Feb 15

Midwest Coalition Forms to Support Plug-in Vehicle Interest and Adoption

 

By Jon LeSage

A seven-state Midwest coalition is preparing to strengthen plug-in vehicle sales beyond the west and east coasts.

Launched during a Chicago Auto Show news conference, a new group called Evolve will bring together supporters of electrified vehicles from Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, North Dakota, Ohio, and Wisconsin. Non-profit entities, including the American Lung Association, are joining together with these states to promote the campaign.

“Electric vehicles are becoming increasingly popular, due to their better batteries, decrease in cost, an increase in choice, and the rollout of charging infrastructure,” said Lew Bartfield, president and CEO of the American Lung Association of the Upper Midwest.

“The Midwest is often overlooked as a market for electric vehicles,” he said.

Evolve is also partnering with eight regional Clean Cities coalitions. These coalitions, sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy, will be hosting more than 200 events across the Midwest states starting this year through 2020.

Promotional events include 78 ride-and-drives featuring plug-in electrified vehicles. There will also be several conferences and other educational events spreading the word on the benefits of owning and driving a PEV.

The goal is to “get the word out,” Bartfield said. “There’s no better way to learn about the performance and environmental advantages of electric vehicles than personal experience.”

Delivery services and other fleets will be invited to attend these Clean Cities events. These fleets will be very interested in how reliable range will be in urban settings. They’ll also have questions about the impact of severe weather conditions, especially sub-freezing temperatures, will have on lithium battery pack range and longevity.

Automakers have been seeking more hands-on experiences for car buyers to break through their reservations and concerns about driving and owning a PEV. Nissan, General Motors, Ford, and BMW, have been visible sponsors of green-themed events in recent years; ride and drives have been part of it.

Tesla has been a strong believer in the hands-on experience through its scheduled driving events; and Tesla’s store protocol where interested consumers can drive a Model S or Model X with a Tesla employee riding along.

SEE ALSO:  New Study Says EVs Actually Create Pollution in the Midwest

Now these types of experiences need to spread to the Midwest, and the coalition is seeing signs for hope in the region.

“We believe we’re having great success moving (electric vehicle) technology forward,” said Michael Berube, the director of the Office for Vehicle Technologies at the U.S. Department of Energy, during Evolve’s Chicago Auto Show announcement.

Clean Cities may not see much support from the Trump administration on its campaign, but they will reach out.

Berube said that his office “will work with the new team (as it) sets the direction.”

The Detroit Bureau, HybridCars.com

This entry was posted on Wednesday, February 15th, 2017 at 5:55 am and is filed under General. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

COMMENTS: 27


  1. 1
    Big Game James

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    Feb 15th, 2017 (6:35 am)

    I have attended several fun clean cities events in my area. The Clean Cities web site at https://cleancities.energy.gov/ is quite good.


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    Mark Z

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    Feb 15th, 2017 (8:30 am)

    One major advantage of the EV in the Midwest is the lower electric rates. Some will complain that it is due to coal power plants. That does help with rates that are half of some other parts of the country. Think of energy independence. Electric vehicles that are powered by coal today will be powered by wind and solar tomorrow. It’s gonna take time to clean up the grid while weaning the public from gasoline.


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    Tom

     

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    Feb 15th, 2017 (8:35 am)

    The inevitable can not be stopped by the Trump administration but it will slow and increase costs.
    We all must show at the ballot box in two years.


  4. 4
    DonC

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    Feb 15th, 2017 (9:46 am)

    Sounds great. Lots of urban areas in those states and EVs work well in urban areas.

    Mark Z: Some will complain that it is due to coal power plants. That does help with rates that are half of some other parts of the country.

    Coal doesn’t have a cost advantage compared to renewables and it’s a higher cost energy source than natural gas. Given that transmission and distribution is a larger part of electrical costs than generation, my guess is that electrical rates are lower in the mid West because the costs to transmit and distribute are lower there.

