Atlanta Electric Vehicle Development Coalition

Atlanta's Home for Electric Vehicle News and Information


Leave a comment

The Night the Lights Went Out In Georgia! – ZEV Tax Credit Sunsets at Midnight!

The title song to Vicki Lawrence’s 1973 Hit (followed by a 1981 movie of the same title and covered in1991 by country star Reba McIntyre) says it all today, June 30, 2015 when the ZEV Tax Credit expires after 17 years at midnight tonight.  In it’s wake has been the mad rush to buy and lease Nissan LEAF, Tesla Model S and new to Georgia’s KIA Soul EV before the tax credit expires and is replaced by nothing but the $200.00 annual EV Road Use Fee enacted by House Bill 170.

This author, after investing six months fighting to retain the EV tax credit in some, reduced form (see $914 Million Reasons blog post) leased a 2015 Nissan LEAF for his son at Law School in Virginia and purchased a 2015 Tesla Model S60 for his new business Georgia EVentures, LLC which rents out EVs for extended periods.  If you can’t fight ’em, join ’em.

When all the dust clears, the elimination of the ZEV tax credit is likely to produce another 10,000 EVs on metro Atlanta roads as residents snapped up EVs in time for the tax credit.  That puts Atlanta around 25,000+ EVs on its roads, helping it maintain a Top 5 EV city ranking.

What happens in 2016?  There will be renewed effort to pass an EV tax credit, including PHEVs in the 2016 Georgia Assembly.  Some in the state even think that Chuck Martin (House R-Alpharetta) may be the sponsor of the Bill.   Speaking at the Alternative Fuel Vehicles 5th Annual Road Show (sponsored by Public Service Commissioner and indefatagible EV supporter Tim Echols) in Decatur GA, Elena Parent (Senate D-Decatur) pledged to introduce new EV tax credit legislation in the 2016 Georgia General Assembly.  Let’s hope she can find a Senator across the aisle to partner with her.  Brandon Beach (Senate R-Alpharetta) and head of the Senate Transportation Committee would be a good choice.  I shared the $914 million dollar EV opportunity with him back in mid-March.

And Georgia Power/Southern Company has stepped up to the plate, backing its portfolio of EV charging station rebates with a fleet of 32 Chevrolet VOLTs to get the word out across the State of Georgia about the power of EVs (and their new Residential Solar Power incentives).  Georgia Power is constructing over 60 fast charge and level 2 islands across the state to bring infrastructure to EVs beyond metro Atlanta.

Most exciting is the recent passage in the 114th CONGRESS of S. 1581 ‘to foster market development of clean energy fueling facilitities by steering infrastructure installation toward designated Clean Vehicle Corridors“. I’ll be watching to see if the House passes a similar Bill and a new focus on intercity/interstate Alternative Fuel Vehicles infrastructure is supported by the United States CONGRESS.

Stayed tuned and check back here as 2016 will continue to see the growth and expansion of electric vehicles and infrastructure throughout the State of Georgia!


Leave a comment

Introducing Georgia EVentures!

I want to thank all of my faithful blog readers for your support over the past year since Atlanta Electric Vehicle Development Coalition was launched!  The blog has reached readers in over 80 countries with almost 14,000 views!

It has been very exciting to see just how much Atlanta has embraced electric vehicles (projection of 25,000 in metro Atlanta by year-end 2015) and to see the incredible build out of EV charging station infrastructure since I put my first Chevrolet VOLT on the road in August 2012.  Now it really is possible to own an EV in metro Atlanta and find public charging almost anywhere!

With the build out of charging infrastructure a new opportunity presented itself:  offer non-EV owners the opportunity to experience the thrill of driving an electric vehicle and experience the joys of low-cost ownership, and gasoline free, CO2 free driving! And offer current EV owners the opportunity to really experience the Tesla Model S.

I am delighted to introduce to my readers a new company: Georgia EVentures, LLC.  My mission is very simple: enable Georgians to get behind the wheel of two of the best examples of range anxiety free electric vehicle driving and to drive these vehicles they way they drive their fossil fuel powered vehicles:  in their neighborhoods, to their offices and shopping areas and for day trips to destinations they enjoy.

