In the coming years, as electric vehicle ownership and charging infrastructure grow, communities and the energy system will be transformed. This month, we submitted comments to the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission to inform a regulatory process on accommodating the expansion of electric vehicle use.… Read More
A Minnesota utility proposes a new program allowing electric vehicle owners to charge their vehicles at night for a lower price, but monthly maintenance fees mean drivers won’t save any money. ILSR provides comments to the state’s Public Utilities Commission illustrating the problem and proposing a solution.… Read More
This Drive Electric Week, join ILSR in celebrating the rise of the electric vehicle and the opportunity it presents to modernize the grid, empower consumers, and benefit communities. Below, we invite you to explore our recent work on electric vehicles and energy democracy. (You can also find our full report, Choosing the Electric Avenue — Unlocking Savings, Emissions Reductions, and Community Benefits of Electric Vehicles here.)… Read More
Minnesota’s largest investor-owned utility, Xcel Energy, last month reported sparse participation in a program designed to deliver value to customers who charge their electric vehicles when it’s most convenient for the grid. But despite its benefits for the grid and cost savings for customers, the initiative appears stuck in neutral.
By April 2017, a year and a half after its launch, just 95 Xcel customers had opted in to the state-mandated electric vehicle charging tariff. With nearly 1,000 plug-in vehicles registered to Minnesota drivers — a bulk of them likely in Xcel’s metro-area territory — participation numbers hover well below reasonable expectations. Why?… Read More
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 he says will reinvent day-to-day life in America.… Read More
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.
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Updating our pathbreaking 2003 report, this June 2008 report by David Morris describes how commercially available technologies today could transform our petroleum powered transportation system into one powered by electricity and biofuels. Provisions in the recently passed Energy Act could accelerate that transformation. With the adoption of complementary policies, the revolution in our transportation sector can generate an equally profound revolution in our electricity sector. Hundreds of thousands of locally owned wind turbines and solar electric arrays supplying flexible fueled, plug-in hybrid vehicles can allow tens of millions of Americans to become energy producers not just energy consumers.
Updating a pathbreaking 2003 report, ILSR’s March 2008 report, Driving Our Way to Energy Independence, describes how commercially available technologies today could transform our petroleum powered transportation system into one powered by electricity and biofuels. Provisions in the recently passed Energy Act could accelerate that transformation.… Read More
A new kind of hybrid uses less gas and more electricity. All-electric cars are already here. What will this mean for the road trip of the future? ILSR’s David Morris plugs in and gives us a little history lesson of the Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV).