PG&E Donates PHEV for Emergencies

On August 24, 2014, a 6.0 earthquake rocked Northern California and the City of Napa, resulting in more than 70,000 customers losing power to homes and businesses. One year later, Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) donated a state-of-the-art plug-in electric hybrid truck as part of the city of Napa’s commemoration of the earthquake. The “Napa Strong 6.0/365” commemoration event recognized the earthquake response of the many dedicated first responders, PG&E employees and the community.

The_state-of-the-art_truck_donated_by_PG&EBarry Anderson, PG&E vice president of emergency preparedness and operations presented the keys to a plug-in electric hybrid pickup truck as an innovative, new tool to use during emergency response.

“As we look back today and celebrate the progress made in Napa since the earthquake, we also look forward and emphasize the importance for each of us to have an emergency plan before a natural disaster occurs,” said Anderson. “By supporting the city and first responders with new technologies like this next-generation electric hybrid truck, we are furthering our collaboration toward increasing local emergency preparedness.”

The truck, developed locally in California by Efficient Drivetrains, Inc. in partnership with PG&E, combines 30 miles of all-electric driving with 350 more miles of hybrid driving range and can provide up to 40 kVa of exportable power. This exportable power is enough to power a small neighborhood and allows first responders to plug in lighting, equipment and other tools at the site of an emergency.

The vehicle donation is part of a larger PG&E initiative to donate a series of innovative plug-in electric hybrid pick-up trucks and the associated charging infrastructure to local fire departments. The donation is part of PG&E’s commitment to operate as the greenest utility fleet in the industry, with nearly 3,500 alternative fuel vehicles, including approximately 1,000 electric and electric hybrid units.

Portland Int’l Airport Adds EV Charging

Portland International Airport (PDX) has become the airport with the largest number of electric vehicle (EV) chargers in the country. PDX installed 42 L1 PowerPost EV charging stations that are designed and manufactured by Telefonix. EV drivers are able to recover about 5 miles of range for every hour they are plugged in. The range lost in a typical commute of twenty miles is recovered in about 4 hours at a cost to the facility of less than 75 cents. The PowerPost EV charging stations will be free to use for employees and visitors.

“This installation makes a huge statement,” said Bill Williams, business development manager for Telefonix, EVSE Division. “The electric vehicle movement is gaining steam and will continue to do so. Facilities like PDX are acknowledging this growing community and sending a signal that they support those who are embracing electric vehicles by installing stations for both airport employees and travelers.”

Telefonix Inc. (PRNewsFoto/Telefonix Inc.)

Telefonix Inc. (PRNewsFoto/Telefonix Inc.)

According to Telefonix, Portland International Airport chose PowerPost level 1 electric vehicle charging stations for their integrated, retractable cord reel, which keeps cables off the ground, reducing maintenance and tripping hazards. They were also selected because they are level 1 units, which have low current requirements and allow for an efficient use of energy. Level 1 charging is well suited for long-dwell parking that is typical at airports and workplaces. In addition, the low-current requirements of level 1 also allowed the airport to install more charging stations as compared to more powerful chargers that often require costly upgrades to the electrical supply.

“We are excited to support our travelers and employees with these new EV charging stations,” said Vince Granato, Port of Portland chief operations officer. “Voted America’s Best Airport in 2013, 2014 and 2015 in Travel + Leisure’s Reader Survey, we take pride in delivering a memorable and positive experience to those who use our facilities. The installation of EV charging stations is one of our many environmental initiatives, which are central to how we do business and serve as good community stewards.”

Williams added, “Airports are really taking an aggressive approach to delivering on the need for electric vehicle charging infrastructure,” “Given that customers parking for 4 hours or more represent over 85% of all occupied spaces at an airport and the fact that airports often have sustainability initiatives in place, it’s a perfect fit.”

The Quest for a Sustainable Highway

The Mission Zero Corridor Project in Troup County West Georgia is trying to build a ‘green highway’. The travel corridor would, according to Innovia Technology, who has been commissioned for the project, rethink the purpose and function of infrastructure to generate social, environmental and economic value.

