Sep 192011
 
By Courtney Holden For the Camera

Just like their gasoline-burning forebears, electric cars need to refuel. And as more e-cars take to Boulder’s roads, the city is gradually gearing up to meet their fuel needs.

One new recharge station has just opened at the Wolf Law Building on the University of Colorado’s campus.

“We want to be able to offer this opportunity in a public fashion,” said Moe Tabrizi, CU’s campus sustainability director.

Electric cars can plug into the 220-volt station for two to three hours at $6 and $9, respectively.

Tabrizi said the new charging station is a step toward CU’s ultimate goal of carbon neutrality.

“This is a small piece of that large plan,” he said.

The electric-vehicle movement is gaining traction throughout Boulder. Two other stations have opened. The city had planned to spend $500,000 in federal grant money to open 38 more by June 2012. But those ambitious plans hit a snag when stations turned out to cost two to three times more than expected — $10,000 to $15,000, compared to earlier estimates of $4,000.

Still, Joe Castro, facilities and fleet manager for the city of Boulder, wants to make sure that Boulder is ready when more electric cars come online.

“Having the stations ahead of the cars promotes the purchase of electric vehicles in alleviating the … anxiety prospective buyers may have,” he said in an e-mail. “Although it’s predicted that 80 percent of owners will charge their vehicles at home.”

Electric cars are “fueled” by a large, rechargeable lithium ion battery pack housed within the car. Responding to the amount of pressure applied to the “gas” pedal, the motor receives more or less current, allowing the driver to go his or her desired speed.

Companies like Nissan, with its 2010 release of the Leaf, and the dual gas generator/electric Chevy Volt are driving the market in the electric direction as well. Then there’s Tesla, whose ultra-sexy exterior masks an ultra eco-friendly interior.

“Tesla is all about proving that electric cars can be anything that an internal combustion vehicle can be,” said Camille Ricketts of Tesla’s communications department. “The purpose of the roadster was to grab the world’s attention that (electric cars) can … drive like most of the coveted super cars on the road.”

But for the most part, rechargeable cars are built with the commuter in mind — people who drive to work and back during the day, then let the car sit in the garage to recharge overnight, when energy costs are minimal.

Ricketts deflects the worries of skeptics concerned that more coal plants will have to be built to keep up with rising electricity demands.

Read the full Story At Daily Camera

Sep 162011
 
By Aaron Colter – Earth Techling

Hertz, which recently started offering electric bicycle rentals, and Marriott hotels are partnering to give travelers electric vehicle options while in the San Francisco area.

Overnight guests at the San Francisco Marriott Waterfront, or dinner guests in the hotel’s restaurant, have the ability to receive free valet parking and time at one of the company’s charging stations.

Currently, Hertz offers electric car models such as the Nissan Leaf and the Smart Fortwo (in photo above), and in the future is expecting to offer the Chevy Volt as well as a plug-in hybrid option.

Visitors can join Hertz’s green car rental program online, available 24 hours a day and seven days a week, to reserve one of the vehicles at an hourly rate of $6 to $8. We’ve seen similar electric car rental programs across California, giving eco-conscious travelers several options while on the road.

Read the full Story At Earth Techling

Sep 152011
 

Recargo Bringing Coulomb Technologies’ ChargePoint Network Locations and Real-Time Availability Status to EV Community

Automatic Updates Deliver Authoritative Content, Convenience for EV Drivers Seeking Charge Stations

LOS ANGELES, Sep 13, 2011 (BUSINESS WIRE) — Recargo, Inc., developer of mobile applications for drivers of electric vehicles (EVs) and connected cars, today announced that it has added automatic charging station location and availability status updates to the Recargo mobile app and website from Coulomb Technologies’ ChargePoint(R) Network. Using Coulomb’s open ChargePoint Network Web Services API allows Recargo to provide real-time updates–the first and only app besides Coulomb’s own to do so–and significantly reduce range anxiety for EV drivers. The ChargePoint Network is an open-platform network of charging stations managing the delivery of electricity to EVs around the globe.

“Working with Coulomb and using their open API is an important step in Recargo’s ongoing effort to be the most trusted and easy-to-use resource for electric vehicle drivers,” said Brian Kariger, CEO of Recargo. “When a Recargo user searches for the best place to charge their car, they can find current locations with up-to-the-minute availability status from the ChargePoint Network, a worldwide leader in electric mobility.”

Recargo combines infrastructure data from trusted providers such as Coulomb Technologies, the leader in EV charging systems and application services, with photos, tips and reviews from the Recargo community to give drivers powerful tools to plan their trips or find a place to charge on the go.

Read the full Story At Market Watch

Sep 092011
 

Pala Casino Installs Electric Car Charging Equipment

The Pala Casino Spa & Resort recently became the first casino in San Diego County, California to offer Electrical Vehicle Supply Equipment (EVSE) to the owners of electric cars, according to the tribe’s press release.

