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The Definitive Guide To Plug-In Electric Vehicles

The 100% electric Fit EV. Introducing our latest electric marvel, the Fit EV. With a city range estimated at 123 miles* and a charge time of approximately three hours using a 240-volt circuit, this 5-passenger electric Fit is every bit as fun and practical as the original–all without ever using a single drop of gasoline. The Fit EV will be available for lease in select California and Oregon markets in the summer of 2012, with expected availability in six East Coast markets in early 2013. To get more information or to register for updates, visit:

*123 city/ 95 highway mile range (unadjusted); 76 combined mile range (adjusted). Preliminary estimates determined by Honda using EPA methods. Your range will vary. For additional information about EPA test methods, visit - more - electric - label.shtml. Š 2012 American Honda Motor Co., Inc.


The Definitive Guide To Plug-In Electric Vehicles

Copyright Š 2012 by Plug In America. All rights reserved. Printed in the United States on 50% recycled paper with 40% post-consumer content. Library of Congress Control Number (LCCN) 2012930598 ISBN 10: 0615583806 ISBN 13: 978-0-615-58380-8 To purchase copies of this publication or to request permission to reprint all or part of this publication, contact Plug In America at

Disclaimer This guidebook has been compiled from a vast array of information from non-profit, government, and industry sources. This information is provided solely for the users’ own interest and evaluation. We have attempted to make clear attribution of sources wherever text, graphics, or statistics were originally created by other organizations, and we have attempted to avoid any copyright infringements. The Board of Directors and volunteers of Plug In America make no warranty or promise about the accuracy of the enclosed information. Additionally, Plug In America and its many volunteers make no endorsement or warranty regarding any commercial ad or business listing in this guidebook, nor do we accept any liability for their products or services.


Charged Up & Ready To Roll

Editor: Catherine Pickavet Graphic Designer: Victoria Odson Advertising Sales: Kitty Adams Printer: Bacchus Press

For their editorial contributions and/or images, Plug In America thanks Shannon Arvizu, PhD, Andrew Bell, Carolyn Coquillette, Dan Davids, Leif Richard Bones Egge, Harlan Flagg, Jeff Finn, Marc Geller, Tim Goodrich, Jim Hamilton, Hollywood Motorcycles, Felix Kramer, Jules Mitchell, Tom Moloughney, Chris Paine, PlugShare, Chad Schwitters, Paul Scott, Zan Dubin Scott, the Sierra Club, Andrew and Amy Sinclair, Erin Tator, Remy Tennant, Brian Town, Colby Trudeau, and Jarom Vahai.

Advertisers Index BMW ....................................................................................14

Leviton ..................................................................................64

CODA ....................................................................................4

Luscious Garage ....................................................................28


Mitsubishi........................................................................ 32-33

ECOtality .............................................................................26

Nissan.........................................................Outside Back Cover

Electric Auto Association.......................................................62


Ford ..............................................................Inside Back Cover

Simply Hybrid.......................................................................63

GM .......................................................................................11

Solar World............................................................................16

Honda..........................................................Inside Front Cover


Juiced Hybrid.........................................................................63


KTA Services .........................................................................61

Zero Motorcycles...................................................................56

LA Car Guy ..........................................................................18


5 Welcome 6 The Big Pushback


by Dan Davids by Chris Paine

The director of Who Killed the Electric Car? and Revenge of the Electric Car speaks out on the state of the industry.

8 Reflecting on Success

by Felix Kramer

EV driver and advocate Felix Kramer offers his thoughts on the industry and where this year might take us.

12 2012 EV Lineup Through Social Media 20 Cutting Noise

More EVs will hit the road this year. We give you the highlights.

by Remy Tennant

40 What’s Up With Norway? by Leif Richard Bones Egge

Two decades of effort pay off as an electric car outsells its gasoline competition.

Why social media is good for EVs and what consumers should watch out for.

44 E-Trikes for the Masses


A new global EV movement is dedicated to building an electric future in places like the Philippines.

Inside Garage 2.0

Luscious Garage redefines your friendly neighborhood auto shop.

27 Get Your Charge

These ideas will have you headed in the right charging direction.

by Shannon Arvizu, PhD

54 National Plug In Day by Catherine Pickavet Thousands descended on sites throughout the country last fall to celebrate electric cars.

29 Curing Range Anxiety by Paul Scott

Popular ways to improve your driving so you can be out longer.

30 Your New Electric Bill by Tom Moloughney Calculate the impact of your EV on your electricity bill.

34 A Vet for Green Jobs by Catherine Pickavet

Back from Iraq, Retired Marine Sergeant Jarom Vahai gets vets working... to get us off oil.

36 From Active to Green Duty by Tim Goodrich The true cost of filling up with gas and what one veteran chose to do about it.

TESTIMONIALs 46 Roadster Rules by Brian Town 48 My LEAF’s First 15K by Jim Hamilton 49 High-tech Money Savings by Andrew and Amy Sinclair 50 Canadian Conversion by Andrew Bell 51 A Volt That Fits by Jules Mitchell 52 The 200K Runner by Jeff Finn 55 Electric Cowboys by Harlan Flagg

38 Incentives 57 Glossary 59 Resources


“It’s no longer a question of when will electric vehicles arrive? Now we’re asking, ‘when can I get mine?’”

Welcome It has been quite a year for electric vehicles, and we at Plug In America could not be more excited to bring you the 3rd edition of Charged Up & Ready to Roll: The Definitive Guide to Plug In Electric Vehicles. This year marks the highest of points in the EV movement, which is gaining traction at an exponential rate worldwide. Demand for EVs is exceeding supply. A record number of carmakers are releasing EVs this year with plans for more in the years to come. More and less expensive choices of electric vehicle supply equipment — the charging stations, mapping apps, and everything else drivers need for the EV experience — is reaching the market. And consumers are eager to get their cars on the road and show off their new electric toys. In the following pages, we aim to excite, inform, and encourage. We cover a range of popular topics that regularly

emerge during discussions of EVs: How, when, and where will I charge? What about the battery? How far will it take me? We provide you with numerous EV resources and information on incentives in each state. And we expand our scope to also look at the global EV scene. And finally, we hear from drivers who are already ecstatic about their very own EVs and are eager to share their stories. It’s no longer a question of when will electric vehicles arrive? Now we’re asking, “When can I get mine?” What an exciting time to be a part of automotive history. And Plug In America is along with you for the ride. We drive electric. You can, too.

Dan Davids President Plug In America


Charged Up & Ready To Roll



By Chris Paine


magine my surprise when I read the following passage in Jack London’s 1906 novel White Fang describing his wolf protagonist’s greatest fear after arriving in San Francisco: “...there was one particular nightmare from which he suffered… He would lie in a screen of bushes, watching for a squirrel to venture far enough out on the ground from its tree-refuge. Then, when he sprang out upon it, it would transform itself into an electric car, menacing and terrible, towering over him like a mountain, screaming and clanging and spitting fire at him….”


T h e director of W h o K i l l e d t h e E l e c t r i c C a r ? and R e v e n g e o f t h e E l e c t r i c C a r speaks out on t h e state of t h e industr y.

Wolf dream or not, that doesn’t sound like any electric car I can think of — even in 1906. The vehicle that London describes is no doubt an early gasoline or steam car clamoring with noise and smoke. London can be forgiven for his wolf ’s confusion. In those early days, horseless carriages looked quite a bit alike. Quiet electric cars were forced to share narrow roadways with their roaring cousins belching clouds of smoke and partially combusted gasoline. The irony is that the electric car of those times (and ours) was completely the opposite of what London describes in these early passages.


Now, 106 years later, the electric car is still getting the same bad rap. When a plug-in car (GM’s Chevy Volt) caught fire three weeks after a high-speed test crash into a metal pole last year, you’d think it was the first car fire ever. Some of the press coverage made it sound like the Hindenburg had exploded on a test flight with the entire electric car industry aboard. The truth, of course, is that car fires are one of the most dangerous things about the gasoline car, not the electric car. In 2010 alone, the National Fire Protection Association reported 185,000 passenger vehicle fires with 285 fatalities. Meanwhile, 3 million Jeeps are under investigation by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) — the same organization that crash-tested the Volt — and more than 1 million Ford F-150s were recalled for fuel tank issues. The list goes on and includes hundreds of thousands of gas cars ranging from the Volkswagen Passat to the Mini Cooper to the Mazda Tribute SUV. What if they introduced gasoline cars in 2011 with the idea that we would all be sitting on 10 or more gallons of highly explosive fuel? The Volt is in the news because the electric car makes an easy political target. To hear the backlash you’d think the Volt and all electric cars belonged to one political party or President Obama alone. Hardly. Ask Bob Lutz [former vice chairman of GM] that or Elon Musk [CEO of Tesla] or Carlos Ghosn [CEO of Nissan] or Greg “Gadget” Abbott [a DIY EV converter featured in Revenge of the Electric Car] or any one of us. It’s like saying one person invented the Internet.

Electric Car last year. It was the first car I’d bought from GM since my EV1 in 1997 and this time it wasn’t a lease. It’s only a “pure” battery electric for the first 35-40 miles, but it beats the pants off of every gasoline car on the road because you can plug it in and the drive train is electric. As Pulitzer Prize winning writer Dan Neil wrote in The Wall Street Journal: “… we should suspend our rancor and savor a little American pride. A bunch of bunch of Midwestern engineers in bad haircuts and cheap wristwatches just out-engineered every other car company on the planet. And they did it in 29 months while the company they worked for was falling apart around them. That was downright heroic. Somebody ought to make a movie.” Well I did make a movie and I had a lot of help, with Dan himself kicking it off in the first scene. So bad haircut or not, wolf nightmare or utopian ideal, hats off to everyone involved in getting electric cars onto driveways. That includes Nissan, Tesla, GM, Plug In America, Gadget and his wife Charlotte Jackson, converters, engineers, solar installers, policy makers, government leaders, and every early adopter leading the way. Let’s hope this momentum transcends the long shadow of the gasoline car and corporate press and politics before we hit the next oil crisis and our homes melt away. It’s a great time to be part of the big pushback.

In reality, thousands of people from all parts of the political spectrum have worked tirelessly for this major advance for the automobile. The reasons far transcend politics or bailouts or even capitalism. For car lovers, electric vehicles are simply better cars. For nationalists, they make it possible to keep energy money in the U.S. instead of exporting it to the tune of $1 billion a day. For environmentalists like the National Resources Defense Council or the Sierra Club, studies prove they produce much less pollution overall and are potentially totally green to operate. Alas, the electric car is also a rising star and, as such, it is an easy target. Plug-in cars threaten old habits and old industries. But when more people finally get to try them, these threats will fade. Until then, speed bumps will get amplified on the media megaphone, and there will be more speed bumps: low oil prices; a company faltering; or even a design flaw. Regulating industry is essential to keeping cars safe whether gas or electric so I’m thankful for the NHTSA. In the big picture, we’re talking about a revolution here, and revolutions don’t come easy, even when fairly reported. But it sure is a great one to join. I bought a Volt after finishing Revenge of the

Chris Paine is director of Who Killed the Electric Car? and Revenge of the Electric Car.

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Charged Up & Ready To Roll

Reflecting on Success by Felix Kramer

ev driver and advocate feli x kramer offers h is t h oug h ts on t h e industr y and w h ere t h is y ear mig h t take us .


ne year ago, the Nissan LEAF and the Chevrolet Volt reached dealer showrooms. How did this nearmiracle come about? How good are the cars? And what’s next for electric vehicles? Beginning in 1996, after an entire century when cars meant oil, automakers sold and leased several thousand EVs. Chris Paine’s movie Who Killed the Electric Car? tells why they never made it into production. These cars inspired an unprecedented campaign. The Electric Auto Association, Plug In America, the California Cars Initiative, and other groups enlisted allies of every flavor and helped spark the transformation of the auto industry. Paine’s sequel, Revenge of the Electric Car, as well as the book Plug-In Hybrids, The Cars That Will Recharge America by Sherry Boschert, tells that success story. Being a part of this type of success in a grass-roots campaign feels great and fuels aspirations to change the world. But if EVs remain only a niche option in a sea of gas guzzlers, we’ll have won the battle but lost the war. Until we get many tens of millions of EVs on the roads, their impact on oil use and climate change will be minimal. These extraordinary cars won’t automatically win in the marketplace. That’s where the early owners and drivers come in. Their experiences and stories can help shape future products and markets. They can inspire new buyers, bolster pro-EV public policies, correct misconceptions, and give carmakers invaluable ideas for features and priorities.

My family’s choice I’ll never forget December 22, 2010. That day, Andy Frank, the inventor of the modern plug-in hybrid (PHEV), Ron Gremban,’s technology lead, and I were among the first to pick up our Chevy Volts. (Mine was the ninth off the line.)

Without the promise of this PHEV, which the company calls an extended range electric vehicle (EREV), industry observers say GM would never have received the federal support that helped it survive and revive. Chevy ads tout the benefits of its “best of both worlds” car: “Electric when you want it. Gas when you need it.” That means 35+ miles EV range with full performance, then 300+ miles at 37+ MPG as a hybrid on gasoline. On January 24, 2011, I picked up our Nissan LEAF. This one’s easier to explain: a pure EV that gets 70+ miles at highway speeds. My family (wife Rochelle Lefkowitz and mostly-East Coast son Josh) became one of the first households with both a Volt and a LEAF. Which do we prefer? Rochelle will tell you that’s like asking parents which of their children they love best. The way we use them in the San Francisco Bay Area is telling. We both work at home (offsetting our electric use with rooftop photovoltaics). Because the LEAF is a bit more efficient, with a longer EV range, it’s usually first out of the driveway for local trips. After 10 months, our LEAF has logged 5,000 miles. As a two-car family, the much-


hyped range anxiety is a non-issue. For tens of millions of households that can easily plug in every night at home, the EV, which was initially considered the second car, is quickly becoming the preferred car — the first out of the garage. Ours is one of those households. We drive the Volt when we go out separately or when crossing the Bay for an 85-mile round trip if we know we won’t be able to plug in before returning. Five thousand of our 13,000 miles so far have come from 10 round trips to Lake Tahoe. The key takeaway: Prospective EV customers will select vehicle types and desired EV ranges based on their driving patterns and access to plugs where they go.