Ray-C-Anderson-Memorial-Highway-Exit-14-artist-impressionSome of the technologies being looked at for the project include algae biodiesel gas stations, smart solar-powered roads, moon-cycle adjusting lights, wildlife bridges, driverless cars, electric-car charging lanes and cultural greenways.

“Worldwide the highway infrastructure is continuously maintained, rebuilt and expanded at considerable economic and environmental cost. The Mission Zero Corridor Project is proposing an alternative future where highways have a positive impact on our communities. It’s very exciting to be involved in making this vision a reality,” said Alastair MacGregor, CEO of Innovia Technology, of the challenge ahead.

The late Ray C. Anderson, founder of Interface, Inc. developed the Mission Zero framework to eliminate Interface’s environmental impact while maintaining productivity and still turning a profit. The aim was a promise to “eliminate any negative impacts the company may have on the environment by 2020” and the framework created a blueprint for business sustainability. As a memorial, the Ray C Anderson Foundation is using a 16 mile stretch of Interstate 85 as the living experiment of the “regenerative, restorative and sustainable highway”.

To get the project started the Foundation and Interface funded a vision study through The Georgia Conservancy’s Blueprints for Successful Communities program. Using Interface’s Mission Zero framework as a roadmap, graduate students in the School of Architecture at the Georgia Institute of Technology, with studio instruction from a team of architects from Perkins+Will in Atlanta, explored how a highway could be a tool of change. The outcome was an inspirational report that identifies a broad range of potential technologies and opportunities. Innovia’s role is to provide a creative exploration of new opportunities, evaluate the technologies for viability and scalability, and to propose a strategy to bring the vision to life.

Green Charge Networks & ChargePoint Partner

Green Charge Networks and ChargePoint have forged a partnership in the electric vehicle (EV) space. The two companies will combine EV charging with EV charging stations. The companies cite combining energy storage with EV charging will eliminate the high cost of demand charges caused by spikes in power usage. This challenge is oftentimes a barrier for EV charging installation.

Photo Credit: CarStations.com

Photo Credit: CarStations.com

“We are proud to partner with ChargePoint, whose mission is to bring convenient charging to every EV driver,” said Vic Shao, CEO at Green Charge Networks. “Having EV charging readily available at public locations, especially along highly traveled corridors, will enable further electrification and accelerate adoption of electric vehicles. The combination of energy storage with EV charging is important and necessary, especially in California where demand charges are some of the highest in the nation.”

The first customer of the combined technology is Redwood City, California. The city is focused on reduced its environmental footprint (they have their own Climate Action Plan) and electric vehicle use is one their solutions. Today, Redwood City has five EV charging stations combined with energy storage including two DC Fast Charging Stations that were installed in 2014.

Redwood City said these EV charging stations, located at the public library and in a public parking garage, are heavily used with an average of 8-10 sessions per day. Green Charge Networks’ said their intelligent energy storage is shaving multiple peaks per day (80 in May, 2015) caused by the EV charging stations. The energy storage is expected to save nearly $7,000 annually in demand charges at the five Redwood City locations alone. The Redwood City energy storage equipment and installation came at no cost to the City; rather, Green Charge’s financing model provides a zero down cost solution. Green Charge Networks installs, owns and maintains all of the energy storage equipment.

“By combining EV charging and energy storage to reduce consumption during peak hours, businesses can save money,” added Pasquale Romano, ChargePoint CEO. “This can significantly reduce the cost for a business to offer EV charging thereby increasing EV adoption while promoting grid stability.”

