Demand For Electric Vehicle Chargers Is Rising

download (68)Imagine the money savings if you never had to fill up your gas tank again. This is one of the prime advantages of an electric vehicle. However, this great convenience comes with two major drawbacks: an inability to travel long distances and long charging times. Even though public stations refill your battery at a much quicker rate than those designed for private use, many people find installing electric vehicle chargers at home and plugging in overnight is more convenient. Although a majority of rechargeable car owners will charge at their homes, public charging stations can actually increase a car’s daily travel range by allowing drivers to power up during working hours. In order for fleet drivers and consumers to effectively charge in public, these facilities must be integrated and consider the typical driving habits of daily commuters.

To bolster the EV market, workplaces and public destinations will need to implement electric vehicle chargers. Recently, a proposal was filed in California to build 25,000 of these service areas across northern and central California. Residential customers would only pay 70 cents per month to cover the costs of this program from 2018 to 2022. If approved, this will certainly be the largest deployment in the country. California currently leads the market for plug-in cars, housing 6,000 stations. Charging times vary, depending on the type of battery, how much energy it holds, and how depleted it is. Charging time can range from 15 minutes to hours, all dependent upon these factors.

Currently, the U.S. Department of Energy is implementing programs and projects nationwide to deploy workplace and other infrastructure charging stations. They realize these should be located in areas of highly concentrated vehicles where the vehicles remain parked for long periods of time, such as parking garages, hotels, shopping centers, airports, and businesses. The potential to allow drivers to boost their batteries while at work could double their daily feasible commuting range. The downside to this option is that doing this during peak hours could increase electricity demand, leading to higher electricity bills for the facility managers.

For corporations electing to incorporate electrical vehicles into their fleet operations, consideration must be taken when planning for these. Driving routes and availability of off-site public charging stations are all factors to consider when deciding upon the amount, location, and types of electric vehicle chargers. These businesses can work together with city planners, installers, and utility companies to determine the best locations. Zoning, code enforcements, and local parking ordinances all play individual roles in promoting EV-readiness in our communities.

Until public charging is widely accepted, here are a few tips for getting around in your rechargeable vehicle.

– Before embarking on your route, utilize a free finding tool to locate networks along your way so you are fully prepared should you need to recharge.

– There are currently about 2,000 free stations across the country. You can locate these using location tools as well.

– Some services use the term “station” loosely, identifying an individual charger as a station. This location will only have the capacity to charge one car at a time. Ensure you are prepared to move on to the next locale in the event this single spot is taken.

Used Car Dealers Help You Shrink Your Carbon Footprint

download (67)It’s finally happened: being “green” has actually become the trendy and cool thing to do! While this is great news for the environment, it also means we all need to get clear on how to actually do it. As it turns out, there is no small amount of confusion when it comes to things like what kind of vehicle is the most environmentally friendly option. Maybe you’ve even asked yourself this question: is it better to stop in to see your local used car dealers or to buy some fancy new “green” machine?

Manufacturing Versus Recycling

Most people nowadays have become accustomed to recycling things like glass, paper, and plastic. It makes sense, after all, to re-use such things rather than send them to landfill while still creating yet more of the same waste products all over again. Well, the same is true for vehicles. Think of everything that goes into fabricating a new auto and of all the materials required – the metal, plastic, electrical circuitry, and more – and the difficulty of disposing of all of that in a responsible fashion. Clearly, it makes sense to try to maintain a roadworthy vehicle for as long as possible. Studies have actually shown that between 12 and 28 percent of all carbon dioxide emissions generated over the entire “life” of a typical vehicle are emitted during manufacturing, before it even takes to the streets! But when it comes to manufacturing hybrids, that process has an even higher environmental impact – about twice as much as manufacturing a regular vehicle. Buying a used car is the clear winner of this round.

