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10

Aug

Hyperloop One Accelerates Technology in North Las Vegas

Author: stanhanel
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During July 2017, employees at Hyperloop One in North Las Vegas, NV completed a breakthrough test that proved a high-speed pod could accelerate and glide on waves of opposing electromagnetic fields while encased in a long, evacuated tube that minimized air pressure resistance.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uLh1alyhc1E

The DevLoop evacuated magnetic tube system, built in North Las Vegas, accelerated the XP-1 pod up to 190 miles per hour over one-third of a mile. The design and engineering team felt that the pods should be able to accelerate to even faster speeds with a longer distance test track that they will continue developing.

Hyperloop One DevLoop Test Track in North Las Vegas, NV.

Hyperloop One DevLoop Test Track in North Las Vegas, NV.

The proof of concept test opens the door to high-speed trasportation that can travel faster and cost less to construct than traditional magnetic-levitation trains in Japan and China.

Hyperloop One hopes to achieve speeds up to 750 miles per hour for cargo and passenger pod modules that zoom through evacuated tunnels within a seamless flow of other computer-controlled pods. That’s four times the speed of most existing mag-lev trains.

Hyperloop_DevLoop_image_05

Las Vegas could become a transportation hub and gateway to major cities in five surrounding states with that kind of connection speed. Once a cargo pod reaches its stopping point, automated drones or shipping trucks could complete delivery of each package to the “last mile” of a target destination.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LAWEOwDDt_Y

At the North Las Vegas test site, individual sections of Hyperloop tube were mounted on top of concrete pillars and welded together to form the DevLoop magnetic tube system. The company obtained a large-scale vacuum-pumping system and began monitoring the amount of air pressure reduction possible.

The cargo and passenger pods have been equipped with permanent magnets embedded as a Halbach array within the base of their chassis platforms. Each design iteration has been developed and tested in smaller vacuum chambers within the company’s Los Angeles development center.

An aluminum track built along the bottom, inside floor of the DevLoop tube serves as a repelling surface for the Halbach array installed in the base of each pod. As the permanent magnets move at high speed over the aluminum surface beneath the traveling pod, they induce eddy currents in the metal track, that in turn creates a magnetic field of opposite polarity.

The repelling magnetic fields continue to suspend the pod above the aluminum track as it surfs on this magnetic wave within the low-pressure atmosphere of the enclosed tube system.

Unlike traditional mag-lev trains, the Hyperloop system does not require continuous electromagnetic propulsion points. Once acceleration reaches a fast cruising speed within the low-pressure tube through an active electromagnetic stator that generates strong electromagnetic fields, the need for additional acceleration or deceleration stator nodes can be spaced up to 18 miles apart along the length of the tube.

At full speed, each pod’s magnetic Halbach array glides over the aluminum track and induces eddy currents that create repelling magnetic fields for up to 18 miles until another active stator push or pull is needed to accelerate or decelerate the Halbach array.

Hyperloop One employs about 300 people at its Los Angeles and Las Vegas sites, with about 100 employees currently in Nevada.

The original transportation concept of using evacuated pneumatic tubes for transporting pods and people has been envisioned by engineers and scientists, like US rocket pioneer Robert Goddard, for over 100 years.

Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory defined component parts of the system during the late 20th century.

The most recent wave of Hyperloop development interest was christened and jump-started by Elon Musk, CEO of both SpaceX and Tesla, Inc. Musk published an open-source research paper during 2012 that outlined a vision for his Hyperloop system, with a design that employed linear induction motors and compressed air.

Musk also created The Boring Company to investigate and develop high-speed tunneling machines that would need to dig tunnels at least 3 times faster than existing systems, in order to make the Hyperloop tunnel systems less costly to build.

For more information about Hyperloop One, visit the company website at:

https://hyperloop-one.com/

NEVA blog by Stan Hanel, Outreach Coordinator

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20

Jul

Tesla Begins Production and Delivery of Model 3

Author: stanhanel
Comments: 0

During July 2017, Tesla began producing its newest Model 3 electric car and started the process of delivering a mass market vehicle to over 400,000 people worldwide. These Tesla customers had pre-registered and made a downpayment of $1000 to join the queue of potential drivers who wanted to own this revolutionary new vehicle:

https://www.tesla.com/model3

The main selling features of the Tesla Model 3, listed on the website are:

1. Starting base price of $35,000

2. Designed for five-star safety rating in every class

3. Acceleration achieves zero to 60 miles per hour in 5.6 seconds

4. Seats five adults comfortably

5. Autopilot hardware (cameras, radar, ultrasonic sensors) are standard although software levels of implementation for Extended Autopilot and Fully Autonomous driving capability in the future will cost extra.

6. Access port hardware for SuperCharger network is standard, in order to access Tesla DC Fast Charging systems for cross-country travel. First 1000 miles are accessible at no cost but usage fees will be applied after that.

7. Co-efficient of drag around 0.21

8. 15-inch horizontal touch display screen standard as center console.

Consumer Reports published an FAQ to try to answer the most common questions about the Tesla Model 3 at this website link:

http://www.consumerreports.org/tesla/tesla-model-3-faq-everything-you-want-to-know/

Tesla CEO Elon Musk was also a guest speaker during the National Governor’s Association summer conference in Rhode Island. Musk sat down with Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval for a one-hour discussion about the future of electric cars, batteries and renewable energy over the next 20 years. He also took questions from other governors attending the conference.

A Youtube video of the discussion follows:

On July 28, 2017, Musk and Tesla senior managers staged a formal presentation to deliver the keys to the first 30 owners of the Model 3, featured in this YouTube video from the company:

Assembly line production will then ramp up exponentially through the end of the year, from 100 during August to 1000 during September and 20,000 by the end of December if Tesla can achieve its ambitious goals.

By 2020, the company hopes to manufacture 500,000 Model 3 electric cars every year. There are 10,000 component parts inside the Model 3. Two-thirds of the components come from within North America while another one-third come from outside the continent. Musk emphasized that any one component could stall the ramp-up of the Model 3 production line to 20,000 vehicles per month.

The Tesla Gigafactory in Storey County, NV produces the battery packs and other essential electric drive train components for the Model 3.

The first section of the Tesla Motors Gigafactory in Storey County is completed and unveiled to the public during 2016.

The first section of the Tesla Motors Gigafactory in Storey County is completed and unveiled to the public during 2016.

About 1,000 fulltime employees are building battery cells and integrated packs within the plant, with additional workers employed in the continued construction of the factory. When fully completed the Gigafactory will be one of the largest buildings on the planet by footprint and will employ more than 3,500 people full time. Nevada employees at the Gigafactory were featured and live-streamed while watching the Tesla Handover event during late July.

Tesla is also continuing to build out its Supercharger network for cross-country driving beyond the vehicle’s 215-mile base range. By the end of 2018, the number of Superchargers available in its network will triple in quantity with more penetration into all countries throughout the world.

NEVA blog written by Stan Hanel, NEVA Outreach Coordinator

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27

Jun

Faraday Future Puts a Hold on Factory Construction in North Las Vegas

Author: stanhanel
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On July 10, 2017, Faraday Future announced that it was putting on hold its plans to build an assembly factory for the company’s FF91 prototype concept car in North Las Vegas, Nevada at the Apex Industrial Park:

“We at Faraday Future are significantly shifting our business strategy to position the company as the leader in user-ship personal mobility – a vehicle usage model that re-imagines the way users access mobility. As a result of this shift in direction, we are in the process of identifying a manufacturing facility that presents a faster path to start-of-production and aligns with future strategic options.

Accordingly, we have decided to put a hold on our factory at the APEX site in North Las Vegas. As the land owner, we remain committed to the build-out of the APEX site for long-term vehicle manufacturing and firmly believe North Las Vegas is an ideal place to be.

We would like to thank our partners in Nevada for their continued support throughout this process. Governor Sandoval and his office of Economic Development, Clark County and Mayor John Lee and the North Las Vegas officials.

More details on Faraday Future’s new strategy will be shared in the coming weeks.”

Reactions to the Faraday Future announcement were mixed from Nevada government officials at the state and local levels.

According to a statement from Steve Hill, Director of the Nevada Governor’s Office of Economic Development:

“Faraday Future has informed the Governor’s Office of Economic Development (GOED) that it has put the construction of its factory in North Las Vegas on hold.

Throughout the process of working with Faraday, the state recognized both the opportunity a large manufacturing facility could provide as well as the inherent risk associated with a start-up company attempting this endeavor. In order to protect the citizens of Nevada from risk, the agreement with Faraday requires the company to fully invest a minimum of $1 billion in order to receive any state incentives.

In accordance with this agreement, Faraday has paid all taxes owed to a Trust Fund established by the state. The agreement with Faraday held Nevada’s citizens harmless from the risk associated with this project,” GOED Director Hill said.

Nevada State Treasurer Dan Schwartz issued a harsher statement:

“We all make mistakes, but this one was obvious. Long after it became apparent that ‘a mysterious Chinese billionaire’ and Faraday Future could never build a $1 billion electric auto plant, Nevada state officials continued to insist that Faraday Future would magically create 4,500 jobs in North Las Vegas. Now that Jia Yueting, Faraday’s funding source, has had his assets frozen by a Shanghai court and is under increasing scrutiny in China for what amounts to fraud, the automobile plant is just a pile of sand in Apex Industrial Park, and the promised jobs are just another mirage in the Southern Nevada Desert,” Treasurer Schwartz said.

“The only good news is that the Treasurer’s Office continued to press for financial information from Faraday and refused to issue a $175 million bond without detailed information.

Welcome to Nevada, where good government takes a back seat to bad deals,” Schwartz said.

North Las Vegas Mayor John Lee sought to soften the impact of the hold decision, as well as find a silver lining, when he issued the following statement:

“The State, County and City are focused to ensure Southern Nevada has a large scale industrial park developed and ready for job creators to diversify our regional economy, and Faraday has played an important part by investing almost $50 million in land improvements and critical design and engineering work at Apex Industrial Park, creating a momentum that has attracted multiple Fortune 500 companies hiring 7,000 Nevadans and investing more than $1 billion, that has stabilized and transformed our community,” Mayor Lee said.

Faraday Future had hired Stefan Krause as the company’s new Chief Financial Officer and tasked him with raising $1 billion in additional capital to continue expanding the company, including the completion of an electric car factory in North Las Vegas, Nevada.

The company had sought to build a down-sized 650,000 square-foot automotive assembly plant within the city’s Apex Industrial Park, after previously grading and leveling the ground during 2016. Completion of the factory and the manufacturing assembly-line were projected to roll out the first production car models of the FF91 sometime in 2018.

Faraday Future slowed its development plans during 2016 and early 2017, after financial troubles beset the company’s primary investor, Chinese billionaire Jia Yue Ting.

During August 2017, the company announced that it was leasing an existing factory in Hanford, CA between Fresno and Bakersfield, located between Interstate Highway I-5 and US Highway 99. The company will fully move into the one-million square-foot plant during November 2017 and hopes to manufacture production versions of the FF91 by the end of 2018.

Faraday Future still owns 930 acres of land within the Apex Industrial Park in North Las Vegas that the company purchased for $29.4 million. Tentative plans are on hold to try to convert the property into a fully-owned, larger scale factory sometime in the future. However, first the company must achieve its short-term manufacturing goals at the Hanford, CA plant during 2018.

The FF91 electric car prototype unveiled during CES 2017 in Las Vegas had been built for performance. It integrated up to three AC motors in parallel, with electricity supplied from the company’s patented AC inverter electronics.

A 130 kilowatt-hour battery pack and the three-motor electric drive train could develop an equivalent of 1050 horsepower and accelerate from 0 to 60 miles per hour in 2.39 seconds, according to in-house company benchmark testing.

Faraday Future FF91 electric drive train includes three AC electric motors, a 130 kWh battery pack, patented AC inverter electronics and all-wheel steering.

Faraday Future FF91 electric drive train includes three AC electric motors, a 130 kWh battery pack, patented AC inverter electronics and all-wheel steering.

All wheel steering allowed for nimbler handling and performance through tight turns, as well as quicker avoidance of obstacles.

Faraday Future FF91 races at Pike's Peak International Hill Climb in Colorado Springs

Faraday Future FF91 races at Pike’s Peak International Hill Climb in Colorado Springs

During June, Faraday Future raced the FF91 in the Exhibition Division of the Broadmoor Pike’s Peak International Hill Climb near Colorado Springs, Colorado:

https://ev.ff.com/2s9UFNL

The challenging Pike’s Peak race course is more vertical than most, climbing 4,720 feet through 12.42 miles of continuously winding road, with 156 turns to reach a mountain summit 14,110 feet high.

Gasoline engine fuel mixtures become challenged in the thin air, so battery-powered electric cars have an advantage at that kind of altitude.

A Youtube video of one of the hill climb runs can be seen at this weblink:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m2mxpLKSdOU

The FF91 had a best time of 11 minutes and 25.082 seconds for the course, even though it stalled near the summit and had to reboot its onboard computer control system. Though coming in at 40th place compared to all the weekend’s competitor time slips, the FF91 performed well for an electric production car. The best timed run for the day eclipsed by over 20 seconds a 2016 Pike’s Peak time set by a stripped-down Tesla Model S P90D dual-motor electric production car a year earlier.

Faraday Future Dragon Racing Team race car driven by Jerome D'Ambrosio and Loic Duval during FIA Formula E competitions from 2016 - 2017 season.

Faraday Future Dragon Racing Team race car driven by Jerome D’Ambrosio and Loic Duval during FIA Formula E competitions from 2016 – 2017 season.

Faraday Future also partnered with Jay Penske’s Dragon Racing team to develop an electric-motor drive train that could compete against world-class racing teams through the FIA Formula E racing circuit.

Ten racing teams competed during the 2016-2017 season, including famous names like ABT Schaeffler AUDI Sport, Andretti, DS Virgin Racing, Panasonic Jaguar Racing, Mahindra Racing, NextEV NIO, Renault e.dams, TECHEETAH, and Venturi, alongside the Faraday Future Dragon Racing team.

Design rules during the third season of Formula E racing were loosened to allow racing teams to experiment more fully with the electric drive train beyond the fixed battery pack, to include multiple configurations of electric motors, transmission gear box design, AC inverter electronics, and rear mechanical suspensions.

As a first-time entrant during the third year of the FIA Formula E racing seasons, Faraday Future has found its technology integration has some “catching up” to do to compete at a world-class level against seasoned automotive engineers and racing teams from Renault, Jaguar, and Audi, while being tested in real world competition by Formula One veteran drivers Jerome D’Ambrosio and Loic Duval:

http://www.fiaformulae.com/en

NEVA blog posted by Stan Hanel, Outreach Coordinator

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01

May

Earth Day 2017 Nevada Celebrations

Author: stanhanel
Comments: 0

Nevada residents celebrated Earth Day 2017 throughout the state.