Cadmus Releases EV Research, Policy Report

The growing number of electric vehicles (EV) on the road may present challenges for the country’s infrastructure (roads) that according to Cadmus, can be addressed through smart planning and thoughtful policy.

ev charging

Photo Credit: Joanna Schroeder

A report released in June 2015 by the Federal Highway Research Association (FHWA) based on Cadmus research, Feasibility and Implications of Electric Vehicle (EV) Deployment and Infrastructure Development, is the first comprehensive examination of EVs undertaken by FHWA. Cadmus’Damon Fordham directed the research team, and John Norris of Ricardo-AEA led the technical analysis, with support from Good Company, Eastern Research Group (ERG), and independent consultants Mark Stout and Doug Tindall.

The project kicked off with an extensive literature review, a series of expert interviews and a forum that included more than 50 EV, transportation and auto industry experts. The team conducted an analysis of the potential deployment of EVs in the United States and the potential impact on the mission of FHWA. The results of the research will be used to aid transportation agencies at the national, state, and local level in understanding how to prepare for the future financial implications, safety planning, and infrastructure development needs associated with EVs.

“The analysis was eye-opening,” said Fordham. “For example, one key finding was that—even at the highest deployment levels we considered—the future impact of EVs on gas tax revenues is a small fraction of the impact of existing federal fuel efficiency regulations.”

Cadmus has found that many states have already begun implementing policies to support the increasing use of EVs. For example, In Washington state, a financial modeling tool developed by Cadmus will soon be helping facilitate expansion of the state’s EV charging infrastructure. A recently passed state law establishing funding for public-private EV infrastructure partnerships directs potential EV charging infrastructure developers to the tool, which Cadmus created to inform policy recommendations made by the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions (C2ES). The tool allows users to easily evaluate the business case for a proposed EV charging installation from both public and private sector perspectives.

EEI and DOE to Accelerate EV Development

The Edison Electric Institute (EEI) and the Department of Energy (DOE) have announced a partnership that will identify and pursue collaborative opportunities to promote and accelerate the nationwide adoption of electric vehicles (EVs).

During EEI’s Annual Convention in New Orleans, DOE Secretary Ernest Moniz and EEI President Tom Kuhn signed a memorandum of understanding to take a variety of joint actions—including research, infrastructure, and outreach programs—to accelerate the widespread adoption of EVs.

EEI President Tom Kuhn and Energy Secretary Moniz sign an MOU on electric vehicle adoption. — in New Orleans, Louisiana. Photo Credit: EEI

EEI President Tom Kuhn and Energy Secretary Moniz sign an MOU on electric vehicle adoption. — in New Orleans, Louisiana. Photo Credit: EEI

“The U.S. transportation system produces a third of the country’s carbon emissions, making it essential that we improve plug-in electric vehicle technology and increase their numbers on the road,” said Moniz during his speech. “Today’s announcement enhances the kinds of private-public partnerships needed to remain at the forefront of advanced vehicle technologies that reduce our emissions and provide safe, reliable transport for the American people.”

EEI’s said its collaboration with DOE builds on the electric utility industry’s leadership on transportation electrification. EEI pointed to one example of this dedication – its fleet electrification initiative. Launched last year, this effort includes a commitment by EEI and its partnering member companies to invest at least 5 percent of their annual fleet budgets in plug-in vehicles and technologies.

“The electric power industry is a tremendous leader in moving the electric transportation market forward, and we are excited to work with our federal partners to bring about the economic, environmental, and security benefits of transportation electrification,” added EEI President Tom Kuhn. “Transportation electrification benefits electric utility customers, while also bolstering America’s energy security and sustainability. These are priorities our industry shares with our government partners.”

EEI also announced that its fleet electrification initiative has exceeded the anticipated $50 million annual industry commitment, and will total more than $90 million in 2015, adding more than 800 new plug-in vehicles and 740 new charging ports to utility fleets.

Coalition Fights for EV Dev in San Diego

A broad coalition has submitted a proposed settlement to the California Public Utilities Commission in an effort to speed up the deployment of smart electric vehicle charging stations in San Diego. The proposal calls for San Diego Gas and Electric (SDG&E) to install smart charging infrastructure at up to 550 multi-family housing sites and workplace locations throughout its service territory, with an average of ten chargers at each location for a total of 5,500 separate chargers. Customers would have a choice of rate options and equipment to ensure drivers charge in a manner that maximizes fuel cost savings and supports the electrical grid and to promote competition and market growth in the charging service industry.

