tesla jack and susan

“When we travel, Susan and I usually know where we want to go. And we may or may not mind if we end up somewhere else. Still, we find that we get more out of our trips if we put some effort into planning them. Mostly, Susan plans them.

For this trip, we decided to drive to Seattle. Then we ended up someplace else. A little bit of trip planning led us to choose the Rocky Mountains, particularly Yellowstone National Park, as the place we were going.

Next we had to decide which car to drive. That was easy. In May 2018, Susan took delivery on her Rear Wheel Drive (RWD) Tesla Model 3 with long-range battery. I couldn’t stand having to switch back to my Internal Combustion Engine (ICE) car after driving hers. So, using her referral number, I got an All Wheel Drive (AWD) Model 3. Because it was a referral, I got a bonus of 6 months free Tesla Supercharging. That meant we could make the trip with very little cost for energy.

But first, we wanted to know which of the two would get better mileage on a charge, since hers has one motor and mine has two. I set up a small, unscientific, and uncontrolled test. Both cars were set identically with respect to energy consuming features (e.g., AC off). Susan drove her RWD model just over 30 miles to work. I followed in my AWD about 3 car lengths behind matching speed, acceleration, deceleration, lane changes, etc., as best as possible. The route involved a twisty, hilly two-lane road for about 4 miles; a 4-lane highway for about 6 miles; and Interstate highways for about 23 miles.

Upon arriving at the destination, both cars had travelled a distance of 33.3 miles. The RWD car averaged 212 Wh/mi (a measure of efficiency). The AWD car averaged 214 Wh/mi. Lower is better. That very small difference could be noticeable over the expected 5000 miles of the trip, but it would be unlikely to affect the choice of stops for charging. So, the free supercharging won out.

Susan then took the lead on researching the various National Parks, attractions, and lodging that would define our route. I took the lead on researching routing and charging choices.

The keys to the route evolved to become:

Visit friends in Denver
Rocky Mountain National Park
Grand Teton National Park
Yellowstone National Park
The Black Hills
Badlands National Park
Dayton, Ohio, to see the grandkids
Of course, there would be other things to fill the gaps. “

Read the full story here.


Throughout 2018, a core team of stakeholders—including State agencies (TDEC and TDOT), electric utilities, cities, universities, electric vehicle OEMs, businesses, and advocacy groups—worked together on the development of a shared vision for electric transportation in the state, which includes goals and guiding principles for increased electric vehicle adoption over the next 5-10 years. Together, these stakeholders comprise Drive Electric Tennessee, a statewide electric vehicle consortium organized by Navigant Consulting on behalf of the Tennessee Valley Authority.

On January 18, 2019, Drive Electric Tennessee released the first edition of its Electric Vehicle Roadmap for the state. The Roadmap identifies projects and initiatives for local stakeholder implementation that will increase electric vehicle adoption across multiple Tennessee use cases and sectors.

Click here to read the Roadmap. Contact DriveElectricTN@navigant.com to submit feedback or get involved.

electric vehicle range

Fact of the Week #1064

In model year 2011, there were just three different models of all-electric vehicles (AEV) available and their ranges on a full charge (according to the Environmental Protection Agency) spanned from 63 to 94 miles.  By model year 2018, the number of AEV models increased to 14 and the available ranges expanded as well, from a minimum of 58 miles for the Smart Fortwo Electric Drive Coupe to a maximum of 335 miles for the Tesla Model S 100D.  From 2011 to 2018, the median of the AEV ranges increased by 52 miles – from 73 to 125 miles.

Note: Median is based on the models listed in the supporting data spreadsheet; some of these AEV models are available with different battery capacities/body styles, which have shorter ranges.

Source:  U. S. Department of Energy, FuelEconomy.Gov data, accessed December 4, 2018.

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roush cleantech

ROUSH CleanTech unveiled its newest carbon footprint-friendly vehicle — an all-electric Ford F-650. The company, which includes propane autogas and compressed natural gas in its technology portfolio, is expanding its alternative fuel market (ROUSH already offers propane and CNG-powered conversions) with zero-emission electric vehicles.

“An electric battery option for medium-duty trucks and buses is a great fit as there is increasing demand in this gross vehicle weight range (GVWR) with very few OEM solutions,” said Todd Mouw, president of ROUSH CleanTech. “This builds from our robust foundation already in place at ROUSH CleanTech that supports more than 1,200 customers and 19,000 propane and natural gas units on the road.”

Built on the Ford F-650 chassis, ROUSH CleanTech’s new fully electric vehicles will have a lithium ion battery system of up to 225 kilowatt hours and 700 volts. Depending on the vehicle’s GVWR, the average range will be up to 120 miles with a top speed of 75 miles per hour. The AC permanent magnet motor will have a continuous-rated power of 150 kilowatts (200 horsepower), with a peak-rated power of 250 kilowatts (335 horsepower).

