:  both!  Battery only and Plug-In Hybrid Sales are at about a 50/50 split according to insideevs analysis released on Twitter on September 24th. Buyers venturing into the electric vehicle market are equally split based on their driving needs.  While about half live and work in communities which support an all-electric driving lifestyle, with EV charging at home and at work, BEV’s make sense.  For the other half, unlimited range with partial electric for overall improved fuel economy and a high number of CO2 emission free driving miles supports their life-style.  And if you can afford a Tesla, you get the best of both!  This charts tell the tale of the tape:


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2014 DriveElectricWeek Atlanta GA – The Weather Channel AMHQ Launch Event

With Georgia the #1 state for electric vehicle registrations (YTD June 2014) edging out California, National Drive Electric Week was kicked off by the Atlanta organizers a few days ahead of schedule with a launch event held at The Weather Channel Studios on Friday morning September 12, 2014 as part of the AMHQ Morning Show with hosts Sam Champion, Maria LaRosa and Mike Bettes. All three celebrity hosts participated in the program, across three segments which aired between 8:00 and 10:00 AM.

Atlanta Drive Electric Week Co-Captain Michael Beinenson ensured that all key EV makes and models were on hand. My own 2014 Chevrolet VOLT got a prime slot in segment #1 facing off against the new BMW i3 while remaining in subsequent segments behind the hosts.  I can’t tell you how many hours I spent rehearsing my VOLT:  “now smile for the camera!”  She did great.

Here’s the on air segment:

Video is the property of The Weather Channel. 

The event was supported by the EV Club of the South, with members lending their EVs (Fiskar Karma, Tesla Model S, BMW i3, Nissan LEAF and Mitsubishi i-MiEV) for the three hour segment filming.  

Video taken by the author.

But the surprise hit was the appearance of one of the first BMW i8′s to be delivered in Atlanta. In fact the car was driven over from nearby Global Imports with the almost owner sitting in the passenger seat.  We quickly re-arranged the third segment to get the i8 into the shot and both Sam Champion and Maria LaRosa quickly improvised to shift the audience attention from the Tesla Model S that with Mike Bettes speeding by to show off the $150,000 BMW i8!.  All photos taken by the author.  

LaRosa & Champion DEW TWC i8photo 4 (5)


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A LEAF with a 500 mile electric change? A Tesla Model S over 1,800?

What if the range of a Nissan Leaf was 500 miles vs. 73-80 today?  With a range of over 1,855 miles, a Model S might never need to see a SuperCharger again!

Sound far-fetched? According to Gas2 author Steve Hanley maybe not. In his article, Hanley recently reported that “This week a research team at the University of Tokyo School of Engineering has announced a new lithium ion battery that packs seven times more energy density – at 2,570 watt-hours per kilogram – than current lithium ion batteries. The team, led by Professor Noritaka Mizuno, adds cobalt to the lithium oxide crystal structure of the positive electrode, which promotes the creation of oxides and peroxides during the charge/discharge cycle. In addition, it promises significantly faster recharge times as well.”

Whether the 7X lithium ion comes to pass or not, one thing is for sure: there is a lot of  R&D time and money being invested in higher capacity, faster charging batteries which will all but eliminate ‘range anxiety’ in EVs! With almost 250,000 on the road in the US, EVs, in all of their forms, are here to stay!


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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.


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2014 Model Year End Sales: Time to shop for an EV!


Source: Fix.com

Great background on Green Vehicles as you begin shopping for 2014 hybrids (HEV), Battery Electric Vehicles (BEV), Plug-In Hybrids (PHEV).

Auto makers are beginning their Model Year close out sales, where you can find some great deals on many of these Alternative Fuel Vehicles.  2014 Cadillac ELR and Chevrolet VOLT in particular.  Use TrueCar.com to see what prices people in Atlanta are paying for EVs.

Don’t overlook the used EV market where a 2-year old Nissan LEAF with reasonable mileage are retailing for $15- $18,000 (see AutoTrader.com).  Lots of battery life left and since the Federal Tax Credit was taken by the first owner, the used price reflects it so you don’t miss out on the tax credit (indirectly).