Electric Cars … the Future Is Now

For those of us who are concerned about the environment, electric cars hold great promise. They are basically non-polluting and are not dependent upon fossil fuels. Sustainable Rossmoor is working to make Rossmoor electric vehicle (EV) friendly.

What’s BEV?

Within the next few years, moderately priced battery-powered electric vehicles (BEV) with a usable range of at least 200 miles will be available to the general public. With target prices of $30,000 after rebates, they will be priced comparably to the average cost of a gasoline passenger car in California. The Chevrolet Bolt and Tesla Model 3 are examples of the class of electric cars that will be on the road by the end of 2017. Many other manufacturers are targeting deliveries of similar autos by 2020.

Electric vehicles feature very low maintenance costs. They have no oil to change, many fewer moving parts than a gasoline engine, longer lasting brakes, and auto updating software. BEVs are fun to drive – very peppy with quick response and very low noise. A feature of the BEV that is particularly attractive to the buyers of these moderately priced, long-range electric cars is the ability to charge the car at home while it’s parked overnight.

Overnight charging assures that the car’s full range is available every morning and minimizes the need to use public charging stations. Residents who charge at home also enjoy the PG&E EV rate tariff of approximately 11 cents/Kwh (EV-B 11 p.m. to 7 a.m. rate), which works out to be about $2.60 per 100 miles of driving. Further, if you opt in to the new MCE all-solar electric service, you will be able to drive on purely renewable resources when charging at home since BEVs require no gasoline.

What’s EVSE?

The name for the equipment used to charge an electric vehicle is referred to by its abbreviation, EVSE (electric vehicle service equipment). EVSEs provide various levels of service depending on the capacity of the car’s batteries and the desired time to achieve a full charge. The level two (L2) EVSE is the common choice for vehicles with 200-plus miles of driving range.

Clearly, most owners of BEVs will want to install an EVSE in their garage or carport. It is reasonable for Rossmoor’s Mutuals to expect that a rising number of residents will file requests for permits to install EVSEs. Now is the time for Rossmoor to begin planning to assure that required upgrades to the electrical grid are available as demand grows for the ability to install home Electric Vehicle Service Equipment.

In order to establish a reliable plan to assure that the electric grid is ready to support a growing number of charging stations, we must have a good estimate of the demand in near future. Residents who plan to buy or lease an all-electric car with a range of 200 miles or more per charge, be sure to email these intentions to dvereeke@gmail.com and Sustainable Rossmoor will contact call back to gather more information, which will be useful in preparing the community for this socioeconomic change, which is certain to happen.

This article first appeared in the August 17, 2016 issue of the Rossmoor News, author David Vereeke

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