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Posts tagged ‘electric vehicles’

Electric Vehicle Registration Fees May Skyrocket

Do you drive an electric or hybrid vehicle? Do you breathe the air along the Wasatch Front?

If either of those are true, we encourage you to pay attention to the “Transportation Governance Amendments Bill (SB0136)” going through the state legislature.

It is rapidly making its way through the session and, as of February 13, will be heard by the full Senate in the coming days, followed by the House of Representatives.

Overall, we support the bill because of the many good things it would do for funding public transit and road improvements.  You can read more via the Salt Lake Tribune.

However, the bill also proposes significant increases in the annual vehicle registration fees for all-electric and hybrid-electric vehicles, which are troubling.

We encourage you to learn about the bill and contact your elected officials if you’re concerned about the high fees proposed on electric vehicles– a stymie to clearing the air– even though the bill offers other positive changes.

For an all-electric vehicle, your annual registration fee would increase from $44 to $194.

For a hybrid, the fee would jump from $44 to $65. For all other vehicles, the fees remain at $44.

It is only electric vehicles that are being targeted for annual increases. Read more

Salt Lake Leaders Celebrate Utah’s Largest Electric Vehicle Charging Installation

This Tuesday, local business Packsize International unveiled its new electric vehicle (EV) charging stations at its Salt Lake City campus.

The site now hosts 52 total EV charging ports, including two fast-charge stations, making it the largest charging installation in Utah.

And the best news is that the stations will be available for use at no financial cost both to Packsize employees and the general public. 

Rocky Mountain Power awarded Packsize International with a $111,280 incentive check to offset the cost of the Level 2 electric vehicle chargers. These EV incentives are available to any Utah company that wants to install charging infrastructure! 

Packsize is a leader in sustainability and forging solutions to our local air quality problems.  It spearheaded the creation of a non-profit, Leaders for Clean Air, in 2015 to encourage businesses to install charging infrastructure. Because vehicles are the largest source of wintertime air pollution and EVs have no tailpipe emissions, incentivizing employees to make the switch to an electric vehicle by offering workplace charging is a tangible way businesses can get involved in promoting better air quality.

Leaders for Clean Air now has an alliance of dozens of businesses and has helped catalyze the installation of 184 workplace EV charging stations in the last two years.

At the ribbon cutting, Salt Lake City Mayor Jackie Biskupski, along with other Leaders for Clean Air founding members, provided updates on the clean air advancements and future goals for Salt Lake’s airshed. Leaders for Clean Air also presented a charging unit to Attorney General Sean Reyes, who spoke at the event.

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Mayor Biskupski and Rep. Patrice Arent, Clean Air Caucus founder & Chair, demonstrate how to use a new Level 2 EV charging unit at Packsize’s campus.

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Salt Lake City Debuts 28 New Electric Vehicle Charging Stations

 

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Mayor Biskupski charges up an electric vehicle using one of the 28 new Level 2 EV charging ports located across Salt Lake City.

Salt Lake City Mayor Jackie Biskupski and DAQ Director Bryce Bird announced Wednesday the addition of 28 new electrical vehicle charging ports across the city.

The new “smart” Level 2 EV charging stations are located at 12 sites—new and existing—across Salt Lake City and have replaced five older units.

Locations include the International Peace Gardens in Jordan Park, Sorenson Multicultural Center, Sunnyside Avenue near Hogle Zoo, Pioneer Park, the Forest Dale Golf Course, and more.

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U Drive Electric Extended through November 30th

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Our winter time inversion season is here, but this year Utah will have more clean, electric cars on the road that are helping to improve our air quality through the U Drive Electric program. The University of Utah’s U Drive Electric program has facilitated the sale of 92 electric and plug-in-hybrid cars in the last six weeks. Due to the popularity of the program, U Drive Electric has been extended through Nov. 30, 2016. The program is offered through a collaboration between the university, Salt Lake City and Utah Clean Energy.

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Community electric cars come to University of Utah

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Exciting news from our friends at the University of Utah today! They have announced a new bulk purchase program that offers steep discounts on an array of electric vehicles. Read on for details – SLCgreen

The University of Utah is the first university in the country to sponsor a community-level electric vehicle purchase program that includes discounts on multiple makes and models.

U Community Drive Electric offers members of the U community, including faculty, staff, students, alumni and campus guests in Salt Lake, Summit, Weber, Tooele, Utah and Davis counties, the opportunity to purchase or lease electric vehicles at a discount of 5 percent to 20 percent off of MSRP. The limited-time program launches today, Dec. 14, and runs through Dec. 31, 2015.

Car dealers are able to offer a discount because these types of community programs tend to generate more customers in close proximity during a specific timeframe. There are three participating car dealers: BMW of Murray, Larry H. Miller Ford Lincoln – Sandy and Tim Dahle Nissan of Murray.

