Electric vehicles: cost competitive with gasoline powered cars, but even more importantly, capable of transforming the electricity business.
The proliferation of electric vehicles means enormous fuel and maintenance savings for thousands of Americans; it means thousands of roving batteries that can work in partnership with the grid and draw power when electricity is inexpensive; it means incentives to increase the production of local renewable energy to fuel new electric cars.
Scroll down to see a variety of ILSR resources on electric vehicles including a landmark report, podcasts, blog posts, and the rules needed to capture the full local economic opportunity of electric vehicles. Also check out the Big Picture to see how electric vehicles fit into ILSR's broader work toward energy democracy.
Electric Vehicle Research Reports
Report: Choosing the Electric Avenue - Unlocking Savings, Emissions Reductions, and Community Benefits of Electric Vehicles
June 7th, 2017
The U.S. vehicle market will undergo a massive technology disruption from electric vehicles in the coming decades. Many analysts see the potential for surging sales of these efficient vehicles to enable smart grid management, but few have explored the local impact of electric vehicles: promoting energy democracy. Electric vehicles offer a natural use for solar energy, a pathway to pump more local solar power onto the grid, and a source of resilient power when the grid goes down. Ultimately, electric vehicles are another tool to miniaturize the electricity system, providing unprecedented local control.READ THE REPORT
December 18th, 2009
This December 2009 report was prepared for the RE-AMP network (120+ organizations in eight Midwestern states). The scoping report outlines and makes recommendations on a variety of policy issues related to expanding electric vehicles. The report illustrates the relationships between electric vehicles and other GHG reduction strategies such as fuel economy standards (CAFE), low carbon fuel standards (LCFS) and efforts to reduce vehicle miles traveled. Because of their energy storage capability, electrified vehicles will also play an increasingly important role in the expansion of renewable energy and the future elaboration of smart grid technologies. READ THE REPORT
Electric Vehicles Unlock Local Energy Benefits, Deliver Cost Savings — Episode 51 of Local Energy Rules Podcast
November 28th, 2017
Featuring insights from ILSR's 2017 report on electric vehicles, Nick Stumo-Langer interviews ILSR energy staff John Farrell and Karlee Weinmann about the opportunities that come with widespread vehicle electrification and the barriers that remain despite significant economic and environmental benefits.EXPLORE...
June 26th, 2017
Electric and autonomous vehicle technology supports the change, said Popham, whose city-owned utility is a leader in conservation and renewable energy. He recently spoke with John Farrell, head of the Energy Democracy Initiative at the Institute for Local Self-Reliance, about changes already in motion and what’s yet to come.EXPLORE...
Boulder County Incentive Program Drives Adoption of Two 'Sexy Electrics': Solar and Electric Cars -- Episode 47 of Local Energy Rules Podcast
June 19th, 2017
The Boulder County program's financial benefits for the community far outpaced its costs, Brad Smith, the county’s Sustainability Outreach and Education Specialist, recently told ILSR’s John Farrell. The county spent just $650 on marketing and outreach, a minuscule price for the gains it has seen.EXPLORE...
Will All New Vehicles Be Electric By 2030? One Expert Says Yes -- Episode 46 of Local Energy Rules Podcast
June 12th, 2017
That’s exactly what entrepreneur and lecturer Tony Seba argues in his book, Clean Disruption of Energy and Transportation. His multi-pronged predictions include: all new energy will be provided by solar or wind, all new mass-market vehicles will be electric, and all of these vehicles will be self-driving or semi-autonomous -- by 2030, or maybe sooner. Seba explained his breathtaking vision in a recent conversation with John Farrell, who leads the Energy Democracy Initiative at the Institute for Local Self-Reliance. He pointed to a series of factors, including falling energy storage costs and fast-moving innovation in the auto and renewables industries, that hEXPLORE...
Follow the Rules
With respect to charging electric vehicles (EVs), the ideal scenario would result in a maximum amount of renewable energy flowing into the vehicle’s battery packs while at the same time utilizing our existing infrastructure (power plants, transmission/distribution lines) as efficiently as possible. To meet this scenario, the timing of charging up vehicles must be compared to the timing of power plants supplying that electricity to the grid. ...read more from ILSR.
Vancouver has established an electric vehicle (EV) charging system requirement for new construction – both single family and multi-family properties.
In October 2009, a new rule (Vancouver By-law No. 9936) requires 20% of the parking spots in new multi-family developments in Vancouver to have charging ports for electric vehicles. Vancouver is reportedly the first jurisdiction in the world to implement this kind of charging station requirement for new buildings. EV advocates hope that it can serve as a model for other cities in North America. The charging stations would consist of 240V outlets giving relatively fast charging times for EVs of around 3-5 hours. The city also announced a plan to enhance public charging infrastructure around the city. ...read more from ILSR.
Local Energy Production Builds Resiliency in the Bay Area — Episode 101 of Local Energy Rules Podcast
April 8th, 2020
In this episode of the Local Energy Rules podcast, host John Farrell speaks with Jessie Denver of East Bay Community Energy. Farrell and Denver discuss how distributed energy resources can prepare communities for disaster — and increase resilience after it hits.READ MORE
Voices of 100%: Youth Push Small Minnesota Town to Act on Changing Climate and Invest in Local, Renewable Energy — Episode 76 of Local Energy Rules Podcast
May 9th, 2019
More than 100 U.S. cities have now set goals to transition to 100 percent renewable energy, but how are they working to make these goals a reality? In a new episode of our Voices of 100% series from Local Energy Rules, we feature the small town of Grand Marais, Minn., and the strategies it is using to achieve its ambitious local, clean energy commitment.READ MORE
January 23rd, 2019
In a filing late last year, a Minnesota electric utility put forward two new electric vehicle charging pilots as part of a suite of new policy tools to encourage driving electric. ILSR applauds the efforts, and offers a few suggestions.READ MORE
September 25th, 2018
Municipal elections often fall off the radar during national ones, but cities retain a surprising amount of power over their energy future. What can you ask a local candidate or elected official to pursue? The following list of 11 resolutions, actions, and rules can make your local city council or mayor a clean energy champion.READ MORE