Sherry Swensk, Weather Anchor from KLAS-TV and Annette Bubak from Green Alliance of Nevada address attendees at GreenFest 2017 from center stage in the Pavilion at Downtown Summerlin.

Sherry Swensk, Weather Anchor from KLAS-TV and Annette Bubak from Green Alliance of Nevada address attendees at GreenFest 2017 from center stage in the Pavilion at Downtown Summerlin.

Two of the larger gatherings were GreenFest 2017 at Downtown Summerlin in Las Vegas on April 22nd and Reno Earth Day 2017 at Idlewild Park on April 23rd.

The entrance to the Pavilion at Downtown Summerlin featured two Chevrolet Volts and a Nissan LEAF on either side of a solar-powered generator that provided power to the GreenFest 2017 event.

The entrance to the Pavilion at Downtown Summerlin featured two Chevrolet Volts and a Nissan LEAF on either side of a solar-powered generator that provided power to the GreenFest 2017 event.

The Nevada Electric Vehicle Accelerator (NEVA) program worked with organizers during GreenFest 2017 to stage an alternative-fuel vehicle car show as part of a Clean Energy Drive exhibit from 9 AM to 5 PM on Saturday, April 22nd:

http://www.greenfestlv.com

Gaudin Porsche provided two Cayenne S E-hybrids, each a plug-in hybrid SUV.

Gaudin Porsche provided two Cayenne S E-hybrids, each a plug-in hybrid SUV.

Plug-in electric cars were provided by local automotive dealerships, including Gaudin Porsche who supplied two Cayenne S E-hybrid (plug-in hybrid SUVs), Findlay Chevrolet who provided a 2017 Chevrolet Volt LT and Premier models, and United Nissan who provided a Nissan LEAF.

2017 Chevrolet Volt plug-in hybrids included LT and Premier models.

2017 Chevrolet Volt plug-in hybrids included LT and Premier models.

United Nissan provided a LEAF electric car to display at GreenFest 2017.

United Nissan provided a LEAF electric car to display at GreenFest 2017.

Lexus of Las Vegas showcased three luxury hybrids, including the new Lexus LC 500h sports coupe.

Other clean energy cars at GreenFest 2017 included a 2016 Chevrolet Impala converted by Southwest Gas to run on methane natural gas. Lexus of Las Vegas also provided three luxury hybrid vehicles.

Other clean energy cars at GreenFest 2017 included a 2016 Chevrolet Impala converted by Southwest Gas to run on methane natural gas. Lexus of Las Vegas also provided three luxury hybrid vehicles.

Southwest Gas displayed a 2016 Chevrolet Impala that had been converted to run on compressed natural gas or CNG.

Verdek, LLC also exhibited a ChargePoint charging system for electric cars during Greenfest 2017.

NEVA also helped organize a Drive Clean Energy Las Vegas procession just before GreenFest 2017 that started in the parking lot of Las Vegas Cyclery and followed Town Center Drive north to the GreenFest 2017 event in Downtown Summerlin.

Vehicles participating in the alternative-fuel caravan included three Tesla Model S, one Tesla Model X, two BMW i3, one BMW i8, one Nissan LEAF, two Mitsubishi i-MiEVs, a Chevrolet Volt, Cadillac ELR, a Zero SR electric motorcycle, GEM electric NEV, and three propane-powered Toyota Prius hybrids provided by the Yellow Cab, Checker, and Star taxi companies.

GreenFest 2017 was staged at Downtown Summerlin by the Green Alliance of Nevada in conjunction with a Wellness Weekend event hosted by Howard Hughes Corp. The event was co-located with the Tour de Summerlin annual bicycle race and a Wellness Festival. Attendance for GreenFest 2017 was estimated at 20,000 people.

Reno Earth Day 2017 was staged at Idlewild Park on Sunday, April 23rd from 11 AM to 6 PM:

http://www.renoearthday.org/

Sponsors for the festival included the City of Reno, Truckee Meadows Water Authority, and Mercury Momentum.

Plug-in electric vehicles were exhibited by the Electric Auto Association of Northern Nevada.

NEVA blog posted by Stan Hanel, Outreach Coordinator

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14

Apr

Volkswagen Electrify America Program Releases Public Plan

Author: stanhanel
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On April 9, 2017, Volkswagen Group released a public version of the first cycle of its 10-year Electrify America program, 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.

These vehicles employed the company’s “turbo direct injection” TDI diesel engines, that exceeded emissions standards required by the U.S. Clean Air Act, under real-world driving conditions. Deceptive software tuning of emission controls was employed when the vehicle was undergoing smog testing in a stationary position. However, once the vehicle began moving, the engine was 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 ZEV Investment Plan can be found at the U.S. EPA Enforcement webpage:

https://www.epa.gov/enforcement/epa-approved-national-zev-investment-plan-public-version

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

https://www.epa.gov/sites/production/files/2017-04/documents/nationalzevinvestmentplan.pdf

The 10-year plan will be implemented in four 30-month cycles over ten years, with each cycle funded at $300 million, for a total of $1.2 billion. Implementation of the first cycle is scheduled between Q1 2017 to Q2 2019.

It will target high-density metropolitan population areas with SAE AC Level 2 electric vehicle supply equipment (EVSE) and DC Fast Charge station installations.

240 DC Fast Charge station sites will also be installed by the end of Cycle 1 on national highway corridors across the country, including interstate and regional highways passing through Nevada.

The Nevada Governor’s Office of Energy has submitted proposals to the U.S. EPA that comply 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.

The National ZEV Investment program also sets aside funding for educational outreach efforts about the benefits of zero-emission vehicles, targeted at consumers and fleet managers.

NEVA Blog posted by Stan Hanel, Outreach Coordinator

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10

Apr

Electric Car Roadtrip Through Rural Nevada

Author: stanhanel
Comments: 0

Sao Ly Benson and Kayden Phan both own white Tesla Model S electric cars. They are also members of the Las Vegas Tesla Owners group, who meet once a month for lunch at the Lazy Dog Restaurant in the Town Square shopping center near the Las Vegas Strip.

The two women planned a 1000-mile electric road trip through rural Nevada and California with their companions, by using Tesla Supercharger stations in Beatty, Tonopah, Mammoth Lake, and Lone Pine. The four travelers and one dog camped in the back of their two Tesla Model S over four nights, at locations that ranged in temperature from 27 degrees F to 90 degrees F.

Here is a four-minute video travelog compiled by Sao Ly Benson, that she posted and shared on Vimeo, Youtube and Facebook: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OY_etUhFIuk

“March 31 – April 3, 2017. 4 people, 1 dog, and two Tesla Model S electric vehicles embark on a 1000 mile journey through Nevada and California. We slept under the stars in the back of our Teslas every night and camped in a different spot every night. We met a lot of other amazing Tesla owners at superchargers along the way and will never forget this incredible journey.”

Twin Tesla Roadtrip Nevada-California from Saoly Benson on Vimeo.

“So easy and affordable, especially not having to pay for gas!” (Kayden Phan).

July 11, 2017 interview by KLAS-TV in Las Vegas with Sao Ly Benson and Kayden Phan:

http://www.lasvegasnow.com/news/nevada-installs-electric-car-charging-stations-around-the-state/763311065

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09

Mar

Southern Nevada Strong Coalition Showcases Electric Vehicles

Author: stanhanel
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Marie Steele, Manager of EVs and Renewable Energy at NV Energy, Leads Tour of Electric Vehicles at Southern Nevada Strong event

Marie Steele, Manager of EVs and Renewable Energy at NV Energy, Leads Tour of Electric Vehicles at Southern Nevada Strong event

On March 8th, the Southern Nevada Strong coalition hosted an educational discussion about electric vehicles. The event was organized by Marie Steele, Manager of Electric Vehicles and Renewable Energy at NV Energy, with support from the Nevada Governor’s Office of Energy and the Southern Nevada Regional Transportation Commission.

Electric School Bus Showcased by Adomani

Electric School Bus Showcased by Adomani

Electric School Bus Specifications by Adomani

Electric School Bus Specifications by Adomani

NAVYA autonomous electric shuttle bus exhibited by Keolis

NAVYA autonomous electric shuttle bus exhibited by Keolis

The location of the EV presentation was at the Mobility Training Center of the RTC in Las Vegas and featured electric buses from Proterra, NAVYA, GreenPower Bus, and Adomani, as well as electric cars from Nissan, Tesla, and BMW.

Nissan Regional EV Sales Manager Valerie Kornahrens and Roland Lewis, Fleet Sales Manager from United Nissan explain features of Nissan LEAF.

Nissan Regional EV Sales Manager Valerie Kornahrens and Roland Lewis, Fleet Sales Manager from United Nissan explain features of Nissan LEAF.

Ahern Energy provided portable solar-powered trailers that supported a ChargePoint AC Level 2 charging station to replenish the battery packs of the vehicles on display while parked.

Ahern Energy portable solar-powered trailer can recharge electric cars and also feature programmable advertising on a digital billboard display.

Ahern Energy portable solar-powered trailer can recharge electric cars and also feature programmable advertising on a digital billboard display.

NV Energy electrified fleet service truck

NV Energy electrified fleet service truck

NV Energy also showcased some of its electric-powered fleet vehicles, including a tool truck and a service rig with an electric cherry-picker lift basket.

Discussion Panel and Speakers

Introductory speakers included Tina Quigley, General Manager of the Southern Nevada Regional Transportation Commission, Joe Reynolds, Chairman of the Public Utilities Commission of Nevada, and Pat Egan, Senior Vice President of Renewable Energy and Smart Infrastructure at NV Energy.

Reynolds emphasized efforts by Governor Brian Sandoval’s administration to make the state friendly to electric vehicles at all levels of government as part of his vision for a New Nevada economy. PUC Commissioner Paul Thomsen is leading an investigatory effort to solicit suggestions for regulation reform from the Nevada EV community that will encourage ownership and transportation of these vehicles within the state.

Pat Egan, Senior VP of Renewable Energy and Smart Infrastrucuture at NV Energy introduces EV discussion panel at Southern Nevada Strong event.

Pat Egan, Senior VP of Renewable Energy and Smart Infrastrucuture at NV Energy introduces EV discussion panel at Southern Nevada Strong event.

Egan, a former member of the Oregon Transportation Commission, saw the benefits of promoting electric vehicles in that state, in order to make it a leader in EV technology adoption. These included reduced pollutant emissions, improved health environment, cheaper quality transportation, support for vehicle electrification, and development of strategic charging station infrastructure.

Egan noted NV Energy efforts to increase EVSE infrastructure through a Shared Investment Program begun in 2012 that helped build out partnerships with host sites to stage ChargePoint EVSE around urban areas of Las Vegas and Reno. Since 2013, the connected ChargePoint systems have recorded 95,000 charging sessions statewide that have reduced Greenhouse Gas Emissions in Nevada by 300 tons over three years.

Three discussion panel sessions during the morning event informed the attending audience about the latest statewide developments concerning electric vehicles and EV supply equipment infrastructure, as well as opportunities for fleet electrification.

Marie Steele, Manager of Electric Vehicles and Renewable Energy at NV Energy moderated discussion panels

Marie Steele, Manager of Electric Vehicles and Renewable Energy at NV Energy moderated discussion panels

EV Marketplace and the Nevada Economy

The first discussion panel, that focused on the EV marketplace and Nevada economy, was moderated by Marie Steele of NV Energy and featured Daniel Witt, Senior Manager of Business Development and Policy at Tesla, Inc. and Alejandro Zamorano, Clean Energy and Advanced Transportation Analyst at Bloomberg.

Steele noted that there were 2,896 registered plug-in electric vehicles through the Nevada Department of Motor Vehicles as of December 2016, that included 1,548 battery-powered EVs and 1,348 plug-in hybrid EVs. Total EV penetration was about 0.47 percent, compared to over 3 percent registration of plug-in electric vehicles within California.

However about 40 percent of the 43 million visitors to southern Nevada each year drive their vehicles from California, according to Tina Quigley of the Southern Nevada Regional Transportation Commission.

Nevada road and highway usage by these vehicles is not yet being compensated in the same manner as gasoline pump taxes are levied, to provide funds for roadway maintenance. As more EVs become available on Nevada roads and highways, some means will eventually need to be developed for EV drivers to pay their fair share.

Zamorano from Bloomberg highlighted his company’s financial analysis of the EV market globally, showing that global sales popped during the fourth quarter of 2016, with over 200,000 vehicles sold worldwide, a 55 percent increase over Q4 in 2015.

Bloomberg is projecting that one million plug-in electric vehicles will be sold worldwide during 2017, with a majority of sales in the Asia Pacific region and the two Americas. China is projected to have the largest growth in EV sales during 2017, while US growth will be steady but not as steep.

Factors that affect buyers to purchase EVs include fuel efficiency, technology, and mobility. Bloomberg predicts more US fleet sales of electric vehicles by 2025 with a total EV penetration of 5 to 8 percent. Zamorano felt that from 2022 to 2028 there would be an inflection point, where fleet operation costs of electric vehicles would be the same or cheaper than operational costs for vehicles with internal combustion engines.

This would be accomplished through reduction of lithium-ion battery pack costs for EVs due to economies of scale and improved battery cell chemistry that should drive costs below $90 per kilowatt-hour for EV battery packs.

For consumers, EVs compete well in the mid-price range, as well as for SUVs and premium cars, but do not yet compete well in the sub-compact car marketplace.

Tesla Model X is recharged from ChargePoint CT4000 mounted on an Ahern Energy solar-powered trailer.

Tesla Model X is recharged from ChargePoint CT4000 mounted on an Ahern Energy solar-powered trailer.

Daniel Witt from Tesla, Inc. emphasized that the Gigafactory in Storey County, Nevada is on the leading edge of battery development to help drive down lithium-ion battery pack prices. Tesla is now a Nevada company, employing over 1000 people within its Gigafactory, with another 2000 construction employees working to complete full build-out of the facility.

Tesla Model S featured at Southern Nevada Strong EV showcase.

Tesla Model S featured at Southern Nevada Strong EV showcase.

The Gigafactory is the key driver component for Tesla to be able to scale production of its Model 3, Model S and Model X electric cars at its Fremont factory in California from 80,000 vehicles a year to 500,000 vehicles a year by 2020.

Witt felt that since battery pack prices were dropping to allow more EVs to travel 200 – 300 miles range between charging cycles, the rest of the world has been starting to catch on to the innovative advantages of electric vehicle technologies. New electric car buyers worldwide are not just early adopters anymore, but also include mainstream automotive consumers from Middle East oil-production states like the United Arab Emirates. China and Europe have also been growing their EV markets, along with new investments in recharging station infrastructure.