The EV driving experience The Tesla Roadster should have ended the caricature of EVs as flimsy, underpowered golf carts, but the myth still permeates our culture. That’s why our first reactions (shared by many when we showed the cars) started with a “duh” moment: “These are real cars!” They feel solid, rock-steady, and powerful. Months later, we still haven’t gotten over the novelty of driving a plug-in vehicle after decades of ICEs — especially when we drive by a gas station.

technology. Their shortcomings show up most in what Silicon Valley calls “usability.” Way more than ICEs, EVs are computers on wheels. They’re about as far along as the early Macintosh or Windows 3.0. It takes time and retooling to change machines. Eventually, the Volt will get an optimized ICE, raising its MPG as a hybrid. The LEAF will get higher amperage (faster) 240V charging and, we hope, backseat headrests that don’t block the rear-view mirror. We expect other hardware refinements. Software can be updated more easily. Owners and drivers have been giving feedback directly to carmakers and publicly at,,, and dozens of other forums. It’s an unfortunate measure of their misplaced self-confidence that after 11 months, neither GM nor Nissan had delivered a software upgrade to address obvious shortcomings. My top examples: Both vehicles lack numerical state-of-charge information; Chevy dropped the ball with frustrating links between the radio/volume/display controls; and the LEAF failed to include an automatic reset to show miles driven since the last full charge.

Both cars are triumphs of automotive engineering and design. Electric motors offer full torque instantly, so they offer the pep of a sports car, as well as excellent handling due to the batteries’ low centers of gravity. And now we notice the noise of the tires and other cars idling because they’re blissfully quiet. Every day, our growing freedom from the fossil fuel economy and from volatile oil prices cheers us as we push the start button.

It’s an interactive world. Will automakers come to appreciate the contributions of their drivers as sources of information and as promoters of their vehicles? For EVs to reach high market-penetration levels, the transformation now under way in the design, engineering, and production departments calls for a parallel evolution in consumer research, marketing and corporate planning. Companies that devote more attention and resources to their users’ experiences will get a great return on that investment.

Can EVs get even better?

What could undermine success?

As good as these magnificent machines are already, they’re still first generation. Their school report cards would read, “needs improvement.” Nissan sold almost 20,000 LEAFs worldwide in its first year, while Chevy delivered nearly 9,000 Volts in North America. Second-year sales will more than double, and as production volumes ramp up, the cars will evolve.

Every EV’s higher first costs are now partly offset by a federal tax credit of $2,500-$7,500 (depending on battery capacity). This applies to the first 200,000 EVs built by each manufacturer, so credits will be available for years. This is no gift: It eases the burden of the higher cost of a vehicle that provides broad social benefits, which could help boost volume, thus decreasing prices. Plug-in advocates and drivers may be called on to defend federal (and other state) incentives against efforts to defund them.

They’ve emerged from an auto industry with a mindset shaped by a century of internal combustion engine

Ron Gremban and Felix Kramer of along with Dr. Andy Frank, the “father of the plug-in hybrid,” celebrated the arrival of their Volts and the achievement of their hopes for mass-market plug-in hybrids at Novato Chevrolet on December 22, 2010. They're holding the GM cable that connects the car to any household outlet. (Photo Credit:

Public confusion may begin to dissipate now that GM and Nissan, which initially criticized each others’ cars, have realized that the real competition of the LEAF and Volt is the ICE. Now GM is developing EVs and Nissan will produce a plug-in hybrid EV. And though EVs have received top safety ratings, publicity about any accidents could threaten their image as reliable.

Continued on page 10

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Charged Up & Ready To Roll

Continued from page 9

Will your next car plug in?

Don’t wait on the sidelines

This year will see more than a dozen new EVs in production, so you can shop now. Plan ahead; waiting lists may remain long. Start with a visit to a showroom and take one for a test drive. Consider connecting with one of the lucky thousands already driving one: Their enthusiasm is based on real-life experience. Find them through an EV dealer or an Electric Auto Association chapter. Try an EV from a car-rental company, car-sharing service, or peerto-peer car-rental service. ( has numerous plug-in cars available , for example.)

If you jump in now, the current crop of vehicles is already so good, you won’t regret your purchase. If you can afford it, buy sooner with the thought that you might trade up. Low-maintenance EVs will have high resale values, little affected by the much lower cost eight or more years from now if it’s necessary to replace batteries. Tempted to wait? There’s no better time than now to take the plunge. Like computers and cameras, each EV generation will improve. Don’t miss out on years of EV benefits.

A few SUVs are coming, but you may have to wait longer for a larger EV. Vans and trucks are still a ways off; one-off conversions are expensive, and the companies planning to retrofit pick-ups to EVs will first cater to fleets, not individual consumers. Several automakers are delaying bringing any four-wheel drive EVs to the U.S. for years, thereby forgoing a receptive market.

Joshua Kramer, Felix Kramer, and Rochelle Lefkowitz in front of their Redwood City, CA, home with their Chevy Volt and Nissan LEAF. Their personal fleet also includes a folding bicycle and an adult tricycle. (Photo Credit:

Felix Kramer, a San Francisco Bay Area cleantech entrepreneur and advocate, founded The California Cars Initiative [] in 2002.

THE ENVIRONMENTALLY CONSCIOUS CAR THAT GOES ALL THE WAY TO THE ENVIRONMENT. A gas-free commute is great. But sometimes you want to get out of the city and actually see some of that environment. With the Chevrolet Volt, you can drive 35 miles gas-free and tailpipe-emissions-free, and up to 375 miles with a full charge and a full tank of gas*. It’s electric when you want it, gas when you need it. Learn more at It’s more car than electric.

*EPA-estimated 35-mile range based on 94 MPGe (electric); 340-mile range based on 35 MPG city/40 highway (gas). Actual range varies with conditions. Available to order at participating dealers. Quantities limited.

© General Motors.

2012 Chevrolet Volt. Chevy Runs Deep

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Charged Up & Ready To Roll


EV Lineup


record number of plug-in electric vehicles will launch during the next 12 months, following a path forged by many before them. The LEAF and Volt, the forerunners that debuted in 2011, will see competition from newcomers to the market. Consumers win as new and differing models and styles arrive in the showrooms of Mitsubishi, Coda, Toyota, Ford, Tesla, Honda, and Wheego. On the following pages, Plug In America highlights the 2012 models. Visit for a full list.

Nissan LEAF

Chevy Volt

Nissan LEAF

Chevy Volt

MILEAGE: 100 MPGe RANGE: 70-100 miles BATTERY: 24 kWh Li-ion MOTOR: 80 kW AC synchronous TOP SPEED: 90 mph CHARGING: 7 hours (240V) or 30 minutes (quick charge), 3.3 kW charger COST: $35,200 - $37,500 WARRANTY: 8 years/100,000 miles (battery); 5 years/60,000 miles (power train); 3 years/36,000 miles (standard)

MILEAGE: 95 MPGe (electric); 40 MPG (gasoline) RANGE: ~35 miles all-electric; ~370 highway miles gasoline BATTERY: 16 kWh Li-ion CHARGING: 4 hours (240V); 10 hours (120V) COST: $39,995 WARRANTY: 8 years/100,000 miles (battery); 5 years/100,000 miles (power train); 3 years/36,000 miles (standard)

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Mitsubishi i

Mitsubishi i MILEAGE: 112 MPGe RANGE: ~65 miles BATTERY: 16 kWh Li-ion, 330V, 88 cells MOTOR: 49 kW AC synchronous TOP SPEED: 80 mph CHARGING: 22.5 hours (120V); 7 hours (240V) 30 minutes (quick-charger) COST: ES $29,125; SE $31,125 WARRANTY: 8 years/100,000 miles (battery)

Ford Focus Electric

Fisker Karma

Fisker Karma RANGE: ~50 miles all-electric; 300 miles combined BATTERY: 20 kWh Li-ion MOTOR: 150 kW liquid-cooled AC permanent magnet synchronous TOP SPEED: 95 mph (Stealth mode); 125 mph (Sport mode) CHARGING: Between 6-14 hours (120V/240V), 3.3 kW charger COST: $95,900-$108,900 WARRANTY: 50 months/50,000 miles (standard)

Coda Sedan

Ford Focus Electric MILEAGE: 100 MPGe RANGE: 70-100 miles BATTERY: 23 kWh Li-ion MOTOR: 92 kW TOP SPEED: 84 mph CHARGING: 3-4 hours (240V), 6.6 kW charger; 12+ hours (120V) COST: $39,200

Ford C-MAX Energi Plug-in Hybrid Ford hasn’t released much information about its upcoming C-Max Energi Plug-In Hybrid, which is due later this year. Expect it to go approximately 500 miles on electric and gasoline combined and charge on a standard 120V outlet overnight.

Coda Sedan RANGE: 90-120 miles BATTERY: 36 kWh Lithium iron phosphate MOTOR: 100 kW TOP SPEED: 85 mph CHARGING: 6.6 kW charger replenishes battery in 6 hours at 220V COST: $39,900 WARRANTY: 10-years/100,000 miles (battery); 5 years/60,000 miles (power train) 3 years/36,000 (standard)

BMW ActiveE

The Ultimate Driving Machine®


Introducing the all-new BMW ActiveE, the first-ever electric car from BMW. Launching in early 2012, the BMW ActiveE will be part of a two-year field trial that will help shape the future of mobility. While it is 100% electric, it is still very much 100% BMW – boasting near-perfect 50:50 weight distribution, an output of 170-hp and a maximum torque of 184 lb-ft from a standstill. It’s your quiet, yet exhilarating escape. To experience the BMW ActiveE and take part in this one-of-a-kind field trial, visit

©2012 BMW of North America, LLC. The BMW name, model names and logo are registered trademarks. 36USC220506


Toyota Prius Plug-in Hybrid

Tesla Model S




Toyota Prius Plug-in Hybrid

Tesla Model S

MILEAGE: 87 MPGe (electric); 49 MPG (gasoline) RANGE: ~15 miles all-electric BATTERY: 5.2 kWh Li-ion, 650V MOTOR: 60 kW/80 hp CHARGING: 3 hours (120V); 90 minutes (240V) COST: Hybrid Plug-in: $32,000; Hybrid Plug-in Advanced: $35,925 WARRANTY: 8 years/100,000 (hybrid); 60 months/60,000 miles (power train); 36 months/36,000 miles (standard)

160-mile range model

Toyota RAV4 EV

BATTERY: 40 kWh TOP SPEED: 110 mph CHARGING: ~3-5 hours (240V), 10 kW charger COST: $57,400 WARRANTY: 8 years/100,000 miles (battery)

230-mile range model

BATTERY: 60 kWh TOP SPEED: 120 mph CHARGING: ~5-7 hours (240V), 10 kW charger COST: $67,400 WARRANTY: 8 years/125,000 (battery)

300-mile range model

BATTERY: 85 kWh TOP SPEED: 125 mph CHARGING: ~6-10 hours (240V), 10 kW charger COST: $87,400 WARRANTY: 8 years/unlimited miles (battery)

Performance model

RANGE: ~300 miles BATTERY: 85 kWh TOP SPEED: 130 mph CHARGING: ~6-10 hours (240V), 10 kW charger COST: $77,400 WARRANTY: 8 years/unlimited miles (battery)

Toyota RAV4 EV Speculation abounds about the highly anticipated new Toyota RAV4 EV. Details are incomplete, but, according to the carmaker, the electric SUV will go on sale this year in California and be powered by Tesla technology.

The solar powered car has become a reality

Plug your electric vehicle into the sun with solar panels made by SolarWorld, the world’s greenest solar manufacturer. Source: SolarWorld ranked #1 on the Silicon Valley Toxics Coalition’s 2011 Solar Scorecard.

America’s largest solar manufacturer since 1975

2012 Zero Motorcycles Line

Zero Dirt Bikes Zero x


Zero Street Bikes Zero S

MILEAGE: 487 MPGe RANGE: 60-120 minutes (trail riding)/~38 miles (city) BATTERY: 3kWh Li-ion MOTOR: forced air-cooled, axial flux permanent magnet, brushed TOP SPEED: 56 mph CHARGING: 3 hours (220V), 1kW standalone charger COST: $9,945 WARRANTY: 1 year/unlimited miles (standard); 2 years/unlimited miles (power pack) ZERO MX RANGE: 45-90 minutes (motocross tracks)/1-2 hours (trail) BATTERY: 3kWh Li-ion MOTOR: forced air-cooled, axial flux permanent magnet, brushed TOP SPEED: 54 mph CHARGING: 3 hours (220V), 1kW standalone charger COST: $9,495 WARRANTY: 1 year/unlimited miles (standard); 2 years/unlimited miles (power pack)

Zero Dual Sport ZERO S (ZF6/ZF9 models) MILEAGE: 487 MPGe RANGE: 76-114 BATTERY: 6 kWh/9kWh Li-ion MOTOR: double-stator axial flux permanent magnet, brushless with integrated forced-air cooling TOP SPEED: 88 mph CHARGING: 2-9 hours (110V and 220V); 1 kW charger COST: $11,495 WARRANTY: 2 years/unlimited miles

Zero DS

ZERO XU MILEAGE: 539 MPGe RANGE: ~40 miles BATTERY: 3 kWh Liion MOTOR: Axial flux permanent magnet TOP SPEED: 65 mph CHARGING: 3 hours (110V); 2 hours (220V), 1 kW onboard charger COST: $7,695 WARRANTY: 2 years/unlimited miles

ZERO DS (ZF6/ZF9 models) MILEAGE: 480 MPGe RANGE: 75 miles-112 miles BATTERY: 6kWh/9kWh Li-ion MOTOR: double-stator axial flux permanent magnet, brushless with integrated forcedair cooling TOP SPEED: 80 mph CHARGING: Between 2-9 hours (110V and 220V); 1 kW onboard charger COST: $11,495 WARRANTY: 2 years/unlimited miles

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Brammo Empulse

Wheego LiFE

Brammo Empulse (6.0, 8.0, 10.0) RANGE: 60 miles; 80 miles; 100 miles BATTERY: 6 kWh; 8kWh; 10kWh 88.8V Li-ion MOTOR: 40 kW sealed permanent AC synchronous TOP SPEED:100+ MPH CHARGING: 6 hours; 8 hours; 10 hours COST: $9,995; $11,995; $13,995 B:8.75”

Wheego LiFE



The Ultimate Driving Machine®

The Engage series includes the Engage MX (anticipated $9,995), Engage SMR (anticipated $10,555), and the Engage SMS (anticipated $10,555).