“This proposal would increase access to electric cars and trucks and leverage those clean vehicles to cost-effectively integrate wind and solar energy to the benefit of all utility customers,” said Max Baumhefner, attorney at the Natural Resources Defense Council who is part of the groups supporting the initiative. “If the Public Utilities Commission adopts this carefully negotiated settlement, it would confirm California’s leadership in moving both the transportation sector and the electric industry to a future free of fossil fuels.”

Blink electric vehicle charges in Orange County, California. Photo Credit Joanna Schroeder

Blink electric vehicle charges in Orange County, California. Photo Credit Joanna Schroeder

The goal of the proposal is to enable all communities access to electric vehicle charging stations and the corresponding benefits from EV on the road – less fossil fuel use and less emissions. The plan calls for SDG&E to install at least 10 percent of the charging stations in such communities and facilitate the expansion of electric car sharing to expand access to zero emission vehicles. As noted in The Greenlining Institute’s 2011 report, “Electric Vehicles; Who’s Left Stranded?” communities of color are more concerned about air pollution, making them a natural, but largely untapped market for clean vehicles.

“We commend SDG&E and all involved for putting together a proposed pilot program that, if adopted, would mean more EV charging stations in disadvantaged communities while helping create a diverse workforce and supplier network to get the job done,” said Sekita Grant, environmental equity legal counsel at The Greenlining Institute, another participating coalition member. “We need to make clean electric cars and trucks a reality for Californians of all income levels, and look forward to working with SDG&E to push beyond the settlement targets to make that happen.”

The pilot program would feature price signals that encourage drivers of electric cars to save money by charging their vehicles when renewable energy is plentiful and energy prices are low. This will help avoid the need to build more power plants and other electrical infrastructure.

What’s the GHG Performance of Polluters?

Next 10 has released, “Green Innovation Index, International Edition,” a report that analyzes and ranks the economic and energy performance of the world’s 50 largest greenhouse gas (GHG) emitting countries. The reports reviews country gross domestic product (GDP), emissions, energy productivity, renewable energy generation, clean tech investments and other key metrics. The report find the European Union collectively, and its individual nations, leads the world on several critical indicators.

Green Innovation Index“Some of the world’s largest economies are now decoupling economic growth and energy use, actually growing their GDPs while shrinking their carbon footprints. Last year marked the first time we’ve been able to say conclusively that a drop in global carbon emissions was caused by something other than an economic downtown,” said F. Noel Perry, businessman and founder of the nonpartisan nonprofit group Next 10.

Perry will be presenting the results as part of the events leading up to the Business & Climate Summit taking place at the UNESCO headquarters. The event is also part of Climate Week Paris.

The report finds the European Union ranks as the: #1 producer of renewable energy; #2 in global electric vehicle sales (2014), accounting for 30 percent of sales worldwide; #1 in clean tech IPOs (2014); #2 in clean tech venture capital, attracting just over $1 billion in 2014; #1 in wind energy patents; and #2 in clean tech patents, with 11,000 registered in 2014.

The Green Innovation Index also found that among these nations, plus California:

  • Spain, Germany, Italy, California, Philippines, the EU, Belgium, Netherlands, U.K. andGreece have the greatest share of electricity from renewable sources among top emitters (in order).
  • France leads the world in lowest carbon intensity; Uzbekistan is highest (GHG per GDP).
  • U.S. (with California), the EU, Japan, South Korea, Germany, California, China, Taiwan,France and U.K. (in order) are top ten in clean technology patents (2014).
  • Clean tech venture capital investment declined in the EU (-10 percent), France (-43 percent), Canada (-19 percent), India (-4 percent) and Israel (-11 percent) from 2013-14.
  • U.S. clean tech venture capital investment grew 74 percent (2013-14), California 153 percent.

