GM To Halt Production of Chevrolet Volt during 2019

Author: stanhanel
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Mary Barra, CEO of General Motors, announced on Monday, November 26, 2018 that GM will downsize sedan production, close five North American factories and lay off 14,700 employees during the following year, in order to maintain profitability while adjusting to a shrinking and changing US automotive marketplace.

GM will be closing five automotive production plants in North America that produce smaller sedans and related transmission drive trains:

1. Lordstown, Ohio factory that produces the Chevrolet Cruze compact sedan

2. Detroit-Hamtramck facility in Michigan that produces the Chevrolet Volt, Buick Lacrosse, and Cadillac CT6

3. Oshawa, Ontario plant in Canada that produces the Chevrolet Impala

4. Factories in Baltimore, Maryland and Warren, Michigan that produce powertrains for smaller vehicles

About 8,000 factory workers will be laid off during the reorganization, as well as 6,700 salaried employees or about 15% of the salaried GM workforce during 2019.

As more Americans of different generations choose to buy fewer small-size cars, the US automotive industry is shifting to production of more trucks, sport utility vehicles and crossover SUVs.

The US market has changed in recent years, as consumers are purchasing larger vehicles rather than small-size, economy sedans. Younger urban buyers have also opted for ride share and multi-mode transportation options, rather than personally own or lease a new car, as in generations past.

This year, GM also reached a market cap of 200,000 plug-in electric vehicles sold within the US since 2010, that are eligible for a federal tax credit of $7,500 per electric car.

As a result of these trends, GM is halting production of the Chevrolet Volt plug-in hybrid electric vehicle as part of the Detroit-Hamtramck plant closure.

Since 2010, the Chevrolet Volt has served as a friendly gateway to first-time owners of plug-in electric cars in Nevada.

The Volt electric-motor drive train provided all the speed, torque and acceleration of any electric car for local urban driving with a range from 36 to 53 miles before recharging at home each night.

However, the plug-in hybrid electric vehicle still retained the ability to be fueled quickly by gasoline, so that the vehicle’s onboard generator could continue to provide electricity to the electric motor for an additional 240 miles of range.

That feature has been valuable for owners who also drive within rural areas of the state, where there may not yet be any electric car charging station infrastructure.

However, the additional components for both the electric motor drive train, batteries, and gasoline generator systems added additional costs to vehicle factory production within smaller production runs, resulting in losses during the initial model years.

Barra maintains that GM is still committed to the production of new plug-in electric cars and autonomous vehicles for ride-share applications during the coming decade. These plans include the Chevrolet Bolt EV, that relies on a battery-powered EV drive train to travel more than 230 miles between recharging sites, with no gasoline generator onboard.

During 2018, Ford Motor Company also indicated that it will downsize production of smaller vehicles, that include the C-Max Energi plug-in hybrid electric car and Ford Focus EV battery-powered electric car.

Tiffani Repucci from Gaudin Ford showcased a CMax Energi plug-in hybrid during a 2014 event.

However, Ford will also be integrating plug-in electric drive trains into more of the model car vehicles that the company plans to introduce during the next ten years.

NEVA blog posted by Stan Hanel, Outreach Coordinator

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Tesla Electric Semi Road Tests on Nevada and California Highways

Author: stanhanel
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Tesla Semi electric tractor-trailers have been actively accumulating miles on road tests along California and Nevada highways, including runs between the Fremont electric car factory and the northern Nevada Gigafactory in Storey County.

From Wikipedia:

“The Tesla Semi is an all-electric battery-powered Class 8 semi-trailer truck prototype which was unveiled on November 16, 2017 and planned for production in 2019 by Tesla, Inc. The company initially announced that the truck would have a 500 miles (805 km) range on a full charge and with its new batteries it would be able to run for 400 miles (640 km) after an 80% charge in 30 minutes using a solar-powered “Tesla Megacharger” charging station. Tesla CEO Elon Musk said that the Semi would come standard with Tesla Autopilot that allows semi-autonomous driving on highways.

On November 24, 2017, Musk said that the expected price of regular production versions for the 300 miles (480 km) and 500 miles (805 km) range versions would be US$150,000 and $180,000 respectively. The company also planned to offer a Founder’s Series Semi at $200,000.”

A Tesla enthusiast recently filmed a video of the Tesla Semi hooking up to a trailer at Madonna Inn in San Luis Obispo and driving along Highway 101:


NEVA blog posted by Stan Hanel, Outreach Coordinator

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One Million Electric Cars Sold in USA Since 2010!

Author: stanhanel
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The Electric Drive Transportation Association has been tracking U.S. Sales of plug-in electric cars since 2010, when the first Nissan LEAF and Chevrolet Volt mass-market cars were introduced:


President Barack Obama during his 2011 State-of-the-Union address challenged the nation to put one million plug-in electric cars on U.S. roads during his term.

One Million EVs Sold!

It took a little longer, but the benchmark was achieved during October 2018, when 9,465 plug-in hybrid electric vehicles and 24,638 battery-electric vehicles were sold.

Total sales since 2010 were estimated at 1,015,980 at the end of October 2018.

NEVA blog posted by Stan Hanel, Outreach Coordinator

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NV Energy Hosts Electric Car Ride ‘n Drive Events During October 2018

Author: stanhanel
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NV Energy hosted electric car Ride ‘n Drive events in both Reno and Las Vegas during October 2018. Attendees were able to test drive electric cars from multiple automotive manufacturers, including Tesla, GM, Nissan, Fiat, Mitsubishi, and BMW.

These included the most recent model years of the Tesla Models 3, S, and X; as well as the Chevrolet Bolt EV, Chevrolet Volt plug-in hybrid, Nissan LEAF, Mitsubishi Outlander plug-in hybrid, BMW i3, and Fiat 500e.

Tesla Model S, Chevrolet Volt, Fiat 500e and BMW i3 queue up for test drives in Las Vegas at NV Energy campus parking lot.

Interested participants signed up and registered online at the Electric Car Guest Drive website, where they could reserve a one-hour block of time to test drive up to three vehicles:


Over 200 people attended each of the events in Reno and Las Vegas.

Support was provided by employees of Electric Car Insider magazine, as well as local members of the Electric Auto Association chapters at each location: Electric Auto Association of Northern Nevada and Las Vegas Electric Vehicle Association.

The events also drew support from local Tesla Owners’ groups in both regions, who provided vehicles for both test drives and for static displays.

Static displays of Tesla Model X, Chevrolet Volt, Tesla Model 3, and Nissan LEAF allowed attendees to talk in detail with owners about each vehicle.

In the static display areas, the owners of each vehicle could describe their cars’ specifications, as well as their personal day-to-day experiences involved with driving, recharging, and maintenance.

Informational booths at NV Energy Ride ‘n Drive event.

Informational booths at the events shared information about electric vehicle incentive programs from NV Energy, as well as general information about electric vehicles and electric vehicle supply equipment technologies.

NV Energy Renewable Generations trailer showcased the nexus of solar power and electric vehicles in Nevada.

NEVA blog posted by Stan Hanel, Outreach Coordinator

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US Plug-In Electric Car Sales Accelerate During 2018 and Approach 1 Million on US Roads

Author: stanhanel
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(Graphic image courtesy of Electric Drive Transportation Association)

Sales of plug-in electric vehicles in the US began accelerating during the third quarter of 2018, as Tesla ramped up production of its Model 3 battery-powered sedan.

Tesla sold 55,843 Model 3 electric cars during that 3-month period, along with 14,470 Model S and 13,190 Model X for a total of 83,503 electric cars. far surpassing any other worldwide automotive manufacturer during that time.

Green Car Reports published comparative totals in a recent article, available at their website:


The closest competitor to Tesla was GM with sales of 3,949 Chevrolet Bolt EVs and 5,429 Chevrolet Volts for a total of 9,378 plug-in electric cars during the same 3-month period.

Nissan sold 3,767 LEAF electric cars during Q3 2018.

Plug-in hybrid electric car models from Toyota and Honda have been surging, with the Prius Prime selling 6,268 models and the Honda Clarity plug-in hybrid EV selling 5,298 vehicles.

The total amount of plug-in electric cars on US roads and highways is now on track to exceed one million vehicles since sales of the Chevrolet Volt and Nissan LEAF first began in 2010.

During his 2011 State of the Union Address, President Barack Obama challenged the country to achieve a goal of one million plug-in electric vehicles on US roads and highways by 2015.

Unfortunately, the state of battery technologies during that time, coupled with lack of recharging station infrastructure and lukewarm response from both automotive manufacturers and consumers, hindered realization of this goal during the four-year period that President Obama envisioned.

It took incremental, breakthrough technology achievements from Tesla, Inc. during the last seven years and eventual commitments from China, India, South Korea, Norway and Germany, to push global automotive manufacturers to accelerate the rollout of new electric cars worldwide.

Plug-in electric car sales are accelerating at a rapid pace during the first nine months of 2018. Graphic Image Courtesy of Electric Drive Transportation Association.

During January 2018, monthly sales of both plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEV) and battery-powered electric vehicles (BEV) were plugging along at about 10,000 units per month as they had the previous year.

After Chevrolet rolled out the Chevrolet Bolt EV in all 50 states and Tesla production of the Model 3 surged during March 2018, US sales jumped to about 20,000 units per month for the second quarter of the year.

Volkswagen Electrify America map of proposed DC Fast Charge station site locations within U.S.

Commitments by Volkswagen and its Electrify America program to build out DC Fast Charge station infrastructure across the US, coupled with the Tesla Supercharger station network and efforts by multiple states to cooperate on roadside interstate highway development efforts, also contributed to more interest by consumers towards EV sales.

During July, combined PHEV and BEV sales reached 29,514 units. August saw another significant increase to 36,380 units. September saw another jump up to 44,589, almost four times the amount of plug-in electric vehicles sold during the month of January 2018.

Another factor driving US electric car sales up through the fourth quarter is the potential expiration of federal tax credits of $7,500 for both Tesla, Inc. and GM, as each company reaches a cap of 200,000 units per manufacturer.

If the US Congress does not extend these caps, then buyers must take delivery of a Tesla or GM electric vehicle by December 31st, in order to receive the full $7,500 credit.
During the first six months of 2019, the credit is cut in half to $3,750. During the second half of 2019, the credit is halved again to $1,875. During 2020, Tesla and GM EV buyers are no longer eligible for the federal tax credit.

This should put even more upward pressure on delivery of Model 3 cars to buyers who have placed $1000 deposits, despite recent financial management missteps by Tesla, Inc. CEO Elon Musk during the last two months.

Tesla High-Power charging stations are available for refueling new Model 3, Model S and Model X electric cars for Tesla owners at the Las Vegas service center.

Tesla service centers are being flooded with Model 3 vehicles nationwide, in an effort to get as many vehicles delivered before the end of the year.

Findlay Chevrolet featured a 2018 Chevrolet Bolt EV and 2018 Chevrolet Bolt plug-in hybrid within the Clean Energy Drive.

GM dealerships nationwide will also be under the same pressure from consumers to deliver Bolt EV and Volt models before December 31, 2018.

Roland Lewis, sales specialist at United Nissan, chaperoned test drives of the 2018 Nissan LEAF during The New American Road Trip event.

Meanwhile, other automotive manufacturers like Nissan, BMW, Honda, Mitsubishi, and Jaguar Land Rover have not yet reached sales of 200,000 vehicles within the US and are still under this cap. These companies are introducing newer models of electric vehicles with longer range during the 4th quarter of the year, as well.

Automotive manufacturers who entered the EV market later than Tesla and GM still retain space under their 200,000 vehicle cap limitations to sell additional new models during 2019 and beyond.

Jaguar Land Rover Las Vegas showed off a new electric I-PACE electric SUV crossover that will compete against the Tesla Model X.

Look for the Jaguar I-PACE to be available at local Nevada dealerships by December 2018 to compete against the Tesla Model X electric SUV crossover.

A Ride ‘n Drive event during The New American Road Trip encouraged test drives in 2018 models of a Nissan LEAF, Honda Clarity PHEV, and Toyota Prius Prime.

The Honda Clarity plug-in hybrid is a solid competitor to the GM Chevrolet Volt with a 45-mile electric-only range before the hybrid gasoline engine takes over to increase total range.

Other plug-in hybrid EVs available locally during the 4th quarter of 2018 include the Toyota Prius Prime PHEV, the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV, Ford Fusion Energi, and the Chrysler Pacifica PHEV.

Electric car adoption seems to be accelerating at a rapid pace, mostly due to the efforts of Tesla.

But can the company maintain its sales and delivery pace through the 4th quarter of 2018 and beyond? Will other automotive manufacturers come online with newer plug-in electric car models, while still retaining their federal tax credit incentives? Stay tuned…

NEVA blog posted by Stan Hanel, Outreach Coordinator

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National Drive Electric Week Events in Las Vegas and Reno

Author: stanhanel
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National Drive Electric Week is an annual celebration of electric cars, organized by the Electric Auto Association, Sierra Club and Plug-in America non-profit organizations.

This year’s festivities were staged in more than 320 international cities between September 8 – 16, 2018:

Nissan was an international corporate sponsor that provided giveaway promotions during the event. These included water bottles, micro-USB connector fans for cell phones, carry bags, and pens with the Nissan logo.

Nevada events were staged in Las Vegas and Reno during National Drive Electric Week again this year.

NDEW-Las Vegas was staged at the Springs Preserve museum parking lot under a photovoltaic solar panel array that tracked the sun while providing electric power to four ChargePoint stations. 45 vehicles attended the electric car rally.

NDEW-Las Vegas

On Saturday, September 8th, the Nevada Electric Vehicle Accelerator (NEVA) program from REA250.org joined with the Las Vegas Electric Vehicle Association, the Las Vegas Tesla Owners group and other local non-profit organizations to stage an electric car rally at the Springs Preserve museum parking lot:


The gathering of electric cars and exhibit booth displays were staged underneath a photovoltaic solar canopy that tracked the sun and also generated electrons to provide electricity to four ChargePoint stations where plug-in electric cars could recharge their battery packs at no cost.

About 45 vehicles and 200 visitors participated in the rally that was staged from 10 AM to 2 PM.

An original Tesla Roadster electric car owned by David Morse.

Members of the Las Vegas Tesla Owners and Enthusiasts Group showcased 22 Tesla vehicles, that included an original Roadster, as well as newer models of the S, X and 3 battery-powered electric cars.

