Tag Archives: electric vehicle

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SRP Expands 'Green Fleet' of Electric Vehicles

Pull into the parking lots at Salt River Project’s headquarters in Tempe and you will notice electric vehicle charging stations sprinkled throughout for the convenience of employees and customers.  More Level 2 (240 Volt) charging units are coming, as SRP continues to invest in its “green fleet.”

As part of the company’s green fleet program, SRP is increasing its line of new-technology vehicles with the addition of five new Ford plug-in hybrid electric vehicles – three Fusion Energi and two C-MAX Energi – which are scheduled to arrive in October. Currently, SRP has five Chevy Volts; a total of 15 green vehicles will be leased by 2014.

“The initial five Chevy Volts were added to SRP’s fleet as part of a demonstration project with the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) to help determine the impact of electric vehicles on the Valley grid,” said Jim Wood, SRP’s manager of transportation.

The electric vehicles are being rotated through the company to get a wide variety of driving distances and habits. As part of the program, an OnStar system will collect data such as drive time, state of charge, charging details, trip routes and charging locations. In the same vein, Ford’s MyFord ® Mobile app will collect rich data for the company on employee driving and charging habits, with the goal of improving all-electric driving and charging performance. The MyFord ® Mobile app also provides drivers and fleet managers with real-time battery charge status, a vehicle locator and value charging, which allows a car to automatically recharge during lower-cost, off-peak electricity rates, when there is less strain on the electrical grid.

A team of representatives from departments throughout SRP, including Facilities, Transportation Services, Load Research, Environmental Management, Policy & Compliance (EMPC) and others, will continue to review and analyze data collected on the performance of the technology.

The project will help SRP collect information on how the plug-in hybrid is used and charged. The Volt, for example, is powered only from electricity stored in its 16-kilowatt-hour (kWh) lithium-ion battery for a typical range of 25 to 50 miles. The on-board engine provides electricity to power the drive unit for extended-range capability, and it plugs into a standard household 120-volt outlet (or 240 volts for charging.)

SRP is building excitement among its employees by allowing them to vote on the best custom-designed wrap for each of the new Ford plug-in hybrids.

The top five employee-voted designs will be announced Nov. 7.  In addition, employees are now test-driving SRP’s plug-in hybrids to become more familiar with the technology and to find out why SRP is adding these vehicles to its fleet.

“We’re very proud of the high level of interest that employees have demonstrated during our fall transportation campaign.  These new additions to our green fleet will not only reduce emissions, but are fun to drive. Perhaps you’ll spot one during your next commute,” said Kelly Barr, senior director of Environmental Management Policy & Compliance.

SRP is the largest provider of power and water to the great Phoenix metropolitan area.

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SRP Expands ‘Green Fleet’ of Electric Vehicles

Pull into the parking lots at Salt River Project’s headquarters in Tempe and you will notice electric vehicle charging stations sprinkled throughout for the convenience of employees and customers.  More Level 2 (240 Volt) charging units are coming, as SRP continues to invest in its “green fleet.”

As part of the company’s green fleet program, SRP is increasing its line of new-technology vehicles with the addition of five new Ford plug-in hybrid electric vehicles – three Fusion Energi and two C-MAX Energi – which are scheduled to arrive in October. Currently, SRP has five Chevy Volts; a total of 15 green vehicles will be leased by 2014.

“The initial five Chevy Volts were added to SRP’s fleet as part of a demonstration project with the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) to help determine the impact of electric vehicles on the Valley grid,” said Jim Wood, SRP’s manager of transportation.

The electric vehicles are being rotated through the company to get a wide variety of driving distances and habits. As part of the program, an OnStar system will collect data such as drive time, state of charge, charging details, trip routes and charging locations. In the same vein, Ford’s MyFord ® Mobile app will collect rich data for the company on employee driving and charging habits, with the goal of improving all-electric driving and charging performance. The MyFord ® Mobile app also provides drivers and fleet managers with real-time battery charge status, a vehicle locator and value charging, which allows a car to automatically recharge during lower-cost, off-peak electricity rates, when there is less strain on the electrical grid.

A team of representatives from departments throughout SRP, including Facilities, Transportation Services, Load Research, Environmental Management, Policy & Compliance (EMPC) and others, will continue to review and analyze data collected on the performance of the technology.