Nevada Goals, Policies and Resources

Marie Steele moderates discussion panel with Joe Perreira, Staff Engineer at Nevada Division of Environmental Protection and Angela Dykema, Director of the Nevada Governor's Office of Energy.

Marie Steele moderates discussion panel with Joe Perreira, Staff Engineer at Nevada Division of Environmental Protection and Angela Dykema, Director of the Nevada Governor’s Office of Energy.

The second panel discussion of the morning, entitled “State Goals, Policies and Resources”, also moderated by Marie Steele of NV Energy, featured Angela Dykema, Director of the Nevada Governor’s Office of Energy and Joe Perreira, Staff Engineer at the Nevada Division of Environmental Protection.

Steele emphasized that the NV Energy utility generation, transmission and distribution infrastructure in southern Nevada was designed to accommodate the hottest days of summer, when demand for HVAC cooling systems is at a peak in every building across the region.

Much of that electricity generation and transmission infrastructure capacity goes unused during the rest of the year and during the nighttime hours. The adoption of electric vehicles would allow for more efficient usage of those resources during off-peak hours, when EVs are normally recharging at night.

Steele emphasized that 80 percent of southern Nevada drivers commute less than 30 miles per day.
Workplace charging infrastructure and fleet electrification are big growth opportunities for the southern Nevada economy.

The NV Energy fleet is moving in that direction, with 100 electrified fleet vehicles currently in operation statewide. NV Energy can be a resource for other fleet managers in the state who would like to compare costs and benefits of fleet electrification.

Angela Dykema from the Governor’s Office of Energy highlighted Governor Sandoval’s published Strategy Planning Framework Goals. One of the goals is to “become the nation’s leading producer and consumer of clean and renewable energy”.

Nevada Electric Highway Phase II.

Nevada Electric Highway Phase II.

To help accomplish this goal, the Governor’s Office of Energy is promoting and funding a Nevada Electric Highway system that has been planned for completion by 2020.

Map of Nevada Electric Highway Phase II "Gateway East"

Map of Nevada Electric Highway Phase II “Gateway East”

DC Fast Charge stations installed at strategically-located sites along Nevada highways every 100 miles would enable electric vehicle owners to travel across the state, as well as to neighboring states of California, Oregon, Idaho, Utah and Arizona.

Seventeen state governors are leading this effort to build out a network of EV recharging stations nationwide.

The first leg of the Nevada Electric Highway system between Las Vegas and Reno on US Highway 95 should be completed by the end of summer this year, enabling DC Fast Charge station recharging points at Beatty, Tonopah, Hawthorne and Fallon, in order to connect the two largest urban areas of the state.

Phase II of the program will build out additional recharging station sites that will connect to surrounding states along highways I-80, US-50, US-95 and I-15. Governors in Utah and Colorado have agreed to align with Nevada to develop “Gateway East” corridors with strategically-located recharging station infrastructure.

Some of the funding for these recharging stations may come from Volkswagen, who is settling lawsuits brought by the US Federal Trade Commission, Environmental Protection Agency and Department of Justice, regarding misrepresentation of its diesel vehicle emissions for nitrogen oxide, or NOx, from 2009 – 2015.

Joe Perreira from the Nevada Division of Environmental Protection talked about federal money available from a Volkswagen Mitigation Trust fund, that was available to fleet owners who would like to trade up their older diesel engines and vehicles for newer, more modern engines or vehicles with cleaner emissions systems.

Under the federal Diesel Emission Reduction Act (DERA), the state normally receives about $120,000 per year for this program. During 2017, there is still $90,000 worth of funds available that fleet managers can apply for.

Once the US court system has appointed a federal trustee to manage the VW Mitigation Trust fund during the next few months, additional money from this program can become available to fleet managers. Perreira estimated that these funds could be as high as $25 million allocated to Nevada over the next ten years.

However, if fleet managers would like to upgrade to electrified vehicles in place of existing diesel vehicles, there is a second Zero Emission Vehicle Investment Fund from Volkswagen, that is promoting an “Electrify America” program.

ZEV funds are available for fleet managers to increase fleet electrification, as well as for states to build EV charging station infrastructure across the country, in the areas of workplace charging, long-distance corridor development, and educational outreach.

During the 2017 Nevada legislative session in Carson City, the NDEP has formed a Nevada Advisory Committee on Control of Emissions for Motor Vehicles. The committee consists of interested stakeholders, who are working to develop beneficiary certification plans that would be eligible for funding from the Volkswagen Mitigation Trust fund and the “Electrify America” program.

One plan by the Governor’s Office of Energy is to increase educational outreach, fleet electrification and EV infrastructure around large travel centers like McCarran Airport, that processes millions of visitors each year through its airline terminal gates. The electrification of rental car fleets at McCarran Airport could be accompanied by educational advertising campaigns and EV recharging station infrastructure in the airport parking lots.

Examples of electric buses and trucks were showcased in the parking lot of the RTC Mobility Training Center during the event.

A GreenPower Bus was exhibited by Adomani.

A GreenPower Bus was exhibited by Adomani.

Dykema emphasized that the Governor’s Office of Energy is continuing to look for grant funding for these programs through the US Dept. of Energy and US Dept. of Transportation. She encouraged fleet managers to coordinate with the GOE on any fleet electrification projects they might be considering.

Green Fleet Solutions for Nevada

The third panel discussion of the morning, “Take Charge: Green Fleet Solutions for Nevada”, was moderated by Jennifer Taylor, Director of the Clean Energy Project, with panelists David Perterson, Director of Fleet Solutions at ChargePoint, Tom Polikalis, Nevada Director for the South West Energy Efficiency Program (SWEEP), and Roland Cordero, Fleet Manager for Foothill Transit,a public bus transit system for 14 million riders each year that covers 22 cities in the San Diego Valley of California and parts of Los Angeles.

Taylor began the discussion by stating that Clark County, Nevada is ranked 15th among all counties in the US for Nitrogen Oxide (NOx) emissions that create smog. NOx emissions can be deadly because they create particles that can be absorbed inside people’s lungs and are mostly produced locally from high-temperature diesel engine emissions and coal-burning power plants. Closing the local Reid Gardner coal power generation plant by 2019 will help clean up some of the air but using alternative-fuel vehicles and electricity to fuel local delivery trucks and cars can do even more.

Tom Polikalis of SWEEP cited three policy measures that could assist in enabling more electric vehicles in southern Nevada: encourage EV-ready building codes, electric vehicle fleet purchases and group discount purchase plans for consumers.

Proterra FC model electric bus can accommodate fast charge connections at each passenger loading station.

Proterra FC model electric bus can accommodate fast charge connections at each passenger loading station.

Roland Cordero noted that Foothill Transit has grown its electric bus system from one pilot electric bus project during 2010 to expand to 30 buses in its fleet by the end of 2017. Motivation for the program came from the California Air Resources Board (CARB) that mandated Zero Emission Vehicles be implemented in public transit programs.

Los Angeles has the worst air quality in the nation and there was ample motivation to try to meet ZEV guidelines in this region to improve general health for all the population, including the 14 million riders on the Foothill Transit system every year.

Electricity is currently the only fuel that complies to CARB standards for zero emission vehicles.

Cordero began evaluating a Proterra electric bus in his pilot program and found that the Pomona boarding station was a good midpoint for a recharging site that could refuel an electric bus.

After successful testing, Cordero added 14 more Proterra buses to his transit system, some that included high-speed interlock charging that could replenish the capacity of the bus battery pack to 70 percent state-of-charge in just one hour.

According to Cordero, the electric buses have been reliable and also save his program about 25 percent in maintenance costs or about $160,000 per year because of fewer material supplies needed.

After putting 27,000 miles per month and over a million miles on his electric bus fleet by 2017, Cordero was convinced of the viability of switching his entire public transit fleet to electric buses by 2030.

ChargePoint Express Plus DC Fast Charge System will employ up to eight 50-kW modules to provide as much as 400 kw of charging speed.

ChargePoint Express Plus DC Fast Charge System will employ up to eight 50-kW modules to provide as much as 400 kw of charging speed.

David Peterson from ChargePoint mapped out some strategies for electrification that fleet managers might take to develop a five-year implementation plan:

1. Know Your Fleet: In order to evaluate energy savings and opportunities for recharging electric fleet vehicles, managers should study average fleet miles per day, individual routes, length of time that vehicle is parked, analyze each vehicle’s telematics information. By evaluating how long a vehicle is parked, the amount of power required can be minimized locally.

2. Know Your Electric Power Infrastructure: Evaluate electrical panel and transformer infrastructure in fleet coverage region, and consider utility Time-Of-Use rate programs to purchase electricity at the cheapest cost.

3. Implement: Develop a five-year implementation plan for investment in electric vehicles and electric vehicle supply equipment. Is funding available to implement changes all at once or should fleet electrification be phased in gradually by leveraging as much existing electric power infrastructure as possible?

Peterson cited a case study example of a fleet manager who wanted to phase in 70 electric cars over five years, but only had budget for eight vehicles during the first year. When looking at his power panel resources, he had enough remaining unused circuitry for 160 Amps for electric vehicle supply equipment (EVSE).

Normally, a standard SAE J1772 AC Level 2 recharging station from ChargePoint, that can deliver 30 Amps of electrical current, requires a 40-amp circuit breaker. This would allow an existing panel, with 160 Amperes of current available, to normally just host four AC Level 2 ChargePoint stations for eight vehicles. However, because ChargePoint dual-port stations have a power-sharing capability, four Chargepoint stations with two plugs each could accommodate all eight vehicles on just 160 Amps of power.

By planning early and working with the EVSE vendor, cost-effective electric vehicle infrastructure can be implemented over time to achieve planning goals. Peterson emphasized that fleet managers should leverage existing power and route efficiencies before spending budget money.

Peterson also emphasized that EVSE systems should be scalable over time, especially as new EVs with bigger battery packs will require quicker charging systems.

The Southern Nevada Strong event was also profiled in the Las Vegas Sun and Las Vegas Review-Journal:

https://lasvegassun.com/news/2017/mar/09/summit-promotes-more-electric-vehicles-on-nevadas/

http://www.reviewjournal.com/traffic/nevada-officials-planning-charging-stations-electric-vehicles

Blog posted by Stan Hanel, NEVA Outreach Coordinator

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10

Feb

Nevada DOT Considers Land Ferry with EV Charging Onboard

Author: stanhanel
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(Graphic rendering courtesy of UNLV Transportation Research Center)

Steve Merrill at the Nevada Department of Transportation has been promoting the concept of a Land Ferry system that would use existing railroad tracks with special high-speed rail platforms to transport freight and multiple vehicles across wide expanses of Nevada’s rural countryside, at a cheaper price and in a quicker time than if someone drove the route themselves.

A video presentation, including contributions from NEVA participants, has been circulated by NDOT over the last two years to promote the project:

Because the land ferry is powered by electric propulsion, some of the electricity provided could be routed to onboard electric vehicle supply equipment (EVSE) that could top off the battery pack of an electric delivery truck or personal electric car while the vehicle was being transported. After the land ferry arrived at a customer destination port, the fully-charged EV could be driven off the transportation platform and continue onto its destination.

The land ferry concept has received statewide support from the Nevada Governor’s Office of Economic Development, as well as from researchers at the Transportation Research Center at the University of Nevada Las Vegas, led by Director Alexander Paz, Ph.D., P.E.

https://faculty.unlv.edu/tnmc/LandFerry/files/js/research/Proposals.php

After two years of Phase I study, where researchers studied the practical technologies needed to make this system work, supporters are now petitioning managers at NDOT to fund a Phase II study that will review the potential business model of the project to ensure that the Land Ferry costs of operation would be sustainable over time.

Local Nevada efforts are also being joined by RAIL Solution, an Oregon non-profit organization, that is proposing a Steel Interstate Coalition project along the railroad tracks near interstate highway I-80 that would extend the Land Ferry project from California through northern Nevada to Salt Lake City in Utah. The organization hopes to leverage participation from all three states to share costs and possibly access more federal grant funding for regional transportation development. The RAIL Solution website can be found at:

http://railsolution.org/

Blog posted by Stan Hanel, NEVA Outreach Coordinator

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11

Jan

CES 2017 Electric Car Highlights

Author: stanhanel
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The annual CES international trade show from January 5 – 8, 2017 featured the latest in consumer electronics technologies from around the world.

Sleek lines of the Faraday Future FF91 have a co-efficient of drag of just 0.25

Sleek lines of the Faraday Future FF91 have a co-efficient of drag of just 0.25

January 3rd was the start of media press days prior to CES, highlighted by an unveiling by Faraday Future of their new Electric Supercar FF91. Impressive power is provided by three electric motors and a 130-kWh lithium-ion battery pack to produce the equivalent of 1050 horsepower to the drive train, in order to accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in just 2.39 seconds.

Faraday Future FF91 chassis with three electric motors and all-wheel steering.

Faraday Future FF91 chassis with three electric motors and all-wheel steering.

All-wheel steering allows the rear wheels and front wheels to be steered independently out-of- phase for high-speed “carving” or in-phase for quick obstacle avoidance by “crabwalking”, with the addd capability of providing torque vectoring features. Rear-wheel steering also makes it easier for the vehicle to autonomously self-park by backing into a parking space, as was exhibited during one of the demos that evening.

The high-end production car was planned to be manufactured at a factory to be built in the Apex Industrial Park within North Las Vegas. Financial setbacks to the primary investor and company co-founder Y.T. Jia have slowed construction of the factory. Jia was present at the unveiling to emphasize his commitment to continue producing the FF91.

Artist's rendering of Faraday Future factory to be built at Apex Industrial Park in North Las Vegas, NV.

Artist’s rendering of Faraday Future factory to be built at Apex Industrial Park in North Las Vegas, NV.

Nick Sampson, Senior Vice-President of engineering, research and development at Faraday Future, stated that factory construction would resume shortly during 2017.

Volkswagen ID concept car

Volkswagen ID concept car

Plug-in electric concept cars were rolled out by nine automotive manufacturers in a big way, but also highlighted the future of the automotive industry as being both connected and autonomous, as well as more electrified.

Honda NeuV self-driving concept car

Honda NeuV self-driving concept car

North Hall exhibits at Las Vegas Convention Center included the Chrysler Portal, Volkswagen ID, Toyota Concept-i, Honda NeuV, and Mercedes Vision Van.

Mercedes Vision Van with rooftop drone-launching platform.

Mercedes Vision Van with rooftop drone-launching platform.

Autonomous, self-driving versions of the Nissan LEAF, Tesla Motors Model S with Autopilot, Audi Q7, BMW 5-series and the Hyundai Ioniq Electric were also showcased.