Pop-up catering display in the front trunk (“frunk”) storage space of a Tesla Model S.

Instead of a tailgate party, several owners offered food and drink to visitors from the front trunk (“frunk”) of their Tesla vehicles.

Two black Model X vehicles exhibited a tandem demonstration of their falcon wing doors and LED headlights in synchronization to music from the Trans-Siberian Orchestra.

Chevrolet Bolt EV and Volt plug into the solar-powered “juice bar” provided by two ChargePoint stations.

Other plug-in electric vehicles displayed by the southern Nevada EV community included Chevrolet Bolt EV, Spark EV and Volt; a new 2018 Nissan LEAF from United Nissan; older Nissan LEAF models; Ford Fusion Energi and C-Max Energy plug-in hybrids; Ford Focus EV battery-powered electric car; Fiat 500e; BMW i3 and i3 REx models; Mitsubishi i-MiEV; Zero electric motorcycle; and a custom kit car electric conversion replica of a 1965 Shelby Cobra Daytona Coupe.

A kit car replica of a 1965 Shelby Cobra Daytona Coupe was converted to an electric car by using Nissan LEAF batteries and other electric car components.

Informational displays at the event included the NV Energy Renewable Generations walk-through exhibit trailer that featured information on rooftop solar incentives for homeowners, as well as solar thermal and battery-backup power system incentive programs available through the utility.

NV Energy Renewable Generations walk-through exhibit trailer demonstrated rooftop solar and wind generation hookups, as well as solar thermal heating systems.

NV Energy also introduced new financial incentives for the installation of electric vehicle supply equipment (EVSE) throughout the state of Nevada with new programs for workplace charging, multi-family dwelling units, fleet vehicle electrification, and the Nevada Electric Highway.

These financial incentives range from $3000 for an AC Level 2 charging station to $15,000 for a DC Fast Charge station.
More information can be found at the NV Energy website at:


Exhibit booths from local vendors and non-profit organizations provided educational outreach to NDEW visitors at Springs Preserve.

Other exhibitors during the electric car rally included the FIRST Nevada FRC high school robotics team from Clark High School, Net Zero Energy Brokers, Green Alliance of Nevada’s Drive Clean Energy program, the Las Vegas Electric Vehicle Association, Nevada Conservation League, Sierra Club, Citizens Climate Lobby, and the Formula SAE Electric Race Car engineering team from University of Nevada – Las Vegas.

More exhibit booths at NDEW-Las Vegas, including Sierra Club, Citizens Climate Lobby, and UNLV Formula SAE electric race car team.

Mark Larsen, an annual NDEW-Las Vegas visitor and long-distance traveler from St. George, Utah, also posted pictures and video on his website at this link:



On Sunday, September 9th, the Electric Auto Association of Northern Nevada and Tesla Motors Club Reno NorCAl hosted an electric car celebration at Virginia Lake Park in Reno from 9 AM to 2 PM:


Reno Councilwoman Naomi Durr and Sparks City Councilman Donald Abbot were present at the event. Councilwoman Durr made opening remarks.

37 plug-in electric cars were exhibited at the event including 21 Tesla models that included an original Roadster, as well as S, X and 3.

Other plug-in electric vehicles registered at the EV gathering included Chevrolet Bolt EV and Volt, Nissan LEAFs that included a 2018 model, 2018 Honda Clarity Plug-in Hybrid EV, Toyota RAV4 EV, Mitsubishi i-MiEV, Ford Focus Electric, BMW Mini-E, Volkswagen e-Golf, and a Zero electric motorcycle.

Exhibitors and vendors at the event included SEE Autonomy, Glory Cloud Coffee, Tesla Gigafactory, NV Energy, Northern Nevada First Responders and Fire Departments, Sierra Club, Plug In America, “Yes on 6” electoral initiative campaign, Drive Electric, BMW Reno, Bill Pearce Courtesy Honda, and Zero Electric Motorcycles.

Southern Nevada Fleet Association

On Thursday, Sept. 13th, the Southern Nevada Fleet Association general meeting at GeoTab corporate offices in Las Vegas focused on the intersection of Smart Cities and Smart Transportation from 10:30 AM to 2 PM:


SNFA President Marie Steele introduced presentations from three speakers, that included Dan Langford, Innovation Director at the Nevada Center for Advanced Mobility; Joey Marlow, Executive Vice-president of GeoTab, and Francis Julien, General Manager of the Las Vegas Operations for Keolis North America.

Smart cities projects can include wireless “road side units” that can send and receive information from connected cars along major city streets to warn drivers about upcoming traffic situations, while also aggregating big data from multiple cars to help analyze and optimize potential bottlenecks during each seasonal and daily commute period.

The speakers highlighted partnerships between the City of Las Vegas and Keolis, the Regional Transportation Commission of Southern Nevada, the Nevada Center for Advanced Mobility, GeoTab, Aptiv, Lyft, NAVYA, Audi, and BMW companies to test advanced autonomous vehicle technologies in actual traffic conditions on Las Vegas city streets.

Recent Nevada statute revisions during the 2016 legislative session now provide the legal framework to allow fully-autonomous, level 5 operation of self-driving vehicles on Nevada roads and streets.

However, most testing of autonomous vehicles around the Las Vegas Strip and downtown traffic areas usually test up to autonomous level 4, that still involves an onboard person to supervise the operations of the autonomous car or truck, and intervene if necessary.

The NAVYA autonomous bus shuttle in downtown Las Vegas can carry eight passengers in a loop circuit route near the Container Park on East Fremont Street, but still has an onboard attendant who can hit a full-stop panic button to shut down and halt the vehicle in case of a potential collision.

The attendant can also pilot the NAVYA shuttle bus manually by retrieving a hidden joystick and activating onboard computer control menus, if needed.

The Lyft autonomous test cars built by BMW and Aptiv still have a driver behind the steering wheel of each ride-share vehicle, to intervene during any unexpected traffic incidents.

The Southern Nevada Fleet Association meeting gave a detailed glimpse of possible models for autonomous transportation systems of the 21st century.

These autonomous “fleet-as-a-service” systems will be based on electric-vehicle platforms, because of the minimal latency required to digitally control electric motors, compared to the slower response of traditional internal combustion engines.

New American Road Trip Stops in Las Vegas

On Sunday, September 16th, an electric car caravan led by two Chevrolet Bolt EV electric cars drove into the Luxor Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, as part of a New American Road Trip campaign to promote climate change awareness:


Two Chevrolet Bolt EVs drove from San Francisco to New York City during The New American Road Trip event that stopped in Las Vegas at the Luxor Hotel and Casino.

An electric car caravan led by two Chevrolet Bolt EVs and a support crew left San Francisco on September 14th after a US Climate Summit. The team was traveling on to New York for a One Planet Summit at the United Nations, scheduled for September 26th.

The New American Road Trip attracted spectators during an event in Las Vegas at the Luxor Hotel and Casino.

During the Las Vegas stopover, the New American Road Trip organizers staged a celebration event at the Luxor Hotel and Casino that included plug-in electric car “ride ‘n drive” demonstrations, food, music, and entertainment from 3 PM to 6 PM.

The Chevrolet Bolt EVs were recharged from an NRG EVgo DC Fast Charger located on Russell Road at a Terrible Herbst station. The drivers looked for both NRG EVgo and ChargePoint DC Fast Charge stations during their cross-country trip.

A Ride ‘n Drive event during The New American Road Trip encouraged test drives in 2018 models of a Nissan LEAF, Honda Clarity PHEV, and Toyota Prius Prime.

Featured plug-in electric cars for the “Ride ‘n Drive” demonstration included a 2018 Nissan LEAF from United Nissan, a 2018 Honda Clarity plug-in hybrid electric vehicle from Findlay Honda Henderson, and a 2018 Toyota Prius Prime plug-in hybrid electric vehicle from AutoNation Toyota.

Roland Lewis, sales specialist at United Nissan, chaperoned test drives of the 2018 Nissan LEAF during The New American Road Trip event.

Drivers and riders could compare the performance of the three different vehicles by running the plug-in electric cars through twists and turns within a test track made of yellow cones arranged within a parking lot near the Luxor Hotel and Casino.

Noted speakers included Michael Bloomberg, former mayor of New York City and a Special UN Envoy for Climate Change, as well as Jim Murren, CEO of MGM Resorts International, who arrived at the event with Bloomberg in a Tesla Model S electric car. Antonique Smith, an actress and grammy-nominated singer introduced both speakers.

Michael Bloomberg, former Mayor of New York City and Special UN Envoy for Climate Change, addresses media during The New American Road Trip stop in Las Vegas.

“The future of driving lies with electric vehicles. But the highways we’re driving down are stuck in the past,” Bloomberg said. “People won’t buy an electric car that they can’t easily recharge anywhere they go. We can fix that.”

“Increasing the supply of charging plugs increased demand for EVs, and states like Nevada are leading the way,” Bloomberg continued. “Nevada is part of a coalition of western states — with governors from both parties — that is working to make it possible to travel throughout the region in an electric vehicle.”

Local non-profit organizations provided educational outreach information during The New American Road Trip event.

Local exhibitors at the event included the Sierra Club Toiyabe chapter, Nevada Conservation League, Citizens Climate Lobby, and Chispa Nevada.

Chispa Nevada was also the recipient of a $7,000 grant from sponsors of The New American Road Trip, who provided seed donations to local non-profit organizations involved in climate change initiatives during each stop of the electric car caravan.

More stopovers and events along the roadtrip were planned for Boulder, Colorado; St. Louis, Missouri; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; and New York City.

NEVA blog posted by Outreach Coordinator Stan Hanel

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NV Energy Unveils New Charging Station Incentive Programs

Author: stanhanel
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On September 14, 2018, the NV Energy electric utility website unveiled several new programs that offered incentives to promote the installation of electric vehicle charging station infrastructure throughout the state of Nevada:


Commercial businesses and developers can apply for financial rebates on both DC Fast Charge electric vehicle supply equipment (EVSE) and SAE J1772 AC Level 2 charging stations, through programs that target workplace charging, multi-family home dwelling buildings such as apartments and condominiums, commercial fleets, and the Nevada Electric Highway project.

An 11-page Program Handbook for the Electric Vehicle Charging Station Incentives is available from NV Energy in PDF format at this link:


According to this handbook,

“An application must include:

1. A recent copy of the Host Customer’s NV Energy utility bill.
2. For applications where the Host Customer has authorized a Designated Applicant, a fully executed Designated Applicant Authorization Form (provided in the online application).
3. Manufacturer’s specifications for the proposed charging equipment.
4. One-line or other applicable electrical design diagrams.”

Application Fee:

“A $35 non-refundable fee is required for all Applicants. The fee must be received by NV Energy before the applicatoin will be reviewed and approved. In the application, customers should communicate with installation partners before submitting payment. If NV Energy receives duplicate fee payments for the same application, the first payment is posted and subsequent payments are returned. If the fee is not received within 30 days of submission of the application, the application will be canceled.

Application fees may be paid online using SpeedPay (must be an NVE Energy account holder to use), or application fees may be mailed to: Nevada Clean Energy Programs, MS S2A35, PO Box 20000, Reno, NV 89520.

Your application number, provided once you submit an application, must be referenced on the payment method of your choice.

If a complete incentive claim for the Completed system is not submitted prior to the expiration date on the Reservation Notic, the application fee is forfeited.”

Application Procedure:

To apply for all of these EVSE charging station installation incentive programs, an NV Energy commercial customer will need to submit an online application through the PowerClerk portal.

A YouTube video tutorial that shows how to set up an initial PowerClerk account and navigate the menus for the rebate incentive application is available at this link:


Electric Vehicle Workplace Charging:


“NV Energy provides an installation incentive for two types of chargers: Level 2 Charger and Direct Current (DC) Charger.

Workplace Charging Incentive Levels:

Level 2 Charger: Lesser of $3,000 per charging port or 75% of project costs

DC Fast Charger: $15,000

Charging stations must be available for employees and cannot be located in parking areas that are not available to workers.
Customers may apply for the incentive via our online portal beginning September 14th prior to beginning construction, and receive a reservation of incentive funding for a one-year period. Upon completion and prior to the expiration of the reservation, please submit an incentive claim form through the same link listed above. Following the review of the claim and approval of the project, a one-time incentive payment will be issued to the customer or the payee designated by the customer.”

Multi-Family Home Dwelling Structures:


“NV Energy provides an installation incentive for two types of chargers: Level 2 Charger and Direct Current (DC) Charger.

Multi-Family Charging Incentive Levels:

Level 2 Charger: Lesser of $3,000 per charging port or 75% of project costs

DC Fast Charger: $15,000

Installations must include at least three Level 2 chargers or one DC fast charger to be eligible. The incentive is capped at ten Level 2 chargers and five DC fast chargers per customer premise.

Customers may apply for the incentive via our online portal beginning September 14th prior to beginning construction, and receive a reservation of incentive funding for a one-year period. Upon completion and prior to the expiration of the reservation, please submit an incentive claim form through the same link listed above. Following the review of the claim and approval of the project, a one- time incentive payment will be issued to the customer or the payee designated by the customer.”

Commercial Fleet Charging Stations:


“NV Energy provides an installation incentive for two types of chargers: Level 2 Charger and Direct Current (DC) Charger.

Fleet Electrification Incentive Levels:

Level 2 Charger: General Fleet & 486A Fleet | Lesser of $3,000 per charging port or 75% of project costs

DC Fast Charger: General Fleet & 486A Fleet | $15,000

Installations must include at least two Level 2 chargers or one DC fast charger to be eligible. The incentive is capped at ten Level 2 chargers and five DC fast chargers per customer premise.

Customers may apply for the incentive via our online portal beginning September 14th prior to beginning construction, and receive a reservation of incentive funding for a one-year period. Upon completion and prior to the expiration of the reservation, please submit an incentive claim form through the same link listed above. Following the review of the claim and approval of the project, a one- time incentive payment will be issued to the customer or the payee designated by the customer.”

Nevada Electric Highway:


“Electric vehicle (EV) owners can soon travel from Reno to Las Vegas, across the Loneliest Road in America and through other parts of our great state thanks to the Nevada Electric Highway. In 2015, we teamed up with the Governor’s Office of Energy to help build the state’s EV infrastructure by adding charging stations along Nevada’s highways and interstates.”

