The Obama Administration said yesterday that it will invest up to $4.5 billion to build electric-car charging stations in a major push to create comprehensive charging infrastructure in the U.S.Officials hope this will lead to the construction of enough new charging stations to quell “range anxiety” and enhance the appeal of electric cars for consumers.The program will use Department of Energy (DoE) loan guarantees, and promote partnerships between Federal, state, and local governments and automakers.DON’T MISS: CA issues $9 million in grants for electric-car fast charger installationsAmong the goals of the program are a national network of DC fast-charging stations, and the creation of a coalition among 50 carmakers, utilities, and charging-network operators that will work together to ramp up charging infrastructure.State and local governments will also be encouraged to buy electric cars for their fleets.The DOE believes increased charging infrastructure will pave the way for widespread electric-car adoption.
The Non-Environmental Reasons for a Massive Switch to Electric CarsThere are several practical reasons people will soon be switching to plugin electrical vehicles. Judging from past examples, the shift in consumer preference will be swift and decisive, catching car manufacturers by surprise.June 4, 2016, 9am PDT | wadams92101 Share Tweet LINKEDIN EMAIL COMMENTSFaceMePLSFlickrThe everyday practical reasons to choose a plugin electric car over a gas powered car are already here. However, consumer demand for them have been underwhelming. Consumer awareness of electric vehicle advantages lags, believes San Diego land use attorney Bill Adams, using his own learning curve as an example. Much of the public is still under the impression that owning an electric vehicle is an exercise in paying more and getting less to save the climate. He predicts that consumer knowledge about the practical non-environmental advantages of purchasing an electric car will soon result in a swift and massive switch in consumer preference from gas to electric vehicles. Practical benefits include:
We could reduce CO2 emissions by 75% by 2030The United States is a single country, but it doesn’t have a single power grid. There are multiple regional grids that are not that well interconnected, making it very hard to transfer energy from one side to the other, especially over long distances since the lines are mostly alternating current (AC), which isn’t very efficient over large distances. On top of this, the AC cycles on the different grids are not synched, making it even harder to send power across…This is becoming a problem for the rise of renewable energy. Wind and solar power are intermittent sources, as is hydro, to a lesser extent. The best way to dampen that variability is to be able to share power across a very large area, sending energy from regions where there is a surplus to regions where there is a deficit, balancing things out.
The Blue Oval is starting to get more serious about cleaner transportation, with a commitment of investing billions to bring 13 new electrified vehicles to its portfolio by 2020.Now, I’m not saying it’s connected or anything (wink, wink), but it’s interesting to see how many companies are making big announcements about their green initiatives right around the same time that the global climate summit is happening in Paris. However, even if there was some strategic timing to the news of calls for more fossil fuel divestment, coal phase-outs, and big corporate renewable energy purchases, there’s no harm done if it’s merely stating the facts. As they say, “It ain’t bragging if you can do it.”In that vein, Ford announced that it would be investing some $4.5 billion over the next five years toward its goal of building better “electrified vehicle solutions” and bringing electrification to 40% of its vehicle lineup by 2020. Seeing as transportation is a key climate issue, it’s only fitting to learn about Ford’s sharpened focus on EVs as a solution. According to the company, it will be adding 13 new electrified vehicles to its portfolio by 2020, which could offer more options for the potential EV customers who aren’t currently able to drive electric, either because of price or driving range or size.