    If you doubt this, note that electrical rates in Iowa are far lower than in Nebraska. This is due to the fact that Iowa uses a lot of wind and Nebraska doesn’t. Apparently the powers at the Nebraska PUC haven’t figured out that the wind doesn’t stop at the Iowa border. LOL (The low rates have generated a lot of jobs in Iowa as tech companies locate their server farms there).


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    Kdawg

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    Feb 15th, 2017 (9:56 am)

    Butts in seats is the way to do it. Keep it up!


  6. 6
    Eco_Turbo

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    Feb 15th, 2017 (10:02 am)

    DonC,

    Next we’ll hear that wind farms are causing climate change by interfering with the natural flow of ground level wind currents.

    DonC: This is due to the fact that Iowa uses a lot of wind and Nebraska doesn’t.

    DonC:
    Sounds great. Lots of urban areas in those states and EVs work well in urban areas.


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    Jackson

     

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    Feb 15th, 2017 (12:13 pm)

    “The Midwest is often overlooked as a market for electric vehicles,” he said.

    Everywhere not in California or NY is often overlooked as a market for electric vehicles. You sell electric cars in California because that’s where they’re bought. You buy them in California because that’s where they’re available and advertised. How else do you overcome this catch-22 inertia but with movements like this?

    Perhaps these volunteers can influence State legislators for EV concessions (even if it is just a moratorium on road-use tax). State premiums can have significant effects outside “cooltown.” I always get a kick when I see Georgia show up on a map of EV adoption across the US. The Georgia incentives are over, but perhaps they began to crack the “California only” attitude, just a bit.

    Hey guys, see if you can get your local electricity provider interested in promoting EVs with State level incentives. They’ll have more pull at the State House than you can likely believe.


  8. 8
    James

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    Feb 15th, 2017 (1:37 pm)

    Tom:
    The inevitable can not be stopped by the Trump administration but it will slow and increase costs.
    We all must show at the ballot box in two years.

    Not so fast.

    Are you one who believes government runs a nation? The notion that we masses trust our taxes are trustworthiness distributed to fix all ills. That if we just toss tax money into a problem area, that problem will be fixed?

    A fundamental error is believing a bigger, more powerful government is in all our best interests.

    Electric cars will have to survive upon their own merits. Relying on government boosts can not only temporarily inject life into the new transportation way forward, but is wholly inefficient and wasteful.

    Sounds as if you believe societal progress takes a big authoritarian hand to keep it moving.

    Electric cars and public funding of fast charging infrastructure is just about tapped out. Look no further to Volkswagen to see what happens when a belief that lots of money promised to evolve electrified transport by any group forced to do so by mandate results in furthering actual adoption of EVS.


  9. 9
    James

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    Feb 15th, 2017 (2:03 pm)

    Jackson:

    Hey guys, see if you can get your local electricity provider interested in promoting EVs with State level incentives.They’ll have more pull at the State House than you can likely believe.

    Yes, but it’s due time for everyone to realize how good electric cars are.

    You see, if hamburgers needed state or federal incentives to become a popular food, how
    long or how effectively do you believe that program would be? When I see government
    pushing something – I tend to resist. Usually, it’s boring or something like taking vitamins
    or recycling. In other words – probably good, but definately not exciting or motivating.

    It kind of dovetails with a national perception of electric cars. Yeah, they’re probably good
    but I don’t want some boring golfcart that looks like a sea bass ( LEAF ) foisted upon
    me if I don’t want one. Why don’t I want one? Because they’re a hassle to fuel, they’re
    slow and many of them look goofy.

    That sounds stupid to those of us on top of the EV wave. But it’s the general perception,
    especially in the midwest, where coal is king and weather effects sustainable efforts
    at energy so much. In those areas, new nuclear and natural gas makes so much more
    sense than solar. The Windy City may need more wind turbines, but pushing personal
    sustainable energy solutions in Minnesota is pretty tough.

