Question of the Month: What are the key terms to know when discussing electric drive vehicles and their fueling infrastructure?
It is important to know how to “talk the talk” when it comes to electric drive vehicles. Becoming familiar with the terms below will help you better understand these vehicles and the associated fueling (charging) infrastructure, so that you can ask the right questions and make informed decisions:
There are two main categories of electric drive vehicles:
Hybrid electric vehicles (HEV) are powered by an internal combustion engine or other propulsion source that runs on conventional or alternative fuel, as well as an electric motor that uses energy stored in a battery. The battery is charged through regenerative braking and by the internal combustion engine, and is not plugged in to charge. Regenerative breaking is a technology by which energy normally lost during braking is captured by the electric motor and stored in the battery for extra power during acceleration. There are two different types of HEVs:
HEVs can be designed in two different configurations:
Plug-in electric vehicles (PEV) refer to any on-road vehicle that can be charged through an external source of electricity. There are two different types of PEVs available:
Charging equipment for PEVs is known as electric vehicle supply equipment (EVSE). Charging times vary based on how depleted the battery is, how much energy it holds, the type of battery, and the type of EVSE. Before exploring types of EVSE, it’s important to first understand the basics of electricity through the following terminology:
12 amps x 120V = 1440 W / 1000 = 1.44 kW
24 kWh / 1.44 kW = 16.7 hours
There are five different types of EVSE outlined in the table below.
|Category||Basic Information||Connector(s)||Charge Time|
||SAE J1772, NEMA 5-15 or NEMA 5-20||2 to 5 miles of range per hour of charging time to a light-duty PHEV or EV|
||SAE J1772||10 to 20 miles of range per hour of charging time to a light-duty PHEV or EV|
|Level 3||Pending industry consensus on definition||Undefined||Undefined|
||60 to 80 miles of range to a light-duty PHEV or EV in 20 minutes|
|Legacy “Paddle” Inductive||
||Small paddle or large paddle inductive||Varies|
||SAE J2954 (pending)||Undefined|
Dozens of Michigan electric vehicle drivers and enthusiasts will participate in a National Plug In Day event organized by the Michigan Electric Auto Association, in collaboration with Ecology Center, Clean Energy Coalition and Michigan Tesla Owners. This event will be organized at two locations in the Washtenaw County: Downtown Saline and Washtenaw Community College in Ann Arbor.
Owners will display electric vehicles and answer questions on electric vehicle ownership. They will also highlight the fun-factor of driving an electric car, clean-air benefits, and fuel/cost savings.
Plug-in vehicles by Nissan (Leaf), GM (Volt), and Tesla (Model S) will be available for test rides and test drives. Participants will also have the opportunity to see conventional gasoline vehicles that have been converted to electric by enthusiasts and local businesses.
Michigan’s event is one of more than 75 across the country where electric vehicle owners and their neighbors will hold electric car parades, “tailpipe-free” tailgate parties, recognition of leaders promoting EVs, launches of new public EV charging stations and other public events.
National Plug In Day at Saline Oktoberfest
South Ann Arbor St, Saline, MI 48176
Featured automaker: Nissan
National Plug In Day at Washtenaw Community College
4800 E Huron River Dr, Ann Arbor, MI 48105
Parking deck has newly installed ChargePoint chargers with dedicated EV parking
Featured automakers: Ford and GM
For a complete list of National Plug In Day events, visit: http://www.pluginday.org
For more information about Michigan Plug In Day, visit: http://pluginday.org/event.php?eventid=97
Earlier this month, Metro Magazine reported on five fleets recognized by the Propane Education & Research Council (PERC) for “their use of clean, domestic propane autogas” at BusCon Expo in Chicago. Metro Cars and the Flint MTA, both from Michigan, were among the five winners. The Greater Cleveland RTA and Port Columbus International Airport, both from Ohio, and the Unified Government of Wyandotte County near Kansas City, Kansas also brought home awards.
All five of the propane vehicle systems powering these vehicles are manufactured in Michigan. Four of the five winners are using ICOM North America’s liquid propane injection system, assembled in New Hudson, Michigan. Livonia-based, Roush CleanTech supplied the propane autogas fuel system that powers 72 shuttle buses at the Flint MTA.