There will be a community workshop with questions and answers, Thursday, Dec. 17, 6-7:30 p.m. at the University of Utah Spencer Fox Eccles Business Building on the 7th floor, 7170.

This program is part of the university’s goal to implement creative solutions to lessen its environmental impact and to improve conditions for the community and future generations. With almost 50 percent of Utah’s urban air pollution coming from tailpipe emissions, electric vehicles represent an important tool for improving air quality along the Wasatch Front.

“We are excited to support U community members’ access to emissions-reducing cars that will improve air quality,” said University of Utah Chief Sustainability Officer Amy Wildermuth.

To offer this incentive, the Sustainability Office is partnering with Utah Clean Energy, a nonprofit, public interest organization that works to drive the transition to a clean energy future. The program is enabled by a generous grant from Utah Clean Air Partnership, or UCAIR, which encourages businesses, government agencies and nonprofit organizations to invest in emissions-reducing and energy-efficient technologies.

“This is a terrific program recognizing the positive impact electric cars can have on air quality,” said UCAIR Director Ted Wilson. “I congratulate the University of Utah and Utah Clean Energy for forming a strong program making electric cars more economical to buy. Once owned, they are clean and simple with almost no maintenance. In other words, both economically smart and a fine contribution to better air.”

“The support of UCAIR is key to U Community Drive Electric,” said Wildermuth. “This unique opportunity will allow individuals to make a meaningful difference for our local community and will serve as a model to others for what is possible. Reducing tailpipe emissions is just one of the many ways we are working to improve local air quality. With UCAIR support and partnership with Utah Clean Energy, we hope to help make a significant contribution.”

In addition to increasing awareness about electric vehicles’ impact on Utah’s air quality, the organizers of U Drive Electric hope to connect the benefits of combining solar power with electric vehicles.

“Fully electric vehicles have no tailpipe,” said Utah Clean Energy Executive Director Sarah Wright. “They eliminate 99 percent of the smog-producing volatile organic compounds, carbon monoxide and sulfur dioxide emitted by gas-fueled cars in our airshed. And when powered by solar energy, they are truly pollution free.”

U Drive Electric will also include plug-in hybrids to provide an opportunity for people who require a longer-range option to participate in the program. Including these vehicles maximizes the choices for consumers, which will ultimately help even more community members reduce their pollution.

Participating community members will sign up for the program with Utah Clean Energy at www.udriveelectric.org. Once registered, participants work directly with any of the selected dealers to purchase the electric car of their choice. Participants must sign a contract before Dec. 31, 2015, to guarantee the discount.

For more information about the U Community Drive Electric program, visit www.udriveelectric.org.

About Sustainability at the University of Utah
The University of Utah is committed to integrating sustainability across all areas of the institution, including academics, operations and administration. Additionally, the university is supporting sustainability efforts and research under the Sustainability Office to better streamline initiatives and collaboration across campus.

About UCAIR
UCAIR is a statewide clean air partnership created to make it easier for individuals, businesses and communities to make small changes to improve Utah’s air quality. Every small change adds to a collective bigger step toward better health, a better economy and better overall quality of life for all of us.

About Utah Clean Energy
Utah Clean Energy is Utah’s leading expert public interest organization working to expand renewable energy and energy efficiency in a way that is beneficial not only for Utah’s environment and health, but also our economy and long-term energy security. Utah Clean Energy is committed to creating a future that ensures healthy, thriving communities for all, empowered and sustained by clean energies such as solar, wind and energy efficiency.

e2 Business: Clark’s Auto & Tire

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This e2 business profile was written by SLCgreen intern Lauren Mills. Learn more about Salt Lake City’s e2 Businesses.

Sitting on a quaint neighborhood corner in downtown Salt Lake is an auto shop decorated with green garage doors and sunflowers printed up the sides. Besides the earthy appeal, one might easily assume that this building is simply your basic auto shop like any other. However, take a peek inside (or outside if you prefer), and you will quickly discover that this little auto shop is hardly your average business.

Founded in 1964, Clark’s Auto & Tire began as a typical service location for all vehicles. In 2010, current owner Alan Boyer took over the shop. Having grown up from a young age into the auto business, Alan is nothing short of an expert on all things maintenance—the good, the bad, and the ugly. As a young boy, Alan recalls working in shops and “filling up 55 gallon trashcans of paper and plastic, just to put it in the dumpster.” What does this have to do with running an auto shop? Here’s where Alan’s unique expertise comes into play.

After six months of gaining familiarity with Clark’s, Alan made the brave decision to transform the shop into a fully sustainable and eco-friendly auto business. Initially, Alan struggled to find any useful strategies or resources to aid the development of his plan. However, this was hardly an obstacle; Alan simply set to work creating sustainability plans on his own. The results are highly impressive and visible, both inside and out.

