Category: electric cars

Transforming Energy Expenses into Sustainability Engines

Ron presented “Transforming Energy Expenses into Sustainability Engines” for the Friends FIRST program in November.

The presentation focuses on how businesses and institutions can leverage their existing energy expenses for electricity, heat, and transportation to create a vehicle for lower costs and clean, sustainable power.

https://zoom.us/recording/play/sS-1SksoDAAouGz5iyfyYEji5biGDXG6cPx8s4l812oAwB907w_iVxnvhBKe3tfx?continueMode=true

GM & Tesla Electric Vehicle Tax Credits being phased out in 2019

Both GM and Tesla have sold a total of more than 200,000 Electric Vehicles – triggering the tax-credit phaseout.

https://www.cnbc.com/2019/01/02/gm-hit-200000-us-electric-vehicles-sold-in-2018.html

General Motors reached 200,000 cumulative U.S. electric vehicles sold late last year, triggering a phase-out of a $7,500 federal tax credit over the next 15 months, a person briefed on the matter said on Wednesday.

The largest U.S. automaker hit the figure in the fourth quarter of 2018, which means the credit will fall to $3,750 in April, and then drop to $1,875 in October for six months.

The Chevrolet Bolt EV is introduced as the Car of the Year during the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, January 9, 2017.

The tax credit is aimed at defraying the cost of electric vehicles that are more expensive than similarly sized internal combustion engine vehicles. In 2009, Congress set the phase-out threshold at 200,000 vehicles per manufacturer.

GM, which said previously it expected to reach the 200,000 sales figure before the end of 2018, declined to comment ahead of the release of its quarterly sales results on Thursday.

GM and Tesla, which hit the 200,000 figure in July 2018, have both lobbied Congress to lift the cap or extend the existing tax credit. Tesla’s EV tax credit fell to $3,750 on Tuesday and Tesla said it was cutting prices on its EVs by $2,000 to partially offset the lower tax credit.

In March, GM Chief Executive Mary Barra called on Congress to expand the consumer tax credit for electric vehicles as the company boosted production of the EV Bolt in response to consumer demand. She repeated the request last month during a visit to Capitol Hill.

GM said in November it was doubling resources allocated to developing electric and self-driving vehicles as part of a significant restructuring that includes ending production at five North American plants. GM also announced it would halt production of the plug-in hybrid Chevrolet Volt by March.

In November, a congressional report said 57,066 taxpayers claimed $375 million in EV tax credits in 2016. Congress estimates the cost of the EV tax credit at $7.5 billion between the 2018 and 2022 fiscal years. now the $7,500 federal tax credit will be phased out on of their future sales.

Electric buses roll out at New York’s airports

Our transformation to Electric Vehicles took another leap forward with electric buses now replacing 50% of the diesel buses at the 3 metro NY airports.

https://ny.curbed.com/2018/12/28/18158480/mta-electric-buses-lga-jfk-ewr-transportation

 

 

Electric buses roll out at New York’s airports

The battery-powered vehicles are coming to Newark Liberty, JFK, and LaGuardia

By Zoe Rosenberg@zoe_rosenberg  Dec 28, 2018, 9:15am EST

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MTA

The Port Authority is bringing electric buses to the metro area’s three major airports. They’re estimated to save 807 tons of greenhouse gases and 120,000 gallons of diesel fuel each year versus their diesel counterparts.

Six electric buses are already in use at John F. Kennedy International Airport. Newark Liberty International Airport’s six electric buses will go into use early next year, and LaGuardia Airport will receive its six electric buses by the summer of 2019.

These 18 all-electric buses will account for half of the airports’ former 36-bus diesel fleet. At each of the three airports, the six battery-operated buses are projected to save 269 tons of greenhouse gas emissions and approximately 40,000 gallons of diesel fuel annually. They’ll also help the air quality by eliminating the emissions of nearly 2,000 pounds of nitrous oxide and 150 pounds of particulate matter every year.