Nevada Electric Highway

The Nevada Governors Office of Energy and NV Energy utility have created a unique website that showcases development plans for EV charging station infrastructure along major Nevada Highways:


Phase I: U.S. 95 between Reno and Las Vegas

“The nearly complete first phase of the Nevada Electric Highway will offer a total of five charging stations on U.S. 95 between Reno and Las Vegas. Stations in Beatty, Fallon and Hawthorne are currently operational, and the final two stations in Indian Springs and Tonopah are scheduled to come online later this year.

Phase II: Interstate 15, Interstate 80, U.S. Highway 93 and U.S. Highway 50

A total of 39 charging stations are planned along Nevada’s remaining major highways as part of Phase II, which began in 2017. Currently there is one operational station along U.S. 93 in Panaca, located in Lincoln County near the Utah border.

Business Incentives:
The Nevada Electric Highway is required to have direct current (DC) fast charging sites less than 50 miles apart and within five miles of the corridor. The highways and number of stations required for each include:

I-15: one to two sites
I-80: three to five sites
U.S. 95: four to five sites
U.S. 50: four sites

Earn incentives for the installation of publically available charging stations. NV Energy will pay up to $150,000 for charging sites with existing three-phase power, and up to $300,000 for sites without existing three-phase power – not to exceed 75 percent of the total cost of Nevada Electric Highway installation. Eligible locations must have a minimum of two DC fast chargers.

If you have questions about the Nevada Electric Highway, please email us at NevadaElectricHighway@nvenergy.com.”


1. Governor’s Office of Energy:


2. Nevada Electric Highway Fact Sheet (PDF):


3. Nevada Electric Highway Map (PDF):


4. Plugshare Charging Map:


NEVA blog posted by Stan Hanel, Outreach Coordinator

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Volkswagen I.D. R Electric Supercar Dominates Pikes Peak Hill Climb

Author: stanhanel
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Since the automobile first appeared during the end of the 19th century, motor car enthusiasts have thrilled to an unending quest to drive more speed out of their chariots.

Electric cars were the kings of speed during that early era.

Le Jamais Contente electric car was the first road vehicle to travel over 100 kilometers per hour (62 mph) during May 1899.

Le Jamais Contente (translation: “The Never Satisfied”) was an electric race car shaped like a torpedo, that was driven by Camille Jenatzy on open roads in Paris, France.

The metal body of the electric car was made of partinium, a light alloy of laminated aluminum, tungsten, and magnesium. Two electric motors delivered a combined 68 horsepower to the rear wheels of the vehicle. The motor was driven by a 200-volt battery pack underneath the driver, that could provide 124 amps of current to each motor.

Innovative rubber tires were produced by the Michelin brothers from nearby Clermont-Ferrand in France, to provide better traction and reduce rolling resistance to the wheels of Le Jamais Contente.

During May 1899, the car and driver were the fastest team on land, exceeding 100 kilometers per hour (62 mph) for the first time ever recorded.

120 years later in 2018, electric race cars are once again setting land-speed records in the worldwide automotive racing community during the 21st century. Revolutionary, electric-powered automobiles may soon regain their lost racing crowns from the gasoline-powered, internal-combustion-engine vehicles of yesteryear.

Volkswagen I.D. R electric supercar shattered the existing Pike’s Peak hill climb racing record by 15 seconds.

Volkswagen unveiled its new I.D. R electric race car during the Pikes Peak Hill Climb in Colorado Springs on June 24, 2018.

Driven by European racing champion Romain Dumas, the Volkswagen I.D. R shattered the standing record for the high-altitude race course, previously set during 2013 by Sebastien Loeb and his Peugeot 208 T16 Pikes Peak at 8 minutes, 13.873 seconds.

The all-wheel-drive electric supercar from Volkswagen completed the “race to the clouds” over the twisting 12.4-mile vertical roadway in just 7 minutes, 58.147 seconds.

Dumas and the Volkswagen I.D. R eclipsed the best internal-combustion-engine record ever achieved on the hill climb course by 15 seconds!

The record-breaking run was filmed by aerial helicopter cameras for Volkswagen Motorsports and distributed on YouTube:


The electric supercar drivetrain employed two electric motors that combine to produce 670 horsepower and 479 lb-ft. of torque to accelerate the supercar from zero to 60 miles per hour in just 2.2 seconds.

Regenerative braking helped Dumas glide through multiple hairpin turns on his race to the top of the mountain.

The electric supercar weighs just 2,245 lbs. and is equipped with a front-end diffuser, a massive rear wing and floor extensions on either side that create a strong downforce to keep the car pressed to the road.

Inside the roll cage cockpit of the Volkswagen I.D. R electric supercar.

Safety apparatus and a strong roll cage are critical to protect the driver in case of an accident caused by tricky weather conditions, road hazards, or driver error.

Dramatic Pike’s Peak races of the past have been accompanied by many compilation videos on YouTube that show what happens when a racer runs off this mountainous two-lane roadway, as his vehicle rolls hundreds of feet down the mountainside.

Earlier race cars with internal combustion engines would often struggle to maintain a good air-fuel mixture while climbing to an altitude exceeding 14,000 feet high atop the Rocky Mountain range of Colorado.

No such problem for the Volkswagen I.D. R electric supercar.

NEVA blog by Stan Hanel, Outreach Coordinator

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Plug-In EV Tax Credit Cap of 200,000 Vehicles Being Met by Tesla and GM During 2018.

Author: stanhanel
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During 2008, the Energy Improvement and Extension Act of 2008 was signed into law by President George W. Bush, in response to his 2006 State of the Union speech where he acknowledged that “America is addicted to oil”. President Bush resolved to replace 75 percent of the nation’s Mideast oil imports by 2025. The cost of an unrefined barrel of crude oil exceeded $100 during 2008 as refined gasoline prices at local service station pumps approached $4 per gallon nationally, helping trigger a Great Recession that devastated Nevada and the rest of the country from 2009 to 2014.

The new law established a Qualified Plug-in Electric Vehicle (PEV) Tax Credit that could be applied to the purchase of new vehicles by US consumers that met these requirements:


“A tax credit is available for the purchase of a new qualified PEV that draws propulsion using a traction battery that has at least five kilowatt-hours (kWh) of capacity, uses an external source of energy to recharge the battery, has a gross vehicle weight rating of up to 14,000 pounds, and meets specified emission standards. The minimum credit amount is $2,500, and the credit may be up to $7,500, based on each vehicle’s traction battery capacity and the gross vehicle weight rating. The credit will begin to be phased out for each manufacturer in the second quarter following the calendar quarter in which a minimum of 200,000 qualified PEVs have been sold by that manufacturer for use in the United States. This tax credit applies to vehicles acquired after December 31, 2009. For more information, including qualifying vehicles and sales by manufacturer, see the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) PEV Credit website. Also refer to IRS Form 8936, which is available via the IRS Forms and Publications website.”

(Reference Public Law 112-240, Section 403; and 26 U.S. Code 30D)

Point of Contact
U.S. Internal Revenue Service
Phone: (800) 829-1040

During 2010, GM began manufacturing and selling the Chevrolet Volt plug-in hybrid vehicle (PHEV), whose electric-motor drive train could travel about 36 miles of range from energy stored in a 16-kWh battery pack before a gasoline-powered generator turned on, to continue producing electricity for the battery and electric motor onboard. With two power sources, the Volt could travel a total range exceeding 300 miles.

Nissan manufactured the LEAF battery-powered electric vehicle with a 24-kWh battery pack that gave the electric-motor drive train a range of 80 to 100 miles before it needed to be recharged.

Tesla Motors introduced a two-seat electric Roadster, based on a Lotus Elise sports car chassis, whose electric drive train could travel about 220 miles from a 56-kWh battery pack before recharging.

Under the Obama administration, additional funding of $2.4 billion was invested into growing technologies related to electric cars, as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. The Obama administration hoped to achieve sales of one million plug-in electric cars by 2015.

Due to technology and infrastructure issues, the goal was not achieved during that timeline but may become reality by the end of 2018. Currently, the Electric Drive Transportation Association has counted 871,394 new plug-in electric vehicle sales on US roads and highways since 2010:


Recent monthly sales of plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEV) and battery-powered electric vehicles (BEV) by automotive manufacturers have increased during 2018 to more than 20,000 per month, with new 2019 plug-in EV models coming online for the first time during the fall of this year.

In July 2018, Tesla Motors acknowledged that it had reached the 200,000-vehicle cap for the availability of consumer federal tax credits through sales of its Roadster, Model S, Model X, and Model 3 electric cars over the last eight years.

The original $7,500 tax credit will continue to be available to Tesla electric car buyers who take delivery by the end of December 2018. Then during 2019, from January 1 to June 30, the federal tax credit will drop by 50 percent to $3,750 on Tesla vehicle purchases. From July 1 to December 30 in 2019, the credit will be reduced in half again to just $1,875 for Tesla EVs, before it finally expires at the end of 2019.

General Motors may also reach the 200,000 vehicle cap this year due to its increased sales of both the Chevrolet Volt and Chevrolet Bolt EV battery-powered electric car.

Other worldwide automotive manufacturers who entered the plug-in electric car market at a later date, still have room to sell their EV models in the US with the federal tax credit, while still under the 200,000-vehicle cap for the next few years. The

The Inside EV website has published a comparative list of all competing plug-in EV models by manufacturers worldwide:


Under the Trump administration, an extension of the federal tax credit is not certain. Republican leaders considered eliminating the credit during a tax overhaul session in November 2017, but the federal tax credit for plug-in EVs remained intact after tax legislation was passed.

House Bill H.R. 6274, known as the Electric CARS Act of 2018, was introduced by Democratic congressman Peter Welch from Vermont and backed by national electric utilities during June 2018. The bill would seek to lift the 200,000-vehicle cap and extend it for the next ten years. Another section of the Electric CARS Act of 2018 would also allow consumers to receive the credit at the point of sale, rather than waiting until the following year to file through IRS Form 8936. The federal tax credit would instead be awarded to the financial institution that funded the financial purchase of the EV, as is already done through EV leasing agreements by dealerships with consumers:


Compromise bills also being discussed in national legislative committee sessions aim to lift the cap but reduce the amount of the federal tax credit per vehicle.

As battery manufacturing costs continue to drop while DC Fast Charge infrastructure continues to develop worldwide, automotive industry analysts project that the cost of electric cars will be competitive with the cost of gasoline-powered cars during the next decade, even without a federal tax incentive.

China, now the largest automotive marketplace in the world, has offered EV incentives to its population of 1.4 billion people, while encouraging domestic companies to take the lead in developing electric vehicles and technologies that can be sold worldwide as part of the government’s “Made in China” initiatives.

India and Europe are also ramping up electric car development efforts within their regions of the world.

NEVA blog posted by Stan Hanel, Outreach Coordinator

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Tesla Las Vegas Service Center Expands but Corporation Lays Off 3,600 Employees during June 2018.

Author: stanhanel
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The Tesla Service Center in Las Vegas has moved from its original Badura Road location to a new, expanded facility at 7077 West Sahara Avenue, within the heart of the city’s auto row.

New Tesla service center in Las Vegas relocated to 7077 West Sahara Avenue.

The new 26,000 square-foot building is twice as large as the company’s original retail store in Las Vegas.

Service entrance ramps at new Tesla customer facility at 7077 West Sahara Blvd in Las Vegas.

The new facility has more exhibit space and seven service bays that provide a larger service area than the previous location.

Six Tesla High-Power charging stations are available for refueling by Tesla owners at the service center.

Six Tesla High-Power charging stations are available in the outside parking lot for Tesla customers, as well as lots of additional parking spaces for staging vehicles and showcasing Model S, X and Model 3 vehicles for sale.

Tesla Model 3 (left) awaits delivery next to Tesla Model S at Las Vegas service center on 7077 West Sahara Blvd.

According to Tesla statements during a previous earnings call after the first quarter of 2018, there are still about 400,000 Model 3 vehicles that have been pre-ordered by customers online who have placed a $1000 deposit to reserve their place in line.

A local sales representative at the Tesla store stated that there is at least a 12-month wait from the time of placing an order for a new Model 3 sedan online until actual factory construction and delivery, now anticipated sometime during July to December 2019.

The company has been able to ramp up production during the first six months of this year, achieving 5,000 Model 3 vehicles during the last week of June 2018, as well as 2,000 Model S and Model X vehicles.

Also during June, Tesla, Inc, announced layoffs of 3,600 salaried positions from its total of approximately 40,000 employees across all its divisions. This was about 9 percent of the workforce.

Tesla Chairman and CEO Elon Musk stated that the downsizing and consolidation of departments since the acquisition of SolarCity during 2017, was necessary in order to regain a position of profitability from its ongoing operations:


Production personnel for the Tesla Motors division were not affected, according to the Chairman and CEO, in order to continue to meet weekly target production goals.

The Tesla Gigafactory in Storey County, Nevada at the Tahoe-Reno Industrial Park (east of Sparks), employs about 2,417 people, where 1,636 are direct Tesla employees, according to a state audit in September 2017.

Tesla has projected that it will hire up to 6,500 employees for the Gigafactory by 2024. Tesla and Panasonic have invested over $3.27 billion to construct and operate the plant.

NEVA blog posted by Stan Hanel, Outreach Coordinator

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Volkswagen Electrify America EVSE Program Update

Author: stanhanel
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A website for the Volkswagen Electrify America program has been updated with a map showing the locations of a proposed network of DC Fast Charge and Ultra-Fast Charge stations across the United States, including the first sites that have become available on the east and west coasts:

Volkswagen Electrify America map of proposed DC Fast Charge station site locations within U.S.

During April 2018, the VW Electrify America program announced partnerships with Greenlots, Walmart, Target and other large corporations to roll out phase one of its national network of DC Fast Charge and Ultra-Fast Charge electric vehicle supply equipment (EVSE). Site installations are planned to be completed by June 2019.

DC Fast Charge System manufactured by ABB for VW Electrify America program.

The initial network will include 2,000 DC Fast Chargers or Ultra-Fast Chargers at 484 charging station location sites by June 2019.

Walmart will host 100 sites at locations in 34 states that have been planned for installation.

Other corporate partners that have agreed to host EVSE stations for the VW Electrify America program include Target Corporation, Brixmoor Property Group, Kimco Realty Corporation, Sheetz, Casey’s General Stores, DDR Corporation, and Global Partners LP’s Alltown.