Honda FIT EV




BMW ActiveE

Honda FIT EV

BMW ActiveE


Following BMW’s successful Mini E field test, the carmaker has delivered ActiveEs to a select group of drivers for another field test period. Data obtaind from experience the BMW ActiveE and take part in this one-of-a-kind field trial, visit this test will help BMW further develop its upcoming i3.

roducing the all-new BMW ActiveE, the first-ever electric car from BMW. Launching in early 2012, e BMW ActiveE will be part of a two-year field trial that will help shape the future of mobility. While it is 0% electric, it is still very much 100% BMW – boasting near-perfect 50:50 weight distribution, an output 170-hp and a maximum torque of 184 lb-ft from a standstill. It’s your quiet, yet exhilarating escape.

RANGE: ~100 miles BATTERY: 32 kWh Li-ion MOTOR: 125 kW TOP SPEED: Approximately 90 mph CHARGING: 4-5 hours at 230 V, 32A; 8-10 hours at 230 V, 16A COST: Lease only to field testers

12 BMW of North America, LLC. The BMW name, model names and logo are registered trademarks. 36USC220506

MWN11KB0037 - BMWQ4P32_ActiveE “Vroom”_Plug In America - LHP


RANGE: ~100 miles BATTERY: 115V Li-ion, 3.2V cells, 30 kWh MOTOR: AC 50 electric 3 phase induction TOP SPEED: 65 mph CHARGING: ~10 hours (240V) COST: $32,995 WARRANTY: 4 years/60,000 miles (battery); 3 years/36,000 miles (standard); additional 2 years/40,000 miles (optional extended - battery)





Due Date

8.5 x 11

7.75 x 10.25

8.75 x 11.25



RANGE: 60-80 miles BATTERY: 20 kWh Li-ion MOTOR: 92 kW CHARGING: 3 hours (240V) using 6.6 kW onboard charger COST: $36,625, 3-year lease in California and Oregon

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Charged Up & Ready To Roll


Through Social Media Noise By Remy Tennant

W h y social media is good for E V s and w h at consumers s h ould watc h out for .


f you’re new to social media, you may have found that it is all about human interactions and personal relationships: Facebook is a dinner party; Twitter is a cocktail party; LinkedIn is a business-networking event; and blogging is akin to giving a toast or making a speech to be followed by questions or comments.

Plug In America recently surveyed its members to answer these very questions. Regardless of how social media-savvy you may be, the results of the survey may surprise you. At the very least, the findings from the 640 respondents will provide some perspective that should help you navigate the social media terrain and cut through the noise.

If you’re thinking about buying an electric vehicle, you might have turned to social media to obtain information to assist you with your purchase. You may also find yourself paying even closer attention to the comments sections on various EV articles you read hoping to find informed commentary.

The enthusiast

Social media influences a majority of content on the Internet. Information is shared online, and, in a process that is much like a game of telephone, many people receive and pass on potentially distorted messages. If you read a blog post or other article about EVs, there is a chance that the article’s author, as well as those who commented on the article, were influenced by information they received through social media channels. This information is then transmitted to you to disseminate at will. Social media is here to stay, and if you are considering owning an EV, you will benefit from embracing it if you haven’t already. But can you trust it? Who creates EV content, and how do they impact online conversations?

Those who create content online are typically biased either for or against EVs. Fortunately, the number of proponents, many of whom are hard-core enthusiasts, far outweighs the number of EV opponents. Unfortunately, just because someone is an enthusiast does not mean they’re a great spokesperson. Most enthusiasts are early-market consumers. Plug In America found that this segment generates a majority of the online content related to EVs. This is not surprising, given that most of them were also early adopters of social media. And while they represent only about 16% or less of the general population in the U.S., if not worldwide, their numbers figure more significantly on social media platforms. What we have, then, is a vocal minority that is disproportionately represented on the social web, which is the very place that they can make the most noise. This is a potent combination.

Continued on page 22

it’s hybrid. it’s electric. it’s the best of both worlds.

Prototype shown with optional equipment. Production model may vary. ©2011 Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc.

22 24

Charged Up & Ready To Roll

Continued from page 20 They are passionate people, they are comfortable voicing their opinions, and online content creation comes naturally to them. They have distinct attitudes and behaviors related to technology, and this is reflected in the online content they create. Furthermore, the early-market consumer disposition is so different from that of the mainstream consumer that hardcore EV enthusiasts may say things that actually cause harm, no matter how well meaning they may be. For instance, there is an EV fanatic who is very excited about energy efficiency. He’s quite active on Facebook and only wants to discuss ways that he believes will make an EV even more efficient. His latest idea is to place wind turbines on his Nissan LEAF that will recharge the battery on-the-fly: The faster you go, he suggests, the more energy you will generate. This would be, essentially, a perpetual motion machine. This is also impossible. It defies the laws of physics. The energy captured comes at the cost of the increased energy required to counter the resistance. While the notion of putting a wind turbine on an EV emerges quite often, it’s a distracting and pointless conversation that can needlessly devour a mainstream social network conversation. Those with even a slight interest in EVs could be turned off or led astray. Early-market consumers are motivated to purchase EVs for reasons that are typically different from mainstream consumers. Our research shows that they are significantly more interested in technology, environmental protection, and energy security, and they will often delve deeply into these issues in their commentary. This is a good thing since it helps disseminate very important information. However, because they are so knowledgeable about EVs and related issues, they are less likely to be interested in discussing some of the more practical benefits of EV ownership, information that is critical for mainstream consumer adoption. Of course there are also plenty of early-market consumers who perfectly understand the mass market and know how to convey the benefits of EVs to the mainstream. Their messages help positively influence EV conversations on Facebook, Twitter, and beyond. So if you are an enthusiast and enjoy discussing EV technology or the many ways that EVs will save humankind, consider the impact your words will have on mainstream consumers who are paying attention. Will your ideas make them want to buy an EV? Might you be better off voicing your thoughts on a forum of like-minded people rather than on Facebook? Regardless

of the type of enthusiast you are, please do start conversations that will help people learn about the wonderful experience of owning an EV.

The mainstream consumer Even if mainstream consumers are comfortable with social media, they may not have enough knowledge about EVs to speak up. However, they are still paying attention and can sometimes be put off by the direction that some online conversations take. In other words, even if social media conversations about EVs are overwhelmingly positive in tone, average automotive consumers will not be persuaded if discussions do not focus on benefits that will appeal to them. So if you are a mainstream consumer, do not get overly distracted by a technical discussion that dives too deeply into, say, solar power for your EV. Rather, seek information that will be useful to you from reputable sources, such as respected automotive journalists and other resources listed at the end of this book. More threatening to the consumer than heavily biased information is when EVs are described inaccurately or when not enough information is given. Much of this stems from a simple lack of education. As an example, when a blogger on The New York Times profiled the Nissan LEAF NISMO RC (a stripped-down Nissan LEAF with racing suspension), he referred to the vehicle as a 100 horsepower racecar. Well yes, it does have only 100 horsepower. But it also has over 200 foot-pounds of torque, which is instantly available and gives the vehicle enough power to make your neck snap. Unfortunately, the author neglected to mention both the torque rating and the fact that the NISMO RC zips to 60 mph in just 6 seconds. The author was neutral towards EVs, but he just didn’t understand them. What happened? Readers of the Times were left with the impression that the NISMO RC was a total joke of a vehicle, perpetuating the myth that electric cars are slow. People criticized and made jokes about the vehicle in the comments section of the blog. TheTimes is read widely by mainstream consumers, and it is likely that thousands of people read the article before I addressed the information in the comments section. The article was also posted to the


Facebook page of the Nissan LEAF (presumably someone at Nissan could not resist coverage by The New York Times), and a very similar discussion transpired in the comments section on Facebook. If you are an enthusiast who comes across such a situation, take every opportunity to make sure that all relevant information is provided, and speak up if it is not. And if you are a prospective consumer, seek information from trusted sources. It may have been The New York Times, but the blogger wasn’t an automotive journalist.

The naysayers There is a sizeable contingent of people that harbors a deep hatred for EVs. They are typically uninformed and radical and love to express themselves on the Internet. Sometimes their hatred is so overt that their agenda becomes transparent. Unfortunately, the more clever ones can actually be quite detrimental to the EV movement. The solution is to respond dispassionately with facts (if you can) without engaging them in argument. Don’t take the bait. If you don’t have the facts, see these trolls for who they are, and just ignore them.

What are you? Do you like bragging a little bit to your friends about your EV? Of course you do. If you don’t have an EV yet, I guarantee that when you get one you will show it off — and for good reason. You might tell your friends about it at a dinner party, a cocktail party, a networking event, or even mention it in a toast about how blessed you are. Now take that inspiration to the Internet in a way that will support the EV movement. Try to say something engaging that will encourage responses. Take this recent Facebook post I wrote: “I drove 3,000 smooth and silent miles in my Nissan LEAF over the past three months. I never went to the gas station, and my electricity bill only went up $50. Click the “like” button if it would make you happy to never go to the gas station again. And tell me when you would like to schedule a test drive.” As I had hoped, there was a flurry of activity, including many “likes,” questions, comments, and requests to take my LEAF for a spin. Social media will remain instrumental in the successful commercialization of EVs. If you currently own an EV, we would like you to engage in social media in ways that will be both enjoyable to you and will help support the EV movement. Information broadcast on social networks can spread so far and so wide and at such a rapid rate that social media has been called word-of-mouth marketing on steroids. To ensure that information spread by word-ofmouth remains true to fact, those who are educated about EVs must add their voices to the online conversation. Consider this a call to action.

Remy Tennant is principal and founder of CleanTech Media Solutions [] and Product Marketing Manger at Digital Air Strike []. Download his whitepaper about social media and cleantech at


Charged Up & Ready To Roll

Garage 2.0 Inside


f you’re going to open a shop designed to service the needs of electric vehicles, you’d better be invested in the planet. Carolyn Coquillette, proprietor of Luscious Garage in San Francisco, knows this. Luscious challenges the notion of the traditional, oleaginous autoshop by providing a cleaner and greener environment in which to service the thousands of EVs and hybrids in the Bay Area and beyond. Join Plug In America for a look inside.

L uscious G arage redefines y our friendl y neig h bor h ood auto s h op.

Lighting Natural light shines through skylights and windows. When it’s not enough, high-efficiency fixtures and task lighting kick in, powered by a 2.8kW solar array. The array is also responsible for powering the electric tools, compressors, lifts, and the telephones and computers.

Charging Charging stations are scattered throughout, so when your car is being serviced, it’s also receiving a charge. When you come to pick it up, it’ll be more than ready to go.

25 27

Previously Loved Furniture The furniture that fills the Luscious waiting room was chosen carefully from previous owners and offers customers a place to relax over a book and a cup of coffee while they wait.

Water Conservation Rainwater collects into the water catchment tank, which supplies water to the toilet, washing machines, and spigots for about eight months out of the year. When the water level is low, the barrel fills with city water.

Tree Conservation Luscious conducts a paperless operation. Its web-based management software system called Hyspace enables customers to book appointments, view work orders, communicate with technicians, and review all past Luscious service.

Thousands of EV charging stations in dozens of cities.

Smart charging solutions at home and on the go with The Blink Network. The Blink Network includes thousands of public EV chargers in cities across the United States. Blink chargers are optimized for residential and commercial charging, and combined with the Blink Network make it easy to view stats and optimize your entire charging experience. Mobile app. Use our mobile app to locate Blink chargers, view vehicle charging status, and more! Available on iOS and Android.

Blink DC Fast charger

See your vehicle and energy usage stats online.

Blink Pedestal charger

Blink Wall Mount charger

Access everything there is to know about your EV on the Blink User Portal.

1.888.998.BLINK (2546)

27 29

Get Your Charge T h ese ideas will h ave y ou h eaded in t h e rig h t c h arging direction .


drivers have to sometimes be creative about charging their vehicles. If you own one, chances are you had a charger installed in your garage. If you’re thinking about purchasing one soon, you’ve probably done plenty of research on your home-charging options: Will you have a professional build the installation or will you undertake a do-it-yourself project? There are many EVSE options, from networked EVSE costing thousands of dollars to simply upgrading the 120V unit that came with your car (for instance, check out One of the first questions people ask is what to do when they’re running low on a charge while out on an errand. Or, even, what if they want to go long distances? Here we offer suggestions that will give you a charge when you’re out and about.

Road Trip! Think driving long distances is out of the question in an EV? Think again. If you’re in for the long haul there are certainly places you can pull in that are already suited to your needs. They’re called RV parks, and they are everywhere. Before you embark on your journey, which you have undoubtedly mapped out at least a little bit, take a few moments to locate the RV parks you will hit along the way. When the battery’s time comes, pull into one, plug in, sit back, and take the load off while your EV fills up. This solution will require a level of patience and planning on your part, but so does taking a road trip. You might want to call the RV parks to check availability.

Let me help you with that There are a number of smartphone apps in the various app marketplaces that offer EV drivers a charging assist, and they are produced by carmakers, EVSPs, and third-party developers. (See the Smartphone Apps section in the Resources beginning on page 62 for a list.) One such app is PlugShare, and its users are responsible for populating it. PlugShare lists the public charging stations available and enables people to list their homes for drivers in need of a charge on the go. Jen from San Diego writes of her experience: “Thank you so much for creating PlugShare! I use it on a daily basis to find places to charge my Nissan LEAF, and I’m not sure how I would live without it (the locator inside the car is useless). I usually charge at public charging stations but when I have the time I’ll ask to use a home charger — more fun that way! Without PlugShare I would be forced to take my minivan for trips to LA but now it’s no problem to take the LEAF as long I plan ahead. Once we get some fast chargers installed down here, it’ll make things even easier. Long live the EV!”