Georgia EVentures, LLC currently offers two vehicles for short and long-term rental:

2015 Tesla Model S 60 with 208 miles of electric vehicle driving range plus 5 passenger comfort, super charger enabled. The current daily rental rate is $169.00/day (rental car companies’ rate is $400/day). 2015 Tesla Model S60 RelayRides

GA Tech Side View 1

2014 Chevrolet VOLT Premium with 38-47 miles of electric vehicle driving range and 400 miles with the range extender. The current daily rental rate is $59.00/day. 2014 Chevrolet VOLT RelayRides

VOLT IKEAGeorgia EVentures has partnered with RelayRides to offer these vehicles to you in an easy to rent manner.

In partnership with StudioFindit (StudioFindit 2015 Tesla Model S60) the Tesla is available for film production. Who knows, “BlueBeauty” may be seen in an upcoming feature film or cable or network TV series!

Thanks for your faithful readership!  I look forward to hearing about your experience with these amazing electric vehicles and Georgia EVentures!


2 Comments

New Georgia Power Video Series Featuring Real Atlanta EV Owners Chris, Evelyn, Jennifer and Tum

Here are four recently released videos produced for Georgia Power showing how much fun and how easy it is to own an EV!  Meet our four Atlanta based EV owners and listen to their stories;

Chris  – VOLT, Ford Focus Electric and now BMW i3 Owner

http://link.brightcove.com/services/player/bcpid3766748935001?bckey=AQ~~,AAAABDgpvmk~,ED_cDwcEXowvilgy3BjwShsooAV3XJo_&bctid=4144820177001

Evelyn – (Early) Tesla Owner

http://link.brightcove.com/services/player/bcpid3766748935001?bckey=AQ~~,AAAABDgpvmk~,ED_cDwcEXowvilgy3BjwShsooAV3XJo_&bctid=4144820163001

Jennifer – 2015 Nissan LEAF Owner

http://link.brightcove.com/services/player/bcpid3766748935001?bckey=AQ~~,AAAABDgpvmk~,ED_cDwcEXowvilgy3BjwShsooAV3XJo_&bctid=4144820160001

Tum – BMW i3 and SMART Car Owner

http://link.brightcove.com/services/player/bcpid3766748935001?bckey=AQ~~,AAAABDgpvmk~,ED_cDwcEXowvilgy3BjwShsooAV3XJo_&bctid=4144827828001

Georgia Power Electric Transportation Website

http://link.brightcove.com/services/player/bcpid3766748935001?bckey=AQ~~,AAAABDgpvmk~,ED_cDwcEXowvilgy3BjwShsooAV3XJo_&bctid=4144820177001


1 Comment

This Week’s Electric Vehicle Headlines in Georgia – The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

The March 27, 2015 issue of The Atlanta Business Chronicle was laden with articles covering the Electric Vehicle business in Georgia. Depending upon where you sat on the issue of EVs in Georgia, you felt good, bad or just ugly.

Good:  Tesla direct sale bill was approved by both houses and sent to Governor Deal for signature.  This lifts the current 150 ‘custom car’ restriction from Tesla (and new owner hassle of exchanging a California Title for a Georgia one) and permits unlimited direct sales through a maximum of 5 Tesla stores in Georgia.  By today’s count (Marietta , Decatur Sales/Service and Lenox Gallery) that permits at least two more sales/service stores if the Gallery is counted in the total of five.  This is great news for current and future Tesla owners, who can now enjoy unimpeded access to the Model S, forthcoming Model X and planned Model III.  Rep. Chuck Martin introduced this bill.