Pictured above from left to right: Tucker Perkins; PERC Chief Business Development Officer, Ralph Perpetuini; ICOM N.A. Chief Executive Officer, Tom Swackhamer, Columbus Airport Authority Parking Manager, Mark Prestifilippo Bus Service Inc. Vice President
Clean Energy Coalition Program Supervisor, Heather Seyfarth, is joining Transportation for Michigan’s (Trans4M) 2013 Transportation Odyssey. The Odyssey is a trip from one end of Michigan to the other using passenger transportation – train, bus, and bike to demonstrate the opportunities and challenges of Michigan’s passenger transportation system. “Connecting the journey using the various transportation options may present the biggest challenge.” Heather said. “I am interested to see how well it all coordinates given our time constraints.”
This is Trans4M’s third Odyssey. This year the group will be celebrating groundbreaking transportation events of 2012 and 2013. Along the way, two Odyssey goers will also examine the travel experience of persons who have disabilities by assessing the accessibility of the various transit modes for those in wheelchairs.
On Friday, the 27th, the group will be stopping in Ann Arbor and recognize Ann Arbor’s developing Bike Share program. The entire itinerary is here if you wish to join travelers at any of the stops. You can also virtually travel with the group by following travelers on Facebook and Twitter.
The Michigan Fuel Forward team brought its message to Lansing in an effort to educate lawmakers on the benefits of alternative fuels and alternative fuel vehicles. The September 17th event was in response to the feedback we received from our Michigan Fuel Forward project partners regarding the need for legislators to be more attentive to the needs of the alternative fuels industry in Michigan.
The event was kicked off by Michigan state Representative Jim Townsend and Michigan Environmental Council president Chris Kolb who emphasized the importance of automotive manufacturing in the state as well as the need for Michigan to continue on a path toward technological innovation and advancement.
Clean Energy Coalition’s Matt Sandstrom presenting to State Representatives in Lansing, Michigan
Clean Energy Coalition’s Matt Sandstrom highlighted the current state of alternative fuel infrastructure in Michigan as well as an overview of the Michigan Fuel Forward project.
David Rhoa, president of Lake Michigan Mailers, gave a convincing presentation titled “The Business Case for Propane Autogas” on his company’s continuing journey toward converting its fleet to bi-fuel propane vehicles. Mr. Rhoa’s presentation stressed the tremendous economic opportunity that alternative fuels present to a small business like Lake Michigan Mailers.
The event concluded with separate presentations from Ralph Perpetuini, CEO of ICOM North America, and Joe Thompson, president of ROUSH CleanTech. Both presenters outlined the importance of alternative fuels to Michigan’s environmental and economic stability, as well as the potential for creating energy security by using a domestic fuel. Currently, Michigan is one of only 18 states without alternative fuel incentives, yet it is the home to a large concentration of alternative fuel suppliers and manufacturers.
In addition to the presentations inside, there were alternative fuel vehicles on display outside the building. Vehicles from Impco Automotive, Venchurs, ICOM North America, Westport, and ROUSH CleanTech were available for attendees to view.
At its Sept. 9 meeting, the Auburn Hills City Council approved a plan for The Moceri Companies to develop 21.51 acres of land west of Adams Road, north of the Clinton River Trail. Once completed, the entire development is projected by The Moceri Companies to have a market value of $75 million. A unique aspect of the project is that The Moceri Companies has pledged to make the development “plug-in electric vehicle ready.”
It will be the first residential project of its size in the State of Michigan to commit to prep its units with conduits and wiring for charging stations, along with upgraded electric panels in each unit. The project’s alignment with the city’s nationally-recognized comprehensive Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Ordinance will help enable market acceptance of this emerging technology. As the home of Chrysler Group LLC and hundreds of automotive suppliers, Auburn Hills has been working diligently to support the next-generation technological innovations developed by its hometown companies.
“If considered when a project is first built, preparing for electric vehicles is very easy and inexpensive. By prepping these garages with proper wiring, new residents within this development will only need to add a charging station on the wall if they buy or lease an electric vehicle. It’s like adding a garage door opener and the costs are now very similar. Having proper infrastructure in place will help this technology succeed. It just takes forward thinking,” said Cohen.
The Planned Unit Development (PUD) project called The Parkways will consist of 76 townhouse units, 72 stacked flat units and a three-story 160 unit congregate senior care complex situated along a new public boulevard. In addition to the residential living, more than two acres of open park space will also be created.
The Parkways will be comprised of five phases, with the first slated to begin in spring 2014. The Moceri Companies intends to complete the massive project by the end of 2017. When finished, the project will offer multiple benefits to the city and its residents. There will be increased housing opportunities for all ages, including much needed senior-oriented housing, a new public park more than two acres in size, and a city-owned public boulevard. This new road will serve as the eastern gateway from Adams Road to Downtown Auburn Hills.