Each charging station site will offer from four to ten DC Fast Chargers, outfitted with both SAE Combined Charging System (CCS1) connectors and CHAdeMO standard connectors. The charging station cables and connectors can transfer electric power to vehicle battery packs equipped with a battery management system that can accommodate a fast charging rate of 50kW, 150kW, or “Ultra-Fast” 350kW. These charging station sites will be located in 17 metro areas, as well as along highways in 39 states.

DC Fast Charge station manufactured by BTC Power for the VW Electrify America program.

Volkswagen has partnered with four international electric vehicle supply equipment (EVSE) manufacturers of DC Fast Charge and Ultra-Fast Charge 350 kW stations to provide more than 2000 EVSE with CCS1 and CHAdeMO standard connectors. These include ABB, BTC Power, EFACEC and Signet.

More information about the EVSE charging station technologies was provided by the VW Electrify America program in a press release announcement on April 17, 2018:

“The chargers have been custom-designed for Electrify America and have several advanced features including liquid-cooled cables. This is the first time that liquid cooled CCS1 charging cables have received certification. The cooling is a key factor in enabling higher-amperage charging without a significant increase in the cable thickness for charging power at and above 150kW from 350 amps.

The majority of Electrify America’s ultra-fast charging systems will utilize the RADOX® HPC (High Power Charging) System from HUBER+SUHNER which features a much smaller cable cross section than the traditional high-powered cable option. These cooled cables are thinner, more flexible, lighter and easier to handle. The chargers will have an all new intuitive and informative 15-inch touch screen display, to provide a simplified “Plug-Pay-Charge-Go” experience, including opt-in text notifications for in-session monitoring and receipt delivery.

In addition, the chargers will also feature redundant physical buttons below the display to navigate through the various screens. Credit card readers are included for universal driver access to the Electrify America network. Functionally, the chargers are up to eight feet high designed for optimal visibility and easy vehicle charge port access without complex, maintenance prone mechanical cable management systems.”

Each charging station site will also offer SAE J1772 level 2 chargers for older EVs not equipped with the CCS connector standard.

Greenlots will become the network administrator for this $2 billion EVSE network within the U.S. through its existing SKY(tm) EV Charging Network Software. SKY can provide EVSE site managers with host-configurable apps and services for GPS location, station communication, 24/7 online maintenance, payment systems, and historical usage reports:


EV drivers visiting the charging station sites can download a Greenlots mobile phone app from both the Apple App Store and Google Play Store that provides several useful services and features.

With the Greenlots mobile phone app, EV drivers can locate the nearest DC Fast Charge station along their driving route, use their mobile phones to activate the stations and make payments if required, monitor the charging progress of their EV battery pack in real time while their car is connected, and also receive a charging history log from the Greenlots network for each user account:


The Greenlots mobile phone app also interconnects to other EVSE networks outside the VW Electrify America program, that are also supported by the SKY network worldwide.

VW Electrify America Program History

Volkswagen Group had originally released a public version of the first cycle of its 10-year Electrify America program during April 2017, as part of a $1.2 billion settlement with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Department of Justice, and the U.S. Federal Trade Commission for violation of the US Clean Air Act after a “defeat device” scandal that involved 500,000 Volkswagen Group diesel vehicles sold into the US between 2009 – 2015.

Volkswagen and Audi cars that employed the company’s “turbo direct injection” TDI diesel engines actually exceeded emissions standards required by the U.S. Clean Air Act, under real-world driving conditions.

Deceptive software tuning of emission controls was employed within the TDI engine when each vehicle was undergoing smog emissions testing in a stationary position. However, once the vehicle began moving, the engine was automatically retuned for performance on the fly. Resulting real-world driving emissions, particularly Nitrogen Oxide (NOx), significantly exceeded standard emissions required by the US Clean Air Act, in some cases more than 30 times higher.

Volkswagen of America claimed in its advertising documents at the time that it did not need additional devices on its TDI vehicles to suppress NOx and other harmful emissions, as its catalytic converter and filtration system were of superior design to its competitors, who were employing more expensive liquid additives (e.g. BMW AdBlue systems), in addition to their catalytic converter systems, to meet both US and European emission standards.

The Volkswagen Group advertising claims were proven to be false by a University of West Virginia research study, that uncovered the “defeat device” being used to fool the federal smog testing system nationwide. The U.S. FTC, Department of Justice, and EPA sued Volkswagen Group through separate billion-dollar lawsuits, to recover damages to U.S. consumers and residents because of both fraud and environmental impact.

A PDF copy of the National Zero Emissions Vehicle (ZEV) Investment Plan can be found at the U.S. EPA Enforcement webpage:


A downloadable copy of the PDF file is available through this link:


The 10-year plan will be implemented in four 30-month cycles over ten years, with each cycle funded at $500 million, for a total of $2 billion. Implementation of the first cycle is scheduled between Q1 2017 to Q2 2019.

The Nevada Governor’s Office of Energy had submitted proposals to the U.S. EPA that complied with the National ZEV Investment Plan, in order to use the Electrify America program funding to build out its Nevada Electric Highway program by 2020, along highway corridors throughout the state.

However, the most recent announcements by Volkswagen Group to implement its Electrify America plan have established partnerships with national chains of “brick and mortar” retail stores and convenience stores within the U.S to implement its network of DC Fast Charge stations nationwide over the next year.

Nevada statewide coverage through the VW Electrify America Phase 1 program that should be completed by June 2019, will include DC Fast Charge and Ultra-Fast Charger stations along interstate highways I-15 and I-80 running east to west.

Strategic locations along US Highway 95 that connect Reno and Las Vegas north to south will also host DC Fast Charger sites from the Electrify America program, in order to create a high-speed charging corridor for electric cars between the two largest metropolitan districts within the state.

NEVA Blog posted by Stan Hanel, Outreach

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Earth Day 2018 Events in Nevada

Author: stanhanel
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Earth Day on April 22nd each year is an annual celebration of the global environment, that also calls attention to worldwide problems that potentially threaten the future of the earth’s ecosystem.

Supporters of the planet’s natural habitat use Earth Day as a platform to challenge the world’s population to live more sustainably, so that all residents benefit from a healthy, more natural environment.

Nevada Earth Day celebrations in Las Vegas and Reno both showcased electric cars.

Las Vegas

GreenFest 2018 celebrated Earth Day at Downtown Summerlin in Las Vegas with over 120 exhibitor booths.

On Saturday, April 21st, the Green Alliance of Nevada staged its annual GreenFest 2018 festival at Downtown Summerlin in Las Vegas from 9 AM to 5 PM:

A BMW i8 plug-in hybrid car parked at Las Vegas Cyclery while staging a Green Vehicle Procession.

The NEVA program organized a Green Vehicle Procession to kick off the event. Alternative-fuel vehicles staged in the parking lot of Las Vegas Cyclery about 3/4 of a mile away and drove in a caravan to Downtown Summerlin.

Ray Malkewicz prepares to lead a Green Procession in his Tesla Model 3 during festivities at GreenFest 2018.

The caravan was led by Ray Malkewicz who drove a Tesla Model 3, accompanied by several Tesla Model S electric cars, a Kia Soul EV, a GEM Neighborhood Electric Vehicle, Zero electric motorcycle and a customized electric bicycle.

NEVA outreach coordinators also helped organize a Clean Energy Drive zone within GreenFest 2018, that included an alternative-fuel vehicle car show. The NEVA booth featured a Tesla Motors Model S, that was demonstrated by Jeffrey Price of the Las Vegas Tesla Owners group.

Clean Energy Drive was an exhibit at GreenFest 2018 organized by the NEVA program that featured alternative-fuel vehicles.

Local dealerships featured hybrids, plug-in hybrids and battery-powered electric cars on Clean Energy Drive.

2018 Porsche Panamera S e-hybrid is a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle with a turbo-charged V6 engine that can produce 650 horsepower when combined with the electric motor drive train.

Gaudin Porsche exhibited two 2018 Porsche Panamera S e-hybrid and a 2018 Porsche Cayenne S e-hybrid. All of these vehicles are plug-in hybrid electric cars that have been built for performance as well as gasoline efficiency.

Findlay Chevrolet featured a 2018 Chevrolet Bolt EV and 2018 Chevrolet Bolt plug-in hybrid within the Clean Energy Drive.

Findlay Chevrolet showcased a Chevrolet Bolt EV and Chevrolet Volt plug-in hybrid electric vehicle.

Under the hood of a Chevrolet Bolt EV.

Lexus of Las Vegas featured three high-performance luxury hybrid vehicles.

Lexus of Las Vegas featured three high-end Lexus hybrid vehicles.

Las Vegas Electric Vehicle Association exhibited a 1974 Aztec 7 kit car by FiberFab that had been converted to run on electric power.

The Las Vegas Electric Vehicle Association, a local chapter of the international Electric Auto Association, exhibited a 1974 FiberFab Aztec 7 kit car that had been converted to run on electric power, as well as a 2012 Nissan LEAF, and a customized electric bicycle.

Xtreme Green Sentinel Personal Mobility Vehicle

Xtreme Green Citadel Pro All-Terrain Vehicle

Xtreme Green Electric Vehicles from Las Vegas displayed two of their rugged EVs for security and military applications, that included an off-road all-terrain vehicle as well as a one-man security patrol transport.

NV Energy Renewable Generations trailer in Clean Energy Drive Zone featured a walk-through display of photovoltaic solar and solar heating programs.

Other exhibitors in the Clean Energy Drive zone included NV Energy with a walkthrough trailer that highlighted the electric utility’s Renewable Generations program. This program includes photovoltaic solar generation services, as well as energy storage and “time of use” rate programs specifically for electric car owners:

Bus-sized mobile display by Regional Transportation Commission of Southern Nevada showcased public transit programs.

The Regional Transportation Commission of Southern Nevada showcased a walk-through bus exhibit with video monitors that highlighted public transit options for residents of the Las Vegas valley.

Southwest Gas exhibited a 2015 Chevrolet Impala and a 2016 Ford F-150 pickup truck fueled by Compressed Natural Gas (CNG).

Southwest Gas showcased two vehicles that used compressed natural gas (CNG) as fuel for their internal combustion engines, instead of gasoline. These included a 2015 Chevrolet Impala and a 2016 Ford F-150 pickup truck.

Solar distributor Sol-Up also displayed a BMW i3 electric car at its booth.


On Sunday, April 22nd, the Reno Earth Day 2018 celebration was staged at Idlewild Park from 11 AM to 6 PM:


Cynthia Ryan, President of the Electric Auto Association of Northern Nevada (EAANN) blogged about the event:


EAANN encourages driving electric at Reno earth day celebration

A new location at Reno’s Earth Day celebration (April 23rd) at scenic Idlewild Park, on the banks of the Truckee River, drew even more crowds as EAANN members showed off their cars and spoke to the many benefits of driving electric. Earth Day organizers said there were more than 350 booths, and the event was attended by about 30,000 visitors!

On hand: Chuck Swackhammer with his 2017 Chevrolet Bolt, Cynthia Ryan with her 2017 Chevrolet Volt, Humberto Valencia with his much anticipated Tesla Model 3 and Chevrolet Spark, Greg Wilson with his 2014 Chevrolet Volt, Ken Andrews with his Tesla Model S, Bob and LeeAnn Marsh with their iconic (and show stopping!) Tesla Roadster, and Rafael Garcia from Nissan of Reno with the all new 2018 Nissan LEAF – the world’s bestselling electric car!
We wish to thank everybody who brought a car!

This event is always a favorite, since we can reach a large number of folks who are already inclined to be receptive towards driving electric to save the planet, combat climate change and save money.

NEVA blog post by Stan Hanel, Educational Outreach Coordinator, and Cynthia Ryan, EAANN President

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Boulder City Adds Solar-Powered Charging Station at City Hall

Author: stanhanel
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Boulder City in southern Nevada began as a company town that housed the builders of Boulder Dam, later renamed Hoover Dam.

The city grew and became a popular tourist destination for visitors who stopped to tour this marvel of 1930’s engineering and construction that is still impressive today.

Hoover Dam has the capacity to generate 2000 Megawatts of electric power everyday from huge electric generators spun by the falling waters of the Colorado River. That electricity is distributed to nearby Boulder City, as well as to the Southern Nevada Water Authority, whose electric pumps maintain the flow of clean water throughout the Las Vegas valley.

Boulder City installed four Aerovironment SAE J1772 AC Level 2 EVSE within City Hall parking structure.

During 2017, Boulder City installed a solar-powered charging station with four SAE J1772 AC Level 2 stations available to the public during the day, as well as multiple 110 VAC outlets mounted to the support posts of the photovoltaic solar structure.

The charging stations and solar-covered structure are located in the parking area near City Hall, on the corner of Arizona Street and California Street.

A Sunny Boy Inverter changes DC voltage from photovoltaic solar panels to AC for use by Level 2 charging system.

The stations also provide electric power and shade to the city’s fleet of Nissan LEAF electric cars, that are used daily by city employees.

Boulder City fleet vehicle is a Nissan LEAF.

NEVA blog posted by Stan Hanel, Educational Outreach Coordinator

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Hawthorne DC Fast Charge Station Installed Along Nevada Electric Highway

Author: stanhanel
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The Nevada Electric Highway program, administered by the Governor’s Office of Energy, added a DC Fast Charge site in Hawthorne near the intersection of US Highway 95 and US 50 Lincoln Highway.

The installation is a key part of a statewide plan to enable electric car owners to be able to travel more easily on long-range road trips over Nevada highways. The first leg of the Nevada Electric Highway will connect Las Vegas and Reno along US Highway 95 with DC Fast Charge stations located every 100 miles at Beatty, Tonopah, Hawthorne and Fallon:


A DC Fast Charge station can provide electric power at a rate of 50 kiloWatts, about eight times faster than an SAE J1772 AC Level 2 electric vehicle supply equipment, usually rated at about 6.6 kilowatts.

A Nissan LEAF or Chevrolet Bolt EV can recharge at a DC Fast Charge station in just 20 minutes to add a range of 100 miles, compared to 4 to 5 hours of time required to recharge at a J1772 AC Level 2 station.

CHAdeMo plug for Nissan LEAF and other Japanese electric cars can provide DC Fast Charge at 50 kW.