“We are excited to leverage the company’s product development, supply chain, manufacturing and customer service expertise to support the expected growth in the medium-duty electric vehicle market,” said Mouw.

ROUSH CleanTech launched its new electric model at the Advanced Clean Transportation (ACT) Expo in Long Beach, California.

The company is currently participating in Ford’s eQVM process to become an Advanced Fuel Qualified Vehicle Modifier for electrified powertrains for commercial vehicles.

ROUSH CleanTech, an industry leader of alternative fuel vehicle technology, is a division of ROUSH Enterprises based in Livonia, Michigan. ROUSH CleanTech designs, engineers, manufactures and installs propane autogas fuel system technology for medium-duty Ford commercial vehicles, and Type A and Type C Blue Bird school buses, and compressed natural gas fuel systems for Type C Blue Bird school buses. As a Ford QVM-certified alternative fuel vehicle manufacturer, ROUSH CleanTech delivers economical, clean and domestically produced fueling options for fleets across North America. Learn more at ROUSHcleantech.com or by calling 800.59.ROUSH.

workplace charging installation

Medium- and large-sized companies can take advantage of charging station subsidies and guidance offered by the EV technology innovator

Workplace charging is becoming a more and more attractive option for companies and commuters, as the costs associated with these installations fall and the number of people needing to charge their EVs at work increases. To take advantage of the growing demand, and to support the development of EV charging infrastructure, Tesla is offering impressive funding programs for workplace charging installations.

Tesla will cover up to $3000 for the installation of each charger. They’re offering to cover this for Tesla’s own charger type and for Level 2 (J1172) chargers, so long as the Tesla chargers are at least a 1:1 ratio with the L2’s. As for the charging technology itself, it’ll only set you back $600 for each charger installed (a massive savings compared to MSRP). This is great technology offered at a fantastic price point.

As part of the program, businesses will be required to have a licensed electrician visit the proposed site to conduct a survey and provide a quote to Tesla for the overall installation cost. Tesla will review the quote and, if the quote is good, accept it. From there, work can begin on installing the new charging stations, putting companies well on their way to being able to offer charging to any employee with an EV.

Tesla offers a brochure with more details about their program, or you can start a conversation about getting your business involved by sending a message to workplacecharging@tesla.com.

electric vehicle project

Chattanooga, TN – The Chattanooga Area Regional Transportation Authority (CARTA) is one of two Chattanooga-based entities to receive accolades in this year’s Smart 50 Awards, which recognize smart cities projects from around the world. CARTA received its Smart 50 Award for its innovative electric vehicle charging and car share project. The Smart 50 Awards are a partnership of Smart Cities Connect, Smart Cities Connect Foundation, and US Ignite to honor the most innovative and influential work in this arena.

CARTA, as the public transportation agency and leader in electric vehicle deployment, developed the Solar Assisted Electric Vehicle Charging and Car Share Project in partnership with the Tennessee Valley Authority, Green Commuter, Prova Group, EPB, and the City of Chattanooga. A new network of publicly accessible electric vehicle charging infrastructure was deployed across the community to promote transportation choice through integration with traditional transit, Electric Shuttle operations, the Bike Chattanooga Bicycle Transit System, and public parking infrastructure.

“Our over 30 years of experience with electric vehicles made this project a perfect fit,” said Lisa Maragnano, CARTA Executive Director. “Providing the public with the right tools for the right trip is what CARTA is about, now and in the future. Bike, bus, drive, or park, CARTA is there.”

With the construction of 80kW of solar energy production and related power provider agreements, a compensatory amount of clean energy is provided to the electric grid to match vehicle energy use. So far CARTA has installed 64 electric vehicle charging ports across 22 site locations promoting electric vehicle charging access at no cost to the user. CARTA selected Green Commuter, a California-based benefit corporation, to introduce 20 Nissan LEAF all-electric vehicles as part of a new car share program, with vehicles accessible by the hour or day through smart phone technology. This unique ownership model of the electric vehicle supply equipment by CARTA provides for continued maintenance and connectivity of the charging network through revenues produced by solar energy production.

“With 20 Green Commuter vehicles spread throughout the Chattanooga area, we’re giving our community choices when it comes to mobility. We’re seeing that many of our members are becoming car light, reducing the number of vehicles in their household to one and using Green Commuter as their second mode of transportation,” said Mel Honeycutt, Program Manager for Green Commuter in Chattanooga. The expansion of the publicly accessible electric vehicle charging network and the introduction of a new car share program to the city promotes the further use of smart and clean energy transportation choices. Coordination of data collection from these transport systems provides CARTA the opportunity to develop enhanced and integrated transportation bundles to promote consumer choice and better utilize the community’s transportation resources. This new electric vehicle framework will also provide a foundation for the introduction of connected and autonomous vehicle technology as well as mobility on demand solutions.