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Charged Up & Ready To Roll

Can I reach around you? It’s a rainy day, and you want nothing more than to park yourself in the quaintest café in town with a cup of coffee, a maple scone, and your laptop with a free Wi-Fi boost. What’s the first thing you do? (Besides grabbing your hot cup.) You look along the floorboards — between people’s legs and around their bags — for an outlet in which to plug your laptop. And assuming you do have access to free Wi-Fi, you’re plugging in at no additional cost. Would you believe that the same can be said for EVs? It’s a sunny day and you’re headed to your friend’s house for a BBQ — your friend who has a garage with outlets. Or maybe you’ve snagged a spot near a wall in a parking lot and notice an outlet. Perhaps you have heard that a particular parking garage has a 120V outlet on level four. Pull up. Unfurl the cord. Plug in.

Factory EV maintenance, repair, and modifications. • Nissan LEAF • Plug-in Hybrids • Hybrids Proud host of the BayLEAFs and Golden Gate Electric Vehicle Association

When the car gives back Sometimes an EV can reverse the process, providing a much-needed boost of power when the lights go out. Colby Trudeau, intern on the Plug In America IT Committee, relates his experience:

“During San Diego’s major power outage in 2011, I lit up my house with my electric car. The next time you find yourself in the dark during an outage, you can do the same thing. Although vehicle-to-home and vehicle-to-grid have not yet been implemented by car companies and utilities, I was able to power my house thanks to the auxiliary power outlet in my Chevrolet Volt. All I had to do was turn the car on and plug in a $30 12V cigarette lighter to a 120V household outlet adapter. I ran an extension cord from the garage to the living room and plugged in lamps, a laptop, and my cell phone. This setup isn’t as robust or convenient as vehicle-to-home will be, but it is great for power outages, camping, and tailgating.”

Curing ange An ietyy By Paul Scott

So, you finally got your plug-in car. You’re excited about all the great benefits of driving on electricity, but there’s that nagging feeling you have about range anxiety. Just how far can you really go before running out of juice? The Environmental Protection Agency estimates that the LEAF will travel about 73 miles and the Volt 35 miles on a charge. But if you want to try and get more range out of a charge, there are a few simple methods you can use to go farther on the same amount of energy.


Keep your vehicle light and accelerate slowly. This is an issue of physics. Regardless of whether you drive on electricity or gas, it takes energy to accelerate a given mass over a given distance in a given time frame. If you increase the mass, it takes more energy. If you increase the distance, it takes more energy. If you shorten the time frame, this takes more energy, too. Accelerating slowly and steadily will get you to the cruising speed you desire with the minimum energy used. This is also true of changes in speed while moving. Always try to change speeds gradually.

2 3 4 5 6

Keep your tires inflated to the maximum at all times. If you’ve ever tried riding a bicycle with low tires, you know how much harder it is to pedal at a given speed. It’s the same with a car. Driving uphill requires more energy. If there is a route that has fewer hills, take it. Allow time to reach your destination without having to hurry.

Watch ahead for stop signs, red lights, and stopped traffic. If traffic is slowing or stopped, or there is a red light/stop sign ahead, let off the accelerator and coast or collect some energy with regenerative braking. There is no need to use more energy than necessary. When on the freeway, keep your speed under 65, preferably 60. Allow at least five to six car lengths between you and the car in front of you. When that person brakes, coast. This will save a lot of energy and is much safer and less aggravating.

To sum up, we all know that people can get distracted while driving, which invariably results in having to brake hard or accelerate hard. It also means you miss opportunities to eke out a bit more efficiency in small ways that add up. Most importantly, it makes you an unsafe driver, and unsafe drivers cause accidents which then cause thousands of drivers to spend more time in stop-and-go traffic. Your inattention can result in inefficiency on a massive scale. So above all, pay attention.

Paul Scott is a co-founder and board member of Plug In America.


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Charged Up & Ready To Roll

By Tom Moloughney

Your New lectric Bill C alculate t h e impact of y our E V on y our electricit y bill .

“How much electricity does it use?” That is one of the most frequent questions people ask me about my MINI-E. With all the talk about electric cars in the last year, people want to know if EV drivers are simply ditching the gas pump only to pay just as much in their electric bills. My car costs between $3 and $6 in electricity to go 100-120 miles because there is such a difference in electricity rates throughout the country. The MINI-E has a 35 kWh battery pack but only 80% of the pack is usable. This means it has 28kWh of available power. That 28kWh can move the car between 90 and 120 miles depending on how efficiently you drive [for more on getting the most out of your charge, see the article by Paul Scott on the previous page]. The national average cost for electricity is $.12 per kWh, which means it would cost about $3.36 to fully charge a depleted battery on the MINI-E. However, rates do vary. I pay $.11 per kWh at my restaurant in Montclair, New Jersey, but it costs me $.18 per kWh at my home in Chester, which is only 30 miles from Montclair. So if I charge at work it costs me $3.08; at home it costs me $5.04. I take advantage of the lower rates and charge at work as much as possible. So basically for what it costs for a gallon of gas today, you can drive an electric car like the MINI-E or Nissan LEAF about 100 miles.


Electricity Options Since I have a solar PV array at my home, I sell the electricity back to the utility at the rate they sell it to me ($.18/kWh), so every kilowatt-hour that I charge at work saves me $.07. The average person drives about 15,000 miles per year. If they had a MINI-E they would need to use about 4,200 kWh to drive 15,000 miles. If you use the national average, you would pay $504 for fuel for the entire year. If you use my rate at my restaurant, it’s $462. At my home it’s $756. So figure anywhere between a $40/month and $65/month increase in your electric bill if you had a MINI-E and drove it an average 15,000 miles per year. One of the great things about electric cars is that you can easily reduce your electric bill by $40 to $60 per month just by being more efficient and therefore completely eliminate your transportation fuel cost. You can’t use less gasoline unless you drive less, but you can reduce your electricity usage at home and still drive as much as you always have. Simple measures such as a programmable thermostat and the use of compact florescent light bulbs (and LEDs now)

Five 100-watt light bulbs

left on continuously for a year use the same amount of


Crunching the Numbers Most electric passenger vehicles will travel 3-4 miles per kWh depending on efficiency and driving style. The U.S. average kWh costs 11 cents, so a plug-in vehicle can travel a mile on 2.75 to 3.7 cents. The average driver drives 1,000 miles per month and so will spend between $27.50 and $37 on electricity each month. The average gasoline passenger vehicle gets 22 MPG. The U.S. average cost of fuel at the moment is $3.50. So gas costs 15.9 cents per mile, which would be $159/month. The average driver would save over $120/month in fuel costs if they switched to electric drive. That’s in addition to savings on maintenance, oil changes, and emissions inspections. And based on past pricing trends, gas prices are likely to rise significantly more than electricity prices, so the savings are likely to grow.

To calculate your savings, you need to know: can make a big difference. In fact, five 100-watt light bulbs left on continuously for a year use the same amount of energy as it takes to power the MINI-E 15,000 miles.

The price of a kWh of electricity from your utility

The price of a gallon of gas

Here’s how: five 100-watt light bulbs use 500 watts per hour. In 24 hours they use 12,000 watts or 12kWh. In 365 days they use 4,380kWh. What does the MINI-E use to go 15,000 miles? Remember above I calculated it to be 4,200kWh? So five 100-watt light bulbs use 180 more kWh than it takes to power the MINI-E for 15,000 miles.

The MPG of the old car []

The kWh/100 mile rating of the plug-in vehicle []

How far you typically drive in a month

If you take a good look at your home electricity use, you will see how you can reduce your usage enough to drastically offset the cost of electricity to power an electric car, if not completely eliminate it. Then, every penny of the money you would have spent on gasoline can go right into your pocket.

Tom Moloughney is an EV enthusiast who completed a 30-month MINI-E trial for BMW and is currently fieldtesting a BMW ActiveE. He writes about his electric BMW experiences at,, and

Plug these numbers into the following equations (with average samples given):

Gas price per gallon / Miles per gallon = Gas price per mile $3.50 / 22mpg = $0.159 Electricity price per kWh * kWh per 100 miles / 100 = Electricity price per mile $0.11 * 34 / 100 = $0.0374 Gas price per mile - Electricity price per mile = Savings per mile $0.159 - $0.0374 = $0.1216 Savings per mile * Miles driven per month = Dollars saved per month $0.1216 * 1,000 = $121.60


— Plug In America

energy as it takes to power the MINI-E

15,000 miles.


It’s not easy • Rated at 112 MPGe*, it’s the only EV in America to pass the 100 MPGe mark. • Zero tailpipe emissions (ZEV) • 100% electric – no gas required • Quiet, agile, comfortable performance • Rear motor layout – rear-wheel drive • Speed up to 80 mph (approx.)

The 100% elect The most likeable

When it comes to fuel costs, even the most efficient hybrid Reservations being accepted For more information about our fleet program * MPGe based on EPA estimate. Actual MPGe mileage may vary.**Net MSRP based on ES trim. $29,125 MSRP – $7,500 federal tax credit = $21,625 after tax credit. Manufacturer’s suggested retail price excludes destination/handling, tax, title, license etc. Actual prices set by retailer. See your Mitsubishi retailer for details. Tax savings subject to rules and availability. Taxpayer must incur federal tax liability to receive full benefit. SE model MSPR $31,125 – $7500 federal tax credit = $23,625. Consult with your tax professional.

being green. • Over 140 ft-lb. of torque • Spacious interior for four passengers • Eight year or 100,000-mile battery limited warranty • Qualifies for Federal and State tax credits • Available in ES or SE model • As low as $21,625 net MSRP after tax savings**

SE model shown.

tric Mitsubishi i. car on the planet.

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Charged Up & Ready To Roll

Green Jobs A Vet for

By Catherine Pickavet


back from iraq , R etired M arine S ergeant J arom V a h ai gets vets working . . . to get us off oil .

or veterans, securing employment can be one of the biggest challenges upon returning home. Retired Marine Sergeant Jarom Vahai, 33, took it upon himself to meet this challenge in 2011 by launching Green Careers 4 Vets (GC4Vets), an organization dedicated to matching military vets with jobs in the green industry. Since the beginning of GC4Vets [], Vahai has almost singlehandedly secured the employment of more than a hundred veterans. Perhaps most notable is the early partnership he forged with Tesla Motors. In just six months, Tesla has hired nearly 30 vets, and Vahai anticipates that number increasing as the carmaker ramps up production on its Model S. Another beneficiary of Vahai’s veterans is Bauer’s Intelligent Transportation, a green transportation service that features hybrids and, soon, electric busses. By the end of last year, Bauer’s IT had selected a handful of veterans, and the company is currently in talks with Vahai to increase employment opportunities. Vahai’s dedication to GC4Vets and his fellow veterans is a reflection of his own commitment to the Marine Corp. During his nearly 10-year service, he completed two tours in Iraq where he “did hard knocks.” As Vahai tells it, he did everything a soldier could possibly do: led a platoon; called for fire; and led counter IUD patrols. During his tours of duty, he was caught up in five explosions, the toll of which he contends with each day. Irreversible spine damage causes unpredictable bouts of pain daily, requiring him to walk with a cane. But this hasn’t slowed him down. In addition to his work with GC4Vets, Vahai studied electrical engineering at Skyline College and is active politically. He sits on the Veteran Advisory Committee of Congresswoman Jackie Speier, D-CA, advising on a range of veterans’ issues, including suicide prevention. Assemblyman Jerry Hill, D-San Mateo, named him Veteran of the Year in 2011. This political activism caught the attention of President Obama who invited him to the White House and subsequently made him a community leader. Vahai joined me in a second-floor conference room in the San FranciscoWar Memorial to discuss his motivation for launching GC4Vets, his relationship with green industries, and President Obama.


Catherine Pickavet: What inspired you to launch Green Careers 4 Vets?

CP: Has your relationship with Tesla inspired future partnerships with other EV makers?

Jarom Vahai: The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) approached me about the outreach work I had already been doing with veterans. I started GC4V as a website for vets. Even though I didn’t get the funding, the site was something that needed to be done. It really helped create an information base for veterans and for me to get my word out.

JV: Nissan has already approached me. I put the word out, but not a lot of my vets are interested in the Nissan LEAF, I believe, because they think it’s an import. I actually think it would be interesting for the vets to work [in the upcoming Nissan plant in Smyrna, TN.]

CP: What is your word? JV: The American military is out there defending the oil trade. We as veterans are tired of oil. We’re tired of everything that’s associated with oil. We want to be independent.

I wouldn’t mind going out there and connecting with Nissan to help those vets out there to get it started. I’m happy with the way it is working out with Tesla, and I’ll continue to work with them and encourage them to hire veterans. If Nissan is going to do the same thing, I’ll go out and help them, too.

We see the oil tankers, we fight over the oil fields and pipelines. The technology of an EV can take a family 1,000 miles for $5. So why are we using oil when we have the ability to get off of it?

CP: The Obama Administration approached you to serve as a community leader to represent veterans’ issues. How did that materialize?

We went to Iraq after 9/11. And we are attacking Al Qaeda and Afghanistan. That’s two wars now that we have been dragged into because of oil. If we get off oil, they won’t have the funding to keep this up, and we won’t have the interest to be out there fighting. I mean is that worth the lives of almost 5,000 Americans? Is that worth guys coming home now having nightmares, having PTSD, traumatic brain injury and killing themselves? Losing 6,000 a year from suicide?

JV: I think my relationship with Congresswoman Speier and Assemblyman Hill got their attention. One day I received an e-mail invitation to the White House. I travelled to Washington, D.C., and met the president and his staff, as well as several key individuals from the Departments of Energy and Transportation and the EPA. I’m one of very few veteran representatives.

This whole thing comes from this unstable relationship with the Middle East. If we all got off of oil and drove electric cars, we would be less dependent on oil. We’re Americans. We’re innovative. Let’s do it.