The project will help SRP collect information on how the plug-in hybrid is used and charged. The Volt, for example, is powered only from electricity stored in its 16-kilowatt-hour (kWh) lithium-ion battery for a typical range of 25 to 50 miles. The on-board engine provides electricity to power the drive unit for extended-range capability, and it plugs into a standard household 120-volt outlet (or 240 volts for charging.)

SRP is building excitement among its employees by allowing them to vote on the best custom-designed wrap for each of the new Ford plug-in hybrids.

The top five employee-voted designs will be announced Nov. 7.  In addition, employees are now test-driving SRP’s plug-in hybrids to become more familiar with the technology and to find out why SRP is adding these vehicles to its fleet.

“We’re very proud of the high level of interest that employees have demonstrated during our fall transportation campaign.  These new additions to our green fleet will not only reduce emissions, but are fun to drive. Perhaps you’ll spot one during your next commute,” said Kelly Barr, senior director of Environmental Management Policy & Compliance.

SRP is the largest provider of power and water to the great Phoenix metropolitan area.

TeslaRoadster Electric Car

Electric Cars For The Eco-Friendly Commuter

“Going green” can be difficult in a city like Phoenix. You can keep track of your recyclables, buy organic and even compost, but what about that long commute every Monday through Friday? There are a few options open for those determined to reduce their carbon footprint: bus, light rail, carpool, bicycle or some combination thereof. However, each of these options comes with problems as well.

For the public transportation group the logistics and timing of catching a bus or light rail can mean adding extra time or distance onto your commute. The same could be said for carpooling, depending on the location and morning routines of any “carpool buddies.” As for bicycling, this mode of transportation is restricted by the distance you need to travel: too far and it’s just not possible for a morning commute. Fortunately, there is another option out there for the ardent environmentalist.

Electric vehicles. No, not hybrids, but completely electric cars run by batteries. Not only are these cars a way to stay green in a city with one of the worst commutes in the country, but when you buy an electric vehicle you are eligible for a $7,500 tax credit.

Recently, Wired Magazine tested and rated four electric cars currently available to consumers. Following are the stats for those cars.

Chevrolet Volt
Price: starts at $40,280 ($32,780 after tax credit)
Range: 25 – 50 miles
Horsepower: 150
0 – 60 mph: ~ 9 seconds

Nissan Leaf
Price: starts at $33,720 ($26,220 after tax credit)
Range: up to 100 miles
Horsepower: 107
0 – 60 mph: ~ 10 seconds

Tesla Roadster 2.5

Price: starts at $109,000 ($101,500 after tax credit)
Range: up to 245 miles
Horsepower: 288
0 – 60 mph: ~ 3.7 seconds

Coda Automotive Coda
Price: starts at $44,900 ($37,400 after tax credit)
Range: 90 – 120 miles
Horsepower: 134 0 – 60 mph: ~ 10 – 11 seconds
Extra: View the history of the electric car and stats on carbon emissions and oil consumption.

Electric Vehicle were a big hit in 2010 in Arizona

Arizona’s “Green” Future Was Founded In 2010

2010 will probably be remembered more for the challenges it brought than the successes it yielded in our Valley and state. But out of the darkness came some light, and the illumination casts hope for a bright future.

Countless volunteers gave generously of their time, talent and treasury to support green initiatives in our region despite a challenging economy. Their efforts are evident in a range of projects that contribute to the sustainability of our unique desert environment. And their commitment will make our communities stronger, more vibrant places.

Working together, they’re a testament to the power of collaboration representing companies both large and small, government entities, educators, non-profits and concerned citizens. Their individual successes are our collective treasures:

We’re one of five states selected to deploy “smart” charging stations as part of an electric vehicle program by ECOtality and the U.S. Department of Energy. Thousands of charging stations in Phoenix and Tucson will create more green jobs, less pollution and a reduction on foreign oil dependency.

Daily ridership on our 20-mile light rail system exceeded expectations by an average of 58 percent, and a new Adopt-A-Station program promotes use of public transportation. In addition, the city of Phoenix in partnership with ASU, APS and other sponsors received $25 million in stimulus funds to build the Green Rail Corridor Demonstration Project to showcase ways to reduce energy usage and carbon emissions.

The Center for Teacher Success was officially launched to improve the academic achievement of Arizona students by elevating the professional performance of their teachers and education leaders. Several non-profits partnered to provide environmental education resources to teachers through workshops, forums and special events.