To date, over 55,000 vehicle miles have been converted to clean energy with related emission reductions. Over 40,000 car share and public charging events have been provided and a new integrated multimodal transportation system introduced. Through the expansion of charging stations, the installation of renewable solar power generation, and the use of plug-in electric vehicles, this project promotes the adoption of clean energy technologies and will reduce engine emissions from vehicle use on a sustained basis. A research component of the project will track the utilization of this system to gather data to support additional development for the Tennessee Valley.

“Chattanooga is honored by this recognition. This project is an example of our community at its most collaborative and creative, with many people working across sectors to make transportation more useful, more efficient, and more environmentally responsible,” says Chattanooga Mayor Andy Berke. “I’m excited about where this innovative and practical transit work will take us. My thanks and congratulations to CARTA and their partners.”

Chattanooga was also recognized for a project on Underground Infrastructure Sensing by the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga and The University of Vermont. In the UTC/UVM project,
equipment such as radar and magnetic sensors search underground to document the location and condition of water and sewer pipes, electrical conduits, fiber optic lines and other infrastructure.
“CARTA’s project is an excellent example of how a wide range of Chattanooga area organizations are coming together to innovate in providing ‘Smart City’ solutions for people in our community,” said David Wade, president & CEO of EPB. “As this project demonstrates, technical advancements must be joined with collaborative efforts to provide solutions for people.”

This year, the primary categories for the Smart 50 Awards included governance, mobility, energy, citizen life, and networks. The program recognizes municipal-scale projects that exemplify innovation and demonstrate concrete influence in their community or communities of implementation.

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Homeowners looking into electric vehicles (EVs) often decide that they need a charging station at home.  The rare few that are familiar with performing their own electrical work and with securing the necessary permits may want to self-install a hard-wired or portable charging station.  However, before installing an electric charging station at home, please carefully consider your current skill level and speak with a local electrician.

Proper installation is necessary, as the home’s electrical system must be able to support the additional load.  Understand the following considerations with regard to installing a personal electric car charging station today:


The Type of Electric Car Charging Station

The majority of common “Level 2” charging designs (which offer approximately 25 miles of range per hour of charge) need a 240-volt source, which is roughly the same amount of power that a clothes dryer needs.  By comparison, “Level 1” charging uses a regular household current of 120 volts.  It may be possible to find a 240-volt source of power from an area in your garage. However, before proceeding with any installation, talk with a professional electrician and see whether or not a specific home’s wiring can support the additional demand.

An additional item to consider is to look at the viability of installing the charger close to the garage door in order to be able to charge a vehicle in the driveway when necessary.  Also note that it is easier to dedicate a circuit for the installation when there is a fuse panel or electrical entry into the garage.  It may be more difficult (or more costly) to perform the installation when a power point is not as accessible.


Professional Installation of Electrical Components

While some homeowners may  want to go the DIY route, it can benefit homeowners to find out whether such changes may have to be done by a professional.  Licensed and certified electricians are aware of current standards and can take necessary precautions when attempting to install new EV charging stations.  Individuals who have decided to install their own charging equipment may run into problems later on, due to inadequate or improper permitting.  Additionally, safety is a big concern whenever making renovations, and most DIYers will suggest using professional services when working around electricity for at least that reason.


Permits for Your Charging Station

Depending on city or county regulations, homeowners may need to apply for specific permits before installing an EV charging station.  As a homeowner may need to verify many details, including whether or not the home can deal with the additional electric load, it may simply be easier to hire an electrician.


What Homeowners Need to Know

Wiring is an important step. Locating an accessible power source and making sure a home’s system can handle the additional load is part of the initial installation process. Additional steps include:

  • Deciding whether you want to use Level 1 or Level 2 charging;
  • Determining the best location for the equipment;
  • Choosing the specific brand of station you wish to use, based on various options that may come with the equipment;
  • If desired, installation of a 240-volt line to an area below the charging station;
  • Ensuring that the new circuit has a capability of 50 Amps for best results;
  • Having an electrician install a socket (A NEMA 6-50 is used in the majority of charging states that are not hard wired); and
  • Installing the equipment after the garage is properly wired.


Installation can be done on a circuit of only 24 Amps.  However, it is best to have a charging capability of 40 Amps (80% of the circuit capacity).  A 16-25 foot cord is also recommended, in order to reach an electric car that may be parked on the driveway.