CP: Discuss your relationship with Tesla Motors. JV: Before I completed my term as president of the Veterans Club at Skyline College, I wanted to do something for the vets. But they didn’t want activities. They were interested in careers. Tesla was a big one. And not just with my vets. I was getting e-mails from Phoenix, Utah, Pennsylvania, Ohio. “I heard you’re doing a Tesla program.” It was just a snowball effect. And they come in and they want IT. So I start looking around for IT. We’re working with Cisco. But the vets are the ones driving the direction. They’re driving the bus. I’m just clearing the road. Tesla has already hired 15 of the veterans from my outreach, and they need more. Wo we plan on doing more outreach to get them the best. We want them to succeed.

We have regular meetings by phone, and I give them a report on what I’m doing and what I see going on in the veteran community. We have discussed the veteran employment tax credit and the housing market. The president has been very supportive of us and hears our concerns. In turn, they tell us what is coming up with the budget and what kind of help they will need. It’s a collaboration. Their response is almost immediate.

CP: What drives you? JV: The veterans drive me. It’s like a current more than something I’m starting. I’m not creating a wave. It’s a current that’s already in motion and I’m just kind of riding the wave.

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Charged Up & Ready To Roll

to Green Duty ctive


By Tim Goodrich

t h e true cost of filling up wit h gas and w h at one veteran c h ose to do about it . My decision to purchase a Nissan LEAF was driven by a variety of reasons, but the simplest was this: The cost of filling up with gas is just too much. I’m not only referring to the price we’re paying at the pump but also to the cost to our future generations, our national security, and our economy. As a veteran, I have seen the toll these costs take, and I am doing what I can to stop contributing to the problem. At the age of 18, I enlisted in the active duty Air Force and went on to deploy three times to the Middle East, supporting the no-fly zones over Iraq, the initial response to Afghanistan after the 9/11 attacks, and the pre-war bombing of Iraq. My unit also supported homeland defense operations, and after my honorable discharge, I traveled to Baghdad as part of a fact-finding delegation. Through these experiences, I came to see that our foreign policy needs to evolve in order to provide smarter national security here at home. After all, how much sense does it make to spend $400 per gallon getting gas to our service members in remote regions of Afghanistan? How much sense does it make to send money to countries that don’t like us, don’t share our values, and sometimes find ways to get that money into the hands of terrorist organizations? The Rand Corporation found that U.S. armed forces spend up to $83 billion annually protecting vulnerable

infrastructure and patrolling oil transit routes. U.S. Navy Secretary Ray Mabus recently said, “The Army did a study and found that out of every 24 fuel convoys we use [in Afghanistan], a soldier or Marine is killed or wounded guarding that convoy. That’s a high price to pay for fuel.” For these reasons, our military is currently researching and using alternative energy technologies in the field. If our military as a whole sees the importance of getting off fossil fuels, and the lives of our service members depend on it, I want to support that effort. As a child, growing up in a small suburb of Buffalo, NY, I was introduced to environmental technology when my parents installed a passive solar heating system on our house. I thought it was amazing that, despite the subzero temperatures, we could get free heat from the sun distributed throughout the house. All the kids from school who came to see it on a field trip thought so, too. Now that I’m older I see the importance of using technology in a way that will allow us to leave the Earth in better condition than when we found it. My current home, Los Angeles, has the second-smoggiest air in the country. Most Americans drive fewer than 40 miles per day, and most new electric car models go up

Tim Goodrich (right) with Plug In America co-founder and board member Paul Scott. (Photo Credit: Kelly Olsen)


to 100 miles before having to recharge. Just think of how much cleaner our air would be if even a third of the population purchased an electric car, which studies have shown are 35% to 60% cleaner than traditional vehicles — even on today’s electricity grid. In future years, as we shift to an energy portfolio containing more renewable resources like solar and wind, driving will actually become greener. America’s addiction to oil is as damaging to our economy as it is to our environment. Every year, we send at least $250 billion overseas, because the cars we drive have an insatiable thirst for oil. In other words, about half of our trade deficit is due to imported crude petroleum. This trade deficit has contributed to circumstances that created one of the worst economic downturns in this country since the Great Depression. Wouldn’t it be great to save money by fueling our vehicles with electricity rather than gas and also have that money stay in our country where it can be reinvested in our economy? If you’re like me and want to breathe cleaner air, support our service members and national security, and improve our economy, consider making the switch to an electric car. Besides being patriotic, getting thumbs up at red lights all over town and saving a ton of money by driving past the pump feels pretty good.

Tim Goodrich is a veteran who deployed to the Middle East. He currently attends graduate school at the University of Southern California and is a Sierra Club member and Partner at the Truman National Security Project. (This article originally appeared on


Charged Up & Ready To Roll

Incentives legend Utility incentives Income tax credit Carpool lane access EVSE/Equipment incentives State tax credit State rebate Sales tax exemption Free parking Registration discount Motor vehicle inspection exemption Vehicle license fee discount Conversion rebates Insurance surcharge exemption Property tax exemption Emissions inspection exemption

Federal Incentives Cars $2,500 to $7,500 tax credit, depending on size of battery (4 kWh to 16 kWh), for electric-drive vehicles (EVs and PHEVs) sold after December 31, 2008. This is the best and biggest new incentive brought on by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (stimulus bill), and applies to at least 200,000 units per vehicle manufacturer before it begins phasing out.


PIA is working to renew the following key federal incentives, which expired at the end of 2011 2- or 3-wheelers

10% consumer tax credit for 2- or 3-wheeled vehicles (up to a maximum of $2,500 tax credit on vehicles costing $25,000 and above). This incentive further lowers the cost on the most affordable electric vehicles: electric motorcycles and enclosed 3-wheelers. Vehicles must have a minimum of 2.5 kWh of batteries.


Charge stations

10% tax credit for plug-in conversions with a maximum credit of $4,000 (on a $40,000 conversion expense).

Tax credit equaling 30% of the cost to install an EV charge station (as well as other alternative fuel stations), with a maximum $1,000 credit for each station installed. Businesses may take tax credits up to a maximum $30,000 credit for larger installations.

Incentives subject to change. For updates on U.S. federal and state incentives, visit Plug In America at Sources: Plug In America; U.S. Department of Energy Alternative Fuels Data Center []; Nissan; Tesla

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Charged Up & Ready To Roll

What’s Up with Norway? by Leif Richard Bones Egge

two decades of effort pa y off as A n electric car outsells its gasoline competition .


n the 29th of September 2011, Bjarne Sætrum, the CEO of Ishavskraft, a Norwegian electric utility, opened the first DC Fast Charge station in the 3,000-mile-long Norwegian network of fast chargers called Ishavsveien (the road to the ice sea). I am the CTO on the project, and as I stood in the crowd listening to Sætrum draw parallels to the electrification of the Bergen Railway, I thought of how incredibly fast our movement for automobile electrification is growing. As far as electric vehicles are concerned, California may get all the attention but Norway is number one. Norway has the highest per-capita penetration of electric vehicles in the world. 2011 was the first year an electric vehicle became the biggest-selling car in the small-car segment. With over 1,000 vehicles sold so far, the Mitsubishi iMiev has sold more than the Fiat 500 or the Mini.

seek to do with the Ishavsveien DC Fast Charge network is to burst through the dam to open the floodgates by giving the electric vehicle the same practical range as its gasoline counterpart. So why Norway? Why does the Norwegian consumer find it so easy to accept the electric vehicle? The answer I believe is a combination of time and the dedication of “the crazy ones,” the true believers. It’s the story of the Norwegian EV movement. Like any great story it can be divided into three acts.

Act 1: A spark ignites It all started in 1989 when Bellona, a Norwegian environmental foundation, got its first EV from the pop group a-ha. Rune Haaland from the Electric Vehicle Union was a founding member of Bellona and he, together with many others, used this EV to drive on the toll ring of Oslo. Only they didn’t pay the toll. The toll on the ring road was intended as a tax on pollution in the city, and Rune felt he did not have to pay since his EV did not pollute. So off they went, driving around Oslo in and out of the ring.

If you take into account its sisters, the Peugot iOn and the Citroën C-Zero, these electric triplets will probably represent a total sale of 1,400 vehicles in 2011. Nissan sold over 500 LEAFs its opening weekend. And if the carmaker The Ishavsveien DC Fast Charge network They assumed thousands of euros of debt does everything right in 2012, the in unpaid tolls until finally the police will blanket Norway with fast chargers. LEAF has the potential to become impounded the car. Then they just got the largest-selling car in Norway in some friends to buy it back at a police auction and off any segment. Period. Exclamation point. It is fantastic to they went, in and out of the ring, once again assuming watch everything we have dreamed about for so long finally thousands in debt for unpaid tolls. This of course earned becoming a reality. them a lot of media attention and the overall support of the In Norway, as we say, the river is rising with EVs. What we people. Legend has it that when Haaland had to go to trial


for all the fines he owed, the judge said, “Mr. Haaland, you owe the state a lot of money.” Rune replied that he didn’t. The judge said that, according to the law, he did. “With all due respect your honor,” Rune said, “it doesn’t matter what the law of today says if it’s not going to say that tomorrow.” Sure enough, the law was changed. Not only due to pressure, but also because the politicians, bureaucrats, and environmental NGOs had come to understand the benefits of electric vehicles. The EV movement was born. Similar action campaigns later mobilized to secure free public parking and access to the bus lanes for EVs. They succeeded, and just like with the toll ring, the general public started to open their eyes even more to the social benefits of electric vehicles. It was still not enough, though, since there were practically no EVs to buy. It was all conversions or “funny-looking” vehicles like the ones made by Norwegian EV maker PIVCO, which would later become Think.

Act 2: The dawn, dusk, and dawn of the EV industry Then in the late 90s and early 2000s, Ford bought Think to spur the mass production of EVs. The Danish electric vehicle Kewet Buddy was sold to Norwegians and the production moved to Oslo. Suddenly the country had a homegrown pioneering industry looking toward the future that helped create an optimistic mood among those in the fledgling EV movement. The Minister of Trade and Industry proclaimed it a new age for the Norwegian industry. The municipalities started to buy Thinks and Buddys by the hundreds. Environmental NGOs came to own and use EVs, along with technology enthusiasts and highly green-minded people. The awareness of EVs among the public increased. Annual road taxes for EVs were reduced to almost nothing for the environmental benefit and economic benefit of a nascent national industry. Value added tax (sales tax) was removed and the future was looking bright. We knew California also had pro-EV policies and that a few thousand electric cars were driving around. Then suddenly, across the pond, the carmakers began devouring their creations. The documentary Who Killed the Electric Car? by Chris Paine tells the story of GM’s destruction of its EV1. What you might not know is that in Norway Greenpeace, Norges Miljøvernforbund, Norstart, and the Norwegian Ministry of Transport and Communcations mobilized to save the American Think City cars from the scrap heap. In the U.S.,, later to become Plug in America, was founded by EV drivers who refused to give up their cars without a fight. A cross-Atlantic partnership between these organizations

succeeded in getting a commitment from Ford to cease crushing and ship the U.S. Thinks back to Norway for sale. At the same time, Norwegian EV enthusiasts started buying the hundreds of electric Citroëns and Peugeots that fleet customers were unloading as the French commitment to EVs waned. Automakers around the world were abandoning the EV, and Norwegians were scooping them up. By this time, a positive image of the EV had begun to manifest itself in the minds of the Norwegian general public. Think, Buddy, Citroën, and Peugeot EVs could be seen driving around or charging at the numerous public outlets installed by the local government. In 2009, the Norwegian government established Transnova to help fund EV infrastructure. Thousands of charging stations were installed. Now, simple, free-to-use outlets in parking lots and street side are used by EV drivers who

Continued on page 42

The 50 free spots at the Aker Brygge public charging station where the juice is free are always taken by 9:00 a.m.

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Charged Up & Ready To Roll

Continued from page 41

History of Norwegian EV incentives 1989

Registration/one-time tax on EVs is removed. This is the biggest component in taxing a car in Norway, and it reflects how much a car weighs and pollutes


Toll road fees and public parking fees are removed


The 25% sales tax is removed


As the Ministry for Transport and Communications ponders the idea of giving EVs access to the public transport lanes, they decide to give EVs their own license plates that start with “EL” to make it easier to enforce the rights of EVs


carry their cables with them. It would only be another year or two before the new electric cars started showing up. When they did, the sales skyrocketed.

Act 3: The final push Now we have the best possible foundation to build upon. No political party has anything against the EV. In fact the incentives for EVs in Norway have been established over time with changing governments, meaning that every party has bragging rights to its own part of Norway’s EV success. The same is true for NGOs. Over the years the EV has come to be one of its most potent symbols. These days, more and more “regular” people are buying EVs. While we find that these drivers may buy cars for their economic or social benefits, they often become evangelists. It doesn’t take long for them to become what I call an “EV Native,” a person who can’t imagine going back to how it was before. The role of our movement is to continue sharing our enthusiasm and to stay vigilant with our allies in the political world in maintaining the financial appeal of EVs for the market. For instance, Norway has always heavily taxed cars on the basis of pollution. This tax doesn’t apply to EVs, so they can already compete with their gasoline counterparts in terms

The public transport lane on motorways is opened for EVs to use


EVs are given free access to all ferries that connect public roads The maximum allowed per kilometer, tax-free, corporate-toemployee benefit of private-vehicle use compensations is raised to a level that is higher than it is for gasoline cars (even though an EV is much cheaper to run)

One of many EV parades held to support the progress of EV development.


of price, thereby eliminating the need for direct subsidies at the counter. As EVs become more popular and the Treasury sees its tax revenue shrink, they might want to tax the EV, as well. As long as the tax pressure on polluting cars is raised accordingly, this could be an acceptable option. A win-win for both EV drivers and the government. Also, as the public’s attention shifts toward building infrastructure to enable fast charging of electric vehicles, it is paramount that it is done with the common good and the whole nation of EV drivers in mind. In 2005 the government promised that all of Norway, including the most rural areas, would soon have access to a broadband connection. They achieved their goal. From a politician’s point of view, getting the nation connected, whether it be through access to information or pollution-free mobillity, is all a matter of priorities of those who have the foresight to see its value to society. We are lucky to have many politicians with that foresight, and I’m looking forward to seeing how that translates in 2012. For our part, we will aim to develop the Ishavsveien network in a fashion that makes all drivers active participants in the project and a partner in our movement. It’s what has gotten us this far, and it’s what will help us realize our final goal of a 100% electric and renewable society.