Electricity Versus Gasoline

This one seems obvious at first glance. Surely the fact that a new, high-tech hybrid runs on an electrical charge means that it is cleaner and greener, right? Well, no actually. If you look a little closer, you’ll find that the reality doesn’t live up to the hype. Today, the majority of the world’s electrical energy still comes from steam turbine generators that run on fossil fuels, so most of the electricity required to charge the electric car batteries stems from the same fossil-fuel-consuming power plants as everything else. Until the energy itself is produced in a green way, running an electric vehicle still creates carbon emissions. When you factor in the heavy environmental impact of manufacture, as explained above, and the mining of lithium for the vehicle batteries, it seems that visiting used car dealers for a vehicle that gets good gas mileage is again the better option.

Time Versus Money

Everyone knows the familiar saying – time is money! Well, one sometimes overlooked aspect of “being green” is that of simple efficiency, so let’s not forget to also examine whether our shiny new devices are making us more or less effective. Could we be wasting time, and therefore money, by making and using things that are supposed to conserve energy? For example, consider an electric auto with a range of about 75 miles per charge, and then consider the time spent on longer trips. Obviously, drivers will need to incorporate recharging time into their overall trip time, expressed as miles per hour. Incredibly, one test showed that the rate of travel over a long road trip in an electric car was at a leisurely six miles per hour! That’s only slightly faster than a donkey. The used car once again comes out on top in our final round, making that a clean sweep.

So now that you know, go check out the models available at your local used car dealers and spread the word – the greenest machines are the ones previously owned by someone else!


Are Electric Car Sales High for Every Car Dealer

download (66)As more and more Americans are choosing to go green than ever before, it seemed there was equal enthusiasm surrounding all-electric vehicles. Impressively, fully electric car sales spiked by 58% in 2014. Despite this bump in overall sales, the all-electric segment is still incredibly small. Even more, while EV sales saw a surge, green vehicles (diesel and hybrids) as a whole fell a total 6.5% in 2014. What exactly is holding back sales from living up to predictions?

Gas Prices

Any car dealer will tell you that they are not throwing in the towel on increasing EV sales just yet, but are perhaps taking a long-term approach towards their strategies. As the price of gasoline dropped, many consumers chose to purchase larger, less-efficient models. With dramatic drops in gasoline prices falling below $3, interest in lower-mile-per-gallon vehicles picks up. Luckily for these vehicles, cheap gas will not be around forever.

Lack of Familiarity

Researchers from Indiana University and the University of Kansas conducted a survey asking basic factual questions surrounding plug-in vehicles. One of the most exhaustive surveys on consumer perceptions of electric cars done in years, it was conducted in several U.S. cities. The results tell all: 60% of the time respondents failed to answer correctly, with 75% of those wrong answers underestimating the advantageous aspects of these automobiles. A majority of the respondents were unaware that they require less maintenance than their gasoline-powered counterparts. They even underestimated the fuel savings involved when owning one of these models. The complete inaccuracy surrounding them has definitely contributed to the small pool of ownership.

Lack of Communication

The same survey reported that a majority of people was unaware of state and local sales incentives. If every car dealer and policy maker would increase the education about the perks and incentives available to buyers, sales would likely increase. Tax breaks and the ability to utilize carpool lanes on highways affect a consumer’s purchase decision. Immediate and easily comprehended reductions of the purchase price are more appealing to buyers than complicated, delayed benefits.

Public Demonstrations

With little knowledge or experience surrounding these vehicles, it is obviously difficult for someone to develop an interest in them, much less be inclined to purchase one. By performing demonstrations at local malls, sports venues, or at large businesses, a car dealer could benefit by changing the public’s attitudes. In fact, one study showed that over 71% of drivers said they were much more likely to buy an EV model after they were given the chance to test drive one of the models currently on the market.

Additionally, the National Research Council released a report examining these same barriers for EV sales. Their report cited obstacles including limited model options, inadequate driving range on a single charge, high prices, a lack of charging infrastructures, and the inconvenience of having to install a charging station at their homes.