energy efficiency, sustainability, green buildings, solar, hybrid cars and alternate fuels.

"A society built on green design, sustainable energy and closed loop systems, a civilization afloat on a cloud of efficient, non-toxic, recyclable technology." ~~Alex Nikolai Steffan

12.17.2009

GREEN FUELED VEHICLES NEED A FEW PLUGS ALONG THE WAY

We hear: it's 'infrastructure' that's the impediment to alternatively fueled vehicles. Without a place to plug in, there's not much point in producing electric or electric hybrids in any quantity.

Recently, Mayors of San Francisco, San Jose and Oakland announced plans to make the Bay Area the "Plug-In Capital of the U.S."

The first charging stations went up in San Jose. Cooperating car sharing companies now combine two kinds of displacement: petroleum with electricity AND individual car ownership with shared vehicles. Oh those radical Californians!

Beginning over a year ago in St Paul, MN,
Hourcar was the first to combine car sharing with energy efficient vehicles. As a part of its energy efficient fleet, this company utilizes Toyota Prius PHEV (plug-in hybrid vehicle) that has batteries which can be recharged by connecting a plug to an external electric power source used in conjunction with the traditional gas engine.

Carshare in California uses got a Prius conversion using resources for PHEV including the 3-Prong Power company of Berkeley, and Hymotion.

Coulomb Technologies installed three stations (one for each carshare
service and one for the city's PHEVs, but no general public spots yet). Coulomb launched its new “Fleet Management Portal” including
interactive charts that summarizes gasoline and greenhouse gases saved. While the driver is away from her vehicle, a text message can alert drivers when cars need charging' when its charging is complete or when charging is interrupted.

The City of Tallahassee's entry into recharging stations began and ended in the late 1990's when the Florida Energy Office existed, it selected a unique design of electric vehicle charging using solar energy developed at University of South Florida's College of Engineering back in 1991.

The recharging station was completed in 1996 and installed at the Public Service Commission's parking lot in Southwood in the spring of 1997. The idea was to demonstrate the possibilities of integrating electric vehicle technology with the use of a photovoltaic charging station. When power generated by the solar units is not being used, the power feeds back into the electric grid. At that time, the station could power vehicles to go an average of 180 miles per day.

Finally, twelve years later, ChargePoint Networked Charging Stations the exclusive Southeast authorized channel for ChargePoint™Networked Charging Stations also from Coulomb Technologies, announced in September they hope to expand the EV charging network throughout Florida. Two companies in Tallahassee will promote the sale and installation of the ChargePoint network to businesses, community colleges and universities, electric utilities and government agencies.

In the meantime, check out some EV's of the Tallahassee Area Electric Vehicle Association's vehicles that are searching for a plug away from home.

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