Each DC Fast Charge station will have two different connectors that are compliant with both the Japanese CHAdeMo plug-in standard, as well as the SAE Combined Charging System (CCS, also known as SAE Combo) that is popular in the US, Europe, and South Korea.

SAE Combo (Combined Charging System) for EVs manufactured by US and European companies, including the Chevrolet Bolt EV and BMW i3.

Another DC Fast Charge site sponsored by the program is located at the Eddie World Gasoline station at 900 East U.S.-95 in Beatty, supported by Valley Electric Association co-op utility.

The Fox Peak Gas Station, located at 615 E. Williams Avenue on Fallon Paiute-Shoshone tribal land in Fallon, also hosts a DC Fast Charge site.

Rest stop area in Hawthorne includes both Chargepoint DC Quick Charge station and SAE J1772 AC Level 2 EVSE

The new site in Hawthorne was installed at a rest area administered by the Nevada Department of Transportation, with funding and support from NV Energy, as well as the Nevada Governor’s Office of Energy.

The electric car recharging site also includes an SAE J1772 AC Level 2 charging station with two plugs and is located at:

400 10th Street, Hawthorne, NV 89415.

More details about the Hawthorne site, including the proximity of a McDonald’s restaurant, can be found through the Plugshare mobile phone app at:


NEVA blog posted by Stan Hanel, Outreach Coordinator

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Starman Rides Tesla Roadster Electric Car to Mars

Author: stanhanel
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SpaceX made aerospace history on February 6, 2018 by launching its first Falcon Heavy rocket into outer space while retrieving two of the booster rockets as they simultaneously landed under their own power near the original launch pad at Cape Kennedy.


The payload for the launch was a cherry-red Tesla Roadster, owned by SpaceX founder and CEO Elon Musk, The two-seat electric sportscar was accompanied on its space flight by a mannequin named Starman, who was positioned in the car’s driver seat while wearing a SpaceX crew flight suit.

Starman mannequin rides Tesla Roadster to Mars.

Three cameras were positioned around the Roadster convertible with its “top down”, on the hood of the vehicle looking back towards the driver’s seat, within the driver’s cockpit looking out through the windshield, and on a mount outside the left door looking in and over the Starman mannequin.

Starman and the Tesla Roadster orbited the earth for several cycles, before pointing the payload towards Mars and igniting the final upper stage rocket engine to send them on their way.

Streaming video of the earth orbit from all three camera views looking back at earth, were recorded by SpaceX during that time of planetary orbit:

The future is electric and rocket-powered!

NEVA blog posted by Stan Hanel, Outreach Coordinator

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Automotive Highlights from CES 2018 in Las Vegas

Author: stanhanel
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CES 2018 brought more than 175,000 international attendees and 4,000 exhibitors to Las Vegas during January for this annual consumer electronics tradeshow.

The automotive exhibits within CES this year included over 170 companies and eleven major auto manufacturers, rated as the 10th largest car show within the US. Each year, the newest innovations in electric drive trains, advanced driver assistance systems, and autonomous vehicles are usually unveiled for the first time at this venue, ahead of the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, Michigan that is usually staged two weeks later each January.

Ford Motor Company

Jim Hackett, Ford Motor Company CEO, gave a keynote speech about transportation infrastructure during the first day of the tradeshow that showcased a new approach from the company. Hackett came to Ford from outside the car industry and has been spending time with Chairman Bill Ford to rethink how automobiles can be interconnected with urban environments.

Hackett emphasized that company founder Henry Ford’s original vision of providing freedom and progress for American citizens through cheaper transportation succeeded greatly in moving lifestyles outside city limits onto open roads and into “sub-urban” housing expansions. However, urban centers lost their human connections and “shared sense of belonging”, as populations and traffic jams became more dense, requiring the need for more parking regions in a city that displaced gathering spaces, small service businesses, and interactive communication among residents within downtown city centers.

“What is the point of building amazing technology solutions if they don’t improve the destination where you are going?” said Hackett. “How should we live? What is a good life? What kind of cities do we want? How should we communicate with each other?”

Hackett observed that, as technology has gotten faster, bigger, and “more”, it has also become more invasive. People have become anxious about the impact on their private lives and even on civic life in general. How can Ford Motor Company harness changing automotive technologies to improve lives, serve human needs and re-establish a general sense of community within urban city centers?

The company is currently proposing and leading several engineering solutions aimed at improving the quality of life for both urban drivers and residents, a concept that Hackett calls “living streets”. How can roads become hospitality curbs and transportation corridors that improve the quality of life for small business owners and employees who live, work and play in the same location?

One automotive solution is to enable smarter transportation in cities by creating a software tool called a Transportation Mobility Cloud (TMC) that would be open for interactive usage by city managers, local non-profit organizations and business developers alike. Data acquisition by the TMC would be aided by installing data connectivity into all of Ford’s new vehicles, a development program the company calls Connected Vehicle To Everything (CV2X). Ford is also increasing investment in the electrification of its product line by $11 billion through 2022.

Ford will be partnering with Domino’s Pizza and Postmates to develop self-driving vehicles and fleets that can move food and package deliveries autonomously.

Ford Fusion Hybrid Equipped with Self-Driving Technology

Ford Fusion Hybrid Equipped with Self-Driving Technology

Ford has also partnered with business developers to brand personal “last mile” transportation for urban travel, such as electric bicycles and electric scooters.

Ford Motor Company Brand Partner Shows E-bike

Ford Motor Company Brand Partner Shows E-bike

OJO Scooter Company Partners with Ford Motor Company Branding

OJO Scooter Company Partners with Ford Motor Company Branding

Honda Emphasizes Friendly Robotics Technologies in Automotive Platforms

Honda considers itself a robot company, as well as an automotive manufacturing company. The CES 2018 display in the North Hall of the Las Vegas Convention Center emphasized the need to make the robotics technologies within cars more friendly, intuitive and empathetic while being connected to people and the surrounding world.

Honda emphasized its empathetic and friendly robotics technologies.

Honda emphasized its empathetic and friendly robotics technologies.

Toyota Unveils Autonomous Shuttle Bus With Adjustable Living Space

Toyota autonomous bus with advertising billboards on side panels.

Toyota autonomous bus with advertising billboards on side panels.

During CES 2018, the Toyota booth featured a concept of an autonomous shuttle bus that included see-through LED display billboards on either side panel of the vehicle. The internal space within the shuttle bus could be reconfigured as more than just rows of seats. The display billboards pictured the vehicle as a traveling office space, sleeping quarters, or mobile party room.

Daimler SMART electric car gets a new look with scissor doors

Daimler SMART car redesigned for the 21st century.

Daimler SMART car redesigned for the 21st century.

Daimler SMART car with scissor doors

Daimler SMART car with scissor doors

Mercedes-Benz always brings remarkable styling to its concept cars

Mercedes-Benz concept car

Mercedes-Benz concept car

Hyundai and Kia Concept Cars

Both Hyundai and Kia automotive companies from South Korea were showing advanced concepts of the two companies’ electrified automotive platforms. Hyundai unveiled its “Nexo” fuel-cell powered electric vehicle while Kia gave a closeup look at its “Niro” battery-powered electric car.

Hyundai unveiled its Nexo fuel-cell EV at CES 2018.

Hyundai unveiled its Nexo fuel-cell EV at CES 2018.

Hyundai displayed a cutaway version of its Nexo fuel-cell electric car, including the hydrogen fuel tank and electric-motor drive train.

Hyundai displayed a cutaway version of its Nexo fuel-cell electric car, including the hydrogen fuel tank and electric-motor drive train.

Kia already makes a hybrid and plug-in hybrid version of the Niro. The company introduced a new all-electric model during CES 2018, that will complete the drive train options available, similar to the three Hyundai Ioniq product lines.


Kia introduced its Niro Electric Car during CES 2018.

Kia introduced its Niro Electric Car during CES 2018.

Delphi Technologies and Aptiv

Delpi Technologies displayed internal component systems that will enable 800-volt electric drive trains.

Delpi Technologies displayed internal component systems that will enable 800-volt electric drive trains.

During November 2017, Delphi spun off its automotive drive train division as a standalone company called Aptiv, that has focused on developing autonomous, self-driving vehicles for major automotive manufacturers.

During CES 2018, Aptiv partnered with Lyft ride-hailing company to give demos of Level 4 autonomous cars, developed on BMW platforms, that could drive themselves to passenger destinations around Las Vegas. During the demonstration, a driver was always behind the wheel, but driving operations were performed without human intervention within real-world city traffic during a busy CES 2018 trade show that welcomed over 175,000 additional visitors to the Las Vegas Strip and convention centers.

The Lyft service office was temporarily based in an Airstream trailer on the Gold lot of the Las Vegas Convention Center where ride-hailing app menus were demonstrated to potential passengers by Lyft employees. When an autonomous vehicle arrived at the Gold lot hub, passenger destinations were entered into each vehicle’s GPS system. These included trips to Caesars Palace along Las Vegas Blvd, as well as 19 other destinations.

During the five days of CES 2018, Lyft and Aptiv offered over 400 rides to passengers in their autonomous vehicles. Tech Crunch shared a YouTube video about the autonomous driving experience at CES 2018 in Las Vegas:

Aptiv-labeled autonomous research vehicles were also found at other exhibit booths of major automotive manufacturers within the Las Vegas Convention Center, including Audi.

Aptiv has partnered with Audi to develop autonomous vehicle driving systems.

Aptiv has partnered with Audi to develop autonomous vehicle driving systems.

Delphi Technologies has continued to develop the internal component systems that will power the next generation of electric-drive vehicles. Within the next three years, Delphi engineers are anticipating that traction battery pack sizes will increase from 400 Volts DC to 800 Volts DC, along with larger power transistors and inverter modules to convert and carry this higher power from the battery pack to the electric drive train. Larger battery packs with more power should continue to improve the range and performance for electric cars, while also encouraging faster recharging rates of battery pack modules up to 350 kilowatts.

Delphi Technologies Display touts benefits of 800-volt electric drive train components.

Delphi Technologies Display touts benefits of 800-volt electric drive train components.

New power transistors made from silicon carbide (SiC) materials inside Metal Oxide Silicon Field Effect Transistors (MOSFET), as well as silicon-based Insulated Gate Bipolar Transistors (IGBT) are already capable of high-speed switching and control of 800-volt electric motor systems.

The venerable 12-volt auxiliary battery that normally provides power to all the peripheral electronics in a vehicle will also go through an upgrade over the next few years to a standardized 48-volt system. These higher-capacity batteries will more reliably carry low-voltage currents to vehicle lighting, sensor, computing, and actuator systems that will be included in new vehicles, from stop-start mild hybrid systems to fully autonomous electric-drive vehicles.

A 48-volt standard auxiliary battery system is still considered a low-voltage power system (blue and yellow cabling) for third-party product implementation on a vehicle, compared to more rigorous standards required for high-voltage traction battery packs (orange cabling).


Continental exhibited its integrated electric-motor drive train capable of supporting 800-volt traction battery systems.

Continental exhibited its integrated electric-motor drive train capable of supporting 800-volt traction battery systems.

Continental is another automotive tier-one components supplier who is also developing systems for electric car drive trains. The company exhibited some of its integrated electric motor and inverter systems, that employ boost electronics to help regulate 400-volt as well as 800-volt drive systems. The company has also partnered with ABB to enable DC Fast Charge systems for quicker recharging of traction battery packs.

Velodyne Displays Multiple LIDAR Sensors mounted on NAVYA Autonomous Robotaxi

Rear and side views of LIDAR sensors from Velodyne mounted on NAVYA autonomous Robotaxi.

Rear and side views of LIDAR sensors from Velodyne mounted on NAVYA autonomous Robotaxi.

Commercial versions of LIDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) sensors have become more popular for implementation on autonomous cars because of their capability to quickly detect both shape and depth of oncoming vehicles, obstacles or people. Velodyne has been a leader in this development space and rolled out several different products, that were showcased on a new NAVYA robotaxi platform.

Velodyne exhibit showcased LIDAR sensors mounted on NAVYA Robotaxi

Velodyne exhibit showcased LIDAR sensors mounted on NAVYA Robotaxi

Interior of NAVYA Robotaxi with two passengers, no steering wheel and no human driver.

Interior of NAVYA Robotaxi with two passengers, no steering wheel and no human driver.

NVIDIA and Artificial Intelligence

NVIDIA CEO Jen-Hsun Huang delivered a keynote speech during CES 2018 that dived deeply into Artificial Intelligence, particularly the company’s efforts to create an AI development platform and software ecosystem for autonomous, self-driving cars:

NVIDIA is a 25-year old company that started up in California’s Silicon Valley to make graphics accelerator chips to improve the quality of visual displays for personal computers. The company developed a graphic processing unit (GPU) that could enhance the central processing unit (CPU) microprocessor in personal computers by offloading compute-intensive graphic modeling tasks. The company became a driver in the computer gaming industry with its graphics accelerator printed-circuit boards that could plug into expansion ports in PC-compatible computers.

A GPU speeds up the formation of graphics artwork on a computer monitor by processing electronic instructions and data through multiple parallel paths at the same time, compared to a CPU than processes a wider variety of computing tasks through slower sequential steps.

For many decades, researchers in the realm of artificial intelligence have been seeking to duplicate human senses and cognition inside computer circuitry. The two most important areas of research were in vision recognition and natural language voice recognition, in order to duplicate the way humans use their two keenest senses to understand and navigate the world about them.

During 2012, Geoffrey Hinton, Alex Krizhensky and Ilya Sutskever from the SuperVision research lab at the University of Toronto in Canada, pioneered the use of neural network software models coupled with GPU processing systems from NVIDIA to create AlexNet. The research team conceived that convolutional manipulation of input variables and output errors could create feedback that would make ongoing changes to the weights of AlexNet’s internal processing algorithms. The result was “deep learning” by the software model that could write its own software to modify how it would process and perceive progressive sets of incoming data.

The team focused its artificial intelligence research on graphics image recognition, in order to group similar digital images of objects together through eight processing layers of visual filtering. Instead of programming the image-recognition algorithms directly, Krizhevsky enabled AlexNet to “learn” the common characteristics of similar graphic objects by feeding the neural net massive amounts of images that it could compare, while the software model adjusted its own internal software processing algorithms with each error.

