Tuesday April 30, 2013
It's been talked about for a while now: governments are missing out on taxes that electric vehicles owners are no longer paying at the pump. It's no surprise, then, that a New Jersey lawmaker decided to do his part to put an end to what he sees as an inequity by drafting legislation to tax EV owners to cover their share of the gasoline tax.
Ignoring the fact that electric vehicles have other advantages -- just little things, like reducing pollution and helping to slowly ease reliance on fossil fuels -- state senator James Whelan decided enough was enough, and drafted language that, if passed, will tax electric cars by the mile for road maintenance. His staff is currently looking at adding additional alternatively fueled vehicles to the bill, including natural gas vehicles.
Problem is, the language he's drafted would end up costing electric car owners more than if they paid the state's current 14.5 cents per gallon. You see, someone decided to do the math. Namely, Steve Carrallas, state director of the National Motorists Association New Jersey chapter. Using the same amount of miles driven, Carrallas compared the gas tax owed by the owner of a conventional vehicle getting 25 mpg to the proposed tax of an electric vehicle owner traveling the same number of miles. He found the conventional car owner would fork over about $50 in a year's time while the EV owner would be paying over four times that much or about $209.
While it appears electric vehicle owners are willing to do their share to keep the roadways in good condition, proposing language such as that found in New Jersey senate bill 2531 without doing the homework first leaves a bad taste in the mouths of EV owners and brings into question the intentions, and ramifications, of this kind of legislation.
Tuesday April 30, 2013
It's been talked about for a while now, but a University of Delaware project hit a milestone recently that has brought the dual advantage of electric vehicles to the forefront.
Long touted purely for their "green appeal," the other incentive for buying an EV -- to sell power from the vehicle battery back to the grid -- is finally seeing light of day.
It's the revelation hitting the general population that could spur interest in EV purchase by those who didn't really give a hoot about the environmental arguments.
Potential owners of electric vehicles are finally opening their eyes to the fact that they could buy lower-cost electricity overnight, or even operate their own wind turbines or solar panels, storing excess energy in their cars. By day, owners could sell excess power back onto the grid from their parked cars, when energy prices are at peak.
The University of Delaware is bringing this opportunity to light by working with NRG Energy in starting in late 2011 in an attempt to commercialize the concept. Recently, the project hit a landmark and finally began selling power from parked electric cars into an energy market being developed by wholesale electricity dealer PJM.
Sunday March 31, 2013
The new year has been good to the hybrid market. Hybrid sales for 2013 were up 32 percent in just the first two months compared with the same period in 2012, according to research by Autodata Corp.
There are a lot of contributing factors causing the upswing that has finally jolted hybrid's market share to a long-held position under 3 percent to a new 4 percent and hints that it could double before the decade is out. High gas prices, better hybrid technology and a growing selection of hybrid models have all contributed to the numbers.
Wednesday March 20, 2013
<p>Emission could be cut by as much as 80 percent by 2050, according to a new study out this week from the National Academy of Sciences. Greener cars -- whether electric, hybrid or other alternative fuel-driven vehicles -- should drastically cut national greenhouse gas emissions. President Barack Obama's push for gas-free driving will serve as a strong catalyst for getting the country there, the report concludes.</p>
<p>The report states that the President's push for new vehicle technologies will mean consumer adoption of currently available EVs, as well as future hydrogen fuel cell vehicles, should knock down carbon emissions to about one-fifth of current levels.</p>
<p>The study points out that consumer-drvien cars and small trucks account for about 17 percent of the nation's overall greenhouse gas emissions. The predicted green car movement could cut that level by more than 10 percent.</p>
<p>The Academy underscores that while some consumers may experience sticker show at the initial investment, longer-term benefits outweigh front-end costs.</p>