Hyundai Ioniq Electric with Autonomous Driving capability

Hyundai Ioniq Electric with Autonomous Driving capability

Many of the autonomous vehicles exhibited red Nevada license plates with a sideways “infinity” symbol that is used to alert other drivers or pedestrians that an autonomous vehicle is sharing the road.

The red Nevada plate with sideways "infinity" symbol denotes the car as having self-driving, autonomous capabilities.

The red Nevada plate with sideways “infinity” symbol denotes the car as having self-driving, autonomous capabilities.

SAE International has defined five levels of autonomous driving capabilities, with level 1 at the low-end of the scale (driver only/no autonomy) to level 3 (some autonomy but driver needs to take over when alerted by vehicle) to level 5 (full autonomy with no intervention by passengers.

Audi AI self-driving car, based on Q7 model.

Audi AI self-driving car, based on Q7 model.

Audi and Tesla Motors have been working with NVidia to more fully implement self-driving artificial intelligence into its cars. The Tesla Motors Model S and Model X with Autopilot continue to push the envelop in autonomous vehicle operations.

NVidia CEO Jen-Hsun Huang delivered a keynote presentation to CES attendees that included a presentation about the company’s newest Drive PX platform, built around an “AI supercomputer on a chip” with 512 processing cores that can compute 30 trillion operations per second through deep neural networks.

“What used to be science fiction is going to become reality in the coming years,” Huang said. “By applying this technology, we can revolutionize the automobile.”

The DriveWorks software operating system includes an AI Co-Pilot application that can be tailored to understand the world around and inside an automobile, by the use of both external and internal cabin sensors coupled with deep learning processes.

NAVYA ARMA self-driving electric shuttle bus that will debut in downtown Las Vegas.

NAVYA ARMA self-driving electric shuttle bus that will debut in downtown Las Vegas.

A real-world application of artificial intelligence and “level 5″ autonomous driving was exhibited by NAVYA, a French manufacturer of self-driving electric shuttle buses. The company announced on January 10th that it will be partnering with public transportation company Keolis, that operates the CAT bus system for the Southern Nevada Regional Transportation Commission.

Frontal view of NAVYA ARMA bus showing lidar sensors and red Nevada autonomous vehicle license plate

Frontal view of NAVYA ARMA bus showing lidar sensors and red Nevada autonomous vehicle license plate

The partnership will launch a pilot program in downtown Las Vegas within the Innovation District surrounding East Fremont Street, to test the autonomous shuttle bus under real-world traffic conditions.

Internal cabin view from the NAVYA ARMA includes GPS map display

Internal cabin view from the NAVYA ARMA includes GPS map display

The shuttle bus will also employ inductive charging autonomously, so that no human hands will need to plug a charger into the vehicle’s battery pack after its daily run. About five hours of charge time is required to replenish the 32-kWh battery pack wirelessly.

ARMA autonomous electric shuttle bus recharges with wireless inductive charging system.

ARMA autonomous electric shuttle bus recharges with wireless inductive charging system.

“The city of Las Vegas is on the cutting edge of technology and innovation, building on the strong tech foundation provided by SWITCH and Nellis Air Force Base,” Mayor Carolyn Goodman said. “The city of Las Vegas is making major investments to improve motorist mobility and safety, provide reliable transportation choices and showcase technology in downtown Las Vegas, and we are thrilled Keolis is taking us a step in that direction.”

ChargePoint Express Plus DC Fast Charge System will employ up to eight 50-kW modules to provide as much as 400 kw of charging capability.

ChargePoint Express Plus DC Fast Charge System will employ up to eight 50-kW modules to provide as much as 400 kw of charging capability.

ChargePoint also exhibited its new DC Fast Charge technology during CES 2017. The ChargePoint Express Plus can combine up to eight modular DC Fast Charge modules of 50 kW in series to provide up to 400 kW of DC Fast Charge capability.

Atmo exhibited a streamlined battery pack swapping system

Atmo exhibited a streamlined battery pack swapping system

Atmo, a two-person startup company from South San Francisco, CA exhibited a streamlined version of a battery-swapping station for electric cars. Cars drive onto a conveyor belt where new batteries are placed every second slot. The old battery is dropped out into an open slot and a new battery pushed up into the underneath chassis from the filled slot.

As Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn noted during his keynote speech at CES 2017, “The automotive industry will change more within the next five to ten years than during the last 50 years.”

Blog posted by Stan Hanel, NEVA Outreach Coordinator

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09

Jan

Tesla Gigafactory Hiring to Ramp Up Battery Production

Author: stanhanel
Comments: 0

Panasonic Energy of North America has been staging job fairs in southern Nevada to fill job positions at the Tesla Motors Gigafactory in Storey County, NV.

Successful job candidates must be able to relocate to Reno, NV area and be willing to work 12-hour shifts.

Job positions being interviewed include Materials Handler, Production Operators, Maintenance Technicians, and Shift Leads.

The next job fair is scheduled for Thursday, February 16th, from 5 PM to 8 PM at Embassy Suites, 3600 Paradise Road,Las Vegas, NV.

The interview session includes a preliminary slide presentation by Panasonic managers, who will then schedule follow-up interviews with interested attendees.

RSVP by email to: PENARecruiting@us.panasonic.com

During the first week of January 2017, Tesla Motors began production of its new 2170-series battery cells for the Tesla Energy PowerWall.

The company also released a video of the battery cell production line in action:

“Published on Jan 5, 2017 by Tesla Garage:
‘…the exit rate of cells will be faster than bullets from a machine gun.’ Elon Musk.

The new cell format, 21 millimeters in diameter and 70 millimeters long, provides significant improvements in energy density over the more traditional 18650 cells currently being used on its fleet of vehicles.

The high performance cylindrical “2170 cell” was jointly designed and engineered by Tesla and Panasonic to offer the best performance at the lowest production cost in an optimal form factor for both electric vehicles and energy products.”

NEVA blog posted by Stan Hanel, Outreach Coordinator

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30

Nov

Chevrolet Bolt EV First Look

Author: stanhanel
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The 2017 Motor Trend Car of the Year was awarded to the Chevrolet Bolt EV, GM’s first all-electric car that provides a range of 238 miles from its lithium-ion battery pack, before needing a recharge:

www.chevrolet.com/bolt-ev-electric-vehicle.html

Chevrolet Bolt EV on display at Motor Trend International Auto Show at Las Vegas Convention Center

Chevrolet Bolt EV on display at Motor Trend International Auto Show at Las Vegas Convention Center

During the Motor Trend International Auto Show at the Las Vegas Convention Center last month, local Nevadans got a first look at a production model of the Chevrolet Bolt EV close up.

Under the hood of the Chevrolet Bolt EV.

Under the hood of the Chevrolet Bolt EV.

The Bolt EV battery pack has an energy capacity of 60 kilowatt-hours, compared to competing 2017 electric car models like the Nissan LEAF, BMW i3, Ford Focus EV, Volkswagen e-Golf, and Hyundai Ioniq Electric that have battery pack capacities of less than 40 kilowatt-hours and a coinciding range less than 130 miles.

Chevrolet Bolt EV  "body in white" shows aluminum construction before paint is applied.

Chevrolet Bolt EV “body in white” shows aluminum construction before paint is applied.

The structure of the battery pack is built beneath the floorboard and creates a low center of gravity for better handling. The Bolt EV also features an aluminum body for lighter weight, with plenty of headroom in all passenger seats. The electromagnetic torque of the motor and drive train can accelerate the Bolt from zero to 60 miles per hour in less than seven seconds.

Chevrolet Bolt EV charging port features SAE Combo connector that can accommodate three levels of charging - AC Level 1, AC Level 2, and DC Fast Charge.

Chevrolet Bolt EV charging port features SAE Combo connector that can accommodate three levels of charging – AC Level 1, AC Level 2, and DC Fast Charge.

The electric car’s battery pack can be recharged from the SAE Combo connector located just in front of the driver’s door. This new standard electronic feature specified by SAE International allows three levels of recharging speeds from just one connector. These include AC Level 1, AC Level 2 and DC Fast Charge. A dedicated DC Fast Charge station can replenish the Bolt EV battery pack for a range of over 200 miles in less than one hour.

Interior of Chevrolet Bolt EV  featuring a touch-screen console.

Interior of Chevrolet Bolt EV featuring a touch-screen console.

Base price is $37,495, but the car is also eligible for a federal tax credit of $7,500 that can be deducted from personal income tax returns.

According to a Chevrolet regional sales representative at the Motor Trend exhibit space, shipments of these new electric cars should be arriving at local dealerships during the first quarter of 2017. However, larger markets like California, Washington and Oregon may receive priority, first-tier shipments ahead of Nevada customers.

Nevada GM Chevrolet dealerships include Findlay Chevrolet, Fairway Chevrolet, Henderson Chevrolet, Ed Bozarth #1 Chevrolet, and Pahrump Valley Auto in southern Nevada. Wild West Chevrolet, Champion Chevrolet, Riverton Elko Chevrolet, and Michael Hohl GM are located in northern Nevada.

Blog posted by Stan Hanel, NEVA Outreach Coordinator

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10

Nov

Nevada Electric Highway Project Opens Fallon Site

Author: stanhanel
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On Monday, November 7, 2016, the Nevada Electric Highway program from the Nevada Governor’s Office of Energy continued its mission to connect electric car recharging stations from Las Vegas to Reno by staging a ribbon-cutting event. The ceremony officially opened the program’s second recharging station site at the Fox Peak Station convenience store in Fallon, Nevada.

Ribbon-cutting ceremony at Fox Peak Station recharging site in Fallon along Nevada Electric Highway.

Ribbon-cutting ceremony at Fox Peak Station recharging site in Fallon along Nevada Electric Highway.

The site location is near an intersection of US Highway 95 and the interstate Lincoln highway I-50 at 615 East Williams Avenue in Fallon. The stations will be owned and administered by the Fallon Tribal Development Corporation, owned by the Paiute Shoshone tribe of native Americans.

The location is about 63 miles southeast of Reno, 386 miles north of Las Vegas, and 269 miles from Beatty, the first charging station installed on the Nevada Electric Highway north of Las Vegas on US Highway 95.

More information about the site can be found on a digital map administered by the ChargePoint EVSE charging station network:

https://na.chargepoint.com/charge_point

Just zoom in on Fallon, Nevada to find the site.

Fallon installation of the Nevada Electric Highway includes both SAE J1772 AC Level 2 and DC Fast Charge stations on the ChargePoint network.

Fallon installation of the Nevada Electric Highway includes both SAE J1772 AC Level 2 and DC Fast Charge stations on the ChargePoint network.

The site will include one Efacec QC45 DC Fast Charge station with both CHAdeMo and SAE Combo recharging connector plugs, as well as an SAE J1772 AC Level 2 station with two plug connectors. Both stations have a cellular signal connection and operations can be monitored remotely through the ChargePoint network.

Verdek, LLC is a regional ChargePoint distributor who has contracted with NV Energy to install electric vehicle supply equipment at its Nevada Electric Highway sites.

On February 4, 2016 the first DC Quick Charge facility on the Nevada Electric Highway became operational in Beatty, Nevada not far from the entrance to Death Valley National Park in partnership with the Valley Electric Association.

The location of the Beatty site is at Eddie World gas station/convenience store at 550 Veterans Memorial Highway on US Highway 95. It is situated 117 miles northwest of Las Vegas and 330 miles southeast of Reno, Nevada.

Electric vehicle supply equipment (EVSE) at the Beatty site includes eight Tesla Supercharger stations, a ChargePoint/Efacec QC45 DC Quick Charge station with both ChadeMo and Combined Charging System standard connector plugs, and a second ChargePoint station with two SAE J1772 AC Level 2 connector plugs.

ChargePoint  DC Quick Charge Station with ChadeMo and CCS connectors next to ChargePoint station with two AC Level 2 ports at Beatty site on Nevada Electric Highway

ChargePoint DC Quick Charge Station with ChadeMo and CCS connectors next to ChargePoint station with two AC Level 2 ports at Beatty site on Nevada Electric Highway

Eight Tesla Supercharger stations are part of Beatty DC Quick Charge site on Nevada Electric Highway

Eight Tesla Supercharger stations are part of Beatty DC Quick Charge site on Nevada Electric Highway

The final two sites of the Nevada Electric Highway that will connect Las Vegas to Reno along US Highway 95 will be located in Tonopah and Hawthorne. Charging station installation is anticipated to be completed in early 2017 on properties owned and administered by the Nevada Department of Transportation.

The Southern Nevada Fleet Association held a member meeting on November 9th at the Northwest Career and Technical Academy in Las Vegas. Marie Steele, Electric Vehicle Manager at NV Energy gave a presentation about electric vehicles and fleet electrification.

Steele emphasized that the first leg of the Nevada Electric Highway project along US Highway 95 was just Phase I of the overall Nevada Electric Highway project. Phase II would add up to 24 more DC Fast Charge sites along interstate highways I-15, I-80 and I-50, in order to facilitate transportation between five other states adjoining Nevada, that include California, Arizona, Utah, Idaho, and eastern Oregon.

California, in particular, has built out recharging station infrastructure right up to the Nevada border on both I-15 and I-80.

Funding for Phase II of the Nevada Electric Highway project is being sought by the Nevada Governor’s Office of Energy through a federal grant proposal to the US Department of Energy and may also come from investments by Volkswagen Group into the state to build out electric car recharging station infrastructure, as part of a nationwide interconnection effort.

Siguard “Sig” Jaunarajs, from the Bureau of Air Quality Planning under the Nevada Division of Environmental Protection, spoke about the Volkswagen Clean Air Act settlement with the US Environmental Protection Agency, and how its “diesel cheat device” scandal payments will be administered.

From 2009 to 2015, over 500,000 models of Volkswagen diesel vehicles were programmed to show a low level of emissions when undergoing smog-check inspections for nitrous oxide or NOx. However, when driven under normal road conditions, the emissions performance programmed by the engine control unit reverted to a level that violated US clean-air regulations, in order to increase diesel engine performance.

Volkswagen has pledged $2.7 million to a “mitigation trust fund” and has offered three solutions to compensate U.S. citizens and diesel vehicle owners. These include a buyback of the original diesel vehicles, modification of each vehicle’s diesel emission system, and promotion of the use of zero-emissions vehicles. More infrastructure for electric cars is one of the primary goals for this program as Volkswagen Group plans to introduce more electric vehicles in its product line over the next decade to complement its diesel vehicle product line.

During this winter, a federal U.S. court will appoint an overseer for the mitigation trust fund, who will execute distribution of the financial settlement with Volkswagen Group to all 50 states.

The amount of the monetary award from the mitigation trust fund depends on how many VW diesel vehicles were sold in each state from 2009 to 2015, in an effort to gauge the overall effect of NOx emissions on the native environment.

Of the $2 billion settlement, approximately $22 million has been assigned to Nevada with some of the money allotted to building electric vehicle infrastructure that will promote the use of zero-emission vehicles in the state.