During an international ImageNet Large Scale Visual Recognition Challenge in 2012, AlexNet outperformed all other existing benchmark tests of image recognition models that had been previously hand-coded by humans, while running on two NVIDIA GPU graphics processing stations. AlexNet neural net software was capable of writing its own internal software more quickly than humans could do directly, achieving a recognition error rate that was ten percentage points less than its nearest competitor.

After the competition, large corporations like Google, Facebook, Amazon, and Microsoft began duplicating the GPU technology used in this image recognition model, to improve each company’s graphic image search and tagging engines. Microsoft’s ResNet was scaled to 152 layers of image filtering, compared to just eight layers in AlexNet.

At Stanford University, AI researcher Andrew Ng applied GPU processing to natural language voice recognition algorithms and succeeded in improving the ability of computer technologies to recognize and caption spoken words. Ng has since become a chief scientist at Baidu, where he has applied this technology to translate spoken Chinese words into readable Chinese characters.

NVIDIA also worked with Tesla Motors, who used its Tegra GPU in early versions of the Model S electric car to develop Autopilot driving features. The Autopilot system could quickly process and filter both images and input data from onboard sensors, that included a forward-facing camera, forward-facing radar and a 360-degree ring of ultrasonic sensors embedded around the body of the electric car.

NVIDIA unveiled sponsored RoboRace autonomous Formula E-sanctiond race car during CES 2018.

NVIDIA unveiled sponsored RoboRace autonomous Formula E-sanctiond race car during CES 2018.

Since 2014, NVIDIA has developed its own GPU technology, by creating products specifically for the automotive market. The company’s Volta GPU processor is focused on automotive applications. NVIDIA’s recent announcement for CES 2018 is that the company has integrated 512 Volta GPU processors along with 8 ARM CPU processors into a single silicon chip it calls Xavier, with lots of input and out ports to connect multiple sensors and actuators on a CAN automotive bus.

The company also includes a software development environment with Xavier that includes NVIDIA DriveWorks Operating System that can link Xavier’s internal processing AI to a cloud-based mapping systems with high definition for detailed route navigation references.

The Xavier driving platform can process 30 trillion operations per second (Tera-ops) while consuming just 30 watts of power, allowing the integration of a supercomputer on a mobile transportation platform. NVIDIA has linked two Xavier processors together on its Pegasus circuit development board that can achieve 320 TOPs of processing speeds for AI inferencing.

The single PC board can replace a supercomputer and will be used to test potential autonomous level 5 driving platforms by Volkswagen, Hyundai and Aurora, including some of the Robotaxi applications shown during CES 2018.

The Xavier GPU is undergoing certification for safety and resiliency through the automotive industry ASIL (Automotive System Integrity Level) standards committee, as well as the International Standards Organization’s ISO 26262 validation for the company’s integrated circuit manufacturing process and software platforms to insure transparent traceability of any supply chain or development problems that may show up later during actual applications.

The Xavier chip is currently rated ASIL-C while the Pegasus board has been rated ASIL-D. NVIDIA is striving to achieve ASIL-0 certification, that would be validated at the highest level of automotive functional safety.

To test the effectiveness of an autonomous vehicle design, NVIDIA has also created its AUTOSIM virtual reality 3D simulation environment for the automotive industry. Already successful in creating photorealistic images for the gaming industry, the company’s GPUs can create multiple simulation scenarios that can run an automated vehicle model through billions of road trip scenarios at supercomputer speeds.

This helps an automotive designer or engineer get a realistic feel for the effectiveness of sensor placement on a vehicle, as well as performance reliability during changing weather conditions, road conditions and oncoming vehicle traffic by creating as many test scenarios as the designer can imagine.

NVIDIA is also sponsoring a racing team and Robocar for Roborace, a proposed autonomous vehicle international racing competition that will be sanctioned by FIA, while co-staging events along the same international racing circuits as FIA Formula-E manned electric car racing:

Intel Robotaxis Take Flight As Smart Drones

Intel CEO Brian Krzanich featured autonomous cars and drone technologies in unique ways during his keynote address to CES 2018, “Experience the Power of Data”. A swarm of 100 lighted Shooting Star Mini drones performed in synchronization, under the control of single pilot without GPS, to set a Guinness World Record. The Intel drones were showcased again during the following three days of CES 2018 in synchronized nighttime performances with the animated water jet fountains of the Bellagio during the week of CES 2018.

An automated Volocopter, capable of carrying a passenger, was also demonstrated by Krzanich inside the Park theatre during his keynote speech.

Intel recently purchased MobilEye, a pioneering autonomous driving instrumentation company that has been a leader in the automotive industry. The company’s EyeQ5 processor chip is a fifth-generation integrated circuit that is now coupled with Intel Atom CPUs to provide a hardware platform that integrates cameras, radar, lidar and other sensors to create advanced driver assistance systems, as well as level-4 autonomous vehicles.

The new hardware platform can process 24 Tera-Ops (TOPS) of computations per second while consuming just 10 watts of power.

Intel Senior Vice-President and CTO/Founder of MobilEye, Amnon Shashua, shared the stage with Intel CEO, Brian Krzanich, to talk about the company’s progress in this area.

The goal of implementing autonomous driving is to save over a million lives due to potentially fatal vehicle accidents caused by human error over the next 20 years, as well as lower the amount of fuel consumed in the US economy and save commute time for US workers.

MobilEye advanced driver assistance systems are already employed in 24 million vehicles on the road today with major automotive manufacturing partners that include Ford, GM, Audi, BMW, Honda, Nissan, and Hyundai.

Autonomous driving partners, who are refining MobilEye technology for SAE Level-4 self-driving applications, include BMW, Fiat Chrysler, and Aptiv, as well as Nio and SAIC in China.

These companies are developing the software ecosystem and validation testing to ensure that autonomous driving systems will continue to improve and become more robust over time.

Intel, like NVIDIA, has been redesigning the insides of computer chips to go beyond the 40-year-old microprocessor CPU that has defined the company’s leadership and growth over that time.

Krzanich noted that Intel now has researchers exploring both neuromorphing and quantum-computing architectures for silicon chip designs that can more closely mimic human neural processes in the brain, as well as quantum behavior in physics to radically speed up computing time.

Moving and processing high-speed data will define the world’s future, if it can be harnessed to solve problems that were considered impossible in the past, opening a new world of infinite possibilities.

Flying Air Taxis from Bell Helicopter

Piloted and autonomous flying shuttles are the next new mode of transportation envisioned by drone manufacturers and helicopter companies alike.

Bell Helicopters exhibited a simulated version of a future automated Air taxi.

Bell Helicopters exhibited a simulated version of a future automated Air taxi.

Bell exhibited a simulated version of its proposed Air Taxi shuttle service in the North Hall of the Las Vegas Convention Center next to autonomous vehicles being showcased by worldwide automotive manufacturers.

Bell flight attendants guide visitors through a simulated flight by air taxi.

Bell flight attendants guide visitors through a simulated flight by air taxi.

Outside in the Central Plaza parking lot area of the Las Vegas Convention center, other companies showed their full-sized air taxis along with the Volocopter previewed by Intel CEO Brian Krzanich.

Fisker Automotive Returns with Emotion

Fisker Emotion concept electric car with both gull wing and scissor doors.

Fisker Emotion concept electric car with both gull wing and scissor doors.

Henrik Fisker has revived Fisker Automotive after selling the Karma electric car design to a Chinese automotive manufacturer when the original company faced bankruptcy.


The company’s second electric car effort is called the Emotion and a concept version of the vehicle was displayed during CES 2018.

Austin EV startup electric car company

Austin EV three-wheel electric motorcycle.

Austin EV three-wheel electric motorcycle.

Austin EV is a new startup company that has emerged from the capitol city of Texas during the last three years to develop electric utility truck platforms and three-wheel motorcycles. The company exhibited in the North Hall of CES 2018 for the first time.

Austin EV electric utility truck

Austin EV electric utility truck

The electric trucks and carrier beds are configurable as an urban delivery van or an off-road dump truck.

Ampere 1 Electric Motorcycle for $10,000

Ampere is a startup company from southern California that exhibited its Ampere 1 three-wheel electric motorcycle during CES 2018. The starting price of the vehicle is $10,000.

The Ampere 1 three-wheel electric motorcycle from Ampere

The Ampere 1 three-wheel electric motorcycle from Ampere

Chinese Electric Car Manufacturing Companies More Prominent at CES 2018

China is now the largest automotive market in the world as that country’s citizens purchase about 25 million vehicles a year. The Chinese automotive market is projected to grow to 30 million vehicles per year during the next five years. This sales figure compares to annual US domestic sales of approximately 17 million vehicles per year.

Byton Electric Car

Byton Electric Car

Just about every province in China has partnered with a worldwide automotive manufacturer to jointly build cars within this market. There are more than 100 Chinese automotive manufacturers in the country with about 20 companies dedicated to manufacturing electric cars and electric-motor drive trains.

Byton Concept Electric Car with 300-mile range, 5G connectivity and autonomous driving capability

Byton Concept Electric Car with 300-mile range, 5G connectivity, and autonomous driving capability.

Ningbo City in Zhejiang province, south of Shanghai on Hangzhou Bay, has become a hub of manufacturing and development for automotive components and replacement parts for all worldwide automotive manufacturers. Shenzhen in Guangzhou province is also one of the largest manufacturing regions of consumer electronic products for automotive applications.

Chinese automotive manufacturers and components suppliers are becoming more prominent each year at the annual CES tradeshow.

This year, Byton was featured in the North Hall of the Las Vegas Convention Center while XPeng exhibited a display in the Smart Cities Pavilion at Westgate.

Both companies introduced all-electric SUVs with 300-miles of range between recharging sessions for 95 kilowatt-hour battery packs. Each manufacturer is striving to install autonomous driving capability, beginning at SAE Level 2 and ramping up to Level 4. Both companies also plan to produce factory-built versions of these concept vehicles for the Chinese consumer market, beginning in late 2019.

XPeng Electric SUV Indenty X Concept

XPeng Electric SUV Identy X Concept

Startup company XPeng, formerly XiaoPeng Motors, has been funded by Ali Baba, one of the largest international consumer electronics trading companies in the world. XPeng unveiled its new Identy X all-electric SUV during CES 2018.

Xpeng Electric SUV

Xpeng Electric SUV

VR Driving Simulators Were Just as Flashy as Concept Cars

Virtual Reality 3D Driving Simulator by Hyundai

Virtual Reality 3D Driving Simulator by Hyundai

Mitsubishi Electric VR Driving Simulator

Mitsubishi Electric VR Driving Simulator

ChargePoint Booth Displays Latest DC Fast Charging Systems

ChargePoint has been an international leader in the deployment of networked Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment (EVSE): https://www.chargepoint.com/

ChargePoint DC Fast Charge System with both ChadeMo and CCS plugs

ChargePoint DC Fast Charge System with both ChadeMo and CCS plugs

ChargePoint Powerbank modules can be stacked to scale the supply of electric power to DC Fast Charge stations from 50 kW to 350 kW.

ChargePoint Powerbank modules can be stacked to scale the supply of electric power to DC Fast Charge stations from 50 kW to 350 kW.

ChargePoint Exhibit Booth at CES 2018 displayed SAE J1772 AC Level 2 EVSE product lines for commercial and personal use.

ChargePoint Exhibit Booth at CES 2018 displayed SAE J1772 AC Level 2 EVSE product lines for commercial and personal use.

ChargePoint has now added an Alexa voice-controlled interface to its personal garage charging station, that also has more direct connections through a customize-able mobile phone app.

ChargePoint personal AC Level 2 EVSE available for home garages with mobile phone app and  Alexa voice-recognition commands connected.

ChargePoint personal AC Level 2 EVSE available for home garages with mobile phone app and Alexa voice-recognition commands connected.

Tellus EVSE Charging Stations

Tellus is a startup EVSE company that has been selling both SAE J1772 AC Level 2 public charging stations, as well as a new DC Fast Charge system that were both exhibited at CES 2018:

Tellus DC Fast Charge Station

Tellus DC Fast Charge Station

Tellus SAE J1772 AC Level 2 charging station display during CES 2018

Tellus SAE J1772 AC Level 2 charging station display during CES 2018

Automated Robot EVSE Service Station Attendent by Electric Loading

In the Smart Cities Pavilion within CES 2018, Electric Loading displayed a Fanuc industrial robot arm that was portrayed as an automated electric car EVSE charging attendant. Two tool appendages were developed by the company for both CHAdeMo and SAE CCS Combo connectors for DC Fast Charging that could be electronically and pneumatically connected to the Fanuc robot arm.
With the aid of an onboard stereoscopic vision system, the robot could automatically plug either connector into the DC Fast Charge port of a stationary electric vehicle.

Fanuc industrial robot arm programmed as automated electric car recharging attendant

Fanuc industrial robot arm programmed as automated electric car recharging attendant

Power and control system for Fanuc robot recharging attendant integrated by Electric Loading

Power and control system for Fanuc robot recharging attendant integrated by Electric Loading

SAE CCS Combo connector for DC Fast Charger after insertion into charging port by Fanuc automated charging robot attendant

SAE CCS Combo connector for DC Fast Charger after insertion into charging port by Fanuc automated charging robot attendant

Nevada Governor Sandoval and City of Las Vegas Encourage Smart Transportation Infrastructure

Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval is now Chairman of the National Governors Association during 2018. He hosted a meeting of the NGA with over 20 state governors at a Lake Las Vegas resort at the same time as CES 2018. During the event, he showcased autonomous vehicles, including the new NAVYA Robotaxi.

NAVYA has partnered with Keolis to integrate autonomous shuttle buses and robotaxis into the Las Vegas Innovation district.

NAVYA has partnered with Keolis to integrate autonomous shuttle buses and robotaxis into the Las Vegas Innovation district.

The City of Las Vegas also sponsored a prominent booth exhibit in the Smart Cities Pavilion during CES 2018, that featured vendor partners within the downtown Innovation District. Representatives from the Las Vegas Department of Information Technology, led by CIO Michael Sherwood, were on hand to answer questions about how sensors and autonomous vehicles could be integrated within city infrastructure to improve transportation and city services.

City of Las Vegas exhibit in Smart Cities Pavilion of CES 2018 at Westgate Hotel.

City of Las Vegas exhibit in Smart Cities Pavilion of CES 2018 at Westgate Hotel.

