Tuesday, December 28, 2010

EV Ownership Shortcut?

Here's an unexpected opportunity to purchase an EV, especially if you've had a hankering for a Th!nk City.

According to the Seattle Clean Cities Newsletter, you've got three days to order a Th!nk City for $6000 off from the base price of $41,695 if you live in a ZEV state. Th!nk is apparently looking to quickly sell 150 of the vehicles they are putting together in Elkhart, IN. Offer ends December 31.

Add in the federal tax credit, and the electric two-seater is down to around $28,000. If they can deliver quickly enough to California, a rebate of $4000 - 5000 should kick in as well.

That's obviously less car for about the price of a Nissan LEAF. But if you haven't ordered one yet, there could be quite a wait.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Proud Papa

Felix Kramer, indefatigable campaigner for plug-in cars, took possession today of his Chevrolet Volt at Novato Chevrolet. Here he is, with his son Josh in the driver's seat.

Andy Frank, father of the plug-in hybrid, drove down from Davis, California in the Volt he received yesterday to join in the celebration.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

My Trial LEAF & the trials of public charging

I've got a LEAF for a few days. Very exciting. I'll have a full report soon. But I've got to mention one frustration I've encountered. Restricted charge stations.

In San Francisco at this moment there are, I believe, six deployed new J1772 charge stations. One, a ParkPod unit in the Hilton parking lot, was installed with private funds. Two are at a private parking garage on the Embarcadero, paid for with federal and state money via Coulomb's ChargePointAmerica grants. And three streetside at City Hall, trumpeted in signage as a "Green Vehicle Showcase."

Usage at the City Hall location is restricted; only official city and ZipCar plug-in vehicles may use them. All others subject to ticketing and towing.

Ironically, in practice this means only the converted plug-in Priuses in government and ZipCar fleets, using the 120 Volt receptacle in these Coulomb ChargePoint stations, can park and charge. The LEAF I've got for a few days, which could plug in at Level 2 and be showcased, remains underground out of site while I sit on a jury a block away. And I could use the charge, as I'm charging at 120 volts at home. And, adding insult to injury, two of the three spaces with chargepoints were open when I went to court, during lunch, and when I departed. The third, occupied by a BAAQMD plug-in Prius, appears not to have gone anywhere, long ago charged to full.

The point isn't my convenience while doing jury duty. Ordinarily, I'd take the bus. It's about optimally utilizing the public investment in charging infrastructure. San Francisco spent tens of thousands of dollars installing these charge stations. Mayor Newsom trumpeted their arrival, and Coulomb uses them in its self-promotion. They are serving everyone's interest save the public.

The day has finally arrived when they could be used as intended, for opportunity charging and to showcase the arrival of electric vehicles. Bureaucratic obstacles must be overcome, at least during the first year or two, to maximize the public benefit of this investment. Empty spots and/or restricted access does not serve the interest of the drivers, nor in reality, of the infrastructure providers or government trying to educate the public about electric vehicles.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

First LEAF delivered in Petaluma California

Olivier Chalouhi, owner of the first LEAF sold in the world with Carlos Tavares, Nissan Executive Vice President for the America.

Olivier at the wheel driving off to the Nissan event in San Francisco Civic Center.

Caravan of LEAFs headed to SF as seen from my RAV4 EV.

Olivier surrounded by the media outside SF City Hall.

Crowd gathered in SF Civic Center.

Check out Nick Chambers' report in plugincars.com

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Help Plug In America renew the EV infrastructure tax credit

From Plug In America:

Last year, Plug In America, along with electric vehicle and EV infrastructure manufacturers from coast to coast, worked with members of the House and Senate to get a critical plug-in vehicle infrastructure tax credit into the stimulus bill.

And then you helped us get it passed!

These EV tax credits of 50% up to $2,000 for individuals, and 50% up to $50,000 for businesses have led to the beginning of early deployment of EV charging infrastructure all across the United States.

But the infrastructure tax credit is set to expire on 12/31/2010 unless we act now!

Just as plug-in cars are about to get on the road is absolutely the wrong time to end these tax credits.

We were initially successful in advocating for an extension in the proposed 2010 tax extenders legislation. But now our efforts are threatened - we hear that the tax credit extension for EV infrastructure may be scaled back or eliminated from the tax extenders bill. This credit should be extended at the same level as in the stimulus for at least another three years.

We need your help - and we will do most of the work. Please take just a moment to click through the link below and send a strong message to your representatives in Congress and the President telling them that you want plug-in electric vehicles to be successful along with the truly green jobs they can create. Show Washington just how serious you are about wanting to make sure we can get affordable plug-in infrastructure at our homes and businesses and support plug-in vehicles getting on the road now.

It is time to ask Congress to advance the next generation of transportation options. Each and every voice they hear will make a difference.

Let us do the work for you - Just click the link below and in less than a minute you can get your message to Congress about this key issue:

Click here to tell Congress you want these tax credits extended

Thank you!

Jay Friedland
Legislative Director
Plug In America

P.S. If you are about to purchase a new plug-in vehicle, you may want to purchase your EV charging station before the end of the year just in case!