The Nevada Governor’s Office of Energy has begun forming a statewide committee that will create local projects to implement this mandate and hold hearings within a transparent, public forum.

Once awarded, these local projects will be administered by the Nevada Department of Environmental Protection, who will also have oversight.

Blog posted by Stan Hanel, NEVA Outreach Coordinator

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25

Oct

New Energy Industry Task Force Recommends Electric Cars

Author: stanhanel
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Earlier this year, Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval convened a New Energy Industry Task Force to study how emerging sustainable energy technologies might be applied to help grow the state’s economy by creating new local industries and more jobs:

http://energy.nv.gov/Programs/New_Energy_Industry_Task_Force/

Technical advisory committees were formed to research best practices for grid modernization, clean energy sources, distributed energy resources and energy storage technologies.

Participants in the task force and advisory committees were drawn from state and local government, the solar power industry, geothermal power industry, utilities, construction companies, homebuilders, high-tech companies, automotive companies, labor unions, academia, and supporting non-profit organizations within the state.

Meetings began during March 2016 and extended through August, when recommendations were compiled, voted on and submitted to the governor as a final list by the end of September.
A link to a PDF version of the list, as well as task force participants, can be found at the bottom of the New Energy Industry Task Force web page, under Miscellaneous Documents, as “NEITF Final Recommendations” dated 9-30-2016.

Support for transportation electrification, that included electric vehicle manufacturing and adoption of electric cars within the state of Nevada, was recommended because vehicle transportation fuel would be based on electricity produced within the state of Nevada, rather than refined gasoline imported from outside the state. This could create new industries and jobs, boosting the state’s economic output.

Adoption of more electric vehicles within the state would also improve air quality by helping reduce carbon emissions in urban areas of Clark County and Washoe County.

However, road usage tax revenues normally earned at the service station gasoline pump would also need to be applied fairly to electric cars, as well.

The task force recommended that the Public Utilities Commission of Nevada work with the Governor’s Office of Energy, the Nevada Department of Transportation, and regulated utilities to accelerate the adoption of electric vehicles in the state, as well as identify any legislative changes that might be required:

“An electric vehicle plan may include investments in or customer rebates for charging
infrastructure, in a manner that stimulates competition and customer choice in charging
infrastructure; appropriate tariffs for both consumer electric vehicles and heavy duty
electric vehicles; consumer or midstream vehicle incentives; and a plan to market the
benefits of electric vehicles. The PUCN would review any submitted plan to determine if
it is reasonable and will benefit all of its customers and review how costs of the
implementation of the plan shall be recovered. Similar legislation passed earlier in
in 2016 in Utah and Oregon.”

One suggested plan would be to offer financial incentives targeted at consumers, such as a rebate at the dealership point of sale that would offset state sales taxes up to $2,500 per vehicle. The cost of this program is estimated at $2.25 million per year to the state of Nevada in lost sales tax revenues based on a 50-percent increase in annual electric car sales of 900 vehicles.

Federal tax credits are also available to all consumers who purchase qualified plug-in electric-drive vehicles. The federal income tax credit for qualified electric vehicles can be up to $7,500, depending on the capacity of its battery pack in kilowatt-hours. A separate federal tax credit for the purchase and installation of electric vehicle supply equipment to recharge an electric car is available at 30 percent of the cost up to $1,000 maximum.

The quantity of plug-in electric cars offered by Nevada dealerships will increase during 2017.

Available models next year include both plug-in hybrid electric vehicles, that are capable of running on both electricity and gasoline, and battery-powered electric vehicles, that only run on electricity provided by an onboard storage battery.

Plug-in hybrid electric vehicle models for 2017 that will be available in southern Nevada include the Chevrolet Volt, Ford Fusion Energi, Ford C-Max Energi, Porsche Panamera S E-hybrid, Porsche Cayenne S E-hybrid, BMW i3 REx, and BMW i8.

Battery-powered electric vehicle models for 2017 available in southern Nevada include the Tesla Motors Model S and Model X, Chevrolet Bolt, Nissan LEAF, and BMW i3.

NEVA blog posted by Stan Hanel, Outreach Coordinator

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03

Oct

NASCAR Festival Car Show In Las Vegas Includes Vintage Electric Cars

Author: stanhanel
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During October 2016, the Nevada Electric Vehicle Accelerator (NEVA) program teamed with the Las Vegas Motor Speedway, DC Solar and the Las Vegas Electric Vehicle Association to participate in a car show event during a NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race.

Christopher Bell drives the No.4 Toyota Tundra truck during a NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race.

Christopher Bell drives the No.4 Toyota Tundra truck during a NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race.

(Photo Courtesy of NASCAR)

The DC Solar 350 truck race was staged at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on the evening of Saturday, October 1st. Eight drivers in the DC Solar 350 race also competed in the NASCAR Chase points competition to determine the most successful driver of the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series 2016 season.

William Byron, who drives the No. 9 Toyota Tundra truck through Kyle Busch Motorsports, is the points leader and favorite after winning six of the regular season NASCAR truck series races during his rookie season. He finished in 5th place during the DC Solar 350 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway but was the top Chase race finisher over the other seven remaining points competitors, including teammate Christopher Bell, who drives the No. 4 Toyota Tundra truck under Kyle Busch Motorsports.

10/1/2016 NASCAR DC Solar 350 “Show & Shine”

Las Vegas Electric Vehicle Association members exhibit vintage electric cars during Show & Shine car show during NASCAR festival at Las Vegas Motor Speedway

Las Vegas Electric Vehicle Association members exhibit vintage electric cars during Show & Shine car show during NASCAR festival at Las Vegas Motor Speedway

During a pre-race festival at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, a “Show & Shine” car show was sponsored by Star Nursery, KVVU-TV Fox 5, KKLZ-FM radio and the Las Vegas Review-Journal to raise money for Speedway Children’s Charities, whose local outreach efforts contribute to over fifty children’s charities in southern Nevada:

http://lasvegas.speedwaycharities.org/

For the first time, an “Electric Car” category was included on the judging sheet of the “Show & Shine” car show that attracted 211 entrants, who raised $35,000 in charitable contributions for the local Speedway Children’s Charities during the event.

NEVA coordinated with members of the Las Vegas Electric Vehicle Association, the Las Vegas Motor Speedway and DC Solar, to exhibit vintage electric cars during the “Show & Shine”.

Evan Eskelson exhibited a 1987 Aztec 7 kit car EV conversion modeled after the styling of a 1980s Lamborghini Countach.

Evan Eskelson exhibited a 1987 Aztec 7 kit car EV conversion modeled after the styling of a 1980s Lamborghini Countach.

Evan Eskelson showcased a 1987 Aztec 7 kit car EV conversion, that has been sponsored by a donation of ten 12-volt DC batteries from Enersys/Odyssey Battery company.

The Aztec 7 electric power train is accessible from a hinged body panel.

The Aztec 7 electric power train is accessible from a hinged body panel.

The EV conversion has been built on a Volkswagen Bug chassis with a fiberglass body that included gullwing doors. The body shape and style had been modeled after a 1980s Lamborghini Countach design with a sharp wedge front and foldaway headlights.

A vintage 1981 Jet Electrica built by Jet Industries on a modified Ford Escort glider.

A vintage 1981 Jet Electrica built by Jet Industries on a modified Ford Escort glider.

Jim Katzen exhibited a vintage 1981 Jet Electrica electric car, built by Jet Industries on a modified Ford Escort glider.

Under the hood of a 1981 Jet Electrica.

Under the hood of a 1981 Jet Electrica.

An integrated charging system recharges both the traction battery pack and the auxiliary pack through one central electronics unit.

Jim Katzen plugs his vintage 1981 Jet Electrica into a 110-VAC outlet on the DC Solar trailer that recharges its onboard battery pack from photovoltaic solar cells.

Jim Katzen plugs his vintage 1981 Jet Electrica into a 110-VAC outlet on the DC Solar trailer that recharges its onboard battery pack from photovoltaic solar cells.

DC Solar, the NASCAR race sponsor, provided portable ChargePoint CT4020 AC Level 2 stations and 110-VAC outlets mounted on trailers that were powered by photovoltaic solar panels and a storage battery pack to recharge the electric cars.

Both electric cars exhibited by the LVEVA at the Show & Shine event were able to recharge their traction battery packs from sunshine while exhibiting at the car show.

DC Solar power generation trailers were also used to provide portable LED tower lighting to multiple locations around the Las Vegas Motor Speedway complex.

Colored LED video display billboards with changing messages and advertising were mounted on side-panels of the DC Solar trailers, while powered from the photovoltaic solar panels and battery backup power systems onboard.

DC Solar trailers supplied electric power to a Busch Beer Garden and other vendor exhibits during the NASCAR pre-race festival.

DC Solar is also a sponsor for the NASCAR Xfinity race series.

DC Solar is also a sponsor for the NASCAR Xfinity race series.

(Photo courtesy of DC Solar)

For more information about DC Solar portable electric power and charging station solutions, that are generated by photovoltaic solar panels and battery storage systems, visit the company website at:

http://www.dcsolarsolutionsmfg.com/

Blog posted by Stan Hanel, NEVA Outreach Coordinator

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01

Sep

National Drive Electric Week Events in Reno and Las Vegas

Author: stanhanel
Comments: 0

National Drive Electric Week, staged from September 10-18 this year, is an annual event that has attempted to link up over 200 international cities to celebrate the electric car, while also performing educational outreach events to people who had never driven or ridden in an electric car before:

https://driveelectricweek.org/index.php

Local Nevada gatherings were staged in the cities of Las Vegas and Reno.

Tesla Motors Model X presented by owner Rufus Perry, Sr. during Las Vegas NDEW event at Springs Preserve.

Tesla Motors Model X presented by owner Rufus Perry, Sr. during Las Vegas NDEW event at Springs Preserve.

Las Vegas Springs Preserve

Jane Feldman of Sierra Club Toiyabe Chapter and Jennifer Taylor of Clean Energy Project provided information about their non-profit organizations during National Drive Electric Week in Las Vegas.  Other sponsors included Nissan, NV Energy, ClipperCreek, Las Vegas Electric Vehicle Association, Las Vegas Tesla Owners, NEVA, Las Vegas Motor Speedway, SolarNV, Verdek, and DC Solar.

Jane Feldman of Sierra Club Toiyabe Chapter and Jennifer Taylor of Clean Energy Project provided information about their non-profit organizations during National Drive Electric Week in Las Vegas. Other sponsors included Nissan, NV Energy, ClipperCreek, Las Vegas Electric Vehicle Association, Las Vegas Tesla Owners, NEVA, Las Vegas Motor Speedway, SolarNV, Verdek, and DC Solar.

The Las Vegas Springs Preserve was the southern Nevada site for the annual National Drive Electric Week gathering on Saturday, September 10, 2016 from 10 AM to 2 PM:

https://driveelectricweek.org/event.php?eventid=590

1987 Aztec kit car EV conversion on a Volkswagen Bug chassis displayed by Evan Eskelson, VP of Las Vegas Electric Vehicle Association

1987 Aztec kit car EV conversion on a Volkswagen Bug chassis displayed by Evan Eskelson, VP of Las Vegas Electric Vehicle Association

The event was staged in the museum parking lot under an array of photovoltaic solar panels that automatically track the sun. Two ChargePoint stations with four SAE J1772 AC Level 2 ports are available to recharge visiting electric vehicles at no cost.

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

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

An additional portable ChargePoint station trailer with photovoltaic solar panels and battery backup system was provided by DC Solar, in conjunction with sponsor Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
The CT4020 station also had two SAE J1772 AC Level 2 ports. A lithium-ion battery pack and gasoline generator were also mounted inside the trailer to provide supplemental energy support to the solar panels.

A vintage 1981 Jet Electrica electric car was displayed by Jim Katzen of the Las Vegas Electric Vehicle Association next to the 1987 Aztec kit car conversion

A vintage 1981 Jet Electrica electric car was displayed by Jim Katzen of the Las Vegas Electric Vehicle Association next to the 1987 Aztec kit car conversion

This year’s event was sponsored by the Las Vegas Electric Vehicle Association, a local chapter of the international Electric Auto Association, with support from the Toiyabe chapter of the Sierra Club, the Nevada Electric Vehicle Accelerator (NEVA) program from REA250.org, Las Vegas Tesla Owners, Clean Energy Project, SolarNV, Verdek, ClipperCreek, NV Energy, Las Vegas Motor Speedway, DC Solar and Nissan.

Four Nissan LEAFs charge up from SAE J1772 plugs at two ChargePoint stations powered by sunlight from photovoltaic solar panels that track the sun during the day.

Four Nissan LEAFs charge up from SAE J1772 plugs at two ChargePoint stations powered by sunlight from photovoltaic solar panels that track the sun during the day.

About 30 electric vehicles drove to the event, parked and visited, including Tesla Motors Model X, Model S, and Roadster; about ten Nissan LEAFs, five Chevrolet Volts, a Mitsubishi i-MiEV, a converted 1987 electric Aztec kit car built on a Volkswagen Bug chassis, as well as a vintage 1981 Jet Electrica car, built by Jet Industries in Texas on a Ford Escort chassis.

NRG eVgo DC Fast Charge Station installed at Terrible Herbst service stations  provides 400 Volts DC at 100 amps from either a CHAdeMo or SAE Combo plug.  Cost is $5.95 to connect and 20 cents per minute DC Fast Charge. Payment is made by credit card or NRG eVgo EZCharge card.

NRG eVgo DC Fast Charge Station installed at Terrible Herbst service stations provides 400 Volts DC at 100 amps from either a CHAdeMo or SAE Combo plug. Cost is $5.95 to connect and 20 cents per minute DC Fast Charge. Payment is made by credit card or NRG eVgo EZCharge card.

The third annual Electric Juice Bar Crawl featured a caravan of EVs, who toured and visited public charging sites around town, while giving attendees an opportunity to ride in different models of electric cars. Sites of interest included the Clark County Government Center with a photovoltaic solar parking canopy that provided power from the sun, Las Vegas City Hall parking garage, also powered by rooftop solar panels, Tesla Motors SuperCharger site at Bridger and 8th Streets in downtown Las Vegas, and a DC Fast Charge station with both CHAdeMo and SAE Combo fast charge plug connectors at Terrible’s Chevron Service station on the corner of Bonanza and Martin Luther King Blvd.

CHAdeMo plug from NRG eVgo DC Fast Charge station for Nissan LEAF and other Asian automotive manufacturers

CHAdeMo plug from NRG eVgo DC Fast Charge station for Nissan LEAF and other Asian automotive manufacturers

The price to charge an electric car from the Terrible Herbst convenience store locations in Las Vegas vallsy costs $5.95 to connect and 20 cents per minute. A new Nissan LEAF could refuel its battery pack for a 107-mile range in about 30 minutes, with a cost of about $11 overall. Payment is made by credit card or NRG eVgo EZCharge card.

