The key to electric car adoption? Make it simple
With Nissan delivering its first Leaf this evening and the Chevrolet Volt now in production, the hard work is set to begin: "Getting the blueprint in place for a supportive rollout, so electric vehicles become a sustainable piece of the marketplace," said Diane Wittenberg, the executive director of the California Plug-In Electric Vehicle Collaborative.
She unveiled a report Monday that outlined 10 major recommendations "to pave the way for healthier, cleaner and cheaper transportation options for the 21st century."
The report, announced at a Universal Studios event for which most of the 35 Collaborative members were on hand, identified several key points to encourage mainstream EV adoption in the state.
Topping the list of "Taking Charge: Establishing California Leadership in the Plug-in Electric Vehicle Marketplace" was simplifying the process of getting home-charging stations installed quickly, developing solutions to enable charging at apartments and condos, and structuring electricity prices to encourage off-peak charging.
Increasing consumer demand through education campaigns, developing new service industries to make charging cars easier than refueling at gas stations, encouraging tech-based solutions to help drivers find existing public charging stations, and ensuring local governments establish strategic placement of a public charging network rounded out EVs' most pressing issues.
"The next step is the group will continue to get together and start working on implementation of all the different recommendations. It's a continuous process," said Robert Babik, director of environment, energy and safety policy for General Motors Corp. in Detroit.
General Motors is one of several automakers that has been part of the Collaborative since July. Others include Ford Motor Co., Nissan North America and Toyota Motor Engineering and Manufacturing North America. Other stakeholders include major California utilities, such as L.A. Department of Water and Power and Southern California Edison; the California Energy Commission; the California Air Resources Board; the office of Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger; environmental groups; and infrastructure providers.
Mayor Villaraigosa promises to make L.A. homes electric-car ready in under 7 days: http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/money_co/2010/11/la-auto-show-mayor-villaraigosa-promises-to-make-la-homes-electric-car-ready-in-under-7-days.html
Demonstrating L.A.'s new charging infrastructure with a street-legal electric golf cart: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ufVGb5G_HGI
Getting charged up -- powering the electric fleet: http://www.thisisbrandx.com/2010/08/getting-charged-up-powering-the-electric-fleet.html
BP, Arco, Best Buy to install fast chargers for electric cars: http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/greenspace/2010/10/blink-fast-chargers.html
-- Susan Carpenter
Photo: Blink fast charger. Credit: ECOtality