Leif Richard Bones Egge has been an advocate for EVs for many years. In 2009 he made a guerilla Top Gear-like production to support Think and its City EV and has since worked on many EV-related projects in Norway and Europe. He is currently the CTO on the Ishavsveien DC Fast Charge project.

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Charged Up & Ready To Roll


By Shannon Arvizu, PhD


for the Masses

A new global E V movement is dedicated to building an electric future in places like t h e P h ilippines .


ost people in developing countries travel by microbuses, “tuk-tuks,” or tricycles (motorcycles with a sidecar). If you have ever travelled to these regions, then you are probably familiar with these ubiquitous forms of transport. They are convenient (and usually overloaded with passengers), but also tend to be very polluting. Drivers and passengers often wear a handkerchief over their mouths to prevent breathing in all the particulates from dated, rundown engines. Moreover, these vehicles run on increasingly expensive petroleum. For people that live on a few dollars a day, recent increases in oil costs have had a disproportionate effect on their daily income and sustenance levels. What if we can electrify the global fleet for the world’s poor? What if we can simultaneously stimulate local clean-tech industries, increase poor families’ incomes, and create a healthy environment for people to live in? This is the promise of the next global EV movement, and it is happening right now in the Philippines. The Asian Development Bank (ADB), an organization based in Manila and dedicated to promoting economic and social progress in the Asia-Pacific region, is committed to providing funding to make the promise a reality. ADB recently invited me to Manila to provide a policy perspective on their plan to best stimulate a local electric tricycle (E-trike) industry in Manila. An E-trike is similar to a neighborhood electric vehicle with three wheels. They ride similarly to a motorcycle (with a throttle controller) and are capable of transporting up to nine passengers at safe and reasonable speeds up to 40 mph. The E-trike project that ADB is pursuing is an exciting one that can be a model for similar countries to follow.

ADB’s E-trike plan With support from the Philippine government, ADB has sponsored the delivery of 20 E-trikes to Mandaluyong, one of the cities comprising metro Manila. The organization intends to use the most cost-effective and energy-efficient batteries available for use in the E-trikes. Rather than use lead-acid batteries (which have a short operational life), both of the ADB’s demonstration fleet models use Lithium-ion battery technology. A 3 kWh version achieves a range of 40-50 kilometers (approximately 25-31 miles) and a 6 kWh version reaches 80-100 kilometers (approximately 50-62 miles). The E-trikes are expected to be competitively priced between $3,000 to $4,000. Fleet operators and owners will also have a battery lease option to minimize the upfront costs. The ADB hopes that its initial investment will help stimulate the local EV industry and create a market-pull for the electrification of the rest of the Philippine trikes. With a total of 3.5 million trikes in the country, the E-trike industry represents a potential $12 billion market over the long-term.

National support During my trip to the Philippines, I met and spoke with several key players who are working to create the kind of EV momentum that we now have here in the U.S. I visited with mayors, university professors, engineering students, and entrepreneurs. I also met with representatives of the Electric Vehicle Association of the Philippines, an EV non-profit advocacy group similar to Plug In America. Everyone I spoke with expressed enthusiasm for ADB’s project. They are each contributing their part towards building the manufacturing capacity and expertise to lay the


foundation for an electric future. For instance, Philippines Energy Secretary Jose Rene D. Almendras announced that the federal government is ready to make serious financial investments to help stimulate an E-trike manufacturing and infrastructure system in the country. ADB intends to scale the project over the next five years. In metro Manila, there are 200,000 petroleum-powered trikes on the road. ADB aims to replace 20,000 of those each year with E-trikes. The ADB’s Principal Energy Specialist, Sohail Hosnie, expects this move to save 100,000 liters of petroleum each day, for an estimated savings of $36.5 million dollars annually. That’s a lot of money invested in the local economy that would have otherwise been spent on foreign oil. The EV movement in the Philippines is dedicated to maximizing the social, ecological, and financial benefits of electric vehicle technology for their country. They are working to develop EV solutions that are most appropriate for their market. They take into consideration local usage and cultural patterns. Most importantly, they are optimizing this technology for affordability and durability. What is happening in the Philippines marks a new shift in the EV industry and is emblematic of a new global plug-in movement. This is just the beginning.

Shannon Arvizu, PhD, also known as Miss Electric, is an international EV analyst who blogs regularly at

E-trikes in Fort Bonifacio, Philippines Fort Bonifacio was the first location where E-trikes have been in operation long enough to gauge trike operator and consumer attitudes. Sean Gerard Villoria of GerWeiss Electric Vehicles, main manufacturer of these E-trikes, offers a glimpse into the district’s E-trike use. There are 15-20 E-trikes in operation in Fort Bonifacio with a 1kW motor and six lead-acid batters (72 volts). Their maximum speed is 12 mph and they have a range of 62 miles. Drivers who operate E-trikes have a greater takehome pay of approximately $18.50-$23 per month. While they pay a boundary of almost $7 per month, which goes mainly toward the lease of the batteries, they have access to free charging. In addition, drivers of the E-trikes avoid fuel costs, which will usually decrease take-home pay to $4.62 per month due to the high cost of fuel. Because of the larger size of the E-trikes, drivers can transport two more passengers each trip, which translates into shorter working hours and a 25% increase in revenue per trip. Drivers also appreciate the design features of the E-trikes: They provide better shade from the sun, allow for greater road visibility, protect passengers from the rain, have more headroom, and weigh less. Consumers prefer the E-trikes to regular trikes and buses, because they emit less smoke and are more spacious. They can also transport shopping bags more easily due to increased room. Compared to buses, the E-trikes traverse the inner roads which helps drivers get consumers closer to their homes. The one area for improvement from the drivers’ perspectives was that they wanted more power. Now with the new Li-ion batteries, E-trikes have substantially more power, thus providing greater maneuverability on the road.

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Charged Up & Ready To Roll


oadster ules By Brian Town

Th e tech nology beh ind my Roadster drives my E V desire. Helping th e environment is just a bonus.

am not your typical EV owner. My motivation for buying my Radiant Red Tesla Roadster was not related to reducing my carbon footprint, saving the planet, reducing our country’s dependence on foreign oil or in any other way “going green.”

all in one. I can’t imagine a more simple and trouble-free engine and drive train. The single-speed transmission provides a seamless, smooth acceleration, which, again, I find makes for a better, more natural driving experience than a traditional car.

While some in the “green crowd” might be dismayed with such a statement, the more thoughtful ones are quite likely ecstatic to see EVs get adopted due to a broadening set of motivations that go well beyond the benefits of zero tailpipe emissions. Which brings me to the point of why I drive an EV. I love the technology!

I find almost every aspect of driving is improved by the EV technology. The battery of course is the weakest link long term, but I expect technology to continue to advance like it has over the last several years. Remember, it wasn’t too long ago that alkaline (disposable) batteries actually packed more capacity than the best rechargeable batteries. Those days are gone, and I’m excited to see what new advancements the future will bring, giving us lighter weight and even greater range.

There is something magical about cruising down the road under the power of electricity. There are so many things to love about an electric car. At the top of the list would be the instant torque available at the command of the accelerator pedal. In my Tesla, I actually consider it the “speed pedal.” Because the accelerator controls regenerative braking, it’s the only pedal needed for controlling my speed regardless of whether I’m speeding up, slowing down, going up a hill, or descending one. The brake pedal is there for the panic stops and for the final moments of coming to a full stop, but I seldom require it otherwise. I find this makes for a better, more natural driving experience than a traditional car. So the experience is better, I recoup the energy on deceleration, and I greatly maximize the life of my brake pads (because they are only lightly used in most cases). This brings me to another aspect that I love about driving an EV: the maintenance. It’s hard to even fathom how many parts (and fluids) a gas engine has, and each one of those parts is a potential maintenance point (at best) or failure point (at worst). My brushless electric motor has just two bearings as potential failure points. Instead of a complex transmission, there is a pretty simple gear reduction box and differential

And speaking of range, no electric car discussion would be complete without covering the topic of range. I don’t even consider range for my driving around town. I’ve never come


anywhere close to using my full charge for daily driving. Longer trips, however, are all about range, but I find that to be part of the fun of taking an electric car on the road. It just requires a bit of planning. My wife and I recently took a two-week vacation in which we logged over 1,600 miles in our Roadster, and it wasn’t a problem at all. When we were eating, the car was charging. When we were shopping, the car was charging. When we were sleeping, the car was charging. We had a fantastic time. I estimate we used around $40 worth of electricity, although we didn’t have to pay for almost any of it due to free charging stations and the fact that all the places we stayed allowed us to plug into 120V for free. Charging stations are already starting to convert to payment systems, but the free ones have sure been a bonus for the early adopters. Even when the day comes where my road

trip requires me to pay, I’ll gladly do it knowing that I’m still paying a mere fraction of what I would have to pay if I were driving a traditional car. We pay about 10 cents per kilowatt-hour of electricity when we charge the car at home. When I compare our EV fuel costs to our gasoline car, which gets 24 MPG, it works out to be comparable to paying a mere 50 cents per gallon when we drive the Roadster. Extremely cheaper fuel costs and extremely better performance (0-60 in less than 4 seconds): What better reason to drive an EV could someone find? I can’t think of a single thing I don’t absolutely love about driving my Roadster. It’s one of the coolest experiences I’ve ever had. I guess that’s why I was completely hooked the day I took my first test drive in that orange Tesla Roadster in Seattle. I could hardly sleep until the day I purchased one for myself. And in case it isn’t completely obvious, I have no regrets.

Brian Town lives in Washington. He and his wife Syndi have four children and two grandchildren. He has enjoyed making various Roadster charging adapters based on the wealth of experience shared by other Tesla owners and engineers in the EV community.


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Charged Up & Ready To Roll

Fi rst 15K My LEAF’s By Jim Hamilton


ne of the first things I noticed when I moved from the Midwest to San Diego was the vast amount of sun that was hitting my roof every day. I took the plunge and had a 6.75kW solar photovoltaic system installed to generate electricity. I soon decided to do other things to reduce my impact on the environment and maybe save a few pennies here or there. That is how I came to drive my Nissan LEAF. It all began when a friend at work told me about a new 3-wheeled EV called the Aptera. I was intrigued by the idea of making my 63-mile, round-trip commute to work without burning one drop of gas. However, it soon became evident that the Aptera wouldn’t release a vehicle anytime soon. At the same time, the Nissan LEAF was just coming onto the radar. I secured a spot high on the reservation list and was lucky enough to be among those in the first wave of California deliveries. Since receiving my LEAF on January 9, 2011, it has been my primary vehicle for my commute to work and everyday driving. I drive the car everywhere I possibly can within the limits of its battery range. The LEAF is an absolute joy to drive! It has basically spoiled me for every other vehicle, but I’m okay with that. And in just 10 months, I have driven more than 15,000 emission-free miles. The first question I am asked about my LEAF is “What is the battery range?” At 65 mph, I get about 75 miles of useful range, depending on conditions and the way I use climate controls. At slower speeds of 35-40 mph, I can easily get 100+ miles per charge. I primarily charge only at home and don’t often feel the need to charge elsewhere. Notice I said “at 65 mph.” When I took delivery of my LEAF, I sold a BMW 330 that didn’t like to be driven slowly. To extend my range in the LEAF, I forced myself to slow down to 65 mph from my usual 80 mph range. This was hard at first, but it has many hidden benefits: no road

rage and no worries when seeing a Highway Patrol car, and I am much more relaxed when I get to my destination. Once you understand the range of the LEAF and learn proper techniques to maximize that range, so-called “range anxiety” is not a factor. Think about your cell phone: Do you get anxious and tense when the battery runs low? No, because after getting a new phone, you learn very quickly what it can and cannot do and how often the battery needs charging. You learn to look at the LEAF battery the same way, only you need to give some thought to how far you need to drive vs. available battery power and/or the availability of charging stations at your destination. Driving the LEAF is like driving any other car — only better. It is insanely quiet and smooth, has great acceleration, and has all the creature comforts you’d expect in a new car. In fact, whenever I have to drive my ICE vehicle, the vibrations and noise make me realize how much more I love my EV. Other benefits of the LEAF are cost savings. It is approximately 3 cents a mile to operate, compared to the 21 cents per mile for the BMW. That means I have saved about $2,700 in fuel costs in just 10 months. In 10 years I will have saved enough to pay for the car and buy a new battery. And did I mention there are no oil changes? There are no oil spots on my garage floor, and I don’t have a car radiating heat into my garage making those “tink-tink-tink” sounds as it cools. Some of the “oddities” of the LEAF are directly attributable to noise factors. For example, the large headlight covers that protrude above the hood line are there to help direct wind around the rear-view mirrors to reduce noise (something not really necessary in a noisy ICE vehicle). Nissan also had to design a new, quieter windshield wiper motor. Imagine that: a car so quiet that standard wipers were too loud.


High-tech money savings One of the best things about our 2011 Nissan LEAF is that it is a zero-emission vehicle, so our daily roundtrip 60-mile commute from Novato to San Francisco does not produce any greenhouse gases. But there are so many other reasons why we purchased and love this 100% electric vehicle: It is easy to charge and operate; it takes only about 30 seconds to plug into our home-charging station each night; and we never have to wait in line for expensive gasoline again. Perhaps high on the list is the cash we are saving. On average we drive 1,500 miles per month, which would cost $200 per month in gasoline. We now spend approximately $25 per month in electricity to drive that same 1,500 miles. By now everyone knows EVs don’t need oil changes, smog checks, or a timing belt, which helps us save even more money annually. The state and federal incentives also brought down the initial price of the car, making it affordable for us to purchase. Despite the weird headlights, if anything, I think Nissan made the LEAF look too much like a “regular car,” but I suspect that is for easier initial public acceptance. I would prefer it look as wild and aerodynamic as it needs to in order to maximize its range. So are EVs here to stay? I think so, and here’s why: My first smartphone was a first-generation iPhone, which I bought the day it was released. As I played with this amazing piece of technology, I remember thinking, “This is going to change everything we know about cell phones.” And it did. After driving my LEAF home from the dealer, I was thinking, “This is going to change everything we know about cars.” While it’s still very early in the game, more and more car manufacturers are coming on board with EVs. This can only lead to higher range and lower costs. And as more and more people experience driving an EV, they’ll wonder why we didn’t all drive them sooner. Owning an EV has changed the way I view the world. I find myself more and more disgusted with reports of yet another war somewhere in the Middle East: the loss of life; the vast sums of money spent on them; the big oil spills from tankers; and exploding drilling rigs. Driving my LEAF allows me to simply, yet meaningfully, remove myself from the equation that causes wars, deaths, expenditures, and environmental disasters. My solar power can provide all the juice for my LEAF. I feel driving my EV makes a positive statement about the way things could be and is an example for others about what is possible. And when you realize that there are no tailpipe emissions, it is even better.