In the wake of municipal budget cuts, Adopt-A-Park programs have drawn thousands of volunteers to trash pickups, tree plantings and general spruce ups of city recreation areas.  The city of Chandler opened the Paseo Vista Recreation Area, a 64-acre park built atop the closed city landfill; and the Nina Mason Pulliam Rio Salado Audubon Center opened on the banks of the river in Phoenix to connect people with nature.

The town of Gilbert celebrated its 90th anniversary and was named the 17th safest city in America, one of the best places to live in the U.S. and among the best places in the nation to learn.

Several LEED certified projects came online throughout our region, and 12 Valley mayors signed a proclamation by Valley Forward and the U.S. Green Building Council, Arizona Chapter in support of green schools.

Through a preservation-by-relocation effort, the Sandra Day O’Connor House, originally constructed in Paradise Valley as a family home for the former Supreme Court Justice, was undertaken and piece-by-piece, the entire house was deconstructed and transported to Tempe. It was meticulously reconstructed in Papago Park, with a keen focus on historic preservation and environmental sustainability.

Our region overall has become a brighter green in the past year. And it occurred in the worst recession most of us can remember in our lifetime.  As the year closes with winter’s short days and long evenings, we’re reminded that even in the darkness there is light.

Electric Vehicles and Charging Stations - The future will happen first in Arizona

Electric Vehicles And Charging Stations an Arizona Reality

The future will happen first in Arizona. That’s because Phoenix and Tucson made a list we can be proud about – we’re one of six states selected to deploy “smart” charging stations as part of an electric vehicle (EV) program funded by the U.S. Department of Energy. Thousands of charging stations will soon be placed throughout our region and 900 zero-emission Nissan LEAF electric vehicles will rollout in our metro areas.

As a project stakeholder, Valley Forward Association was privileged to participate in a press conference at the Desert Botanical Garden to officially unveil ECOtality’s plans to electrify Arizona’s Sun Corridor.

ECOtality is a leader in clean electric transportation and storage technologies and is facilitating The EV Project, the largest electric vehicle infrastructure venture ever undertaken. It will deliver 15,000 residential and commercial charges to 16 cities in six states.

Part of the planning process included the involvement of local government agencies and regional stakeholders to ensure the proper locations for the charging stations. Collaboration on the infrastructure is essential to prepare Arizona for the next wave of electric vehicles and enable more rapid adoption. The company also evaluated a variety of factors, including population density, zoning regulations, employment centers and transportation routes, when developing the blueprint.

The goal of the project is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by making the Valley ‘plug-in ready’ and enhance alternative transportation efforts that encourage individuals to incorporate green technology into their lives. The success of EVs is dependent on charge infrastructure that makes recharging convenient, practical and cost-effective.

Standing in the way of wider spread EV adoption are perceptions and myths about how far the car will go on electricity – approximately 100 miles on a full charge – in addition to fears of being stranded, even though charging stations are being placed every 30 miles along most freeway systems. ECOtality plans to collect and analyze data from the vehicles and charging systems to characterize vehicle performance and the effectiveness of local charging infrastructure under various use patterns and climate conditions to prepare for the next deployment and help encourage additional adoption.

The EV deployment plan is good news for Arizona on several fronts, including more green jobs, less pollution and a reduction on foreign oil dependency.

Green Trash Can

Effective Ways To Go Green, High-Tech Trash Bins And More

Here’s some green bits from around the web. This week we’ve gathered stories about tattletale trashcans costing their owners big bucks, effective ways to go green that may surprise you, a possible “feed-in tariff” to encourage solar power growth in Arizona, test driving electric cars and others.

Feed-in Tariff to Aid Solar Weighed
Arizona officials are considering a “feed-in tariff” to encourage more solar power usage and to guarantee profits for solar developers. The tariff would require power companies to buy electricity from solar developers at prearranged prices, since they are required to get 15 percent of their power from renewable sources by 2015. Similar tariffs are in place in Germany, the world’s leader in solar power, and in many states and cities across the United States.

Most Americans Unsure of Most Effective Ways to Save Energy
Researchers have discovered through surprising survey results that most Americans have vast misconceptions regarding the best ways to save energy. In general, the public thinks that curtailing energy use, by turning off the lights, for example, is the most effective way to save energy. In reality, using more energy-efficient equipment, such as compact fluorescent light bulbs, can be just as, if not more, effective. There are a lot of surprising facts like that in this article and in the survey, found the results of which can be found here.