NEVA blog posted by Stan Hanel, Outreach Coordinator

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DC Solar Installs 19 Portable ChargePoint Stations in Las Vegas Valley

Author: stanhanel
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DC Solar has installed 19 portable trailers around the Las Vegas valley that are equipped with ChargePoint AC Level 2 charging stations to provide electricity at no cost to electric car owners.

DC Solar provides a trailer with photovoltaic solar panels that power a ChargePoint CT4020 station with two SAE J1772 AC Level 2 ports. Lithium-ion battery and biodiesel generator systems inside the trailer also provide supplemental power to the ChargePoint station when required.

DC Solar provides a trailer with photovoltaic solar panels that power a ChargePoint CT4020 station with two SAE J1772 AC Level 2 ports. Lithium-ion battery and biodiesel generator systems inside the trailer also provide supplemental power to the ChargePoint station when required.

The electric power for the ChargePoint station on each trailer can be generated by three portable resources: adjustable photovoltaic solar panels, a battery backup storage system, and a biodiesel generator.

DC Solar provides digital LED advertising panel along the length of the trailer while charging up a vintage 1981 Jet Electrica.

DC Solar provides digital LED advertising panel along the length of the trailer while charging up a vintage 1981 Jet Electrica.

Each DC Solar charging station trailer also has digital LED display screens on both the ChargePoint station control panel and alongside the full length of the trailer that can be leased to businesses to provide advertising announcements. Advertising revenue can be used to offset any maintenance or biodiesel costs incurred by DC Solar while providing free electrons to electric car drivers.

DC Solar portable ChargePoint stations installed in the Las Vegas valley are located at:

1. 5965 W. Sahara Avenue
2. 4030 W. Charleston Avenue
3. 1555 E. Flamingo Road
4. 2151 N. Rancho Drive
5. 4880 W. Oquendo Road
6. Charleston Boulevard and Art Way
7. 9111 Las Vegas Boulevard South
8. 1094 S. Buffalo Drive
9. 276 N. Jones Boulevard
10. 1019 S. Decatur Boulevard
11. 2169 E. Tropicana Avenue
12. 3070 W. Sahara Avenue
13. 6730 Las Vegas Boulevard South
14. 3965 E. Charleston Boulevard
15. 5115 W. Spring Mountain Road
16. 1007 E. Cheyenne Avenue
17. 3100 Fremont Street
18. 7730 S. Jones Boulevard
19. 889 S. Valley View Boulevard

Locations of more than 300 ChargePoint stations in the Las Vegas valley and throughout the rest of Nevada can also be found through a map app provided by ChargePoint at this link:


The Nevada Electric Vehicle Accelerator (NEVA) website also includes the Plugshare.com mapping service, that can be used to locate both ChargePoint and non-ChargePoint EVSE charging station sites throughout the state and around the country:


For more information about DC Solar and their innovative portable electric power solutions, visit the company website at:


Update: During March 2018, the company removed all its trailers from local Las Vegas valley locations due to a billboard permitting requirement requested by the City of Las Vegas. DC Solar plans to re-install its trailers back to their original locations once the permitting issue has been resolved.

NEVA blog posted by Stan Hanel, Outreach Coordinator

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Tesla Unveils New EVs While Fixing Gigafactory Automation Glitches

Author: stanhanel
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During November 2017, Tesla Inc. announced development of two new electric vehicles, the 2019 Tesla Semi and the 2020 Tesla Roadster, during an unveiling at its Hawthorne, California facility.

However, Gigafactory production ramp-up for the company’s Model 3 electric car was delayed three months, due to automation glitches while fabricating the integrated battery packs.

The Tesla Semi is a new electric tractor-trailer that will seek to exceed the performance of diesel-engine “big rig” shipping trucks that are required to pull an 80,000-pound gross weight trailer load:

A new Tesla Roadster was also unveiled during the event with a target production date of 2020, a top speed of 250 miles per hour, 620-mile range with a 200 kilowatt-hour battery pack, and acceleration from zero to 60 miles per hour in less than two seconds:

During the same month, Tesla completed installation of a new Supercharger station in Baker, California with 40 charging station sites that will enable more road trips by owners of Tesla Model S, Model X and Model 3 between Los Angeles and Las Vegas, Nevada. Pictures and directions to Supercharger site can be found at Plugshare.com:

Tesla Supercharger site in Baker, CA has 40 stations available.

Tesla Supercharger site in Baker, CA has 40 stations available.

The company also announced completion of a 100-Megawatt PowerPack installation that will provide electrical energy storage for a wind turbine generator farm installed by Neoen in Hornsdale, Australia. More information is available through this link to a Reuters article:


Powerpack battery storage systems and solar generation equipment totaling $250,000 were donated to a children’s hospital in Puerto Rico by Elon Musk and Tesla during October 2017, after Hurricane Maria damaged electric utility grid infrastructure on the island. This article from The Verge has more details:


However, not all went well with Tesla during an anticipated ramp-up of production for the Model S during the third quarter of 2017. The setback was due to a failure by a system engineering consultant to fully implement an automated production line for the vehicle battery pack at the Tesla Gigafactory in Storey County, Nevada. This article from Bloomberg has more information, after an investor “earnings call” for the latest company quarterly financial figures:


Tesla engineers re-engineered the automated production line and its software programming, but the production stall created a delay of at least three months. Model 3 production is now projected to reach 5,000 units per month by March 2018, instead of December 2017. A backlogged waiting list of customers with prepaid deposits on the Model 3 will be extended even longer than previously announced by CEO Elon Musk.

Tesla has invested about $2.7 billion of capital into its Gigafactory in northern Nevada since 2014, hiring 1,400 Tesla employees directly, as well as through its partner battery component suppliers, Panasonic Energy (431 employees) and H&T Nevada LLC (44 employees).

By 2024, Tesla has set targets of $5 billion in capital investment with total employees of 6,500 once the Gigafactory is totally constructed and production ramped up to billions of battery cells per year.

The state of Nevada has awarded Tesla a total of $1.2 billion in tax credit abatements, if the company can achieve these goals, including incremental benchmarks reviewed over time.

NEVA blog posted by Stan Hanel, Outreach Coordinator

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National Clean Energy Summit 9.0 Highlights

Author: stanhanel
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National Clean Energy Summit 9.0 was hosted by Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval and former U.S. Senator Harry Reid at the Bellagio resort in Las Vegas on Friday, October 13, 2017.

Jim Murren, CEO of MGM Resorts International, introduced both men and emphasized the #VEGAS STRONG motto that signified the local community’s resilience. A mass shooting attack on concertgoers at the end of the Route 91 Harvest Music festival was perpetrated by a single gunman, who fired automatic weapons from the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay resort at 10 PM on October 1, 2017.

Governor Sandoval and Senator Reid both echoed Murren’s sentiments about the strong response of the Las Vegas community, as well as the nation, in helping victims’ families recover and heal from this senseless tragedy and loss of life.

Governor Sandoval and Senator Reid introduced Nobel laureate and former US Vice-president Al Gore, who presented a slide show that was the foundation for a recent documentary movie, “An Inconvenient Sequel”. Gore asked three questions every U.S. citizen should contemplate:

Question 1: Do we really need to change mankind’s global practice of burning fossil fuels to create energy?

Gore used a slideshow presentation to document the effects of climate change that include an increasing frequency of higher global temperatures, more natural disasters, civil strife and government upheaval, as well as a growing refugee crisis.

Question 2: Can we change?

Gore felt that new technologies already in the marketplace could help mitigate rising climate temperatures. These included LED lighting, battery systems, and renewable energy systems like photovoltaic solar panels and wind generators.

Question 3: Will we change?

Gore felt that political movements can ebb and flow but that “political will is also a renewable resource”.

2. Julian Castro, former HUD secretary, moderated a discussion panel with three city mayors: Dale Ross from Georgetown, TX; James Brainard from Carmel, IN; and Greg Stanton from Phoenix, AZ regarding their local response to fossil fuel/climate change issues. Texas and Indiana mayors were both Republicans in red state voting districts who still see a need to apply conservation, energy efficiency and renewable energy to their city planning to make their regions resilient. All three mayors felt that technologies like LED lighting, government building efficiency, solar power, wind power, and EV charging station infrastructure were just common-sense improvements to city infrastructure.

3. Tom Husted, CEO of Valley Electric Association, talked about rural and remote regional utility co-ops with Chris Deschene, an Energy Attorney representing the Navajo nation and a former Director of the Office of Indian Energy Policy and Programs.

As a non-profit organization, the goals of rural utility co-ops are reliability and affordability, compared to for-profit utilities that are obligated to make a reasonable revenue return for shareholders. VEA has worked with the Las Vegas Paiute tribe and its co-op members to pioneer the use of smart meters that can reduce electricity outage and repair response times in remote areas. VEA has the largest community solar farm in the country with 67,000 solar panels. These panels can generate 15 Megawatts of electric power that can provide electricity to 2,500 home. VEA also encourages its co-op members to harness the sun for heat by promoting an active solar water heater program. The utility has also worked to extend high-speed fiber optic connections to every business and home within its widespread rural region.

4. Tina Quigley from Southern Nevada RTC talked about how her team has been learning from other major urban cities about how to enable the legal framework to adopt more resilient city infrastructure, in order to cope with increasing volumes of tourists to the Las Vegas Strip and surrounding areas. In just eight years, the tourism population is projected to increase from 43 million visitors today to 53 million by 2025. Southern Nevada full-time resident population will also grow from 2.1 million today to 2.7 million by 2025.

Quigley emphasized that there was a need to implement smarter, integrated transportation and infrastructure systems to continue to move people around smoothly as population grows.

Technology solutions included placing sensors everywhere that can enable better traffic flow and other consumer benefits, such as smarter waste collection systems. Better roadway planning and funding with collaborative input from local stakeholders will also required from public/private sectors about light rail, autonomous bus shuttles, self-driving cars, and other urban planning issues.

Las Vegas has been a convenient test lab for autonomous transportation as all traffic infrastructure in Clark County is under one management agency compared to Los Angeles that has 133 separate traffic management centers.

5. Dr. Ernest Moniz, former U.S. Secretary of Energy, commented on a series of questions about
the future of energy resources in the U.S., as well as about Yucca Mountain as a storage site for nuclear power plant waste materials.

“Let’s face it: Just about everybody understands where we’re going. If you’re making long-term decisions and capital allocations, you’d be crazy to base them on a high-carbon future,” said Moniz.

Moniz emphasized that energy efficiency, renewable energy and electric car technologies have been an important step in changing US focus to help mitigate climate change problems, but that more research and new technology breakthroughs will be required to continue providing energy resource solutions and curbing climate change problems. He listed examples like hydrogen power development, biological plant modifications to absorb more CO2 effectively, and electrostatic vacuum cleaners that could remove carbon particulates from the air.

He pointed out that Yucca Mountain in Nevada as a storage site for nuclear power plant waste materials had “technical shortcomings” but that those problems may not be enough to prevent the Nuclear Regulatory Commission from authorizing usage of the site. However, states should consent to storing nuclear waste in their territories. If there are statewide objections from citizens about transportation issues, groundwater contamination and other problems, those objections should be respected.

Moniz felt that there were other geological solutions and technologies available for above-ground or basement-level hardened storage sites. The state of Texas has authorized nuclear waste storage within its borders.

6. Paul Caudill, CEO of NV Energy, talked with Colonel Victor Rodriguez of Nellis Air Force Base, who emphasized advantages of energy efficiency, renewable energy, and resilient systems to military base operations, when coupled with the NV Energy electricity grid as a reliable backup system. Nellis AFB is moving towards adding more photovoltaic solar plus battery storage systems to continue to make the Air Force base more resilient.

7. Sherri Goodman, former Deputy Undersecretary of the Department of Defense (Environmental Security Group), moderated a discussion panel with Lieutenant General Richard C. Zilmer (ret.) from the U.S. Marine Corps; Vice Admiral Lee Gunn (ret.) from U.S. Navy; and Brigadier General William B. Blaylock from the Army/National Guard, who emphasized that distributed renewable energy resources were a necessity for the country’s military operations both at large military bases and strategically, during combat operations and logistics in the field.

It is presently too difficult and life-consuming to manage large flows of fuel in caravans to remote battlefields, even just 150 miles away from base of strategic operations. Improvised Explosive Devices (IED), sniper, and even chemical agent assaults created many US military casualties during the Iraq war in 2006. 10 percent of all military casualties during that time were riding in military convoys when they were killed.

Comparison: During World War II, US armed forces were fueled by one gallon of oil/per soldier/per day. During today’s combat operations, 22 gallons of oil/per soldier/per day are needed to sustain high-tech armed forces with more sophisticated equipment and fewer soldiers. Fuel trains should not need to catch up to forward-moving platoons of soldiers.

The combined US military consumes 9 million barrels of oil per day for all operations, in all branches of service domestic and overseas. Diesel generators are currently the default power generators for refugee camps, remote operations, etc.

Extreme climate changes create natural disasters that create refugees that create political turmoil that create civil wars, terrorism and strife. Military commanders must adjust to these new types of changing operational requirements with more resilient and flexible forces, as well as energy-efficient resources, to help mitigate increasing conflicts.

Changes in Arctic climate and diminishing ice caps are creating a boon to Russian ice breaker Navy technology, allowing short cuts through surface ice flows that were impassable before. Russia now is also engaging directly and selling weapons to Saudi Arabia, after their involvement with Syria and Middle East conflicts. Saudi Arabia leaders are increasingly concerned about Iran/North Korea nuclear weapon technology proliferation and may seek nuclear technology from Russia.

The rise of cyberwarfare is a new challenge for US military technologies that can level battleflelds in favor of smaller countries against larger ones.

8. Nevada District 10 Assemblyman Chris Brooks introduced entrepreneur Hal Harvey, CEO of Energy Innovations, who talked about the falling costs of solar and wind renewable energy resources compared to existing fossil resources such as natural gas and coal. Battery storage systems are coming down in cost and getting better at extending the use of renewable energy to help smooth out utility grid operations.

Harvey emphasized that eleven western states need to consolidate and integrate regional grid management in the same way that Eastern states have already done to bring about cheaper energy costs for everyone involved.

Berkshire Hathaway Energy Services has been leading that effort by pulling together utilities in seven western states, including Nevada. He cited an example of a 728-mile Trans-West Express transmission line being built that will help connect a regional grid network from Wyoming to southern Nevada more directly.