New Nissan LEAF buyers can request participation in a “No Charge to Charge” program offered by NRG eVgo in partnership with Nissan that provides two years of free DC Fast Charge station access.

SAE Combo (Combined Charging System) from NRG eVgo DC Fast Charge station for EVs manufactured by US and European companies.

SAE Combo (Combined Charging System) from NRG eVgo DC Fast Charge station for EVs manufactured by US and European companies.

ClipperCreek donated a model HCS-40 charging station that was raffled off on behalf of the Las Vegas Electric Vehicle Association, to support the non-profit organization’s educational outreach efforts. The model HCS-40 is an SAE J1772 AC Level 2 system, with a maximum output rating of 208 VAC at 32 Amps and requires a 40-Amp circuit breaker for garage installation.

Erik Mason from ClipperCreek answered questions about the company's EVSE product line at company table.

Erik Mason from ClipperCreek answered questions about the company’s EVSE product line at company table.

Jason and Marci Semerau were the raffle winners. Jason and Marci had previously been city captains for National Drive Electric Week events in Laguna Hills, CA before moving to Las Vegas two years ago. Jason led the 3rd annual Electric Juice Bar Crawl caravan, driving his Nissan LEAF.

Erik Mason of ClipperCreek congratulates Jason Semerau on winning an HCS-40 AC Level 2 charging station donated by Erik's company as a raffle prize to benefit the Las Vegas Electric Vehicle Association eductional outreach efforts.

Erik Mason of ClipperCreek congratulates Jason Semerau on winning an HCS-40 AC Level 2 charging station donated by Erik’s company as a raffle prize to benefit the Las Vegas Electric Vehicle Association eductional outreach efforts.

Free refreshments and drinks were provided during the event and a good time was had by all.

20160910_105713_resized

On September 15, during a monthly meeting of the SolarNV chapter of the American Solar Energy Society, Tesla Motors Model S owner Bonnie Lemert showcased her home improvement and solarization efforts, as well as her experiences owning a Tesla Motors Model S and integrating all of these technologies into a sustainable lifestyle.

Tesla Motors Model S was presented by owner Bonnie Lemert

Tesla Motors Model S was presented by owner Bonnie Lemert

Reno Idlewild Park

Idlewild Park in Reno was the site for an electric car rally on Sunday, Sept. 11, from 10 AM to 3 PM in the Snowflake Pavilion:

https://driveelectricweek.org/event.php?eventid=767

There were static EV displays and cars available for test drives, as well as food trucks serving refreshments. Organizers of the event partnered with the Electric Auto Association of Northern Nevada, a chapter of the Electric Auto Association, and the Clean Cities Coalition.

Some of the electric vehicles on display included a Tesla Motors Roadster, Tesla Motors Model S, Tesla Motors Model X, Nissan LEAF, and a Chevrolet Volt.

Thank you to all the people who attended, shared and learned about the convenience and performance of electric cars available at local dealerships today in Nevada. There are an abundance of EV charging station sites in urban areas, complemented by ongoing development of a Nevada Electric Highway along US Highway 95 that will connect Las Vegas to Reno every 100 miles or so.

Thank you to all the different organizations around the state that have supported the growth of the electric car in Nevada.

Blog posted by Stan Hanel, NEVA Outreach Coordinator

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22

Aug

A Brief History of the Electric Car in Nevada

Author: stanhanel
Comments: 0

Before there were plans for a Tesla Motors Gigafactory in Storey County, a Faraday Future electric car factory, or an Xtreme Green Electric Vehicles factory in North Las Vegas, there was the Lectra Motors factory at 5380 Valley View Blvd in Las Vegas, that produced over 1,000 electric sports cars, sedans, and trucks from 1979 to 1982.

Lectra Motors brochure from 1980s.

Lectra Motors brochure from 1980s.

Al Sawyer and Charlie Amadon were Nevada Test Site engineers, who founded the company in response to an OPEC oil embargo that created long lines of cars at service station gasoline pumps, because of oil refinery shortages when crude oil imports were sanctioned by OPEC member nations.

Lectra Motors co-founder and CEO Al Sawyer (right) with a 2012 Nissan LEAF and 1981 Lectra Motors Centauri.

Lectra Motors co-founder and CEO Al Sawyer (right) with a 2012 Nissan LEAF and 1981 Lectra Motors Centauri.

Lectra Motors vehicles used 18 golf cart batteries for power. An efficient chassis design, electronic controller, and electric motor allowed their cars and trucks to reach a top speed of 80 mph with a range of about 50 to 60 miles before the battery pack needed to be recharged. Lectra Motors also developed a battery monitoring system, as well as an electric air conditioning system, and an electric-hydraulic braking system.

During the 1990s, Sawyer joined with scientists at the Desert Research Institute to start up the Las Vegas Electric Auto Association chapter of the national Electric Auto Association. Gail Lucas became President and promoted educational outreach around the state of Nevada. Bob Tregilus also helped start up the Electric Auto Association of Northern Nevada.

They reached out to state legislators like Bill Raggio, Randolph Townsend, and Ray Shaffer to look at laws to promote electric cars within Nevada. Lucas also worked with Dan Hyde, City of Las Vegas fleet manager, who sponsored the Southern Nevada Fleet Association, then started programs encouraging the development of alternative-fuel vehicles, that would burn fuels like biodiesel, compressed natural gas, propane, and hydrogen more cleanly in city motor pools, school buses, public transit buses, taxis and limousine services.

The Las Vegas Motor Speedway and its 1/4-mile drag strip, “The Strip”, became a popular test track for the newly-formed National Electric Drag Racing Association, whose members began racing electric car conversions during open “head to head” competitions against gasoline-powered dragsters.

Bill Kuehl and his third Pontiac Fiero EV conversion.  He set a NEDRA quarter-mile drag race record in another Pontiac Fiero that still stands today.

Bill Kuehl and his third Pontiac Fiero EV conversion. He set a NEDRA quarter-mile drag race record in another Pontiac Fiero that still stands today.

Before there was a Formula E racing circuit, NEDRA racing competitors built their electric-motor dragsters in home garages. They shared technology innovations with each other across Internet forums to showcase just how powerfully the electromagnetic torque in a souped up forklift motor could perform, spinning the wheels and launching an electric car with quick acceleration from a standing stop.

It was a big deal when an electric car filled with golf cart batteries actually won against a gas car. The Las Vegas Electric Vehicle Association staged several “Wicked Watts” electric drag racing events at Las Vegas Motor Speedway as part of the NEDRA racing circuit from the late 1990s to early 2000s. Electric car drag racing competitors would go “head to head” with each other, as well as gasoline-powered vehicles by competing on top of open drag race events.

Electric drag race vehicles could be allowed to enter a National Hot Rod Association drag strip because of the inclusion of electric vehicle technical inspection guidelines as part of the rulebook for the NHRA. These technical rules were written by NEDRA board members, who were already accepted members of the NHRA drag racing community.

Similar efforts were also made to introduce electric vehicle landspeed racing events to the nearby Bonneville Salt Flats near East Wendover, Utah through the Utah EV Coalition with support from the Las Vegas Electric Vehicle Association.

Bill Kuehl in 1985 with a rally race result ticket showing his record distance time for a Honda Civic EV conversion.

Bill Kuehl in 1985 with a rally race result ticket showing his record distance time for a Honda Civic EV conversion.

LVEVA Directors Al Sawyer and Bill Kuehl built electric dragsters and rally cars in Las Vegas that set new performance records, recognized by NEDRA and the EAA.

Bill Kuehl’s 1985 Pontiac Fiero electric race car conversion still holds a NEDRA record that was originally set in 2001 for the Modified Conversion/144-volt DC category by using lead-acid batteries to achieve a speed of 71 mph in just over 18 seconds on “The Strip” quarter-mile race track:

http://nedra.com/record_holders.html

NEDRA electric car racers boosted their drag racing performance records when they got hold of some new lithium-ion batteries, by taking out the cells from Black & Decker power tools and carefully welding hundreds of them together into high-performance battery packs.

During the new millennium, Bill Dube’s Killacycle reached record speeds at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway drag strip for an electric motorcycle. Dennis Berube’s Current Eliminator electric dragster won bracket racing titles against gasoline-powered dragsters by being able to dial in his 1/4-mile times precisely with a tuneable electric motor and lithium-ion battery pack.

Several of the NEDRA racers began attending the Burning Man gathering each year in northern Nevada’s Black Rock Desert. They popularized the use of electric “art cars” to convey their friends quietly and cleanly over the playa.

During February 2011, the Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Readiness Task Force (EVIRTF) was formed by NV Energy, NDOT, and REA250 with support from the Nevada State Office of Energy. Invitations were sent out, recruiting participants from all levels of government, universities, businesses and other non-profit organizations to meet at the offices of the Desert Research Institute in northern and southern Nevada. Their goal was to prepare the state of Nevada for electric cars by emphasizing the development of recharging station infrastructure, educational outreach, codes and standards compliance, and the propagation of fleet and consumer information.

Rudy Garcia of VERDEK LLC (center) led EV charging station infrastructure efforts for the NV Energy shared investment program. Also in picture are Tom Polikalas (left), SWEEP's Nevada representative, and David Gibson (right) of the Nevada Governor's Office of Energy

Rudy Garcia of VERDEK LLC (center) led EV charging station infrastructure efforts for the NV Energy shared investment program. Also in picture are Tom Polikalas (left), SWEEP’s Nevada representative, and David Gibson (right) of the Nevada Governor’s Office of Energy

After initial meetings online and and in person over the next three years, over 150 participants were invited to join. The group was later renamed the Nevada Electric Vehicle Accelerator (NEVA) program in 2012, with an objective to promote a shared investment project sponsored by NV Energy and the Nevada State Office of Energy, to establish a preliminary network of public charging stations around the Las Vegas valley and in the Reno-Carson City areas of the state.

A Fisker Karma plugs in at a Gaudin Motorworks dealership in southern Nevada.

A Fisker Karma plugs in at a Gaudin Motorworks dealership in southern Nevada.

Local automotive dealerships owned by third-generation families named Ackerman, Heinrich and Findlay responded positively to NEVA outreach efforts to help promote electric cars. Gary Ackerman had opened a Fisker Karma dealership, based on his association with Henrik Fisker. Local southern Nevada dealerships promoted the Chevrolet Volt, Nissan LEAF, BMW i3, BMW i8, Porsche Panamera S E-hybrid, Porsche Cayenne e-Hybrid, Mitsubishi i-MiEV, Ford Focus EV, Ford Fusion Energi, Ford C-Max Energi, and other new plug-in electric cars as they became available.

Findlay Chevrolet promoted a 2011 Chevrolet Volt by featuring UNLV logos including the Rebel mascot while plugging into a ChargePoint station at North Las Vegas City Hall.

Findlay Chevrolet promoted a 2011 Chevrolet Volt by featuring UNLV logos including the Rebel mascot while plugging into a ChargePoint station at North Las Vegas City Hall.

BMW shipped in 25 BMW i3 electric cars to provide test drives to CES attendees.

BMW shipped in 25 BMW i3 electric cars to provide test drives to CES attendees.

Gaudin Ford Sales Representative Tim Duncan showcases a Ford Fusion Energi plug-in hybrid car during the Las Vegas Science & Technology festival.

Gaudin Ford Sales Representative Tim Duncan showcases a Ford Fusion Energi plug-in hybrid car during the Las Vegas Science & Technology festival.

The first Tesla Motors service facility opened in Las Vegas during 2013 and began supporting the new Model S sedan.

Prospective buyers for a Tesla Motors Model 3 line up outside the Tesla Motors service facility during 2016 in Las Vegas to place a $1000 deposit to buy a 2018 Model 3 electric car.

Prospective buyers for a Tesla Motors Model 3 line up outside the Tesla Motors service facility during 2016 in Las Vegas to place a $1000 deposit to buy a 2018 Model 3 electric car.

A local Las Vegas Tesla Owners Group was formed by Don Carrier, Matt Watson and Michael Lemke. After three years, the organization now has 180 members on its mailing list, who hold monthly luncheon meetings in Henderson and Las Vegas Summerlin communities.

Las Vegas Tesla Owners gather for a monthly luncheon meeting.

Las Vegas Tesla Owners gather for a monthly luncheon meeting.

The first Tesla Motors Supercharger station outside California was installed in Downtown Las Vegas on the corner of Bridger and Eighth Street, in conjunction with an electric car-share program being developed by the Downtown Project.

Tesla Motors Supercharger station in Barstow, CA provides fast recharging site for Tesla Motors owners driving between LA and Las Vegas.

Tesla Motors Supercharger station in Barstow, CA provides fast recharging site for Tesla Motors owners driving between LA and Las Vegas.

It became a right of passage for new Model S owners in southern California to test the Supercharger network by making an interstate run between LA to Las Vegas and back, usually spending time at a Strip resort overnight that also included a charging station in its guest parking lot, thanks to the efforts of the shared investment program.

ChargePoint dual-port CT4000 with two SAE J1772 AC Level 2 plugs at Luxor Valet parking lot.

ChargePoint dual-port CT4000 with two SAE J1772 AC Level 2 plugs at Luxor Valet parking lot.

MGM Resorts International, Caesars Entertainment, Wynn Resorts Limited, Cosmopolitan, Four Seasons Hotel and Las Vegas Sands Corporation collaborated with Tesla Motors to provide high-power fast charge stations for Tesla vehicles, as well.

Travis Johnson of NV Energy plugs the Mandalay Bay ChargePoint station.into a Chevrolet Volt for the first time.

Travis Johnson of NV Energy plugs the Mandalay Bay ChargePoint station.into a Chevrolet Volt for the first time.

Other NEVA participants included the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 357, whose Electrical Joint Apprenticeship and Training Committee under Madison Burnett and Robert Buntjer helped train electricians to install and service EV supply equipment statewide. Buntjer studied with the National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA) in Chicago to became a “Trainer of Trainers” for the Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Training Program (EVITP)instituted by the non-profit organization nationwide.

EVITP trainer Robert Buntjer and NEVA Outreach Coordinator kick off workshop in Las Vegas.

EVITP trainer Robert Buntjer and NEVA Outreach Coordinator kick off workshop in Las Vegas.

NEVA funded one-day EVITP workshops in both the northern and southern parts of the state that were open to building inspectors, architects, EV drivers, and any other interested parties during 2012 and 2013.