    Cool is the rule. As counterintuitive as it may sound to some – electrified cars can
    make it on their own. Massive efficient performance boosts can be had with electric
    boost. It’s the rage in supercars right now. Look no further than the 24 Hours de Le Mans.

    “Electric” even is slang for excitement!


  10. 10
    James

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    Feb 15th, 2017 (2:12 pm)

    As hard as it is for the rest of us in the other
    49 states to swallow sometimes – so many trends DO come to us from California. They
    are trendsetters.

    Maybe it’s Hollywood and celebrities. Maybe it’s how we in cold states
    or wet states like mine just swoon sometimes, thinking of some nice California beach
    basking in the sun. No matter the reason – here in WA state growing up, everything
    from modern skateboarding to hairstyles to music trends came up the coast from
    Cali..

    It also took time. Things that started in California took about two years to
    wander up the coast to the Pacific Northwest.

    As a kid, I’d have my nose in car
    magazines watching what those crazy Californians were doing to their cars. A good
    example is the “Cal bug”, or California Volkswagen Beetle. I owned a 1969 Beetle,
    and looked to what they were doing down in Cali to see what style was appropriate
    going forward in customizing my VW. Those nutty, tanned hot rodders down there
    started lowering their Beetles, adding horsepower and carbs and dechroming them
    long before anyone else anywhere thought of it.

    Another good example on my radar is mountain biking. What kid in the 1960s
    and 70s didn’t have a junk paper route bike that he would run through the woods,
    jump and beat up in the dirt? In my neighborhood the answer was – everybody.
    I saved my “nice” bike for smooth roads and long rides. Yet some crazy young adults
    in the San Francisco area started plying the hills and valleys of north-central California
    with bike frames modified with big knobby tires and coined the name, “mountain bike”,
    and the rest is history. Now, 7 out of every 10 bicycles sold in America are mountain bikes.

    Skateboards. Some nuts in California started putting sealed bearings in urethane
    wheels and riding their skateboards in swimming pools. Magazines made their
    way from Cali to Washington and we’d learned that kids down there had been
    doing this for about 3-5 years before these new products began appearing in
    shops up here.

    Some of these trends are now ubiquitous to recreation and life as we know it
    and have spread to Europe and Asia. They became trends and then industries
    because of fun and pure innovation. Just like electric cars. It was the Tesla
    Roadster that put EVs on the map. We have to accept that. And it became famous not for it’s utility and practicality. It became YouTube video viral due to it’s balls-out exciting acceleration. Good looks, sportiness – and that it could go over 200 miles!

    When people focus purely on EV range and public or public/private funding
    of charging infrastructure, they lose it. It’s the goodness and fun of EVs that
    will win the day. It seems only Tesla ( in California ) is the only company
    that gets that. This will result in the Northwest, Midwest and all other points
    on the compass getting it eventually.

    Looking for governments and taxes to pave the way for EVs to take over
    the ICE world of transportation is short-sighted and oh-so-slow. Once
    $30,000 sleek cars that kick ass 0-60 on gas burners, their days
    are numbered. That day is coming soon. No government subsidies needed! 🙂

    This is how free market economy works. Want socialism? Hey,
    go to Europe. Go to China. Go anywhere but here. I prefer a free people buying into a good thing when they see it. Then all who
    seek to profit from the need will step up to the plate and compete for the consumer’s dollar.

    If you’re still argumentative with me at this point – look to the
    history of the horseless carraige. It wasn’t government that
    took tax money to build gas stations to dot the landscape, was it? Nope. It was good ole entrepeneurship – people building
    a fueling infrastructure for personal profit.


  11. 11
    Kdawg

     

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    Feb 15th, 2017 (2:37 pm)

    Big Game James: I have attended several fun clean cities events in my area. The Clean Cities web site at https://cleancities.energy.gov/ is quite good.