Jim Hamilton is an air traffic controller and lives in San Diego. Information about his LEAF and his home solar setup is at

The LEAF is easy to drive, very responsive, and handles like a luxury car. It is also very high-tech and cool. Nissan developed smart systems for the car, allowing us to check the charging status and even turn on the climate control system. The automated systems also allow us to set a departure time to pre-heat/defrost the car in the morning before we leave for work. This can be done through the interface in the car or apps on our smartphones. We are so glad we took the plunge into the world of driving electric. It satisfies about 99% of our driving needs, and it really is so much fun to drive! — Andrew and Amy Sinclair


50 52

C Charged Up & Ready To Roll

onversion in


anada By Andrew Bell

rowing up in the seaside city of Victoria, British Columbia, I was lucky enough to have the natural world as my backyard and learned to appreciate it at a young age. In my early teens, I became a certified scuba diver and spent as many weekends as possible exploring the underwater world. My interest and passion for the environment soon became ingrained. While online a few years ago, I stumbled across a link to a video called Who Killed the Electric Car? I assumed it was about a remote-control car. The 30-second movie trailer piqued my interest and I obtained a copy from our local library the next day. At the checkout desk the librarian leaned across with a serious look on her face. “You have to watch this movie,” she said. “It is really something else!” After watching the film, I was captivated and began to learn more about electric vehicles. Initially, I was concerned about

range, cost, and just getting my head around the notion of not having to use gasoline to get around in my car. The more I learned, the more my concerns began to wane. To begin reducing my carbon footprint, I decided to purchase a used 2005 Toyota Prius. The low cost of $11,000 intrigued many people, and during the first nine months of owning it, I realized a 300% savings on fuel over my old truck. That was great, but I wanted to do more and knew I could do more. I enlisted the help of Electric Autosports in Vancouver, which installed the Enginer 4KWH PHEV system into my Prius for $4,700, including installation. I soon became the proud owner of a plug-in hybrid that can achieve over 100 MPG. Including the sale of my previous 2002 truck, which went for $5,000, this vehicle cost me a total of $10,500. Had I continued driving my old truck, I would have spent $1,500 a year for insurance and gas. At this rate The Enginer 4KWH system will pay for itself within three years, which will be in June 2013. This also takes into account the cost of charging. This is my first winter with the PHEV. I have added double-sided, foil-covered Styrofoam sheets around the system for insulation. It can get down to -40 Fahrenheit up here, so it is safe to say the electrical output from the batteries will not be the same as in the summer. I will be recording winter performance data on my PHEV website. Living in the oil country that is Edmonton, Alberta, I share my commutes with a sea of trucks and SUVs. Everyone who has seen the PHEV system has been rather intrigued and wished their truck or SUV had the same fuel consumption. People in the renewable energy sector have also enthusiastically welcomed it. It has also been featured in the media and public events. My ultimate goal is to drive an electric vehicle so that I may stop using gasoline for transportation. My wife and I are planning to build a house with eco-friendly features. One of them is to have 230V wired into the garage for a future charging station. Until that day comes, I will continue to proudly drive my PHEV, which has been a wonderful and rewarding experience so far.

Andrew Bell is a renewable energy student and has a passion for underwater photography. He writes about PHEVs at He currently resides in Edmonton, Alberta, with his wife Kathy, two sons — Zachary (8) and Jacob (6) — and daughter Chelsea (4). Bell taking his conversion in his own hands.




By Jules Mitchell


Mitchell with her Volt.

A pick - up truck b y t h e beac h no longer worked wit h m y lifest y le .


y last vehicle was a four-door pick-up truck with a five-inch lift and oversized tires. I loved it. Then I moved to a house by the beach and my truck didn’t fit down the driveway. Street parking spaces are coveted and designed for cars, not trucks. Abandoning a parking space for a quick errand on a weekend meant giving up a valuable space and potentially circling the neighborhood for an unforeseen amount of time. Owning a truck wasn’t going to work for me anymore. I wanted a small car that matched my truck: fun to drive, attracted attention, and reflected my personality. But considering that my magazine subscriptions include Yoga Journal and Vegetarian Times, I had my work cut out for me. Luckily, my boyfriend reads Car and Driver and Motor Trend, and, well, you get the idea: He said I should get a Volt. What’s a Volt? The Chevy Volt is a sleek plug-in hybrid whose appearance stands up to the competition. However, the advanced technology is possibly the most alluring feature. Its ability to perform on little-to-no gas is also pretty cool. I became curious, which led to obsession. Shortly thereafter, I was the proud owner of a shiny black Volt. I love this car. It has plenty of power, smooth acceleration, and keeps up on the freeway. The interior is futuristic with a pressure-sensitive dashboard and large touchscreen display. Its ergonomic design and four bucket seats lend to a spacious, comfortable experience. The hands-free capabilities for everything from navigation to

communication to vehicle settings means you can talk to your car. And it listens! However, what I did not expect was the incredible impact on my monthly budget. In theory, I knew I wouldn’t be spending money on gas, but I am still surprised each month when there is nothing to pay on my gas card. The savings are palpable. I am a yoga teacher and a full-time graduate student. I teach at several local facilities and can charge my car at home between classes. If the parking is near the studio entrance, I can actually charge while teaching. My commute to school is 40 miles round trip, exactly what I can drive on a full charge. I don’t use any gas. Now, I can actually park my car in the garage (it fits!) and I simply plug it in to a standard 120V outlet. I get a text message from my car when the charging completes. And did I mention I can also start my car from an app on my phone? Oh and when I’m out of town, a text message lets me know when my boyfriend is out showing off my car, acting like it’s his. Needless to say, the Volt is now our “family” car. We take it everywhere. I wonder how long it will be before we get another? Jules Mitchell lives in Los Angeles.


52 54

200K Runner

Charged Up & Ready To Roll



erhaps my passion for electric vehicles is subconsciously rooted in those exciting New York City subway rides I took while visiting my grandparents as a small boy over 60 years ago. Or perhaps the passion was reignited while living in Japan courtesy of the U.S. Navy for three years during the early 1960s. While there, I experienced the fast, quiet and smooth ride of the bullet trains. And in the mid sixties, I rode on the near-silent, rubber-tired Metro in Paris in the mid-sixties. Whatever the roots, electro-magnetic-powered vehicles, combined with a personal principle of being a good steward of our environment, has led me to the indescribable pleasure of owning and driving low- and zero-emission electric vehicles for the past 10 years. Our family’s first step toward owning an electric vehicle came within a month after 9/11 when we purchased a gaspowered 2002 Prius that includes a small electric motor. The Prius ride was exceptionally smooth and quiet, and it gave us a patriotic feeling of repaying our country by reducing our vehicle’s polluting emissions and significantly reducing our consumption of fossil fuels. The Prius experience inspired me to develop guidelines for any future vehicles purchased for the family: It must have an EPA gas mileage rating of at least twice the rating of the vehicle being replaced. Applying this rule in late

By Jeff Finn

2006, we purchased a Camry Hybrid to replace our aging 1989 family station wagon. As part of my Camry Hybrid research, I became aware of a small, but dedicated group of individuals promoting pure electric vehicles. In Seattle 30 years ago, they had organized themselves under the banner of the Seattle Electric Vehicle Association (SEVA), a local chapter of the Electric Auto Association. It was a somewhat techie group of a dozen or so. I began attending their meetings to learn what I could about the current state of EVs. By July 2007, I was determined to become the owner of a pure electric vehicle. I started developing a set of criteria for my EV: ƒƒ It would have to be able to achieve a top speed of at least 60 mph in order to commute to downtown Seattle from my home in Bellevue using either of the two floating bridges across Lake Washington. ƒƒ It would have to have a minimum 50-mile range between charges while operating in the hilly Seattle metro area. ƒƒ The cost would have to fall within my $20,000 budget. ƒƒ It would have to support SEVA’s mission to: “Educate, Demonstrate, and Proliferate Electric Vehicles.”


As there wasn’t a commercially available EV at the time that met my first two criteria, I enlisted the services of SEVA member and well-known gas-to-EV conversion expert Dave Cloud to develop my EV “project” car. Having already completed 25 gas-to-electric conversions, Dave had the skills to recycle a 2000 Chevrolet Metro into my Volt Runner, a somewhat ironic EV based on the 1970 Plymouth Road Runner muscle car. By early March 2008, Volt Runner was operational and on the road. It was meeting or exceeding all of my criteria and had actually cost less than $15,000. For the past three-anda-half years, I haven’t purchased gas for my transportation needs in the greater Seattle area. It has been costing me $15 for the electricity to drive Volt Runner an average of 500 miles per month. My greatest enjoyment in owning Volt Runner is being able to contribute to SEVA’s mission. Volt Runner has made numerous appearances at car shows, schools, and sustainability events. People interested in EVs regularly ask me questions, such as What are the disadvantages of EVs? One disadvantage, I tell them rather tongue in cheek, is that my 15-minute errands to the store now take 45 minutes due to time spent answering questions. This is not a bad disadvantage to have. However, another disadvantage is that I don’t have a dealer with parts in stock to work on the car when something goes wrong. That said, I’ve not spent over $100 in regular maintenance and repairs since I started driving Volt Runner. In the years since I started driving Volt Runner, SEVA monthly meeting attendance has grown in direct ratio to the price of gasoline. Now there are usually 70 to 80 members attending with as many as 24 EVs in the parking lot for show and tell before the meeting. June 2011 was the next milestone in our ongoing EV story. We replaced my wife’s Camry Hybrid with a red Nissan LEAF. She loves her LEAF and has completely forgotten that gas stations still exist. And in August, we reached our most recent EV milestone when our 3kW solar photovoltaic electricity generation system became operational. It took over four years to get my homeowner association’s permission to install the panels on the roof of my one-story townhome, but the effort was worth it. The calculations project that even here in “rainy” Seattle, we will generate enough electricity on an annual basis to provide all the energy needed to power both of our electric vehicles. Ah, sweet energy independence!

Jeff Finn has been a volunteer with the Washington State Legislature as well as a regular attendee at SEVA ( gatherings. You can read more about his Volt Runner at

My EV activism My focus has been to promote SEVA’s legislative agenda in Olympia, WA. In 2009 in front of the State Senate’s Transportation Committee, my district’s Representative called me her district’s “Electric Car Nut” who made her accept Prime Sponsorship of the EV bill under consideration (It was successfully passed into law). Her bill: a. Eliminates the state sales tax on the sale of new EVs ($3,000 $4,000/EV) and EV batteries; b. Establishes a process which has resulted in the creation of a now nationally recognized Model EV Ordinances document (Plug In America consulted) for use by local government jurisdictions to remove potential roadblocks to the adoption of EVs in building, electrical and zoning codes; c. Establishes state policy requiring EV and alternative fuel vehicle use in motor pools at all levels of government in the state; and d. Prohibits local governments from restricting EV charging stations and EV battery exchange facilities in any land use zone other than residential zones.

I am currently working with a Washington State legislator to add more incentives for owning an EV in Washington and to assist in developing legislation that allows EV owners to voluntarily pay their fair and equitable share of the costs for building and maintaining the roadways that they use. The hope is for this voluntary system to remain in effect until the state is able to adopt a new comprehensive roadway system funding approach applicable to all registered vehicles which replaces the currently failing funding system based on the state’s gas tax.


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Charged Up & Ready To Roll

National Plug-in Day By Catherine Pickavet

T h ousands descended on sites t h roug h out t h e countr y last fall to celebrate electric cars .


ne day during the fall of 2011, thousands of people convened in 29 cities throughout the U.S. to participate in community celebrations of electric vehicles. The simultaneous events, sponsored by Plug In America, the Electric Auto Association, and the Sierra Club, attracted media attention and the hearts and minds of curious drivers wanting to know just what is behind this business of EVs. From Atlanta, Denver, and Nashville to San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Honolulu, EV drivers and the people who love them gathered to show off their cars and exchange stories, thus uniting to promote electric drive technology. The biggest of the events was held in Santa Monica, Calif., and included speeches by Congresswoman Janice Hahn,

The Golden Gate Bridge was the backdrop for San Francisco’s event.

Revenge of the Electric Car director Chris Paine, actors and EV activists Alexandra Paul and Ed Begeley, Jr., and Plug In America board member Paul Scott. The speeches were followed by the longest parade of electric vehicles in history, which included LEAFs, Volts, Roadsters, RAV4s, Coca-Cola delivery trucks, and conversions of all makes and models. “This parade today really represents the way forward,” Hahn told the crowd. “Green technology and innovation protects our environment and breaks our dependence on foreign oil. A real shift is underway as you can see today.” The San Francisco event, held at Crissy Field, coincided with the launch of the nonprofit organization Adopt a Charger, which is dedicated to accelearting widespread adoption of plug-in vehicles. Announcing the


installation of its first charging station was Laura Castellini of California’s Golden Gate National Recreation Area, who spoke on behalf of the National Parks Conservation Association, one of Adopt a Charger’s first sponsors. Kitty Adams, executive director of Adopt a Charger, also participated in the Bay Area festivities, eager to spread the word of free public charging. National Plug In Day is about community. Last fall was only the beginning, as excited drivers throughout the country heralded the mainstream arrival of the EV movement. As carmakers continue to deliver EVs and PHEVs, and as charging stations continue to sprout up, drivers will respond. This fall, look for National Plug In Day to reach an international stage. Join the parade.