A big "thumbs up" from attendees at a NEVA EV Safety Training presentation at Clark County Fire Station 21, including Marie Steele, Manager of Electric Vehicles and Renewable Energy at NV Energy, and Stan Hanel, NEVA Outreach Coordinator

A big “thumbs up” from attendees at a NEVA EV Safety Training presentation at Clark County Fire Station 21, including Marie Steele, Manager of Electric Vehicles and Renewable Energy at NV Energy, and Stan Hanel, NEVA Outreach Coordinator

NEVA also teamed with the Clark County Fire Department, Nevada State Firefighters Association, the Nevada Traffic Incident Management organization, and the National Fire Protection Association to develop safety training procedures and classes for first responders coming upon a damaged electric car after a traffic accident. Clark County EV safety training efforts were led by Richard Brenner of the Hazardous Materials Emergency Planning Department.

During 2015, a Nevada Electric Highway project was announced by NV Energy and the Governor’s Office of Energy, with a goal to connect Las Vegas to Reno by locating DC Fast Charge stations every 100 miles along US Highway 95. The Beatty station is up and running at this time, with stations at Tonopah, Hawthorne and Fallon expected to come online by the end of this year.

Beatty Supercharger Installation now active on US Highway 95.

Beatty Supercharger Installation now active on US Highway 95.

Tesla Motors has also established proprietary SuperCharger stations along US Highway 95 in downtown Las Vegas, Tonopah, Beatty, Hawthorne and at the Atlantis Resort & Casino in Reno. These SuperCharger stations complement other existing SuperCharger stations at the Tesla Motors Gigafactory and also along other sites on US interstate highways I-80 and I-15 in Nevada.

The Governor’s Office of Energy is seeking funding and planning more DC Fast Charge stations along other rural state highways, as electric car manufacturing within the state, consumer EV purchases, and visits by green ecotourists continue to grow.

Terrible Herbst has installed a dozen NRG eVgo DC Fast Charge stations at service stations and convenience stores in the Las Vegas valley.

Terrible Herbst has installed a dozen NRG eVgo DC Fast Charge stations at service stations and convenience stores in the Las Vegas valley.

Terrible Herbst service stations and convenience stores have installed a dozen DC Fast Charge stations, co-located with gasoline refueling pumps, at strategic recharging locations around the Las Vegas Valley. The NRG eVgo DC Fast Charge stations were donated by Nissan and BMW as part of a “No Charge to Charge” program that offers two years of free electric vehicle charging with an “EZ Charge” credit card to buyers of a new Nissan LEAF or BMW i3. The DC Fast Charge stations are equipped with both CHAdeMO and SAE Combo plugs for both Asian and US/European DC Fast Charge standards. Electricity can be purchased by any owner of an electric car equipped with a DC Fast Charge port at $5.95 for a hookup fee and 20 cents a minute for the service by inserting a traditional credit card into a card reader port.

The buyer can also enter their phone number to receive a texted receipt of the purchase information, including charging time, kilowatt-hours consumed, and final dollar amount.

Green Alliance of Nevada, Green Chips, Clean Energy Project, Sierra Club, Downtown Project, First Friday, SYN Shop MakerSpace and other organizations have supported educational outreach for electric cars.

Larry Gareffa with his custom EV conversion of a 1965 Mustang Fastback.

Larry Gareffa with his custom EV conversion of a 1965 Mustang Fastback.

LVEVA members presented EV conversions that featured an electric DeLorean DMC customized by the Brandys family, a 1965 Mustang Fastback developed by Larry Gareffa and family, as well as a Pontiac Fiero, Subaru Brat, Ford F150 pickup, and many other specialty vehicles built by LVEVA members at community events. Their educational efforts continue to spread the word about electric car technologies.

Bob Brandys shows his DeLorean DMC EV conversion during Mini Maker Faire in Las Vegas.

Bob Brandys shows his DeLorean DMC EV conversion during Mini Maker Faire in Las Vegas.

Green Alliance of Nevada includes a Drive Clean Energy Las Vegas committee led by Annette Bubak and Rudy Garcia, who staged an alternative-fuel vehicle caravan during their annual GreenFest Earth Day celebrations.

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2016 marked the fifth year in a row that Las Vegas was one of over 200 cities participating in the National Drive Electric Week program, founded by the Electric Auto Association, Sierra Club, and Plug-in America.

National Drive Electric Week event at NV Energy Pearson campus "Juice Bar" during 2012.

National Drive Electric Week event at NV Energy Pearson campus “Juice Bar” during 2012.

Over 30 electric cars usually turn out for the rally during the day with more than 100 attendees overall. An Electric Juice Bar Crawl event allows visitors to ride in a caravan of different electric cars and tour local public charging facilities at Clark County Government Center, City of Las Vegas, City of North Las Vegas and the NV Energy campus to see how accessible these stations are throughout the area.

Ready to Roll! Michelle Abbate of Local Motors drives out 3D-printed electric car, built during SEMA trade show in 2014.

Ready to Roll! Michelle Abbate of Local Motors drives out 3D-printed electric car, built during SEMA trade show in 2014.

Local Motors and Xtreme Green Electric Vehicles established electric car development and manufacturing facilities in southern Nevada.

Xtreme Green Vehicles manufactures three-wheel, electric security vehicles as well as electric ATVs.

Xtreme Green Vehicles manufactures three-wheel, electric security vehicles as well as electric ATVs.

The Tesla Motors Gigafactory staged an open house in Storey Country during 2016 to showcase the first operational part of its lithium-ion battery manufacturing facility, while smaller automotive factories also set down Nevada roots after the Great Recession.

The first section of the Tesla Motors Gigafactory in Storey County is completed and unveiled to the public during 2016.

The first section of the Tesla Motors Gigafactory in Storey County is completed and unveiled to the public during 2016.

During September 2016, Faraday Future began moving earth and grading the land at Apex Industrial Park in North Las Vegas for its electric car manufacturing facility, that the company plans to complete by 2018.

Top-down view of single-seat electric race car concept by Faraday Future, based on its Variable Platform Architecture.

Top-down view of single-seat electric race car concept by Faraday Future, based on its Variable Platform Architecture.

Over the last forty years, electric car pioneers have brought passion, fun, and joy to Nevada while continuing to contribute to the growth of electric car infrastructure throughout the state.

NEVA blog posted by Stan Hanel, Outreach Coordinator

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07

Aug

Tesla Motors Gigafactory Unveiling in Storey County, NV

Author: stanhanel
Comments: 0

Tesla Motors staged its first public unveiling of the company’s Gigafactory, a lithium-ion battery manufacturing plant at the Tahoe Reno Industrial Park in Storey County, Nevada on July 29, 2016.

Chairman of the Board and CEO Elon Musk, accompanied by Chief Technical Officer J.B. Straubel, addressed the visitors during the opening ceremonies:

https://www.tesla.com/videos/tesla-gigafactory-grand-opening

The completed gigafactory will have a footprint of 6 million square feet. Tesla Motors claims it will become the building with the largest footprint in the world. The factory construction is now 14 percent completed and already producing Power Wall and Power Pack battery storage products for the Tesla Energy division of Tesla Motors.

When fully built out by 2018, the gigafactory should produce about 50 GigaWatt-hours of lithium-ion battery storage per year, enough energy modules to build 500,000 Tesla Motors Model 3 cars each year. Full capacity is estimated at 150 Gigawatt-hours, or enough battery cells to complete battery packs for 1.5 million Tesla Motors Model 3 cars per year.

Raw materials like lithium carbonate powder, solvent, rolls of raw metal components, and other ingredients are brought into the the factory and rapidly processed by robots and automated machinery working with skilled human technicians to produce battery cells.

After assembly, the cells are formed and aged by the application of electric current to their internal chemistry. Quality of each cell is monitored by automated test equipment and supervised by human test engineers.

Final pack assembly includes integration of battery management electronics and cooling systems within the module of interconnected cells

By consolidating all processes for the manufacture and testing of the lithium-ion battery cells and storage packs under one roof, while also scaling up the volume of production to billions of cells per year, Tesla Motors hopes to drive down the cost per kilowatt-hour of its battery packs by at least 30% to $100 per kilowatt-hour.

The Tesla Model 3 electric car will have a battery pack of 60 kilowatt-hours, so the cost of each pack will need to be $6000, in order to make a profit on a vehicle that will have a base sales price of $35,000.

Musk emphasized that the gigafactory should be conceived as a giant machine that would create many other machines, so the efficiency and speed of the factory, as well as its flow of input supply chain materials and components, are even more important than the design of the final product.

Lithium-ion battery materials can also be recycled once a battery pack has reached end of life, so efficient recycling processes will also help diminish raw material costs over time at the gigafactory.

The facility will also have a low carbon footprint, harnessing a large-scale photovoltaic solar farm on the roof of the factory, coupled with lithium-ion battery storage systems to offset factory energy consumption. Water will also be conserved as pneumatic air plumbing and other efficiency features should minimize water usage.

Musk noted that Tesla Motors now has a building construction division with construction engineers and development teams that are focused on building efficient factories and other commercial structures.

This industry expansion aligns with a recent announcement that Tesla Motors is planning to purchase SolarCity for $2.6 billion in stock, pending approval by the Securities and Exchange Commission.

The integration of photovoltaic rooftop panels, lithium-ion battery storage systems, and electric vehicles creates a combined energy and transportation company that can realize even more efficiency for its customers.

Elon Musk announced that Tesla Motors will develop its own smart inverter systems for commercial buildings that convert DC power from photovoltaic solar panels and lithium-ion storage batteries into a continuous flow of AC power to a commercial building or residential home.

The smart inverter technology is based on the inverter electronics systems that are used to drive the AC electric motor in Tesla Motors cars from the lithium-ion DC battery power pack under the floorboard in its vehicles.

Tesla Motors Supercharger Station Unveiling in Reno, NV

While visitors were touring the new gigafactory in Storey County, another group of people gathered in Reno, NV at the Atlantis Resort and Casino to unveil the latest Tesla Motors Supercharger station in that nearby city.

Tesla Motors continues to build out its Supercharger network across the country and recently added more sites in Nevada along US Highway 95 in Beatty, Tonopah, and Hawthorne.

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Beatty Supercharger Installation now active on US Highway 95.

Beatty Supercharger Installation now active on US Highway 95.

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Supercharger sites along interstate highway I-80 also include Lovelock, Winnemucca, Elko, and West Wendover.

Supercharger sites along interstate highway I-50 have also begun with the first installation in Gardnerville.

Supercharger sites along interstate highway I-15 include Primm at the California/Nevada stateline and downtown Las Vegas at Bridger Street and Eighth Street.

A map of Supercharger locations across the country and in Nevada can be found at this company webpage:

https://www.tesla.com/supercharger

This network of high-power recharging stations will allow Tesla Model S and Model X owners to travel more quickly between Las Vegas and Reno, as well as to California. A Supercharger can replenish a Tesla Model S or Model X 85 kilowatt-hour battery pack with 240 miles of range in about one hour.

The new Tesla Motors Model 3 will also be equipped to use the Supercharger network, but owners may have to pay for this amenity due to the electric vehicle’s reduced purchase cost.

Blog posted by Stan Hanel, NEVA Outreach Coordinator

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19

Jul

Public Utility Commission of Nevada EV Workshop on Aug. 23rd

Author: stanhanel
Comments: 0

The Public Utility Commission of Nevada will hold an Electric Vehicle Workshop on Tuesday August 23, 2016 at 10 AM within their offices in Las Vegas and Carson City, in conjunction with a Notice of Investigation Regarding Electric Vehicle Charging Infrastructure (Docket No. 16-010180):

The PUCN released an EV investigatory docket on 7/15/2016. Members of the Nevada EV community are invited to attend to learn and contribute to the proceedings.

Interested persons may file comments on or before Monday, August 8, 2016 at 2pm addressing the following investigative questions by the PUCN:

http://pucweb1.state.nv.us/PDF/AxImages/DOCKETS_2015_THRU_PRESENT/2016-1/13360.pdf

1. How should the Commission regulate the purchase of power from charging stations for new customers and customers that meet their obligations under the NV Energy Charging Station Shared Investment Program?

2. How should the Commission address demand charges from high-amperage electric vehicles?

3. Do existing tariffs enable the efficient use of a charging station in conjunction with other programs?

4. How should EV charger deployment occur statewide and should there be a focus on workplace charging?

5. Have and/or should studies be conducted that evaluate the effect of EV penetration on the grid?

The public workshop will be staged in Hearing Room A within each location of the offices for the Public Utilities Commission of Nevada. Address and contact information for both sites are:

Southern Nevada Address: 9075 W Diablo Dr, Las Vegas, NV 89148 Phone: (702) 486-2600
Northern Nevada Address: 1150 E. William Street, Carson City, NV 89701 Phone: (775) 684-6101
Website: http://puc.nv.gov/About/About/

In summary, demand charges are used by a utility to help pay for grid transmission and distribution infrastructure maintenance by the clients who draw the most power from it and also stress the grid infrastructure components the most (transmission lines, transformers, etc).

Demand charges are incurred by a DC Fast Charge (DCFC) station host site whenever the demand for kilowatts pulled from the grid at any given charging session exceeds the rate schedule established between the host site and the utility. One excessive demand session can result in a higher demand charge levied for the whole month billing cycle, rather than spread out over total kilowatt-hour usage by the host site for that same month.

From New York State whitepaper study (web link shown below):

“The earlier monthly demand charge example of a 50-kW average peak demand at $10/kW results in a $500 monthly demand charge.

As a point of comparison, Car Charging Group charges $6.99 for a single DCFC session on its Blink network. It would take 72 DCFC charge sessions per month just to cover the station’s demand charge cost in this example. This cost does not cover all of the other costs such as: the energy cost, the land lease/rental, any charging network fees, etc.

AeroVironment said that a positive DCFC business model does not exist with low charger utilization (rural, corridor stations), even in the Pacific Northwest with a high EV population. Even when all DCFC equipment (hardware and installation) was grant-funded (mainly through the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act of 2009 and the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Transportation Investment Generating EconomicRecovery program), the DCFC station income currently only covers roughly one-third of the operating costs, absent outside incentive programs (i.e., from automotive original equipment manufacturers [OEMs]).

So, eliminating demand charges improves the business case, but does not make it economically viable. Improving the business case requires increased utilization. DCFCs are essentially part of a chicken and egg scenario with EV adoption and DCFC use.”

For large corporate customers who already are paying demand charges on their rate schedules, the added demand by a DC Fast Charge station would not change their monthly utility bill noticeably.

However, smaller “Mom and Pop” convenience stores that put DC Fast Charge stations along isolated areas on rural Nevada highways would be affected significantly by an unexpected demand charge from the utility on a monthly utility bill.

Small companies that want to encourage WorkPlace Charging programs by the U.S. Department of Energy would also be affected by a peak demand charge “spike” on their monthly bills.