Bad:  All efforts to advance a compromise reduced EV tax credit, with phase out and annual budget caps has failed to find any support in the Georgia Assembly.  Despite hundreds of calls, emails, signed petitions and personal visits to legislators, and manufacturer ride and drive events, Rep Ben Harbin (HB 220) and Rep Don Parsons (HB 200) provided the only support for EV or EVSE tax credits. Sadly, Parsons’ clarification bill for EV charging station tax credit eligability passed the House but could not find a quorem in the Senate on March 26th to vote on it.  On the road use fee, Rep John Albers desparately tried to amend the bill to reduce the fee to $95.00 which failed. As the ABC reported, House Transportation Committee Chair Rep Jay Roberts, basically just made up the $200.00 EV road user fee – doubling the current first time AFV registration fee of $85.00 to $170.00 and rounding up to $200.00.

Georgia’s national rank in math?

Ugly:  While the debate about the elimination of Georgia’s ZEV $5,000 tax credit is not finished, it’s fate, and that of a $200.00/year road user fee are tied to that of the state’s $1.5 Billion Transportation Bill.  Governor Nathan Deal is on record favoring the House version (HB 170). A House-Senate Conference committee must produce a compromise Bill before the planned end of the 2015-16 Legislative session on Thursday April 2, 2015. Governor Deal has already put the Georgia Assembly on notice that he will call them back into session to produce a satisfactory Bill for the Governor to sign.

On a final note, KIA announced that it would introduce the 2015 KIA SOUL EV into Georgia.  This same week, the ABC reported, Governor Deal did accept the keys to a $69,000 2015 KIA sedan, in support of the West Point GA KIA manufacturing plant.  We just wonder why Governor Deal did not get the keys to the KIA SOUL EV?

ABC EV Headlines March 27 2015


Leave a comment

HB 393 Passes: Tesla Direct Sale in Georgia – No Other EV Bill Passes House. On to Senate!

During the 2015-16 Georgia Assembly Day 30 “Cross Over Day” the House voted for HB 393 (Chuck Martin R-Alpharetta) 170-3 to permit Tesla to sell its Premium Electric Motor Cars to Georgians without restriction.  Current State Dealer Franchise laws permit up to 150 ‘custom’ made vehicles to be sold directly in Georgia.  Under HB 393 which now goes to the Georgia Senate for vote during the final 10 days of the legislative year, Tesla sales would no longer be capped and up to five stores could be opened in Georgia.  Today there are stores in Marietta and Decatur.

No other EV Tax Credit legislation passed out of the House (see prior posts on HB 122, 176, 200 and 220) with the exception of the inclusion of HB 122 language in the House approved HB 170 Transportation funding bill which includes elimination of the $5,000 ZEV tax credit and imposes a $200/year road use fee for all EV registered in Georgia.  That fee is the equivalent of the gasoline tax paid by a full-size SUV during the course of a year!

The focal point of the Senate will be their version of the Transportation Bill and what impact, if any, their input has on the EV tax credit and road use fees included in the House Bill.  10 days and counting – check back for an update on the EV tax credit.

P.S. – Legislators Ride and Drive event was held on March 11th – two weeks late. Lots of electrified vehicles – including the new KIA SOUL EV to drive – but no Legislators to drive them – too close to Day 30 to come across the street from the Gold Dome to check out what’s making Georgia the #2 state (2.3% of vehicles registered in 2014) in the US.


1 Comment

The Top Electric Vehicle Stories of 2015

No that’s not a typo in the headline!  2014 is in the history books and by all accounts, has been a fantastic year for electric vehicles – smashing the 100,000 annual unit sales mark in November!  More new EV models have launched in 2014 than in the prior 3 years combined and many new/upgraded EVs are coming in 2015 and beyond.

So when we look back at 2015, here’s what I believe the top stories will read nationally and right here in Georgia:

1). Electrified Vehicles Reach the 1% of vehicles sold nationally in 2015. EVs should easily reach this mark on a total industry sales of 16.5-17.0 million yielding 165-170,000 electrified vehicles added to US roads in 2015. Many states have added electric vehicle or charging station incentives or both.  With expanded charging infrastructure and high satisfaction rates among EV owners, the rate of sales growth should propel EVs close to 1% of all vehicles sold.