The upgrade is part of Planet Pala environmental program. The tribe established its environmental department in 1997, and has since expanded to include quality control programs for water, pesticides, air and recycling. Now the tribe is helping improve the environment by supporting electric vehicles.

The casino unveiled two BLINK charging systems on September 8. ECOTality is the nationwide provider of the BLINK system network.

Andrew Hoskinson, the area manager of ECOTality, Inc. for San Diego, drove his 2011 Nissan Leaf to the casino in Pala and demonstrated the system by re-charging the car’s batteries for the return trip to San Diego.

“The availability of the BLINK equipment here at Pala is very significant,” Hoskinson said, “because there is now a charging station in an outlying, rural area in Southern California for the owners of electric automobiles. This greatly improves travel distances for electric vehicles.”

Read the full Story At Indian Country Today Media Network

Sep 092011
 

Obama Funds EV Infrastructure Planning, Workforce Training

WASHINGTON, DC, September 8, 2011 (ENS) – The smoggiest region of the United States, California’s South Coast Air Quality Management District, was today awarded $1 million to create a unified statewide approach to planning and implementation of plug-in electric vehicle charging infrastructure.

“Electric vehicles are key to improving air quality in California and particularly in the South Coast region,” said Barry Wallerstein, executive officer of the District, based in Los Angeles. “This collaborative partnership further strengthens California’s commitment to planning for a future of near-zero and zero-emission vehicles.”

The California award was the largest of 16 announced by U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu in 24 states and the District of Columbia to accelerate the adoption of electric vehicles.

Nearly as large is a grant of $994,500 to the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority to develop a plan for a network of electric vehicle charging stations throughout the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic regions.

The 16 projects will receive a total of $8.5 million through the Department of Energy’s Clean Cities initiative to support community planning for plug-in electric vehicles and charging infrastructure.

The funding recipients range from communities with extensive EV planning experience to those that are eager to begin, but have not had the resources to do so.

These one-year projects will help communities address their specific EV infrastructure needs, such as updating permitting processes, revising codes, training municipal personnel, promoting public awareness, or developing incentives.

Each project will create a publicly available plan so that other stakeholders can learn best practices.

In Texas, two projects will split roughly $1 million between them. The Center for the Commercialization of Electric Technologies will focus on a plan for plug-in electric vehicle charging infrastructure for the Texas Triangle cities of Dallas/Fort Worth, Houston/Galveston, and Austin/San Antonio.

Read the full Story At ENS Newswire

Jun 132011
 

Google has created a video on its Green Blog detailing its green transportation initiatives, which include biodiesel campus shuttles and solar panels on buses. More than 3,000 Google staff ride a shuttle bus to the company’s Mountain View headquarters every day.

“Google continues to drive innovation and leadership in the workplace. The results of their clean transportation efforts are remarkable, taking the equivalent of over 2,000 cars off the road every day,” Coulomb executive vice president Bret Sewell said.

“We’re only one company among many, so we hope our green transportation initiatives serve as a model for other companies to incorporate sustainability programs into their own workplaces,” Google’s technical program manager for electric transportation Rolf Schreiber said.

via Google and Coulomb Install 70 EV Charging Stations.

Apr 212011
 

LADWP offering rebates for home vehicle chargers

LOS ANGELES—The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power is offering up to $2,000 in rebates for customers who want to install electric vehicle chargers in their homes.

On Wednesday, LADWP commissioners approved a rebate program called “Charge Up L.A.” for those who want to install rapid chargers. The utility’s goal is to give rebates for up to 5,000 home chargers.

Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa is set to announce the rebates and discuss installation costs at a news conference Thursday.

Last year, he announced plans to streamline the permitting and inspection process for new charging stations. He said the city’s goal was to help customers go from applying for a permit to plugging in their electric vehicles at home in 7 days.

Apr 112011
 

Walgreens Helps Launch First Privately Funded EV Charging Network

Written on APRIL 11, 2011 by DOTTIE HANAN SMITH

The nation’s first privately funded and comprehensive electric vehicle (EV) charging network has been launched with its initial charging station at a Dallas, Texas Walgreens drugstore.  The drugstore-retailing giant is working with NRG Energy to install high-powered rapid charging eVgo Freedom Stations at 18 locations across the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex with construction beginning this month at two of those locations.

NRG plans to install a minimum of 30 charging stations at public parking facilities, workplaces and other retailers across the area by Labor Day.  Walgreens is the largest retailer participating in the program with the charging stations being conveniently located near retail districts, family communities and along major freeways.

“Every day, we serve our customers’ health and daily living needs and now, we are expanding those services to help customers who embrace environmental sustainability and electric vehicle use,” said Walgreens director of energy and sustainability Menno Enters. “This is another way Walgreens is showing its commitment to helping the planet through innovation, design and efficiency.”

Read the full story at Automotive Discovery