    Here’s the link for EVOLVE

    http://www.midwestevolve.org/


  12. 12
    James

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    Feb 15th, 2017 (2:39 pm)

    If anyone is interested in EVangelism where they live –

    Go to shopping malls, Home Depots, movie theaters and restaurants and tell the owners
    and managers that you’re much more likely to frequent their stores if you have
    a charge point out in their parking lot.

    You see? This works on their competitive spirit. You don’t think Lowe’s Hardware isn’t
    interested in ANYTHING that will give them an advantage over that Home Depot
    across town? You don’t think property managers at shopping malls aren’t interested
    in retaining their customers over the ever-growing rate of people staying home and
    shopping online
    ?

    If you want to become EV-proactive. Ditch this poverty mentality of approaching
    local, state and national government. Screw that! Instead – use social media
    and even snail mail and phone calls to let your local businesses know that
    you drive an electric car – and that Walgreens in town that has the L2 charger
    in front took your business away from their Rite Aid.

    That will end in results. Believe me. As 400,000 Tesla Model 3 orders get
    fulfilled – it may take until 2019 or 20, but your message will grow
    LOUD AND CLEAR to anyone in business who has competition*.

    *Which includes everybody!

    And please quitcherbitchin’ about Donald Trump for goodness
    sakes! No president or government entity will be responsible
    for the evolution of the electric car. You and I and our next
    door neighbors will.


  13. 13
    James

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    Feb 15th, 2017 (2:58 pm)

    I for one can’t wait for that gen2 LEAF to make it into Nissan dealerships.

    First – competition spurs progress. Second, the Bolt EV has none. So at
    first, those LEAF leaseholders will flock to Chevy dealerships, making
    Bolt EV look like a mini sales success ( but only in EVdom ). An EV that
    sells 2,500/mo. is considered a runaway success these days!

    Second – For EVangelists who set up ride-and-drives in communities in
    the midwest and all over, it’s a far stronger message to share with others
    when you have a car that goes 200 miles, even in cold weather!

    Third – 200+ mile EVs can turn EV lessees into EV buyers. Most 100
    mile EVs are leased. And why not? The resale value of EVs other than
    Teslas is awful. The stories abound in my city of a secondhand off-lease
    LEAF going for $6000. If a guy can go out and plop down $6-8,000 and get a nice little gas-free commuter for the hop to work, why not?!!! But that does damage to a new car EV market where manufacturers need profit to get energized into making new models.

    Fourth – There is a poverty mentality on EV websites. We think if
    we can just extend that tax incentive, EVs will take off. Hardly. A
    successful car of any ilk has to sell in the 100,000s per year. If not,
    it’s window dressing. The average consumer starts thinking of
    replacing his old beater and sees 1,000,000s of Accords, Camrys
    and Fusions out on our highways. “Gee, that must be a good car!”
    He/She thinks to themselves. Yes, there is a herd mentality in
    the free market. When 1,000,0000s of EVs are seen on our
    roads instead of a few 10s of thousands… The changeover
    picks up momentum fast.

    —- Why do so many on EV forums
    get excited over the news that some ICE-maker is going to
    build 30,000 EVs? That still floors me!


  14. 14
    Kdawg

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    Feb 15th, 2017 (3:05 pm)

    I think they need to have llamas at all of their events. Everyone loves llamas. They can even take them in their plug-ins.

    llamacar_zpsyxayrgen.jpg


  15. 15
    James

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    Feb 15th, 2017 (3:13 pm)

    EVangelism.

    Why not print off a few hundred papers at home with a simple message on them.

    “I bought an electric car and I’m never going back to gas!”

    There’s a good title! – Briefly explain you drive a ( Volt, LEAF, i3, Bolt EV… ) and
    you spend less on fuel, never wait in line in the rain at the gas station, plug
    in at home like your cell phone – etc. etc. ). You can even put the name
    and number of the salesman you bought your car from and a few web links
    to your fave EV websites ( be sure to include Hybridcars.com and GM-Volt.com! ).