The buses, built by Proterra, take less than four hours to fully recharge and will travel an average of 230 miles per charge. (That’s a lot of traffic loops.) This doesn’t spell the end of AirTrain. Instead the buses will be used to shuttle passengers and employees to areas not serviced by the elevated train. The Port Authority is currently exploring bringing an AirTrain to LaGuardia.

 

Why GM is dumping the Chevy Volt

It was a bit of a surprise to hear that GM is no longer going to be producing the Chevy Volt. With an electric motor that will take you the first 50 miles, the Volt has been a popular plug-in hybrid for people who realize that 90% of their trips are less than 30 miles. But, the Volts also has a gas engine that provides a range of 400 miles, so it overcame many people’s “range anxiety” with a “backup generator under the hood”. What GM found is that most Volt owners are not using the gas engines, and that – with the exponential growth of public and workplace charging stations – customers prefer all-electric drives like the Chevy Bolt, Nissan Leaf, Tesla 3, etc… Another step in our evolution to a fully-electric clean transportation system!

Why General Motors Is Ditching the Chevy Volt https://www.greentechmedia.com/articles/read/why-general-motors-is-ditching-the-chevy-volt?utm_medium=email&utm_source=Storage&utm_campaign=GTMStorage#gs.Jtj_0YY

Out with the plug-in hybrid, in with the all-electric vehicle.

“The need to carry around a backup generator under the hood is just going away.

When General Motors launched the Chevy Volt plug-in hybrid in 2010, it was heralded as a breakthrough “car of the future.” Turns out it came with an expiry date.

Come March, GM will no longer produce the Volt, as part of the automaker’s restructuring plan announced last month. GM said it will focus on growing its truck and SUV business, while prioritizing future investments in next-generation of battery-electric vehicle architectures.

The Volt isn’t part of that plan, news that EV fans took hard.

A primary selling point for the Volt was that owners could go (mostly) electric without having to compromise on range. The Volt’s roughly 50-mile electric range covers most daily commutes in America. For longer journeys, the car seamlessly switches over to using its small gasoline engine to power an on-board generator, for a total hybrid range of more than 400 miles.

But GM’s customer data shows that Volt owners simply aren’t turning on their gasoline engines all that much anymore.

“What we’re finding is that consumers are…carrying around this engine and driving on full electricity,” said Shad Balch, Chevrolet spokesperson, in a recent interview at the L.A. Auto Show.

Drivers are also getting over range anxiety, he said. When GM launched the first-generation Volt, there was virtually no public charging infrastructure. Now there are upward of 23,000 public charging stations in the U.S. and Canada.

“The need to carry around a backup generator under the hood is just going away,” Balch said. “We’re seeing that as…our customers are leaving the Volt to get into the Bolt EV.”

That trend is apparent across the EV market. In California, the nation’s largest EV market by far, pure electric-vehicle sales surpassed plug-in hybrids in 2015 and have since expanded their share of the market.

The Volt is retiring with the title of the bestselling electric car in America. GM’s cumulative Volt sales are still greater than Tesla’s, as of today. But now that the market is primed and GM has successfully commercialized long-range EV technology (the Bolt boasts a 238-mile electric range), it’s time to commit to a bigger transition both from a production standpoint and a vehicle standpoint, said Balch.

The Volt has also been a money-loser for GM. The additional equipment needed to make a plug-in hybrid is expensive, while GM committed to making the Volt price-competitive at around $35,000.

GM CEO Mary Barra has stated repeatedly that her company is committed to an “all-electric future.” In a speech earlier this year, Barra said that commitment “is unwavering, regardless of any modifications to future fuel economy standards,” referring to an ongoing policy battle over vehicle emissions rules in the U.S.

Last year, GM announced that the Chevy Bolt is just the first of at least 20 new all-electric vehicles (which includes fuel-cell electric vehicles) that the company will launch by 2023.

GM isn’t the only automaker taking this approach. Nissan, for instance, is (finally) doubling down on its battery electric vehicle lineup.

The Japanese automaker spearheaded the modern battery electric vehicle market in 2010 with the launch of the all-electric Leaf. Last year, the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance held the record for most EVs sold anywhere in the world and may hang on to that title in 2018 as competitors continue to scale up production. The Alliance is currently leading the EV market in Europe, by a healthy margin.