To learn more about community development in the city of Auburn Hills and to view site plans for The Parkways, visit the city’s website here. To learn about The Moceri Companies, visit http://moceri.com/home_corevalues.html.
Installation was completed this week on a rooftop solar array for the historic Michigan Theater in downtown Ann Arbor. The 3-kilowatt (KW) system is expected to generate enough electricity to power the signature marquee lights on East Liberty Street after the current incandescent bulbs are replaced with warm light-emitting diode (LED) lamps.
Michigan Theater’s solar array, which is positioned to take advantage of their rooftop’s direct solar access and minimal shading, is the first renewable energy installation undertaken by XSeed Energy, an implementing body of the Ann Arbor Solar Plan. Clean Energy Coalition administers the XSeed Energy project after having developed the Plan in partnership with the City of Ann Arbor with initial seed funding from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Solar America Cities program.
Now independent of any government support, XSeed is fulfilling its mission to catalyze solar development in the Ann Arbor area by enabling community members to support and install renewable energy systems. XSeed Energy pays the upfront cost of the solar installation, while the host site pays a fixed energy cost that results in immediate and growing long term savings.
“Michigan Theater is the perfect spot for our first installation because of its prominent location and the potential for residents and visitors to become aware of the project,” said Sean Reed, Clean Energy Coalition Executive Director. “As a beloved historic building located in the heart of Ann Arbor, it is an ideal choice to showcase the value and accessibility of solar power.”
Long considered cost prohibitive, solar arrays are becoming more accessible due to recent technology innovations and increased demand that have resulted in sharply decreasing hardware costs. “Prices for even small installations like the array at Michigan Theater are now falling close to $3 per watt, which is about half the cost of similar installations four years ago. This low cost means that the return on investment has dropped to less than 15 years on panels that typically have a 25-year warranty,” said Dave Friedrichs of Homeland Builders, installation contractor for this project. He added that federal tax credits and other incentives can shorten this payback.
Alongside the panel installation, the marquee lights will be replaced with specialty LEDs designed to use 90-95 percent less energy than the existing incandescent bulbs.
“The advantages of LED lamps aren’t limited to energy savings alone. With LEDs lasting more than 10 times longer than our existing bulbs, we’ll significantly reduce our maintenance costs and divert more than 12,000 lamps from our landfill,” said Russ Collins, Michigan Theater Executive Director. “All these cost savings can then be reinvested in the programs theater patrons want to see.”
Michigan Theater has agreed to invest the energy savings experienced through the XSeed project in other energy efficiency improvements across the theater, including the replacement of most interior and exterior lighting with energy-efficient alternatives.
“We hope the Michigan Theater is just the first of many community-funded solar power projects across the Ann Arbor area,” Reed continued. Clean Energy Coalition will continue to “seed” renewable energy projects through the XSeed initiative using community donations and organizational support. Tax-deductible contributions can be made directly toward the Michigan Theater solar array or to XSeed Energy’s future projects via a secure donation link at http://xseedenergy.org.
XSeed is funded by generous individual contributions as well as financial and in-kind support provided by the following businesses and organizations: U.S. Department of Energy, City of Ann Arbor, Clean Energy Coalition, Google-Ann Arbor, JC Beal Construction, The Green Panel, Chelsea Lumber, Planet Footprint, McNaughton-McKay, Fitzpatrick Structural Engineering, Meadowlark Energy, Domino’s Farms, Homeland Builders, Solar World, Patriot, Renovo, Bank of Ann Arbor, and First Martin.
The City of Oberlin, Ohio, along with nine other public and private-sector fleets in Loraine County, selected Clean Energy Coalition to deliver fleet analysis services, strategies for adopting alternative fuel vehicles, and a fuel infrastructure feasibility study over the next seven months. The Oberlin Fleet and Fuel Emissions Reduction Strategy (OFFERS) project is funded by a grant from the State of Ohio’s Local Government Innovation Fund. The project will define strategies to reduce fuel costs and greenhouse gas emissions of the partner fleets by 15% over three years. As one of 18 Clinton Foundation Climate Positive Development Program cities, The City of Oberlin, Oberlin College, and their partners, are committed to reducing Oberlin’s greenhouse gas emissions below zero. They are on target to reduce emissions 50% (from 2007 levels) by 2015, with 90% of its electricity coming from renewable sources. The OFFERS project supports these sustainability goals in the transportation sector.
For more information about how Clean Energy Coalition’s Fuel Forward® services can support your fleet’s financial or environmental goals, contact Laura Palombi.