DRIVING BECOMES ELECTRIC: EV'S and EV CHARGERS
A prophetic statement issued from a surprising source in 1973: “ The Stone Age did not end for lack of stone, and the Oil Age will end long before the world runs out of oil.” This was proclaimed by Sheikh Ahmed Zaki Yamani, the then-Minister of Petroleum of Saudi Arabia.
A statement that seemed to many to be an easy one to deny for many years after, we are now witness to a world-wide revolution in changing our energy sources from “fossil fuels” that pollute our ever shrinking planet, to the use of renewable, non-polluting sources to power our 21rst Century lives. And, more and more of us are not only witness to the changes, we are becoming active participants.
Wind farms are expanding globally, solar power installations double in quantity each year, and, we are now experiencing the development of new electric car models from the world's automobile manufacturers.
Of recent startling note, famed Swedish automaker Volvo announced plans to only manufacture electric and/or hybrid autos beginning in 2019. It won't be long before such announcements are issued by more and more of the world's auto makers.
Modern electric cars are proving to be cheaper to maintain (less moving parts), and cheaper to operate (less expensive energy), while obviously less detrimental to air quality.
At the beginning of the 19th Century, Alejandro Volta (from whom we get the word “Volt”) discovered certain chemical reactions produce electricity. He created an early version of a battery that generated a steady electric current. He also created the first transmission of electricity, linking positively and negatively charged connectors that drove voltage through them.
In 1884, toward the end of that century, the first production electric car was made by Thomas Parker in London. Shortly thereafter, in 1888, he was followed in Germany by Andreas Flocken, with his Flocken Elektrowagen.
Interestingly, the originally preferred method for auto propulsion through the late 1800's and early 1900's was..the electric car!
It was, however, the greater driving range and faster refueling times that drove the more rapid expansion of a petroleum infrastructure to support the movement of Internal Combustion Engine vehicles.
Ironically, the last bothersome inconvenience of challenging hand cranked ICE starts, was solved by the electric motor. Internal Combustion Engine vehicles, and the petroleum infrastructure, achieved a world wide dominance through the 20th Century, and into the beginning of the 21rst.
In the early 1990's, several automakers, urged by a California push for low-to-no emissions, electric vehicles were produced by Chrysler, Ford, GM, Honda, Nissan, and Toyota. Californians would catch an occasional glimpse of some of these EV's, but primarily with only mildly curious surprise. Then they disappeared.
Many still recall the 2006 Documentary, titled “Who Killed the Electric Car?”
The answer to that question seemed to be that the long developed petroleum infrastructure was built into both the fueling ports convenient to the roads and travel, and to the auto manufacturing plants' designs.
The consistent discouragement to even the strongly EV interested earlier, was the limited range per charge,combined with a lack of a fueling infrastructure along the roadways.
In truth, 2 other elements of consumer appeal found lacking in the early EV's, was a lack of power-and a lack of styling.
However, the Electric Car did not die!
The founder and the engineers at Tesla Motors in California began development of the Roadster in 2004, with its first delivery “finally” coming in 2008. With both surprising power and attractive styling, the Tesla Roadster was the first highway legal, serial production, all electric car.
Using lithium-ion battery cells, the Roadster was, importantly, the first all-electric car to travel more than 200 miles on a single charge.
Tesla proved that an auto loving culture could have all the amenities of ICE(Internal Combustion Engine) tradition in style and acceleration,and also the most important practical feature: range.
The growing eager demand for acquiring a Tesla made auto manufacturers sit up and take notice. From the early part of 2010 and end of 2016, EV models from Mitsubishi, Nissan, Ford, BMW, Coda, Renault, Honda, Toyota, Kia, Volkswagen,Mercedes Benz, Hyundai, Chevrolet, and several others, have come to market with EV's.
Which are selling....creating the demand for an expanding support infrastructure.
The real expansion of supporting infrastructure to enable EV market growth is finally occurring. This is due not only to burgeoning demand, but also, in some states, by government directives. Parallel to the quantum leaps Solar has made in the last 5 years, the public, and public administrative agencies, are simultaneously demonstrating the desire to move away from combined monetary and environmental costs of the petroleum infrastructure. SB1275 (de Leon) was passed with bi-partisan support in California. A significant finding noted showed the evidence that “(ICE) Cars and trucks are...the largest contributor to air pollution that harms public health.”
This 2014 Senate Bill was the first in California to add legislative support to EV growth in the state. It declared the state's goal of having at least one million zero/near zero emission vehicles-cars, trucks, and buses-on California roadways by January 1, 2023. And also, in conjunction, to ensure such vehicles become a main-stream viable acquisition for personal, business, and/or public fleets.
This bill added a mandated impetus to California's 2013 ZEV Action Plan, which included directives to complete supporting infrastructure and planning; expanding consumer awareness and demand; continue consumer rebates for purchase or lease of EV's; and maintain HOV lane access for EV's.
Again, parallel to Solar, California is helping make it a win/win time to save money and contribute to a healthier environment, by driving electric. The underlying key to the permanent success of making this choice is the mandated build-out of infrastructure, to enable the practical necessity of travel range.
In a sense, perhaps, the most incentives and purchase benefits will be gained by the “early pioneers” among consumers of the new incoming EV marketplace, again parallel with Solar's market growth. Rebates and other incentives to help launch the EV into mainstream occurrence will gradually diminish.
One recent sign of this was the announcement from famed Swedish auto maker Volvo, that, beginning in 2019, they will manufacture only EV's or hybrids. In auto-legendary Germany, likewise, it has been nationally mandated that all vehicles manufactured there must be EV beginning in 2030.
Last year in Norway, 40% of the new cars registered were EV's. For sheer numbers in country-China and the U.S. dominate. Per-capita percentage leaders are Norway and Iceland-in part due to a well built infrastructure in place.
As noted earlier, one by one, the world's major auto manufacturers are re-tooling for EV production.
Driving electric is indeed the future for our world, beginning now.
Part of the successful infrastructure is, and will continue to be, accessible charging stations-at work, on the road-and very importantly-at home.
At Sun Solar Electric, we had our eye on the future early on. We became the first approved-by-Tesla car-charger installer in Sonoma County. We may also be found on Clipper Creek's recommended list, and stay up to date on advancing technologies and applications of the ever-expanding charger market.
At SSE, we are ably prepared for the task of aesthetic home installation, as well as commercial properties.
Of interesting note for homeowners, the primary Utility company of Northern California's Rate Schedule for EV's works very well with the Solar NEM Agreement.
And there in fact, is the ideal goal now well within grasp-our EV cars being fueled at home by
our solar systems.
With this combo of solar and EV cars and chargers, you can literally be “driving on sunshine”!
At Sun Solar Electric, just as our name implies, we know how to help you make that goal
We invite you to contact us for a free estimate.