Going forward, Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi plans to develop eight new pure-electric vehicles by 2022. At the same time, Nissan is revamping its flagship Leaf.

Current Leaf vehicles come with a 40-kilowatt-hour battery and roughly 150-mile range, which is quickly becoming one of the shortest all-electric car ranges out there. The 2019 Leaf E-Plus is expected to have a 60-kilowatt-hour battery, which would bring the electric range above 220 miles.

Those details have yet to be released. The Leaf E-Plus was scheduled to launch in November, but Nissan chose to delay in light of Nissan, Renault and Mitsubishi chairman Carlos Ghosn’s arrest for financial crimes.

Kia Motors is also responding to growing consumer demand for all-electric vehicles. The Korean automaker unveiled two battery electric SUVs at the L.A. Auto Show last month with over 200 miles of range: the Niro and the Soul. Stephen Kosowski, manager of long-range strategy and planning at Kia, said that once a car surpasses 200 miles of range, customers talk a lot less about range anxiety.

“Consumers are starting to ask us: ‘Why you would you have a plug-in hybrid? Why bother? We like driving past the gas station,’” he said at an L.A. Auto Show side event.

It’s notable that Kia introduced two electric SUVs. If battery electric vehicle sales are on the rise, gasoline-powered SUV sales are skyrocketing — in the U.S. and, increasingly, abroad.

GM responded to this trend by announcing that it plans to shift away from sedans (ending production of six sedans in total, including the Volt) and shifting resources to its larger-format vehicles. It’s a strategy that seems inconsistent, at least on the face of it.

GM has yet to come out with an electric SUV, which means the company will be investing in passenger vehicles on opposite ends of the environmental spectrum: gas guzzlers and zero-emissions vehicles. But the American automaker argues that there’s a reason for this.

“The overall trend right now of consumers is they’re moving from sedans and cars into crossovers and trucks. That is the trend from a business perspective that is driving all of these forward-looking moves that we’re making right now,” said Balch. “The money that we will be able to save because of these transitions is going to be invested in autonomous and electric-vehicle propulsion. So, it’s like we’re using the core business right now to fund the future technology for vehicles of the future.”

GM’s core business — its gas-powered trucks, crossovers and SUVs — dominated the automaker’s display at the L.A. Auto Show this year, with the Bolt EV tucked in the very back.

“It’s very hard to connect the dots because they are such different vehicles,” Balch acknowledged, referring to today’s SUVs and battery electrics. But that’s changing.

Crossovers and SUVs are becoming increasingly efficient thanks to advancements in using lighter materials, which will be applied to future vehicles, including electric ones, said Balch. Also, while the Volt is going away, the battery technology developed for that vehicle, including the active thermal management system to keep the battery at its optimal temperature, has already been carried over into the Bolt.

The challenge for automakers now is to create compelling SUVs, trucks and crossovers that also happen to be electric.

Audi took a meaningful step in this direction with the Audi e-tron, the first next-generation all-electric vehicle to launch from the Volkswagen Group. It’s also the first all-electric passenger vehicle to hit the U.S. market with a charging rate of up to 150 kilowatts, which dramatically cuts down on charging time.

Recent trends show, as many expected, that as battery range increases and charging times decline, consumers will become more comfortable with all-electric drive. As more pure EVs come to market, it’s likely to accelerate the shift away from plug-in hybrids, and could, eventually, eliminate the need for gasoline entirely.

BMW & Electric Vehicles

BMW sold 100,000 plug-in cars this year: more than GM, probably Nissan too (Tesla TBD)

BMW Group headquarters transformed into batteries in MunichBMW Group headquarters transformed into batteries in Munich

You have to hand it to BMW.

When the German automaker set out to eclipse last year’s sales of plug-in cars by delivering 100,000 electrified vehicles globally this year, it was an ambitious goal.

But as of the end of November, the automaker has achieved its goal—and in so doing has sold nearly as many electrified vehicles this year as it did between the time it launched the i brand in 2013 and the end of 2016.