High-Tech Trash Bins Rat Out Residents Who Refuse to Recycle
Don’t recycle? Better start before your trashcan starts tattling and slaps you with a fee. In Cleveland, trash bins are being embedded with microchips that will prompt the collector to go through the bin if the recycling can isn’t brought to the curb regularly. If the bin is more than 10 percent recyclables, you get stuck with a $100 fee – all because your trashcan ratted you out. How embarrassing.

Study Finds 40% of U.S. Consumers Likely to Test Drive EVs
Despite the fact that most consumers have concerns preventing them from buying electric cars, a new study finds that at least 42 percent would be willing to consider and test drive an EV (electric vehicle). Concerns consumers face include the possibility of running out of battery power on the road and limited mileage, but the benefits, such as the positive environmental impact and potential cost savings, may soon outweigh the negatives.

Employees Losing Confidence in Companies’ Green Commitments
Americans’ confidence in their employers’ commitment to environmental responsibility has reached an all-time low, likely as a result of high unemployment and increased workflows. Meanwhile, local governments have inspired their highest level of confidence yet. These are based on the Green Confidence Index, a monthly online survey.

First annual Southwest Build-it-Green Awards - AZ Business Magazine Jul/Aug 2010

BIG Green Awards: Alternative Mobility

Twelve categories, hundreds of nominations — but only one will take home the green. It’s the first annual Southwest Build-it-Green Awards, where BIG teamed up with the USGBC to bring you the leanest sustainable leaders and projects in Arizona.

Recipient: ECOtality

For more than 20 years, ECOtality has been designing revolutionary, fast-charge products that reduce greenhouse gas emissions and pollution, making alternative transportation easier and more accessible to the public.

Since 1989, ECOtality has had the opportunity to become involved in important North American electric vehicle (EV) initiatives, thanks to its subsidiary eTec (Electric Engineering Transportation Engineering Corporation). ECOtality also has been leading the way in the EV industry.

ECOtality was named lead grantee in August 2009 by the U.S. Department of Energy, and was awarded a $99.8 million grant for the EV Project, which will create and produce several thousand electric cars.

ECOtality’s EV Project will reach 11 major cities in Arizona, Oregon, Washington, California and Tennessee. There will be approximately 4,700 of Nissan’s electric cars, LEAFS, in the five states. There also will be 11,000 charge stations across the country to allow drivers to recharge their zero-emission battery electric cars.

Each LEAF is expected to save approximately 436 gallons of gasoline per year. Combined, that’s a savings of more than 2 million gallons of gasoline for all LEAFS. The EV Project is projected to generate more than 750 new jobs by 2012; and by 2017, ECOtality expects to have more than 5,500 new positions across the country.

ECOtality also has created the Minit-Charger, a battery-charge system that works as quickly and efficiently as possible by using proprietary algorithms to charge a battery. This system eliminates the potential for batteries to overcharge or overheat, and prolongs battery life.
www.ecotality.com


Clean Air Cab
www.CleanAirCab.com

Clean Air Cab is Arizona’s first completely green taxicab service that gives people the opportunity to go green just by riding with them.  The company offers green cabs at an affordable rate.

Clean Air Cab is composed of 26 Toyota Priuses, which are currently the most fuel-efficient cars available. The Toyota Prius saves 33 miles per gallon of gas, which saves about 1,000 miles per gallon among all of the company’s cars combined.

Aside from driving green cars, the company supports global reforestation by planting 10 rainforest trees each month for each cab that is in service. In the first quarter of operations, Clean Air Cab planted 780 trees.

“We believe that going green isn’t something you do- it is something you are,” said Steve Lopez, founder of Clean Air Cab. “Our intention is to take the trendy out of ‘going green’ and deliver a product that allows consumers to be green just by participating.”


Valley Metro RPTA
www.valleymetro.org

The Valley Metro Regional Public Transportation Authority is already helping thousands commute in a sustainable way. With the introduction of a new program called “ShareTheRide” Valley Metro RPTA is furthering their efforts by helping commuters choose the best transit options based on their time and route. The program’s goal is to educate the public about alternative methods of transportation, while reducing cost and pollution.