Currently, there are dozens of charging stations available.  Homeowners can find an electric car charging station from Lowe’s or Home Depot or can purchase one directly online.  Researching the kinds available will help electric car owners make the best choice for their needs.


workplace charging program


While there is not a one-size-fits-all solution for workplace charging, there are a number of resources available to help employers design, implement, and manage the right program for their organization.


Assess Demand

Employers considering whether workplace charging is right for their organization will want to start by assessing employee demand with an employee survey (https://energy.gov/eere/vehicles/downloads/sample-employee-survey-workplace-charging-planning). Once this assessment is complete, employers may set goals for meeting workplace charging demand, either by planning to meet the entire need (i.e., all drivers that have expressed or will express interest in PEV charging) or by dedicating a percentage of parking spaces to PEV charging. For example, Google has a goal to dedicate 5% of all parking spaces to workplace charging.


Procure and Install

Employers should determine what types of charging stations to purchase. There are a few decisions to make, including the following:

      • Charging Level:  There are benefits and drawbacks to both Level 1 and Level 2 charging stations in the workplace. Employers must evaluate which option is best for their facilities. For more information about the differences between charging levels and their merits for workplace charging, see the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Workplace Charging Station Basics page (https://energy.gov/eere/vehicles/workplace-charging-station-basics).
      • Networking:  Charging station networks provide maintenance, customer service, and energy monitoring capabilities, and collect payment on behalf of the station owner. However, networks require a fee, and employers will need to consider whether the convenience of charging networks outweighs the financial cost. For more information, see the DOE’s Workplace Charging Level 2 page (https://energy.gov/eere/vehicles/level-2-charging-workplace).

Employers should also be sure to get quotes from a number of charging station providers. For more guidance, see the DOE’s Workplace Charging Sample Request for Proposal document (https://energy.gov/eere/vehicles/downloads/request-proposal-guidance). Employers will work with their electrical contractor to determine charging station placement; station installation can be an expensive process, but employers can minimize costs by siting stations in locations that require minimal trenching, boring, and electrical panel upgrades. For more information about siting and installation, see the DOE’s Workplace Charging Equipment and Installation Costs page (https://energy.gov/eere/vehicles/workplace-charging-equipment-and-installation-costs).



A well-managed, well-planned workplace charging program can ensure station access to all employees, promote strong communication between employers and station users, and encourage responsible station use.

      • Registration and Liability:  Many employers require employees to register their PEV, which allows the employer to identify the number of vehicles using their charging stations. For example, employers can give registered vehicles a mirror hangtag or window sticker that identifies the vehicle as having permission to use the charging stations. A registration form may also include language that requires vehicle owners to agree not to hold the employer responsible for any damage to the vehicle that occurs while it is parked at the charging station. For more information, see the DOE’s Workplace Charging Registration and Liability page (https://energy.gov/eere/vehicles/workplace-charging-management-policies-registration-liability).
      • Station Sharing:  It is important to emphasize that workplace charging is a privilege, not a right. Employees may be obligated to share stations with their colleagues and comply with established charging time limits. While an employer can set up systems for sharing stations, such as reserving the station (similar to how an employee would reserve a conference room) or establishing a set schedule for use, most employers allow users to resolve station-sharing conflicts themselves. However, it is important to establish consequences for violating station policies, such as using a station for less than four hours. By framing workplace charging as a privilege, an employer reserves the right to restrict access for employees that routinely violate company policy. For more information about how to establish workplace charging policies and encourage station sharing, see the DOE’s Workplace Charging Station Sharing page (https://energy.gov/eere/vehicles/workplace-charging-management-policies-sharing).
      • Pricing:  While most employers offer workplace charging for free, charging for station use can be a good way to manage demand. Employers may charge for electricity (e.g., per kilowatt hour) or for time (e.g., per hour), depending on preference and applicable regulations. Employers can motivate employees to move their vehicles and share the stations by charging a nominal fee (or no fee) for the first set number of hours (e.g., four hours) and then raise the fee for subsequent time that the vehicle is parked in the space. For more information, see the DOE’s Workplace Charging Pricing page (https://energy.gov/eere/vehicles/workplace-charging-management-policies-pricing).


For more resources about workplace charging, see the DOE’s Workplace Charging website (https://energy.gov/eere/vehicles/workplace-charging), explore the Clean Cities’ Workplace Charging Toolkit (https://cleancities.energy.gov/technical-assistance/workplace-charging /), or contact the TRS at technicalresponse@icf.com.

Diverse partners across Tennessee are partnering to bring EV awareness events to cities from Memphis to Kingsport!  These events will take place between Saturday, September 10 and Saturday, September 17.


>>>  Please click here to view the press release!  <<<




Leaf charging

[fusion_text]Need to know the basics about electric vehicles and what it takes to keep them charged up?  Check out this helpful presentation put together by the Black Bear Solar Institute….Click to view EV presentation[/fusion_text]