    Next sunny Saturday at the mall, just put 5-10 of these flyers on the cars you
    parked near. What time can that take — 2-3 minutes, max?! It’s this type
    of grassroots effort – linked with advertised gatherings like described in today’s
    article that can make a nice impact.

    Try getting local EV drivers to gather for coffee – an “EV Cars And Coffee” type
    event every Sunday down at the local shopping center. I can firstly speak
    for myself – but I see it in our EV community. We are sort of lazy when we
    speak about EVangelism. “I don’t have time!” But we have time to bloviate
    online about how not enough people know about EV ownership.

    Grassroots, baby. Grassroots.


  16. 16
    Kdawg

     

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    Feb 15th, 2017 (3:36 pm)

    James: Next sunny Saturday at the mall, just put 5-10 of these flyers on the cars you
    parked near.

    F that. I hate that crap. Don’t give me an errand of throwing your trash away.


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    jbakerjonathan

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    Feb 15th, 2017 (3:39 pm)

    James: A fundamental error is believing a bigger, more powerful government is in all our best interests.

    The ten most feared words to hear: “I’m from the Government and I’m here to help you!”

    EDIT: I meant to neg post #3, but mistakenly gave it a +1.


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    James

     

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    Feb 15th, 2017 (4:07 pm)

    Kdawg: F that.I hate that crap.Don’t give me an errand of throwing your trash away.

    Well, there could be a better option, like a plastic letter opener, or coupon cutter. We used
    to give that crap away when selling newspapers, and people ate it up. Maybe a tiny
    little freebie attached would lessen people’s angst at getting a tiny piece of paper
    under the windshield wiper? A free pen? Everybody needs a pen in the car – mine are always getting taken or dry up.


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    Kdawg

     

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    Feb 15th, 2017 (4:27 pm)

    James,

    I wouldn’t stick anything on people’s cars or in their doors at home. I think it will just annoy them and have the opposite effect. If you must hand out something, do it Vegas style, and give flyers to people walking. That way they can decide if they want it or not.


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    Dave G

     

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    Feb 15th, 2017 (5:38 pm)

    James:
    Go to shopping malls, Home Depots, movie theaters and restaurants and tell the owners
    and managers that you’re much more likely to frequent their stores if you have
    a charge point out in their parking lot.

    I truly believe public chargers are the wrong answer.

    With cars like the Volt, you’re 90% electric just by charging at home. With cars like the Bolt, if you have another car for long trips, you’re covered. No need for public chargers.

    And as battery costs decrease, the need for public charging will be even less. In the future, we’ll have range extended EVs with 100 all-electric miles, and we’ll have them in all types of vehicles, including large SUVs and pickup trucks. Such vehicles will replace 95% of U.S. gasoline consumption just by charging at home.

    Meanwhile, the average consumer still has this false perception that we’ll need a huge new infrastructure of public chargers for plug-ins to be viable, and since most people have never even seen a public charger, they naturally assume plug-ins aren’t viable. So when they hear plug-in advocates talking about the need for more public chargers, it only bolsters this false perception.

    Every time someone mentions the need for more public chargers, they discourage plug-in sales.

    We’re shooting our self in the foot, and we’re doing it continually.

    Public chargers are unnecessary. That’s the message. That’s what will increase interest in plug-ins.


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    Jim Seko

     

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    Feb 15th, 2017 (6:17 pm)

    I’m disappointed to not see Missouri on the list. Kansas City Power and Light just announced plans to install 1000 public charging stations.

    http://www.greencarreports.com/news/1096514_kansas-city-power-light-to-build-1000-electric-car-charging-sites


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    Loboc

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    Feb 15th, 2017 (6:20 pm)

    Kdawg: just annoy them and have the opposite effect.

    Annoys me. I throw them on the ground in the parking lot so the store manager gets the hint. Picking up the trash will show that their little paper campaign did little to sway opinion. Except wrongly.

    Keep your agenda to yourself. If I want to talk to you, I’ll get around to it.