That sales achievement puts it ahead of General Motors and very likely Nissan, two other companies known for sales of their electric and electrified vehicles.

However, BMW derives most of its electrified success from plug-in hybrids, not full battery-electric vehicles as Nissan does with its Leaf and e-NV200 small electric delivery van.

Tesla has also projected it will deliver more than 100,000 electric cars by the end of the year, though we won’t know if it met that goal until early January.

2017 BMW i3 REx range-extended electric car [photo: Chris Neff]2017 BMW i3 REx range-extended electric car [photo: Chris Neff]

BMW celebrated its 100,000 milestone by painting its Munich headquarters with light, turning the four cylindrical buildings into pseudo batteries in the night.

“We deliver on our promises,” said Harald Krüger, Chairman of the Board of Management of BMW AG. “This 99-metre-high signal is lighting the way into the era of electro-mobility.”

“Selling 100,000 electrified cars in one year is an important milestone, but this is just the beginning for us.”

Recently, BMW expanded its i brand with the addition of the BMW i8 Roadster in Los Angeles. Both the i8 coupe and Roadster gain larger battery packs and enhanced range.

The BMW i3 also received updates this year with the addition of a sportier i3s model.

In the near future, BMW will introduce an electrified version of the BMW X3—likely called iX3 when it goes on sale in 2020.

2019 BMW i8 Roadster, 2017 Los Angeles Auto Show2019 BMW i8 Roadster, 2017 Los Angeles Auto Show

Its name follows the company’s recent trademarking iX1 through iX9, setting up a naming convention for future electrified crossovers and SUVs.

Even sooner, a fully electric Mini will join the ranks in 2019 to complement the Mini Cooper S E Countryman ALL4 currently on sale.

However, BMW’s i brand flagship, codenamed iNext and rumored to be called i9, won’t arrive until 2021.

In all, the German manufacturer plans to offer 25 electrified models, of which 12 will be fully electric, by 2025.

BMW accounts for 21 percent of electrified vehicle market share in Europe, which is 6 percent of all BMWs delivered on the continent.

The company also claimed in its release a 10-percent share of the global electrified vehicle market as of the end of November.

Super Discount on Brand New Nissan All Electric Leaf!

EarthKind Energy has been working with Sustainable Westchester to create a Clean Transportation Project, and has now partnered with Nissan on the All-Electric Leaf.

We have been able to expand the discount program to ALL Central Hudson customers.

Any Central Hudson customers can now purchase a new 2017 Nissan Leaf for about ½ price (less than $15,000).

The Leaf gets 107 mile per charge, and is a great vehicle for the 90% of American’s trips that are less than 30 miles.

While they are going fast and there is a limited quantity – there are still Leaf’s available at Kingston Nissan.

Great editorial from the NY times – “The electric car has left the garage”!

 

There is simply no credible way to address climate change without changing the way we get from here to there, meaning cars, trucks, planes and any other gas-guzzling forms of transportation. That is why it is so heartening to see electric cars, considered curios for the rich or eccentric or both not that long ago, now entering the mainstream.

A slew of recent announcements by researchers, auto companies and world leaders offer real promise. First up, a forecast by Bloomberg New Energy Finance said that electric cars would become cheaper than conventional cars without government subsidies between 2025 and 2030. At the same time, auto companies like Tesla, General Motors and Volvo are planning a slate of new models that they say will be not only more affordable but also more practical than earlier versions. And officials in such countries as France, India and Norway have set aggressive targets for putting these vehicles to use and phasing out emission-spewing gasoline and diesel cars.

Skeptics may see these announcements as wishful thinking. After all, just 1.1 percent of all cars sold globally in 2016 were electrics or plug-in hybrids. And many popular models still cost much more than comparable fossil-fuel cars.