To solve this problem, many EVSE vendors like ChargePoint and NRG eVgo are requesting that rate schedules for host sites be averaged over each monthly billing cycle on a kilowatt-hour basis to allow for volumetric measurement of demand, rather than a peak demand charge “spike” measurement.

Another solution proposed by other states is to establish a special “DC Fast Charge Tariff”, that would create a special rate schedule relationship with a utility to mitigate or substitute for the intermittent demand charges imposed on existing rate schedule relationships.

Another consideration is how demand charges would affect infrastructure build-out and EV penetration within the state of Nevada, given that there are still less than one percent of electric vehicles on state roadways at this time compared to gasoline-powered vehicles.

Should there be a moratorium on host site EVSE demand charges until EV penetration reaches five percent of the vehicles on the road or some other threshold?

The federal government recently announced incentives being offered to states to help build out a national DC Fast Charge network, including loan guarantees to host sites to allow for better financing and other incentives.

References for each of these issues can be found at these website links:

1. Latest EV announcement from the White House around the electrification of the transportation sector:

https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2016/07/21/fact-sheet-obama-administration-announces-federal-and-private-sector

2. What is the role of state utilities in promoting EV’s? (which also justifies the need for a demand charge requirement by the utility if they are administering these programs):

http://www.swenergy.org/data/sites/1/media/documents/publications/documents/How_Leading_Utilities_Are_Embracing_EVs_Feb-2016.pdf

3. Workplace Charging program administered by U.S. Department of Energy:

http://energy.gov/eere/vehicles/ev-everywhere-workplace-charging-challenge

4. New York State whitepaper evaluation:

https://www.nyserda.ny.gov/-/media/Files/Publications/Research/Transportation/Electricity-Rate-Tariff-Options.pdf

Public written comments should be submitted directly to the PUC of Nevada before the August 8th deadline.

NEVA blog posted by Stan Hanel, Outreach Coordinator

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30

Jun

12 DC Fast Charge Stations Added to Terrible Herbst Locations

Author: stanhanel
Comments: 1

Terrible Herbst Oil Company administers over 100 service stations and convenience stores that dispense gasoline through pump stations around the Las Vegas Valley.

NRG eVgo DC Fast Charge Station with both CHAdeMO and SAE Combo connector plugs

NRG eVgo DC Fast Charge Station with both CHAdeMO and SAE Combo connector plugs

The company recently partnered with NRG eVgo, GoSpace, Nissan and BMW to add a dozen DC Fast Charge stations at strategic locations in southern Nevada.

A map of the 12 Freedom Stations can be found at the NRG eVgo website, after zooming in on the Las Vegas area, at: https://www.nrgevgo.com/charging-locations

For electric car owners living in an apartment, condominium, or multi-family dwelling where their vehicle cannot be plugged in overnight to recharge, the NRG eVgo stations make refueling an electric car as easy and convenient as refueling a gasoline vehicle.

Each charging session on a local NRG eVgo Freedom Station costs $5.95 with a standard credit card, in addition to an incremental cost of 20 cents per minute for the fast charge service. Thirty minutes of charge time would cost a total of $11.95 to provide a new 2016 Nissan LEAF model SV or SL with a range of about 107 miles. The BMW i3, as well as older models of the Nissan LEAF, could recharge their battery packs in just 20 minutes for a range of about 80 miles at a total cost of $9.95.

Each DC Fast Charge station must be connected to an industrial grid power source that normally provides three phases of alternating current at 480 Volts from utility grid power lines. Polyphase AC current is converted to DC current inside the DC Fast Charge station before it is sent through the output power connector to the electric car charging port.
High-voltage DC power can be more quickly transfered to the DC battery pack inside each electric vehicle.

Tesla Motors owns and administers its proprietary SuperCharger network of charging stations across the country and around the world that can refuel a Tesla Motors vehicle battery pack to more than 200 miles of range in just one hour. Access to the electricity at SuperCharger stations for Tesla Model S and Model X owners is included in the purchase price, provided at no cost for the lifetime of their purchased vehicle. Buyers of the next-generation Tesla Model 3 mass-market electric car may have to pay for SuperCharger access as a tradeoff for a more affordable vehicle.

In Japan, the Tokyo Electric Power Company, or TEPCO, developed a CHAdeMO protocol and connector plug for DC Fast Charging more than five years ago, that is an accepted industry standard in Asia and the US.

CHAdeMO connector plug on NRG eVgo DC Fast Charge station

CHAdeMO connector plug on NRG eVgo DC Fast Charge station

A Nissan LEAF, Mitsubishi i-MiEV or Kia Soul EV will have a separate CHAdeMO DC Fast Charge connector port on the car, in addition to the standard SAE J1772 AC connector required on all cars sold into the US market.

SAE International, the standards body that developed the SAE J1772 AC protocol and power connector used around the world, has created its own version of a DC Fast Charge standard by adding two big connector pins to its existing five-pin connector standard. The new DC Fast Charge protocol proposed by SAE International is known as the Combined Charging System, or “SAE Combo”.

Automotive manufacturers in the US and Europe have voted to adopt this standard worldwide, actively competing against the established Japanese CHAdeMO standard. Look for this new DC Combo standard connector port on the 2017 Chevrolet Bolt electric car, as well as the BMW i3. The Chevrolet Bolt will have a larger battery pack, with a range of over 200 miles, that can be refilled by a DC Fast Charge station in about an hour.

SAE Combined Charging System connector plug on NRG eVgo DC Fast Charge station

SAE Combined Charging System connector plug on NRG eVgo DC Fast Charge station

SAE International believes this new standard to be more efficient, as only one connector is required to accept Level 1 and Level 2 AC sources, as well as a “Level 3″ DC Fast Charge source.

NRG eVgo DC Fast Charge stations comply with both CHAdeMO and SAE Combo industry standards by providing both types of connectors. The matching connector is selected by the EV owner when initiating a charging session. Tesla Motors vehicle owners can purchase an optional $200 adapter that interfaces with the CHAdeMO plug connector standard from each Freedom Station, as well.

Nissan has also initiated a “No Charge to Charge” program that bundles Nissan LEAF sales with the NRG eVgo network. Purchase a Nissan LEAF model S, SV or SL with the DC Fast Charge package and Nissan will provide an E-Z Charge card that entitles the owner to two years worth of free DC Fast Charge system access.

BMW is also offering a similar “Charge Now DC Fast” program that entitles a BMW i3 owner to daily 30-minute sessions on the NRG eVgo network of DC Fast Chargers for two years.

After the customer chooses the appropriate connector plug from a diagram on the main menu of the DC Fast Charge Station, the next NRG eVgo menu requested a phone number during the initial menu interaction in order to send a text message to the user’s cell phone with the total purchase price that was deducted from the customer’s debit or credit card account.

Terrible Herbst Oil Company has modernized a dozen of its service stations in Nevada for the 21st century by offering gasoline, diesel and electricity to their customers at each of these sites.

NEVA blog posted by Stan Hanel, Outreach Coordinator

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15

Jun

NEVA Exhibit at NFPA 2016 Alternative Fuel Vehicle Showcase

Author: stanhanel
Comments: 0

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) returned to Las Vegas for its annual 2016 Conference and Expo at Mandalay Bay Convention Center from June 13th – 16th. This year, the non-profit organization featured an Alternative Fuel Vehicle Showcase to educate first-responders about new vehicle propulsion technologies that aren’t fueled by gasoline or diesel.

NFPA 2016 featured an Alternative Fuel Vehicle Showcase that included a Tesla Motors Model S, Chevrolet Volt, Ford Fusion Hybrid and Honda Civic NGV.

NFPA 2016 featured an Alternative Fuel Vehicle Showcase that included a Tesla Motors Model S, Chevrolet Volt, Ford Fusion Hybrid and Honda Civic NGV.

The Nevada Electric Vehicle Accelerator (NEVA) program worked with NFPA training staff to organize demonstration exhibits within the Expo.

NEVA booth exhibit within Alternative Fuel Vehicle Showcase at NFPA 2016 in Las Vegas

NEVA booth exhibit within Alternative Fuel Vehicle Showcase at NFPA 2016 in Las Vegas

An Alternative Fuel Vehicle Showcase Theater featured videos that showed “best practices” for first-responders when encountering traffic accidents that involve electric cars with lithium-ion battery packs or hydrogen-powered fuel cells.

NEVA display table included demo ChargePoint CT4020 station provided by Verdek, LLC.

NEVA display table included demo ChargePoint CT4020 station provided by Verdek, LLC.

NEVA partnered with Findlay Chevrolet and Verdek, LLC to stage a booth that featured a 2011 Chevrolet Volt and a ChargePoint CT4020 demonstration EVSE station. The CT4020 station had two SAE J1772 plugs and a wireless modem that can be activated with a ChargePoint RFID card.

A printed notebook of safety diagrams and relevant information for first-responders was available for the 2011 Chevy Volt, as well as printed product information from ChargePoint regarding the CT4020 model and RFID activation card.

A Honda Civic NVG was provided by Clark County fleet service to demonstrate a vehicle powered by compressed natural gas (CNG).

A Honda Civic NVG was provided by Clark County fleet service to demonstrate a vehicle powered by compressed natural gas (CNG).

The NFPA staff staged a separate booth across from the NEVA booth that included a Tesla Motors Model S electric car, as well as a Honda Civic NVG fueled by compressed natural gas (CNG), and a Ford Fusion gasoline/electric hybrid. The Honda and Ford automobiles were provided by the Clark County fleet service.

The NFPA exhibit featured the latest Emergency Field Guide (2015 Edition) in printed hardcopy format that could be ordered from the non-profit organization at no cost to members of the fire service:

http://catalog.nfpa.org/Emergency-Field-Guide-2015-Edition-P13872.aspx

From the NFPA online catalog web page description:

“NFPA, the fire and life safety leader, presents the 2015 edition of its Emergency Field Guide, your source for the latest facts on safe response to alternative fueled trucks, buses, commercial fleet and passenger vehicle incidents involving damaged high voltage batteries, battery fires, extrication challenges, submersion, and charging stations. This one-stop guide covers the vital aspects of electric, hybrid, fuel cell, and gaseous fuel hazard awareness and procedures — including information from related NFPA codes, OEMs and new consistent Moditech Rescue Solutions® vehicle diagrams.

Featuring gaseous fuel vehicle safety information including; bio-diesel, Compressed Natural Gas (CNG), Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG), and Propane (LPG); added to the 2015 Edition, direct from the auto manufacturers.

Procedures and full-color graphics are specific to each vehicle, with new vehicle renderings developed by Moditech Rescue Solutions, the world leader in extrication diagrams. Coverage includes:

Identification/Initial Response
Immobilization/Disabling
Spill Hazards
Submersion Safety
Fire/Re-ignition Safety Tactics
Crash/Extrication Diagrams & Manufacturer Information
High Voltage battery vehicle safety information from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Fire Protection Research Foundation
Charging/Refueling Station Response
Vehicle immobilization. Disabling procedures for high-voltage and SRS systems. Conducting safe extrication cuts with new Moditech Rescue Solutions diagrams. Executing vehicle recovery and disposal…

…There are presently over 15 million alternative fuel vehicles on American roadways today. Damaged batteries, silent operation, high strength steel and fires involving these types of vehicles pose the highest degree of potential danger to both response teams and vehicle occupants — including toxic fumes, high voltage, and delayed fire hazards. NFPA’s Emergency Field Guide, 2015 Edition is essential for first responders. (344 Pages, Volume 4)”

The NFPA has expanded its Alternative Fuel Vehicles Safety Training Program into a sustainable and fully-funded entity that now includes two full-time staff members and several on-call instructors who are also full-time firefighters.

Four NFPA instructors and staff members were on hand to talk with attendees to the Alternative Fuel Vehicle Showcase exhibit area during NFPA 2016.

The 2016 Tesla Model S was also accompanied by a product manager from the local Las Vegas Tesla Motors service center, who helped answer questions about the electric car for attendees while the NFPA staff pointed out safety procedures and traffic accident response guidelines.

Many more automotive safety resources for plug-in electric cars can be found at a specialty training website established by the NFPA at EVSafetyTraining.org: http://www.evsafetytraining.org

The website includes online vehicle training videos with certification tests for first-responder teams, as well as a “Resources” web page that includes links to specific information from all worldwide automotive manufacturers for each model of their electric cars at: http://www.evsafetytraining.org/resources.aspx

Just click on the automotive manufacturer to link to a secondary web page with downloadable PDF brochures written by each automotive manufacturer that describe an overview of the vehicle technology, cut zones for passenger extraction, as well as the locations of high-voltage wiring, air bags, electric motor(s), and battery disconnection points.

The traction battery packs in each different model of electric vehicle usually have a large electrical release plug that can be disconnected to isolate the battery pack from the rest of the electric drive train by opening the circuit.

12-volt DC auxiliary batteries can also be disconnected at their terminals or by cutting the “positive” power cable in two places, to make a one-inch gap between the two contacting ends of the cable, so that the cut cable can’t accidentally re-connect while the vehicle is being towed.

Standardized icons have also been developed by an NFPA advisory committee to create universal graphic indicators for first-responders, that are visible at key locations inside the car. Recognizable symbols are usually printed on stickers that are affixed to the vehicle chassis under the front hood every car. These iconic symbols usually include a red fireman’s helmet, cutting pliers, lightning bolts for high voltage, and yellow tags to flag where to cut into a cable to disable power, if required.

A circular saw icon shows where cut zones are located on the vehicle body for passenger extraction.

High-voltage wires are color-coded with orange insulation and should be avoided when cutting into a vehicle.

Jason Emery, NFPA instructor and firefighter, shows battery disconnection points on a Tesla Motors Model S P90D

Jason Emery, NFPA instructor and firefighter, shows battery disconnection points on a Tesla Motors Model S P90D

On Day 2 of the NFPA 2016 Conference and Expo, two of the NFPA instructors at the conference premiered a daylong safety seminar about alternative-fuel vehicles to a class of 45 Nevada firefighters. Safety training included eight hours of classroom time and one hour of “hands-on” demonstrations that used the vehicles displayed in the Alternative Fuel Vehicle Showcase.

Nevada firefighters receive hands-on demonstration of Tesla Motors Model S P90D from NFPA instructor Jason Emery and Tesla product manager Christian Marin.

Nevada firefighters receive hands-on demonstration of Tesla Motors Model S P90D from NFPA instructor Jason Emery and Tesla product manager Christian Marin.

This first class to Nevada firefighters was a kick-off training event that will go on the road to visit 20 other states across the country over the remaining six months of 2016. The NFPA team has funding to conduct statewide training about alternative-fuel vehicles to first-responders in all regions of the USA over the next year.

For additional information and procedures regarding training resources about electric-drive vehicles, please visit the NEVA web page at:

http://nevadaeva.org/first-responder-training-resources/

NEVA blog posted by Stan Hanel, Outreach Coordinator

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