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 Post subject: California falling short in push for more clean vehicles
PostPosted: Wed Dec 09, 2015 7:46 pm 

Joined: Mon Jun 03, 2013 6:43 am
Posts: 234
Location: Redwood City, CA
Interesting article in Today's LA times that quotes Governor Brown and the CARB board chair Mary Nichols saying that the state is not adopting EVs fast enough to meet its goal of 1.5 million by 2025: ... story.html

In a letter to the Editor of the LA times, I suggested that the state should look at its own actions as first step to correcting this problem:

Dear Editor:

Regarding the LA Times article "California falling short in push for more clean vehicles," Governor Brown should examine his own actions to answer his questions. First he says that people riding bikes is not enough. Brown has distinguished himself as the only Governor besides Rick Perry (Texas) to veto a bill requiring motorists to pass bicyclists with 3 feet of space (France has narrower roads and requires 5 feet). CHP officers have joked (to me) that they will never enforce the toothless bill that eventually passed (Brown vetoed more reasonable bills twice).

Getting back to electric cars (EVs), our state should be commended for investing in EV infrastructure. However, Californians need to drive long distances, requiring DC fast charging stations to be located along transportation corridors (I5, 101, etc.). Despite spending about $50M on EV charging infrastructure to date, the California Energy Commission (CEC) has funded only about 9 DC fast chargers along transportation corridors, and I believe than none of these are yet operational (2+ years since the original solicitation).

Meanwhile, the state (via the CEC) has invested $60M in fueling infrastructure for Hydrogen vehicles. There are currently fewer than 500 Hydrogen vehicles in CA (with only about 1000 more expected over the next couple years), so that comes to about $200K per car! Why is so much state money being invested in an expensive technology whose cars currently have well-to-wheels carbon footprints worse than the 2016 Prius? Regardless of Hydrogen source, these cars will always me much less efficient than electric ones because of the many steps required in creating, transporting, compressing, and then the energy release / generation itself.

We are living in the 21st century and now it is economically viable for middle-class people to produce electricity via solar power systems on their homes that can be used to power their electric cars. Except that has recently gotten much more expensive in California; the state has allowed PG&E to cancel their E9 electric vehicle rate plans, replacing them with much more expensive options. The state is also allowing all major public utilities to charge their customers significant monthly fees for generating electric power with photovoltaic systems. Why is the state allowing this instead of incentivizing the pairing of solar power systems and electric cars?


2013 Blizzard Pearl VIN 1633
2013 Chevy Volt (my wife's)
Haibike Urban Xduro ebike
3.2 kW Solar PV system

 Post subject: Re: California falling short in push for more clean vehicles
PostPosted: Thu Dec 10, 2015 12:44 am 

Joined: Mon Apr 15, 2013 6:06 am
Posts: 5

This is a great letter to the editor and thank you for posting it. Like you, I am very concerned about how the CPUC will handle changes to net metering for current and future solar PV owners, the universe of which are ideal candidates for EV ownership.

I am also concerned about the CPUC's opaque management of the rollout of eVgo's Freedom Stations, many of which are poorly located to accommodate the corridor charging you reference and all of which seem to be prone to sub-par performance when they are actually functioning. The results of the CPUC audit of the system--the commencement of which was announced several months back--still have not been publicized (despite the "P" in CPUC standing for "public"), continuing the CPUC's far-from-transparent oversight.

It will be interesting to see how the CPUC handles the proposals from the three investor-owned utilities for the installation of charging infrastructure, but from what I've seen thus far, I am not optimistic. When it comes to matters before the CPUC, there appears to be a divergence between the policy goals announced from the Governor's Office and what we see the five Brown appointees actually implementing on the ground.


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