Although larger companies like Nissan, GM, and Ford have been working on developing electric cars for several years now, motorcycle enthusiasts have had to rely on smaller companies like Zero Motorcycles to produce an electric vehicle that warrants our interest. Lucky for us, Zero’s S electric street bike is the most fun you can have riding in the city on two wheels. And with a charging cost of roughly a penny a mile, it makes a Prius look like the gas-guzzler it is. By comparison, even an electric car looks like an energy hog. My business partner Josh Kearney and I sell electric motorcycles, scooters, and bicycles at Hollywood Electrics, our shop in Los Angeles. For National Plug In Day (see facing page), we decided to round up our gang of 10 Electric Cowboys and ride our battery-powered steeds down to Santa Monica. As we rode to the parade, we found ourselves in good company with hundreds of electric cars already lined up. It’s always surprising what little attention the general public gives to motorcycles, especially electric motorcycles. We understand the opposition the electric car advocates have been up against: Ours has been 10-fold. But as we pulled up to the end of the line, we could feel the positive energy. For the last several years we’ve seen the industry evolve and people’s minds change as they become more accepting of the technology. Riding a bike like the Zero S is the best way to get around a city like LA. Not only do we never worry about paying for gas, oil changes, or other expensive engine maintenance, but our electric bikes make it a blast to ride through LA’s notorious traffic. We give test rides at the shop, allowing the average person who has never ridden an electric bike before to have their first taste of the electric ride. It's a small victory when they return with an EV grin. And to be able to call up a group of local customers and have them meet us at 7 on a Sunday morning to ride down to National Plug In Day in Santa Monica really was a testament to how important their bikes are to them and how we have allies in this uphill battle toward EV adoption. — Harlan Flagg

Nine of our Electric 10. We even have our own Fabio.

EVs parade through Santa Monica.

Electric Cowboys


Glossary 120-volt outlet – A regular U.S. household electrical outlet that can be used to charge most electric vehicles.

Electric vehicle service provider (EVSP) – Supplier of networked EV charging services.

240-volt outlet – Commonly used to power larger appliances, such as electric dryers, stoves, or air conditioners, it can provide faster charging of BEVs and some PHEVs than a 120-volt outlet.

Extended range electric vehicle (EREV) – See “series plug-in hybrid.” EREV is GM’s preferred term for its Chevy Volt PHEV.

Battery electric vehicle (BEV) Any vehicle that operates exclusively on power from the electric grid that is stored in the vehicle’s batteries. Charge station – Vehicle charging location with one or more parking spaces having dedicated charging equipment for users. Charger – Located on board new plug-in vehicles, this is the device that manages the feeding of electricity into batteries to recharge the vehicle. Conversion – A gasolinepowered car that is retrofitted to run partially or exclusively on electricity from the grid. Examples: An AC Propulsion conversion of Toyota Scion Xb to eBox BEV, or a Hymotion conversion of Toyota Prius to a PHEV. Electric vehicle – A generic term that can include BEVs, PHEVs, GEVs (grid enabled vehicles), NEVs, MSEVs, and electric bicycles, scooters, motorcycles, etc. Also sometimes used to refer to hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles, which do not plug in to the grid and require much more energy on a well-to-wheels basis. Electric vehicle service equipment (EVSE) – A device separate from plug-in vehicles that connects the vehicle’s charger to grid electricity for recharging. Can be mounted on a wall or pedestal at a home garage or found at charge stations away from home.

Hybrid electric vehicle (HEV) – A type of hybrid vehicle and electric vehicle that combines a conventional internal combustion engine (ICE) propulsion system with an electric propulsion system. Internal combustion engine Engines that burn gasoline or other fuel for energy, found in every conventional vehicle (including hybrids) today. J Connector – see SAE J1772™ Lead-acid batteries (PbA) Used in conventional cars for a century, these inexpensive batteries are much larger and heavier than more modern batteries but are used in some plug-in vehicles such as neighborhood electric vehicles. Level 1 charging – Charging from 120-volt outlets or EVSEs with 120-volt connectors. Level 2 charging – Charging from EVSEs providing 240volt connectors. Faster than Level 1 charging and pulls more current. Level 3 charging – (also Fast charging or DC Charging) Specialized charge stations that can recharge a plug-in vehicle to 80% of battery capacity within 30 minutes. Sometimes called Level 3 charging. There is no standard connector for Level 3 charging yet in the United States, but the Nissan Leaf’s optional fast-charge port will accept Japan’s standard CHAdeMO connector for fast charging in Level 3 stations being installed in some parts of the United States.

Lithium-ion batteries (Li-Ion) – Lighter and smaller than other batteries due to greater energy storage capacity, Li-Ion batteries will be featured in most modern electric vehicles. The Li-Ion family includes a number of Li-Ion chemistries. Miles per gallon equivalent (MPGe) – A measure of the average distance traveled per unit of energy consumed. Used by the EPA to compare energy consumption of EVs with the fuel economy of conventional ICEs expressed as miles per gallon. Nickel cadmium batteries (NiCd) – A battery chemistry that provides a driving range between that of lead-acid and nickel-metal hydride batteries, but has more toxic components. Nickel metal hydride batteries (NiMH) – Used in most BEVs in the 1990s and early 2000s, these provide a driving range between that of NiCd and Li-Ion batteries, with proven longevity above that of Li-ion batteries. Off-peak charging Charging electric vehicles during periods of low energy demand (typically overnight while most people are sleeping). Plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) – A vehicle that uses both electricity from the grid and gasoline. Examples are the Chevy Volt and Toyota Prius Plug-In Hybrid.

powered cars waste this friction as heat. Using an EV’s momentum to drive the motor as a generator in order to slow the vehicle and charge the batteries. Gasoline-powered cars waste this energy as heat and brake pad wear. Helps extend drivable miles in stop and go driving. SAE J1772™ – The North American design standard for Level 2 charging connectors for electric vehicles, adopted by the SAE International. All of the major automakers (except Tesla Motors) have adopted this standard so that Level 2 charging stations will be compatible with all modern EVs. Sodium-nickel-chloride batteries (NaNiCl) – A battery chemistry used in some European BEVs that provides a driving range close to that of nickel-metalhydride batteries. Also known as the Zebra battery. Time-of-use metering (TOU) – A rate structure that allows utilities to set different rates for electricity used at different times of day, depending on grid stress during peak consumption times. It can provide low-cost charging for electric vehicles that plug in during lowdemand (off-peak) hours. Vehicle-to-grid energy (V2G) – The ability for energy stored in the batteries of electric vehicles to be returned to the electric grid.

Range anxiety Apprehension felt by some drivers unfamiliar with EVs who are overly concerned about having enough charge to reach their destinations.

Well-to-wheels emissions A vehicle’s total emissions from creating the fuel (e.g., gasoline or electricity), transporting and storing the fuel, and operating the vehicle.

Regenerative braking Using the friction generated from braking as a means of recharging batteries while driving. Gasoline-

Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) – A vehicle that does not produce any tailpipe emissions. A BEV would qualify, but a PHEV would not.


Because of our members, the auto industry went from crushing our cars to making our cars. Our voice demanded the LEAF. Our vision molded the Volt. Our passion inspired the Tesla.

These cars were once dreams, but our members stood with Plug In America and demanded a better way to drive. Now plug-in vehicles found their way back onto our roads. Our members helped inspire a new world of plug-in vehicles. Your $25 annual membership can help us accomplish even more! Your support helps advance plug-in vehicle legislation. Your contributions fund grassroots efforts, and ensure that Plug In America can participate in automotive technology seminars and exhibitions to educate Americans and automakers on the many benefits of electric cars. Your generosity enables our electric vehicle experts to travel all over the country to meet with automakers and policy makers.


Resources News & blogs Autoblog Green Chevrolet VoltAge EVs and Energy EV Chels EV Nut Earth Techling

Gas 2 Edmunds Auto Observer Green Garage Plug In America: In the Driver’s Seat blogs/drivers-seat Online EV

Electric Cars Report

Peraves Cabin Motorcycles

The Electric Chronicles

Plugs and Cars

Green and Energy


Green Car Reports

Green Gears Transportation transportation

Green Tech Media articles/category/phevintegration

New York Times: Wheels wheels.blogs.nytimes. com/author/jim-motavalli Wired Autopia

Renewable Energy By Brad Linscott Solar Electricity Handbook, 2011 Edition By Michael Boxwell


Two Cents Per Mile By Nevres Cefo

Coming Clean: Breaking America’s Addiction to Oil & Coal

By Michael Brune, Rainforest Action Network Executive Director Clean Tech Revolution By Ron Pernick & Clint Wilder Electric & Hybrid Vehicles: Design Fundamentals, Second Edition By Iqbal Husain The Electric Vehicle Conversion Handbook By Mark Warner Electric Vehicles: Technology, Policy and Commercial Development ByJoaoVitor Fernandes Serra Owning an Electric Car By Michael Boxwell Plug-In Electric Vehicles: What Role for Washington? By David B. Sandalow Plug-in Hybrids: The Cars That Will Recharge America By Sherry Boschert, co-founder of Plug In America

Author: Leonard J. Beck, MBA

V2G-101 By Leonard J. Beck

EVSE Vendors AeroVironment Aker Wade Coulomb Technologies ClipperCreek CurrentWays EV Connect Eaton ECOtality Epyon Power Evatran


Charged Up & Ready To Roll

Control Module Industries


EVSE Upgrade


EVSE Tracker accessories Green Garage Associates Juice Bar General Electric GoSmart Technologies GRIDbot Legrand Leviton Liberty Plugins Inc OpConnect ParkPod Plug Smart Go PEP Stations Schneider Electric Square Sema Connect Shorepower Technologies Siemens SPX Power

COMMUNITY Alternative Energy Forums CPF Green Chevrolet VoltAge Electric Motorcycle Forum electricmotorcycle EV Album NEV User Group com/group/NEVs Plugin Cars Forum discussions RAV4-EV listserv mailman/listinfo/rav4-ev Tesla Motor Club V is for Voltage Forums

CONVERSIONS 3-Prong power

Bright Automotive Electric Motor Werks EVAmerica Grassroots Electric Vehicle Company KTA Services Electro Automotive Enginer Wilderness EV

EDUCATION & CAREER TRAINING Clean Tech Institute California Electric Automotive San Jose, CA electroauto. com/3DaySeminar.shtml Plug-In Hybrid & Electric Vehicle Research Center, Institute of Transportation Studies, UC Davis Davis, CA Wayne State University Detroit, MI Macomb Community College Warren, MI

National Alternative Fuels Training Consortium Morgantown, WV University of Colorado Boulder and University of Colorado Colorado Springs Boulder, CO; Colorado Springs, CO

EVENTS 26th International Electric Vehicle Symposium & Exposition May 6-9, 2012, Los Angeles, CA National Plug-In Day TBD

FILM & VIDEOS Plug In America’s Drive Electric PSAs drive-electric Revenge of the Electric Car revengeoftheelectric What is the Electric Car? Who Killed the Electric Car? whokilledtheelectriccar


GOVERNMENT & iNDUSTRY AFDC Fed & State Incentives laws Alternative Fuels & Adv. Vehicles Data Center

Electric Drive Transportation Association

Sierra Club

Electric Vehicles Research

U.S. Department of Energy Vehicle Technologies Program vehiclesandfuels

Electrification Coalition

California Cars Initiative (CalCars)

Green Car Congress

Electric Auto Association

Set America Free

Electric Power Research Institute

California Air Resources Board: Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) Program zevprog/zevprog.htm

EV Foundation

Project Get Ready

Plug In America Plug-in Hybrid Development Consortium

RENEWABLE ENERGY American Solar Energy Society American Wind Energy Association

DSIRE Find Solar National Renewable Energy Laboratory Renewable Energy World Magazine

PODCASTS Plug In America The EVcast This Week in Energy


Charged Up & Ready To Roll

SMARTPHONE APPS App Tracker accessories BMW Evolve iPhone / Android Track your driving and let BMW analyze how switching to an EV can help your experience. Blink Mobile iPhone / Android Always know where your next electric vehicle charge will be. Car Stations iPhone / Android Provides vehicle charging and fueling station data on open source Google Maps. ChargePoint iPhone / Android

Coulumb Technologies app locates ChargePoint charging stations.

charge stations, plan trips, share information and more.

EV Charger Finder iPhone Locate public charging stations. In association with the

Place Your Charging Stations iPhone Helps users locate charging stations and suggest places they’d like to see a charger installed.

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PlugShare iPhone | Android Locate public charging stations and home chargers to use. Recargo iPhone A mobile app and website that maps EV chargers worldwide with photos, comments, and EV news.

SemaConnect ChargePro iPhone Search for ChargePro charging stations, view charging status, receive charging session alerts Nissan LEAF iPhone | Android The carmaker puts a little more control in your pocket with this app that lets you check the state of your charge, gauge driving range, and more.

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Congratulations to Ford on the launch of the Focus Electric

Leviton would like to thank Ford for our exciting new partnership and look forward to providing safe, reliable and easy to use charging stations for Ford EV customers. Recently named the approved provider of home charging stations for Ford EV customers, the Leviton 240V home charging station will charge your Focus Electric in approximately 3 to 4 hours. For more information on how to purchase your Ford Electric Vehicle Home Charging Station visit



©2011 Leviton Manufacturing Co., Inc. All rights reserved.

Gas-Free. Zero CO2 Emissions. All-Electric.

The all-new Focus Electric is part of Ford’s growing lineup of hybrid, plug-in hybrid and all-electric vehicles.

Focus Electric charges in three to four hours with the Ford-recommended Leviton 240-volt home charging station. Ford also has uniquely contracted with Best Buy’s® Geek Squad® to offer Focus Electric owners a trusted source for station installation.

Built at Michigan Assembly Plant in Wayne, Mich., production of the Focus Electric is powered in part by one of the largest solar energy generator systems in the state.


Plug In America 2012  
Plug In America 2012  

The Definitive Guide To Plug-In Electric Vehicles.