How cities can foster demand for electric cars Grist

29 мая 2014 | Author: | Комментарии к записи How cities can foster demand for electric cars Grist отключены
Interesting » Electric Cars

How cities can foster demand for cars

When Tesla opened its new showroom in Boulder, it did so in Hosting an invitation-only party, the brought out a lively group of politicians, environmentalists and entrepreneurs for a of martinis, music and test-drives of the Roadster.

A Tesla Roadster on at the electric vehicle maker s new in Boulder, Colorado. Eric via Flickr The much talked all-electric, luxury sports car has as much attention for its price tag as else. At more than few people are likely to buy a Roadster. But a temporary Colorado tax-break the price to $67,800, surely in affluent Boulder will one.


So why not throw a blowout invite a bunch of friends, and put the car on for all to see?

But the Roadster is more just an expensive car. Its contours and luxury styling are to turn anyone into a car Well before the party invited guests and curious had gathered outside the building, photos with their phones as traffic slowed the west end of Pearl Street. It is a car, yes, but its performance in an all too brief test-drive up Boulder is even more impressive. out a video from Grist s own ride .)

Inside the showroom, there was a zeal running through the of the crowd. Like family around a newborn s crib, hovered over this taking photos and clinking glasses. To be sure, this was a But it was also something else.

It was a for the optimist, an opportunity to be there at the of something new and exciting-something world-changing.

to be wired

Still in its infancy, the car has a future that is both and uncertain. It is often cited as an to U.S. dependence on foreign and for good reason a Pacific National Laboratory study that if 73 percent of the country s vehicle fleet were oil consumption would fall by 6.2 barrels a day. That eliminate nearly 53 percent of our oil imports.

It s an alluring goal, but 73 percent is a distant number. President has called for 1 million electric on the road by 2015, and that s 0.5 percent of the entire U.S. The electric car has a ways to go.

But with demand uncertain, automakers are lightly. Though most companies plan to manufacture during the next few years, list prices substantially than the Tesla s, initial rates will be meager. for instance, has revised plans to 60,000 units of the highly Volt. cutting back to a 10,000 units.

Demand is impossible to predict. A product or can stagnate for months-years even-and take off, spreading out the marketplace. With electric there s legitimate concern the likely demand. But, in the we can work on dismantling the obstacles likely to plague this

Much of that work can be on the ground, at the city level.

is where the start is

Electric aren t likely to pour car lots next year. Our economy will make of that. Nevertheless, many can position themselves to benefit the technology.

In doing so, they well may play the most role in the success of these

One such city, Denver, has begun this work.

As one of partner cities on Project Get a Rocky Mountain Institute that convenes city and plug-in champions nationwide has assembled working groups to the move to electrified cars. By concerns and perceived inconveniences to the electric vehicle, these may achieve more than any car marketing campaign, or glitzy party could ever for.

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The City and County of Denver has nearly 100 sites around the at which public charging could be installed. This offer the public the first look at how electric cars operate in the city while fears over their ranges.

There s a strong for this approach. Although vehicles have garnered attention over the years, people still lack an of how the technology will work in the and on the highways. Charging units, in key locations, will serve as a reminder that the technology is and the infrastructure is in place.

Smart City

In nearby Boulder, one of the s largest electrical utilities, Energy, is busy installing new meters in selected homes and throughout the city. The first of its size, Smart Grid will demonstrate the benefits of energy software and real-time

If Xcel s recent request to the Public Utilities Commission for a program is approved, the company offer consumers a financial to draw energy at off-peak An electric vehicle, for instance, be plugged in at 9:00 pm, when power usage has leveled therefore promoting the use of night-time energy. The smart meters in Xcel s program may end up playing an enabling role in the use of electric since utility rates play an intrinsic role in time people decide to their vehicles.

A Bright

Boulder and Denver s civic and leaders, research institutions, and are building a home for the electric Rather than waiting for the car to these entities are plug-in-proofing cities and demonstrating a belief in the for vehicle electrification.

With all the and time going into effort, the electric car will a better chance of widespread and we ll be one step closer to energy If it takes a party to sell cars and get the word out, so be it. s a future that calls for

Ben Holland is the Outreach and Marketing at Rocky Mountain Institute .

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