On the roof of the shop, Alan has installed solar panels that provide 2.5 kilowatts of energy for usage throughout the building. The TV above the front desk is directly powered by this solar energy, and displays a continuous scroll of the shop’s energy consumption levels as a means of keeping inventory. Surrounding the sides of the shop are specified tubs for recycling scrap metal, tin cans, and oil. You are also likely to see several bikes strapped up to posts, as many of Alan’s staff members have hopped on board with his eco-friendly initiatives and now choose alternative methods of transportation to work. Think this is neat? Wait until you look inside.

Alan has replaced all the old lighting systems from the previous Clark’s design with energy efficient LED bulbs throughout the shop. In the garages, only a single air-compressor car jack remains on account of limited space. Alan keeps a clean shop as well; in addition to the numerous recycling and garbage bins located around the machines (as you will quickly discover that there is nearly nothing that does not get recycled), Alan ensures that there is zero contaminant leakage from his garage into water drains.

Even better, Alan has provided the resources to influence his staff to work sustainably as well. On a mission to eliminate paper and plastic waste, Alan has designated a section in the shop for lunch breaks, complete with a refrigerator, microwave, sink, and actual sets of plates and silverware. The evolution of Alan’s staff is arguably one of his greatest achievements, as these young adults have gained an entirely new interest in sustainable operations, eco-friendly cars, and have notably adopted a much more environmentally-conscious way of life. As Alan proudly states, “they’re not the same kids.”

In terms of specific auto services, the combination of Alan’s extensive knowledge and his passion for sustainability is what truly sets Clark’s Auto above the rest. The shop offers services and repairs to both gasoline cars and hybrids or electric vehicles (E.V.’s). Perhaps one of Alan’s most impressive services is battery repair: rather than tossing an entire battery to an unknown disposal location (as many auto shops and dealers do), Alan specializes in analyzing faulty car batteries (particularly in hybrid vehicles) to pinpoint the specific problem, repair it, and rebuild the battery to proper functioning power. This saves time, waste, and especially money for the customers.

Additionally, Alan is now offering a training on how to own, operate, and service hybrid vehicles and E.V.’s, in hopes of increasing public awareness of both the long-term cost benefits and environmental outcomes of owning a hybrid vehicle. And seeing as he drives a Prius himself, there is no doubt that Alan truly practices what he preaches. Along the wise words of one of his favorite athletes, Wayne Gretzky, Alan states “I’m not going where the puck is; I’m going where I think the puck is going to be…I think the future is where these Prius-type cars are.”

So the next time your car seems to act up on the road, or your battery goes dead, or even if you’re in need of a simple oil change, don’t hesitate to head straight for Clark’s Auto. Because what could feel better than doing both yourself and the environment a favor? Just ask Alan.

Salt Lake City Expands EV Infrastructure

Today Mayor Ralph Becker joined representatives from the Utah Office of Energy Development (OED) and the Utah Clean Air Partnership (UCAIR) to announce new Salt Lake City infrastructure that supports electric vehicles (EVs) and air quality goals in the region.

“Supporting electric vehicles is another key element of our plan to improve air quality along the Wasatch Front,” said Mayor Becker. “Another critical ingredient is collaboration. These new EV charging stations represent how sharing resources among government agencies, and corporate partners like Nissan, can create a positive outcome for all.”

Salt Lake City’s two new fast-charge stations, donated by Nissan to OED, are among the first of their kind in Utah. OED provided the stations to the City, along with one previously granted to Salt Lake County, as part of an inter-local agreement signed in early 2014. OED and UCAIR then partnered to cover the cost of installing the units. The 480-volt stations can provide a significant charge to the typical electric vehicle in less than an hour.

“The Office of Energy Development was pleased to partner with the City, UCAIR and Nissan on this exciting project,” said Cody Stewart, Energy Advisor to Governor Gary R. Herbert. “It’s important to note that these new charging stations are just one aspect of how electric vehicles are receiving a boost in Utah. Bills passed during the 2014 legislative session enhanced tax credits for EVs, bolstered the state’s fleet of cleaner vehicles and allowed organizations to sell electricity from EV charging stations.” These changes resulted in Utah improving its grade from a B- to a B+ in the 2014 EV Report Card (details here).

In addition to the new fast-charge stations, the City has upgraded its existing public charging infrastructure. Low-voltage EV charging stations were originally added at five locations in 2011 and these stations were recently upgraded to higher voltage units (locations in link below). These new Level 2 stations will allow users to charge their vehicles in about a third of the time. As with the original low voltage stations, these upgraded Level 2 units will remain free for public use.

Parking for EV users will be free, for up to two hours, at all charging stations. However, the City Council is expected to review a proposed fee schedule for electricity at the two fast-charge locations. Fees would help cover costs for monitoring and maintaining the stations, in addition to electricity charges.

More information on the City’s new fast-charge and enhanced Level 2 charging stations can be found at SLCgov.com.

Links to media stories:

Map of charging stations located in Salt Lake City.

Map of charging stations located in Salt Lake City.