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    Jackson

     

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    Feb 15th, 2017 (7:06 pm)

    James: Yes, but it’s due time for everyone to realize how good electric cars are. You see, if hamburgers needed state or federal incentives to become a popular food, how long or how effectively do you believe that program would be?

    To compare apples to apples, you’d have to say that hamburgers were significantly more expensive than, say, a chicken sandwich. Hamburgers carry their own on the basis of flavor, but I can’t say how long it took them to catch on nationwide after they were invented. For one thing, they couldn’t have caught on nationwide until they were fully available across the country. How long before they went beyond ‘word of mouth’ to the first mass advertising campaign?

    A government incentive isn’t the best option, but it is an option that has worked. Until costs come down, not many people will opt for the electric car no matter how delicious it is. The best side of incentives is the fact that they will be temporary, as will the high prices now prevailing (even for Bolt). Consider that the relative few who have purchased so far, with benefit of incentives, are paving the way for the “due time” when EVs are tasted by the masses without government “encouragement.”

    Ooo, I’m hungry now.


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    Dan Petit/Petit Technical College

     

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    Feb 15th, 2017 (8:20 pm)

    James,
    A practical way to look at incentives if you must use the idea of “poor thinking” is just this:
    Even just seconds ago, Donald said “two extremely important things” to him are “clean air and clean water”

    Let us all agree with him at least on the clean air part first.

    Who is it in society who drive the dirtiest and piggyest vehicles that pollute the most?

    Of course, it is those who can’t afford an efficient, clean vehicle.

    Those incentives have beautifully driven down the entry resale price of those incentivized models and helped get the dirty nasty vehicles from driving in front of you, feeding you lungs carcinogens.

    So, the very people who need to get those nasty “smokers” off of the road from being in front of you to help you stay more healthy, (and the occupants of the next twenty vehicles behind you as well), are part of the solution, not as much a beneficiary. Children are far more subject to asthma attacks, so just a perspective of sales hope on its own doesn’t seem as practically compelling.

    Strict open mindedness promotes prosperity.

    Prosperity doesn’t have to mean lots of money, for many, prosperity means just being efficiently comfortable at frugal “adequacy,” with no unnecessary spending whatsoever. (One can be so effective with budgeting, look like a “million”, function highly effeciently, yet need very little net income).

    A good Certified Pre Owned Volt from Automation Chevrolet actually makes prosperity at “adequacy” work perfectly.
    That incentive makes the lower resale PreOwned price just barely within reach.
    I could not be happier as I drive electrically, leaving the air behind my Volt as clean for the next twenty breathing drivers and their vehicles’ occupants.


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    Jackson

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    Feb 15th, 2017 (8:46 pm)

    Dan Petit/Petit Technical College: Who is it in society who drive the dirtiest and piggyest vehicles that pollute the most?
    Of course, it is those who can’t afford an efficient, clean vehicle.

    And how many of those have annual taxes in the $7500 range?

    I don’t want to see the incentives canceled, but I would like them changed to a point-of-sale rebate so that those who most need it can get it. I’d even take a cut to $5000. Alternatively, allow 2 tax cycles to use up the credit, like Georgia did.


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    Dan M.

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    Feb 16th, 2017 (12:08 am)

    Tom,
    Spare me the drama. I voted for Trump and have THREE Chevy Volts. We dumped our two Ford Trucks for them and bought the third for my kids when they started driving.


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    dakster

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    Feb 16th, 2017 (12:17 am)

    I’m all for the government removing all incentives for EV vehicles and “let them stand on their own” if they remove all incentives in the gas and oil industry too.

    Having said that, you need the government to push certain technologies. Once they gain acceptance (or crash and burn) then you remove them.

    You’d think with home solar gaining popularity that power companies would be jumping all over this EV thing, since it’s hard to generate enough power to charge your BEV overnight, just on solar power. Yes, it CAN be done, but the array you would need is quite large and let’s face it, grid-tie is the safest way to go solar.