The skeptics, however, have consistently been overly pessimistic about this technology. Electric cars face challenges, yet they have caught on much faster than was thought likely just a few years ago. There were two million of them on the world’s roads last year, up 60 percent from 2015, according to the International Energy Agency. The cost of batteries, the single most expensive component of the cars, fell by more than half between 2012 and 2016, according to the Department of Energy. Tesla has indicated that it can produce batteries for about $125 per kilowatt-hour. Researchers say the cost of electric cars will be at parity with conventional vehicles when battery prices reach $100 per kilowatt-hour, which experts say is just a few years away. Electric cars are more efficient, of course, but they also require less maintenance, which should make them cheaper to own over time.

The potential environmental benefits of electric vehicles are huge. The transportation sector accounts for 14 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions and 27 percent of emissions in the United States. Moreover, countries have found it much more difficult to reduce planet-warming gases from transportation than from power plants. In America, for example, transportation emissions again regularly exceed those from the electricity sector for the first time since the late 1970s. The switch to electric cars is good for the climate because petroleum vehicles produce more greenhouse gas emissions per unit of energy than power plants fueled by natural gas, according to the Energy Information Administration.

Proponents say the growth of electric cars, when combined with the surge in renewable energy sources, like solar and wind, could lead to big reductions in emissions over time. These forces should also help reduce local air pollution in countries like China and India, which is why their leaders are getting behind these technologies in a big way. Government incentives have turned China into the biggest market for electric vehicles. And an Indian governmentminister says his country wants all cars sold there by 2030 to be electric. France says it wants to end sales of new diesel and gasoline cars by 2040, while Norway’s goal is 2025.

Government support could prove as crucial to the future of the technology as technical advances. If countries, states and localities encourage the spread of public charging stations, through tax breaks, other incentives or public spending, more people will take the plunge and convert. If the United States and other governments continue to spend money on research to help drive down battery costs, their economies and consumers will benefit.

Some parts of the fossil fuel industry will no doubt try to sabotage the electric car revolution. In the United States, the industry is lobbying statesto eliminate subsidies for the vehicles. And many analysts expect the industry to seek similar changes at the federal level from President Trump and Republican leaders in Congress, who have already made clear that they do not see climate change as a major threat. They should know, though, that the most they can do is slow down the process. The electric car has already left the garage.

EarthKind Developing Electric Vehicle Program in Westchester County, NY

Ron presented on the Sustainable Westchester Clean Transportation Project, Electric Vehicles (EV), and EV Charging Stations to the Town of Ossining Board meeting on March 21st.

The Board voted to approve the Town’s $48,000 grant application for 3 new Electric Vehicle Charging Stations, plus another $5,000 grant that will cover the entire first year’s cost for a new leased EV. The Municipal Lease that EarthKind arranged for will result in spreading the dramatically discounted price of $22,000 for a new Nissan Leaf over 5 years – at zero interest!


Ron starts at 1.46.41, and his presentation is here.

Town Supervisor Dana Levenberg’s blog on Ron’s work is here.

$10 Billion Purchase for 110,000 Electric Vehicles

While the federal government is backing away from the fuel economy standards that were driving a transition to Electric Vehicles (EVs) – local municipalities are now joining together to lead the way. EarthKind is honored to be the Clean Transportation Project director for Sustainable Westchester’s EV program (http://sustainablewestchester.org/2016/08/electric-vehicles/). Nationally, we will be joining villages, towns, cities and counties who are creating $10+ Billion of demand.

Energy is the new internet: The Enernet is coming – with massive economic opportunity ahead!

Energy is on a similar path to the emergence of the internet in the 1990s.
We are on the verge of another

massive societal transformation, with the
“Enernet” emerging as a “dynamic, distributed, redundant and
multi-participant energy network built around clean energy generation,
storage and delivery – and serving as the foundation for smart cities.”

Nanogrids, microgrids, distributed energy resources, virtual power plants,
intelligent building materials, battery storage, smart lighting, new
networks and intelligence are driving down energy costs and improving
services. “From the enernet evolution will come smart cities that are an
order-of-magnitude smarter, healthier and safer. The new network will also
present quantum leaps in energy security and emergency resilience that can
stand in the face of superstorms or cyberattacks.”

It’s going to be an incredible ride…