EV Drivers Want More Public Chargers, Fear Getting Stranded
With an automaker incentivizing businesses with $15,000 to build charging stations and a coalition of governors plotting to reduce emissions and strengthen infrastructure, it's safe to say the adoption of electric vehicles (EV) around the U.S. is trending upward.
Sales tripled from 2011 to 2012, people are making EV-based documentaries and small businesses are developing technologies around the eco-friendly cars. The group of governors believes 215,000 zero-emission vehicles (mostly EVs) will be on American roads by 2015 and 3.3 million by 2025. Still, some in the industry think even more people would leave their gas guzzlers behind for EVs or plug-in vehicles (PEV) if they had fewer fears about their reliability, batteries and access to charging.
EV software and information services firm Recargo Inc. released its inaugural U.S. PEV Charging Study today to examine the experiences, behaviors and opinions of current PEV drivers, especially when it comes to charging. Recargo also launched its research firm PlugInsights in conjunction with the study. PlugInsights polled a panel of 3,700 PEV motorists who drive 17 different makes and models.
“EV drivers are sophisticated people who aren’t shy about things they want to see done differently,” said Brian Kariger, CEO of Recargo. “The list of driver suggestions that emerges from this study is long and constructive. It ranges from seemingly trivial things like wanting longer cables at public stations, to fundamental needs like a more robust charging infrastructure, broader availability of workplace charging, special utility rates, and everything in between.”
There are nearly 7,000 charging stations in the country, and harmonizing building codes to construct more is one of the main goals of the group of governors pushing for more EVs. California Gov. Jerry Brown's state announced a $6 million grant program this month to encourage the development of more charging stations at shopping centers, apartment buildings and along highways.
The study, which also refers to mid-range battery electric vehicles (BEVs), shows that drivers desperately seek a quicker way to charge batteries.
“Until fast charging becomes broadly available, [BEVs] like the Nissan LEAF are trapped on a leash, close to home,” PlugInsights Managing Director Norman Hajjar said.
“Our data shows the average longest trip mid-range BEV drivers have ever taken is only 93 miles," Hajjar continued. "They never stray too far from home because it’s just not practical to stop at a slow Level 2 charging station and plug in for four-plus hours, mid-journey. Until fast chargers can bridge the gap between distant points, the appeal of these vehicles to a broader audience will be limited.”
The study also revealed behavioral differences between plug-in electric/gas hybrid (PHEV) drivers and BEV drivers.
"They disagree on who should have priority at a public charging station," Hajjar said, "and unlike BEV drivers who must live with ‘range anxiety,’ PHEV drivers never worry getting stranded when their batteries run low.”
PlugInsights said it will reveal more thoughts from its PEV panel in additional studies in the coming months.
Visit EcoWatch’s TRANSPORTATION page for more related news on this topic.
Eleven peaceful activists from the Greenpeace ship Arctic Sunrise have taken to the water in inflatable boats with handheld banners to oppose the Statoil Songa Enabler oil rig, 275 km North off the Norwegian coast, in the Arctic Barents sea.
The banners say: "People Vs. Arctic Oil" and are directed at Statoil and the Norwegian government, which has opened a new, aggressive search for oil in the waters of the Barents Sea.
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) paved the way Friday for the 600-mile, 42-inch fracked gas Atlantic Coast Pipeline to proceed when it issued the final environmental impact statement (FEIS). A joint project of utility giants Duke Energy and Dominion Energy, the Atlantic Coast Pipeline would move fracked gas from West Virginia into Virginia and North Carolina.
In April, the Sierra Club submitted more than 500 pages of legal and technical comments on FERC's draft EIS, which were joined by more than 18,000 individual comments detailing opposition to the project. The pipeline has been met with widespread opposition, with more than 1,000 people participating in public hearings across the three affected states. The Sierra Club recently requested that FERC issue a new environmental review document analyzing information that came in after or late in, the public comment process.
By Jessica Corbett
"It's time Rex Tillerson step down or be removed," said Gigi Kellett of Corporate Accountability International, following an announcement on Thursday that ExxonMobil will pay $2 million for violating U.S. sanctions against Russian officials while the now-secretary of state was the company's CEO.
"ExxonMobil demonstrated reckless disregard for U.S. sanction requirements," according to enforcement filing released by the Treasury Department's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), which issued the penalty. Though the fine is reportedly the maximum penalty allowed, it's pittance to one of the world's most profitable and powerful corporations, which last year reported a profit of $7.8 billion.
New analysis from Amory B. Lovins debunks the notion that highly unprofitable, economically distressed nuclear plants should be further subsidized to meet financial, security, reliability and climate goals. The analysis, which will appear shortly in The Electricity Journal, shows that closing costly-to-run nuclear plants and reinvesting their saved operating costs in energy efficiency provides cheaper electricity, increases grid reliability and security, reduces more carbon, and preserves (not distorts) market integrity—all without subsidies.
By Christian Detisch and Seth Gladstone
In the wake of Senate Republicans' ever-deepening debacle over their flailing attempts to strip health insurance from 22 million people, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is desperate to do something—anything—to show that he can get legislation passed. To this end, he's bypassing the standard committee review process to push a complex 850+ page energy bill straight to the full Senate floor. Perhaps not surprisingly, this legislation, the Energy and Natural Resources Act of 2017, would be a disaster for public health and our climate.
A new law passed this week in South Miami will require all new homes built in the city to install solar panels. The measure, which was inspired by a proposal from a teenage climate activist, will go into effect in September.
The text of the ordinance details the climate impacts facing South Miami.
By Ben Jervey
Just last week, we fact-checked and debunked every line of The Dirty Secrets of Electric Cars, a video produced by Fueling U.S. Forward, a Koch-funded campaign to push fossil fuels. That video represents the group's first public pivot from fossil fuel boosterism to electric vehicle (EV) attacks. More electric vehicle experts are also picking the video apart.
One effort is this video highlighting many of the same falsehoods we wrote about, and which adds key context about some of the video footage. Like, for instance, the fact that the photo that Fueling U.S. Forward claims is a lithium, cobalt or cerium mining operation is actually a copper mine.
By Katherine Paul and Ronnie Cummins
A recent series of articles by a Washington Post reporter could have some consumers questioning the value of the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) organic seal. But are a few bad eggs representative of an entire industry?
Consumers are all for cracking down on the fraudulent few who, with the help of Big Food, big retail chains and questionable certifiers give organics a bad name. But they also want stronger standards, and better enforcement—not a plan to weaken standards to accommodate "Factory Farm Organic."