Common Tragedies

Thoughts on Environmental Economics

Archive for the ‘PHEVs’ Category

CT determines the future

Posted by Evan Herrnstadt on February 19, 2009

A few months ago, Rich wrote about how awesome it would be if Zipcar converted to PHEV’s.  Well, they’re at least dipping their toe in the water.  They are partnering with the city of San Francisco to establish a pilot program in which Prius PHEV’s would be available.  Currently, it’s unclear whether more than the single car used at the press conference is available or the eventual size, but it’s a great step nonetheless.  Zipcar ran a similar program with original Prius HEV’s in Seattle.

To reiterate some of Rich’s discussion, this is ideal because it exposes people to PHEV’s.  Unfamiliar things are strange and scary, so using a PHEV is a great way to show consumers that they are not really much different from a normal auto.  It is also a good way to deploy them without building large amounts of infrastructure, since Zipcars are parked in a limited number of spots around a city.

However, there is the issue that people currently using Zipcars are already likely to favor PHEV’s:

In a member survey last month, more than 80 percent of the respondents voiced support for the addition of electric vehicles (EVs), plug-in hybrids (PHEVs) and alternative fuel vehicles to the fleet.

Still, other drivers will be exposed to PHEV’s, especially if there is some sort of prominent label advertising their special attributes.  At any rate, this is definitely an exciting development, although it’s worth mentioning that cars powered by our current dirty mix of electricity generation are not much better than those powered by petrol.

H/T: Green Car Congress.

Posted in PHEVs | Leave a Comment »

Solar powered car…sort of

Posted by Evan Herrnstadt on October 14, 2008

I was driving through Maryland yesterday with some friends, and we were discussing what a new national PHEV recharging infrastructure might look like.  Although commercial PHEV’s are still at least a couple years away, Premier Power Renewable Energy, Inc. is integrating them into its projects, linking charging stations to large solar arrays mounted on a parking facility.  This story is also just one more reminder that even straight EV’s aren’t carbon-free unless the source of electricity is as well.  It’s encouraging that there are some firms out there that get that.  From MarketWatch:

Premier Power Renewable Energy, Inc., a leading solar integrator with operations in US and Europe, announced today that it has completed the first of two 201kW solar canopies which will total 402Kw, on the rooftops of two large six-story parking garages on each side of the new Trenton AMTRAK/NJ Transit center. Each project includes more than 600 solar panels. The solar systems are operated by Lawrenceville-based real estate developer, Nexus Properties, Inc. The scheduled ribbon cutting for the project is scheduled for Tuesday, October 14, 2008.

The dual-purpose “solar canopy” designed systems provide, on a combined basis, about 467,500kW hours per year — enough energy to heat and light 50 homes per year. The solar systems will eliminate approximately 141 tons of CO2 emissions annually.

In addition to producing clean energy for each of the parking structures, each solar array is being equipped with 110v charging stations for Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles (PHEVs) and Electric Vehicles (EVs). These charging stations allow PHEVs to move closer to carbon independence by utilizing solar energy to directly recharge car batteries, reducing their reliance on fossil fuel. The power generated by the solar systems at times, will be more than the structures need, and Nexus Properties will be able to sell excess power back to the grid.

Posted in PHEVs, Solar | 1 Comment »

This should solve the financial crisis

Posted by Rich Sweeney on October 2, 2008

From Green Car Congress:

Senate Version of Bailout Bill has PHEV Credits

2 October 2008

The revised bailout legislation passed by the US Senate on Wednesday (H.R. 1424)—which has ballooned from an original 3-page plan from Treasury Secretary Paulson to the 451-paqe bill approved by the Senate—contains among its many other new provisions a tax-credit for plug-in hybrid electric vehicles.

<!––>The credit is a base $2,500 plus $417 for each kWh of battery pack capacity in excess of 4 kWh, to a maximum of $7,500 for light-duty vehicles; $10,000 for vehicles with gross vehicle weights of more than 10,000 but less than 14,000 pounds; $12,500 for vehicles with a GVW of more than 14,000 but less than 26,000 pounds; and $15,000 for any vehicle with a GVW of more than 26,000 pounds.

Phaseout of the credit is to begin after the total number of qualified PHEVs in the US sold after 31 December 2008 is at least 250,000.

Posted in Government Policy, PHEVs | Leave a Comment »