Artificial regulation ceilings within political administrations like the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) and individual state governments, need to be lifted and harmonized to allow regional utility grid cooperation and integration. Each state and area within the western region is different but creative stacking of renewable and fossil fuel resources can optimize power locally throughout a well-integrated western region.

9. Rose McKinney-James moderated a three-woman discussion panel that included Barbara Hampton, President and CEO of Siemens Government Technologies, Inc; Heather Zichal, Executive Vice President of the International Well Building Institute (IWBI); as well as Cindy Ortega, SVP and Sustainability Director at MGM Resorts, to talk about building science and energy conservation. 70 percent of today’s existing buildings will still be in place by 2030, so any retrofits of technology to optimize building resource consumption and generate energy can create better workplaces and minimize urban energy footprints. A healthy, comfortable building and operations can also increase worker productivity, as well as general worker health.

However, changing employee work routines is not always an easy process and requires new business models and management policies, alongside technology changes that can eliminate barriers to productivity enhancement. “There is no single silver bullet but silver buckshot,” emphasized Zichal, in order to find unique solutions to each building work environment.

Ortega warned that future progress towards green programs at MGM Resorts International will require more complex and coordinated programs, as most of the “low hanging fruit” of energy efficiency and renewable energy savings have already been implemented at MGM resort properties.

10. Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval led a panel discussion with fellow governors Charlie Baker from Massachusetts and David Ige from Hawaii, about their efforts to “lead the charge” for renewable energy and energy efficiency in each of their states.

Hawaii has been the most aggressive because of their unique needs for energy and their small island footprints. These circumstances make EV transportation powered by photovoltaic solar panels and battery storage systems more viable.

Hawaii is the first state to commit to generating 100 percent of its electric power from clean renewable energy in the state as a portfolio standard. The state of Hawaii had previously imported and burned crude oil to run electrical generators, that supplied 95% of power to all seven of the main islands, costing the state $6 billion in imports every year. The state is actively pursuing community solar, wind generation, battery storage and microgrid investment policies, so that all residents can share in the benefits of renewable energy generation from the sun and wind. This strategy should also reduce ratepayer energy costs.

Hawaii laws now require that all large-sized parking lots in commercial malls, apartments and condominiums also have a minimum amount of EV charging supply equipment available for visitors and residents. Hawaii now has the highest registration of electric vehicles per capita, compared to the rest of the country.

During the state’s next legislative session, lawmakers will continue debating the benefits of establishing a timeline for phasing out the sale and use of internal combustion engine vehicles, in the same way that France, India, the UK and other countries have set goals and timelines.

Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker said that his state is investing $10 million into battery storage technologies but does not have the extensive sunshine available as a renewable energy resource like Nevada and Hawaii.

His state is implementing offshore wind power generation technologies from the Atlantic Ocean, as well as encouraging more energy innovation developed within state academic institutions. Smart grid technologies can continue to provide better value to utility ratepayers.

Because of snow, the distances that need to be traveled along the east coast, bad roads, and bad drivers, Massachusetts will most likely not adopt electric vehicles in significant numbers until battery pack ranges exceed 300 miles between charging stops.

Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval emphasized the need to continue developing solar generation within Nevada, as well as encourage the use of battery storage technologies produced by the Tesla Gigafactory in Storey County.

He is continuing to drive the adoption of electric vehicles on Nevada roadways through the establishment of a more comprehensive Nevada Electric Highway program. This statewide program will be integrated with a Regional Electric Vehicle (REV) plan that is being sponsored by seven cooperating western states to build out DC Fast Charge stations along shared interstate highway corridors. Governor Sandoval will become Chairman of the National Governors Association during 2018 and will be leading the REV interstate development effort.

During closing statements, the governors commented that renewable energy, storage systems, and EV transportation are becoming more established parts of mainstream infrastructure and transportation. The next summit in Nevada could drop “clean” from its title and just be called National Energy Summit 10.0.

11. An exhibition area accompanied the conference sessions during NCES 9.0 and featured booths with local businesses, government agencies, academic, and non-profit organizations that were encouraging the use of clean energy in Nevada:

A. The NV Energy utility showcased its Electric Vehicles program, as well as its PowerShift energy efficiency program, and Renewable Generations program.

B. Nevada Department of Environmental Protection discussed its government role in administering the Volkswagen Diesel mitigation funding that will provide about $25 million during 2018 to state fleets that want to upgrade their diesel engine technology or replace their transportation with zero-emission electric vehicles.

C. University of Nevada-Las Vegas showcased its renewable energy research efforts, led by Professor Bob Boehm.

UNLV Team Las Vegas was competing at the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon in Denver, Colorado during the same week as the conference. The team’s “Sinatra Living” home design won the Innovation part of the event, and placed second in both Architecture and Engineering. Their final scoring after all ten decathlon events placed UNLV Team Las Vegas in eighth position out of eleven international collegiate teams.

D. Regional Transportation Commission of Southern Nevada exhibited a NAVYA autonomous, electric shuttle bus that CAT Bus system manager Keolis hopes to integrate into the Downtown Las Vegas public transit system, during a pilot test program that launched during November 2017.

This second pilot road test will operate for a full year within a more circular route, compared to the first pilot test project in January 2017 that just shuttled back and forth on East Fremont street from the Container Park shopping mall to Las Vegas Blvd bus connections.

The new route will circle the Container Park, bounded by Fremont Street to the north, Las Vegas Blvd on the west, Carson Street to the south and Eighth Street to the East. Side streets include Sixth and Seventh Street between Carson and East Fremont Street.

The City of Las Vegas has partnered with the Regional Transportation Commission of Southern Nevada, Keolis, AAA of Nevada, and NAVYA to operate the pilot program. There will be no fee to riders on the shuttle bus but AAA may conduct surveys of riders to get their reactions and feelings about riding in a driverless vehicle.

The NAVYA shuttle bus can hold up to eleven passengers plus an onboard attendant/chaperone who will provide oversight evaluation and answer questions from riders about the onboard technologies.

The NAVYA shuttle bus employs a wireless charging system, as well as an autonomous GPS navigation system, that can drive itself back to an assigned charging space overnight. By parking directly over a coiled transmitter, the bus not have to be plugged in to be recharged in time for the next day’s shuttle bus run.

Sensing systems include lidar and camera systems that can monitor 360 degrees of view and react accordingly.

However, during the very first day of the pilot program on Wednesday, November 8th, the shuttle was hit by a delivery truck that was backing into a narrow alleyway next to La Comida restaurant on Sixth Street. The NAVYA shuttle, with passengers onboard, stopped when it sensed the delivery truck backing diagonally in front of its sensors. However, the truck driver either did not notice the approach of the shuttle bus or misjudged its distance. One of the large trailer wheels grazed and crumpled the front left panel of the bus as the truck completed its backing maneuver.

The truck driver was cited for “illegal backing” by the Las Vegas Metro police department but questions arose as to whether the NAVYA shuttle bus could have been programmed to evade the oncoming vehicle by backing up a foot or two. Although the bus has an onboard horn, it did not trigger an audio warning to the oncoming delivery truck as it drew closer.

Murphy’s Law: “What can go wrong will go wrong”. More system shakeouts will occur over the next year as real-world traffic conditions test the shuttle bus programming algorithms.

None of the occupants of the shuttle bus or the driver of the delivery truck were injured, fortunately. Top speed of the NAVYA shuttle has been governed not to exceed 15 miles per hour and the shuttle bus makes very slow, deliberate moves when crossing streets to avoid oncoming traffic.

E. Tesla exhibited Model S and Model X electric cars while company sales representatives answered questions about the vehicles.

F. Clean Energy Project hosted bus trips on the following Saturday to visit different renewable energy sites around the Las Vegas valley, including Switch SuperNap Center, Las Vegas Cyclery, and Boulder City solar farm sites.

G. The Joint Apprenticeship Training Program (JATP) from the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) and National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA) featured a display of solar panels and a connected battery back-up system that had been used in local apprenticeship training classes. The organizations also provide an Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Training Program (EVITP) that provides educational resources to electricians about proper installation techniques for Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment (EVSE).

H. MGM Resorts International provided information about its Environmental Division and the programs that are implemented under Senior Vice-President Cindy Ortega. MGM has been a partner in the NV Energy Shared Investment Program where multiple ChargePoint charging stations have been installed in the parking lots of local resorts on the Las Vegas Strip, as well as MGM resorts in Reno and northern Nevada.

I. Bombard Renewable Energy featured commercial and residential solar solutions. The company has pioneered large-scale installations of photovoltaic solar panels, including the largest community solar farm in the country.

Valley Electric Association utility co-op commissioned BRE to install 15 Megawatts of electric power, generated from 67,000 solar panels on 80 acres in rural Pahrump, in order to provide electric power to 2,500 homes throughout the Nye County area.

NEVA blog by Stan Hanel, Outreach Coordinator

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Seven States REV up Electric Car Charging Infrastructure

Author: stanhanel
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During an October 2017 meeting of the National Governors Association, seven western states banded together to cooperate on the buildout of a Regional Electric Vehicle (REV) plan, that would promote electric car charging station infrastructure along shared major interstate highways:

Press Release:

Denver, CO — Oct. 4, 2017 — Today, the Governors of Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to provide a framework for creating a regional electric vehicle plan for the West (“REV West Plan”). The Plan was announced today at the Energy Innovation Summit hosted by the National Governors Association.

The Plan spans more than 5,000 miles of highway across east-west Interstates 10, 40, 70, 76, 80, 84, 86, 90 and 94, and north-south Interstates 15 and 25. With more than 20,000 electric vehicles (EVs) and plug-in hybrids already on the roads in western states, the electrification of these major corridors is expected to reduce range anxiety and drive further adoption of EVs, while transforming the market to allow smaller communities to plug into the regional system.

The MOU calls for a coordination group to undertake the following actions:

Create best practices and procedures that will enhance EV adoption by promoting EV consumer acceptance and awareness by addressing “range anxiety”; coordinate on EV charging station locations to avoid redundancy and to ensure stations are sited at a frequency and locations so as to optimize utilization and to minimize inconsistencies between charging infrastructure in each state; and leverage economies of scale;

Create voluntary minimum standards for EV charging stations, including standards for administration, interoperability, operations, and management;

Identify and develop opportunities to incorporate EV charging station infrastructure into planning and development processes, such as building codes, metering policies, and renewable energy generation projects;

Encourage EV manufacturers to stock and market a wide variety of EVs within the Signatory States; and

Identify, respond to, and where possible collaborate on funding opportunities to support the development of the Regional Electric Vehicle West EV Corridor.

“This framework is another example of the innovation and bipartisan collaboration happening around energy here in the West,” said Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper. “Through this collaboration, we will drive economic growth and promote our outdoor recreation opportunities across our states. Our residents and the millions of visitors to our states will be able to drive electric vehicles from Denver to Las Vegas, from Santa Fe to Helena.”

“This is the latest example of states like Idaho being on the forefront of energy advancement,” said Idaho Governor C.L. “Butch” Otter. “In the West we pride ourselves on what we can accomplish by working together. This initiative will ensure that locals and visitors to Idaho and our neighboring states have the freedom to explore the West in the way they prefer.”

“This state-led effort shows how western states continue to work together to find innovative solutions and plan for a future where increasing numbers of people and families are traveling the West in electric vehicles,” said Governor Steve Bullock of Montana. “I am pleased to sign onto this bipartisan effort to take practical steps to realize the economic and environmental benefits of coordinated infrastructure planning that will benefit us now and well into the future.”

“It is important for Western states to work together and prepare as the use of electric vehicles grows,” said Wyoming Governor Matt Mead. “This initiative encourages infrastructure plans that allow people with electric vehicles to visit and recreate in Wyoming. Strategically spaced charging stations will allow these visitors to enjoy the same independence as traditional vehicles.”

“Utah is proud to take part in modernizing the ‘Crossroads of the West’ through working state-to-state to establish this strategic electric vehicle transportation network,” said Utah Governor Gary R. Herbert. “By knitting together the plans of seven key states through cooperative partnerships one to another, America’s travelers will soon be able to experience the wonders of the West while enjoying the innovations of our day and advancing environmental outcomes.”

“Our state’s portfolio encourages the use of all energy assets,” said New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez. “We’ve already begun to install electric vehicle charging stations at state-owned buildings, and we stand with other western states by making a bold commitment by supporting successful implementation of an EV charging station network along our main interstate corridors.”


The development of a western state EV corridor can extend California’s “Drive the ARC” project, that links Lake Tahoe in Nevada to Sacramento, the San Francisco Bay Area, and south to Monterey.

Interstate Highways 80 and 50 within California will feature DC Fast Charge stations from NRG EVgo with both CHAdeMO and SAE Combo connectors. The 26 recharging stations will initially offer electricity at no cost and can recharge a 200-mile range battery pack within about 45 minutes:


Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval will become the Chairman of the National Governors Association during 2018, also his final year as Nevada state governor. In this capacity, he will lead the REV corridor development efforts for the western region of the country.

Press Release:

Seven-State Electric Vehicle Highway Unveiled at Energy Summit

Meeting marks the first of Gov. Sandoval’s NGA Chair’s Initiative Summits
October 04, 2017

DENVER—Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper, plus representatives from more than 30 states, gathered for the first meeting of National Governors Association (NGA) Chair Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval’s initiative, Ahead of the Curve: Innovation Governors. The meeting specifically focused on energy innovation at the state level.

At the meeting, Gov. Hickenlooper announced that seven states—Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming—will be working together to create the Regional Electric Vehicle (REV) Plan for the West, an electric vehicle corridor.

“I am honored to host such a diverse group of state officials focused on energy innovation,” Gov. Hickenlooper said. “I look forward to working with my colleagues in the West to create world-class infrastructure for electric vehicles as we look to the future of transportation.”

Gov. Sandoval, who was unable to attend the meeting due to the mass shooting in his state just days before, said, “As chair of the National Governors Association, I am pleased to announce the REV plan in the West with governors from both sides of the political spectrum. The plan shines a spotlight on how governors across the country are implementing innovative policies for the people of their states.”

In January, Gov. Sandoval will host the next meeting related to his initiative focused on transportation innovation in Las Vegas.


Note: The Electric Drive Transportation Association estimated that there were 18,982 EVSE stations installed across the US as of the end of September 2017, with a total of 50,748 charging outlets available nationwide.

NEVA blog written and compiled by Stan Hanel, Outreach Coordinator

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