2). Nissan LEAF approaches the 200,000 Federal Tax Credit phase out. What Now? Arguably, Nissan has done the best job marketing their all electric LEAF which launched in the US in 2011.  By the end of 2015, cumulative LEAF sales will be close to 170,000, just 30,000 units shy of the Federal Tax Credit phase out requirements.  With an all new vehicle slated to launch in the 2017 Model Year (on sale as early as January 2016), how will Nissan market the all new LEAF without its $7,500 tax credit?  Stay tuned – Carlos Ghon has a plan!

3). Tesla FINALLY launches the Model X – Falcon Wing Doors and All.  Look for a Merry Christmas 2015 post on the Tesla blog from Elon Musk announcing the first deliveries of the 2015 Model X – it’s still 2015 and Elon has ‘kept his promise.’  Seriously, the Model X will be another game changer in the high end 6-7 passenger SUV market and will begin to impact Tesla sales in 2016, attacting new buyers to the marque.  Of course, it won’t hurt sales of the Model S, since the majority of its owners have already traded up to the Model D – satiating their need to have the latest Tesla gadget. Savvy used car buyers will snap up the discarded Model S 1.0 offerings at reasonable ($50,000 – 60,000) prices knowing that Elon has promised a battery upgrade in the future and the software upgrades continue.

4). Chevrolet VOLT 2.0: a lower cost VOLT 1.0? Let’s face it, without Bob Lutz there would not have been VOLT 1.0. And without former GM CEO Dan Akerson pushing to get $10,000 of cost out of the VOLT, there would not be a 2.0. GM is working hard to ‘tease’ us with it’s mini reveals.  But look at the 2015 Chevrolet Cruze and you get an idea of what the 2016 VOLT is going to look like: compact.  Range may improve modestly (45-50 electric miles) but this vehicle will not be a game changer; it’s likely the vehicle that should have launched in 2011:  $29,995 base price, useable gauges, 3 person “Cruze Sized” rear seat.‘  I hope there are more substantial surprises when the VOLT 2.0 is unveiled at the NAIAS the week of January 12, 2015: like using more than 60% of the 17.1kWh battery!

5). Georgia’s ZEV Tax Credit takes center stage. With Georgia and metro Atlanta garnering a lot of headlines in 2014 as the fastest growing EV market in the US, the handling of the current ZEV/LEV tax credit (currently $5,000/$2,500 with no sunset) will become a national story.  How this one ends up is anyone’s guess.  But one thing’s for sure: Nissan will have the best sales month ever in December 2014 for the LEAF given the metro Atlanta dealers are selling/leasing against the fear that the $5,000 ZEV tax credit will disappear in 2015 so get your LEAF now!

Let’s just hope that everyone can agree on the core issue:  air quality in metro Atlanta/Georgia needs more EVs on our roads to help get annual CO2 emissions well below the 150 million metric tons emitted in Georgia!

6). “PV2EV” begins to have it’s day in the sun. Wouldn’t it just be smart to tie EV charging to its own renewable power generation? For years, separate and uncoordinated incentives (and arguably disincentives) between solar power and electric vehicle charging station infrastructure has kept these two technologies apart.  2015 might be the year when enough solar powered charging stations are built to move the needle in the direction toward a sustainable PV2EV deployment.  With solar power costs falling and the cost to retrofit parking lots and garages with EV charging stations expensive, the time has come for PV2EV to have it’s day in the sun!

7). Georgia Becomes A Leader in Electric Vehicle Charging Infrastructure. Between the push by NRG into the metro Atlanta market from it’s home base in Houston TX, and the announcement by Georgia Power to construct it’s own charging islands (both firms offering DC Fast Charge and 240 V Level 2) Georgia and more specifically metro Atlanta, will become a model for the deployment of fast and convenient EV charging.  By the end of 2015, metro Atlanta will have at least 50 charging islands including installations in Athens and other outlying cities.  Added to that are the public charging stations funded by GEFA that will improve EV charging station availability in the Atlanta suburbs.

It will be fun to see how 2015 unfolds for electric vehicles and the supporting infrastructure. We’ll come back and revisit these ‘headlines’ and see where we hit and where we missed.  Your comments and your own headlines are welcome.

Thanks for your readership in 2014!