“This year’s Green Innovation Index, International Edition tracks a clear shift to clean energy around the world. Although fossil fuels still represent a significant portion of our overall energy use, many analysts believe we have reached an important tipping point—globally, we are now adding more capacity for renewable power annually than fossil fuels,” added Doug Henton, chairman and CEO of Collaborative Economics, which developed the Index for Next 10.

Team Uber Qik Breaks EV Driving Record

Team Uber Qik has broken the unofficial electric vehicle (EV) coast-to-coast world record with an elapsed drive and charge time of just 58 hours and 55 minutes. Drivers Rodney Hawk, Deena Mastracci and Carl Reese departed from Los Angeles City Hall in a Tesla P85D on April 16 at 11:41 p.m. PST and arrived at New York City Hall on April 19 at 1:36 p.m. EST, setting two new records for the fastest U.S. coast-to-coast time and least charging time in an EV.

gI_115274_IMG_6682Accompanied by witnesses and timekeepers, Anthony Alvarado, Matt Nordenstrom and Johnnie Oberg, Jr., Team Uber Qik, led by Reese, broke the previous EV U.S. coast-to-coast time record of 67 hours and 21 minutes set by a team from Edmunds.com in summer 2014. While the team broke two records during this trip, Guinness only recognizes the “least non-driving time to cross the U.S. in an electric vehicle,” meaning the shortest amount of charging time. The team logged just 12 hours and 48 minutes plugged in at Tesla’s growing network of supercharging stations conveniently located along major freeways and free to use for all Tesla owners.

“I was inspired by my grandfather who took me on road trips as a child and Alex Roy who broke the cross-country record in a gasoline vehicle in 2006,” said Reese of Santa Clarita, California. “Tesla is such a compelling car company that is creating tens of thousands of American jobs, with Tesla Motors in Fremont, California, Giga Factory in Sparks, Nevada, and Space X in Hawthorne, California.” Reese prides himself on purchasing products only made in the U.S., from shoes and clothing to the Tesla the team drove across the country.

Global fleet tracking company GPS Insight sponsored Team Uber Qik’s record-breaking trip by providing the GPS tracking equipment necessary for third party verification, as required by Guinness Book of World Records. Other sponsors include InspectMobile.com, TeslaGrille.com and Chalkolot.com. The 691 horse-powered Tesla P85D used for the trip is owned by Reese and Mastracci. The team of timekeepers followed the drivers in a Chevrolet Suburban.

Eseye Joins The New Motion EV Family

Eseye is now supplying connectivity services to The New Motion, who own more than 14,000 EV charging stations, making the company one of the largest and fastest growing Electric Vehicle (EV) charging networks in Europe. Research firm TechNavio is estimating the CAGR for the global electric vehicle charger market of 28.8 percent.

According to Eseye, The New Motion has benefited from their TheNewMotion-Eseyeexpertise in supplying connectivity that is tailored to the customer. For example, all services required for payment and charging credit will be handled by Eseye. The New Motion are said to be very happy with the responsiveness and helpfulness of Eseye’s technical support staff, with all support provided from one central help desk.

Eseye says its roaming, mobile network-agnostic Multi IMSI AnyNet SIM provides reliable mobile network coverage in even the most remote and challenging locations. In addition, all IMSIs are Over-The-Air (OTA) re-programmable which means Eseye is able to help The New Motion future proof the solution without the need to return to site to swap the SIM cards out if they need to switch mobile network providers. This is an important consideration for The New Motion, with Remi Caron, their chief technology and innovation officer, saying, “With each EV charge station expected to have a lifespan of 5-10 years, it is imperative that our suppliers understand our need to have reliable and future proof solutions.”

The New Motion is going through expansion throughout Europe, where charge points and charging services are already available to electric car owners. Currently The New Motion charge card can be used at charge points located in Holland, Belgium, Germany, Luxembourg, Austria, the UK and Norway.