ShareTheRide is a free service accessible through Valley Metro’s website. When commuters enter alternative transportation information into the Commute Tracker they can earn points for incentives around the Valley. To support businesses, the program also includes customizable sub sites, where employers could promote the program and offer special incentives to their employees when they login to sub sites with a company e-mail address.

From data collected between April 22, 2009 and January 13, 2010, ShareTheRide resulted in 3,485,069 pounds of greenhouse gas savings and 34,706 pounds of carbon monoxide savings from a grand total of 178,842 round-trip commutes. The RPTA successfully created a service that Valley commuters needed to make traveling to work easier on the commuter and the environment.

Arizona Business Magazine Jul/Aug 2010

Hybrid Vehicles

Green News Roundup – Electric Vehicles, Spain’s Solar Industry & More

Welcome to our weekly green news roundup. This week we’ve gathered stories about green driving, the solar industry in Spain and green Oscar fashion.

Feel free to send along any stories you’d like to share by e-mailing me at kasia@azbigmedia.com

Also visit AZ Green Scene for informative articles focusing on sustainability endeavors in the Valley and state.

Solar Industry Learns Lessons in Spanish Sun
After the small Spanish town of Puertollano hosted a brief solar power boom in 2008, the government squashed it, cut payments and capped solar construction. This article outlines how the United States, which is dragging behind Europe in solar power, can learn from Spain’s mistakes.

Department of Energy Announces $100 Million Available for Innovative Research Projects
At the inaugural ARPA-E Energy Innovation Summit last week, it was announced that $100 million in Recovery Act funding will go toward innovation in green technology. It will also increase America’s competitiveness and create new jobs. The opportunity focuses on three technology areas, including Grid-Scale Rampable Intermittent Dispatchable Storage, Agile Delivery of Electrical Power Technology and Building Energy Efficiency Through Innovative Thermodevices.

10 Innovations That Could Make Us Greener Drivers
With more and more evidence that electric vehicles are the future, here are 10 suggestions – some real and in the works, others farther off and seemingly ridiculous – to help us further save the environment as drivers. According to this, it won’t be long until our cars are driving themselves while we kick back and read a book behind the wheel.

New Vending Machines Stay Cool Without Warming the Planet
The Coca-Cola Co. has come up with a great way to help the environment: vending machines that actually cool the planet as well as the soda. The secret ingredient? Carbon dioxide. Sounds ridiculous, but “fighting fire with fire” may be the best way to combat global warming.

Red Carpet Green Dress: A Catalyst for A Revolution
One of the best parts of the Oscars every year is seeing the beautiful dresses and gowns. This year, James Cameron’s wife set out to prove that the dress making process can be environmentally friendly as well as gorgeous. She created the Red Carpet Green Dress Contest, and her own dress was about 85 percent green.


Photo Credit: reviews.carreview.com

Chevy Volt electric car, GM

GM Electrifies Drivers With The Chevrolet Volt

General Motors announced today that its newest vehicle, the rechargeable electric Chevrolet Volt, should get 230 miles per gallon in city driving. Highway mileage estimates have not yet been released.

Although the claims must first be verified by the Environmental Protection Agency, if they are true, they would beat out the current model of green driving, the Toyota Prius.

GM is marketing the Volt as an extended-range electric vehicle (E-REV). Unlike a traditional electric car, where a small electric motor powers the car when it’s moving slowly and the gasoline motor kicks in when the car accelerates, the Volt is a bit different. The Volt’s power comes from a high-voltage battery pack made from lithium-ion technology that is capable of storing enough energy to drive the car up to 40 miles in normal conditions. What to do when your battery is low? Simply plug it in just like you would any other appliance. A full charge takes three or six hours through a 110 or 220-volt wall outlet.

In addition, the Volt will still have a small internal combustion engine to produce electricity when the stored power is low, providing the driver with a total range of 300 miles. Think of this as a generator that kicks in, in the event you drive more than 40 miles. Some areas of the car are still being tested and refined, but the Volt is scheduled for release in late 2010.

The first-generation Volt is expected to cost almost $40,000, but hopefully the price will drop with future models. Alas, as I’ve said before, sometimes being green costs more from the get-go — but the long-term effects are most definitely worth it!

Consumers are much more conscious about the environment and many want to reflect that through the vehicles they drive. If the Volt can live up to its claims, it will be a great step forward and hopefully other automakers will follow suit.

www.chevrolet.com