PECO Rewards Electric Vehicle Owners and EV Technology Investors

Wednesday June 20, 2012
Posted by Spark Energy Staff at 15:42

Philadelphia-based electricity utility PECO announced June 4 that it will be rewarding customers who buy electric vehicles (EVs) or invest in EV technologies.

As part of the PECO Smart Drive Rebates program, residential and business customers who let the utility know that they’ve purchased an EV will get $50 from the utility, per vehicle.

The reward program also encourages investment in EV technologies that can make getting around town easier for EV owners.

Government, institutional and non-profit customers who install Level 2 public EV charging stations in the utility’s area will get a $1,000 incentive per unit, up to two units, to help ease installation costs.

Counties in PECO’s area will get up to $3,000 if they install a Level 2 public charging station.



PECO Gets Charged Up About Electric Vehicles!” MarketWatch, June 4, 2012.

University of North Texas Adds 6 New Electric Vehicle Charging Stations

Wednesday May 9, 2012
Posted at 08:12

UNT Car Charging StationsThe Mean Green just got a bit nicer to owners of electric vehicles.

The University of North Texas campus is getting six new EV charging stations, thanks to the school’s We Mean Green Fund (WMGF), Office of Sustainability and partner ECOtality. The charging stations, each equipped with a 60-inch charger and a handicap-accessible charger, will be installed at the Radio, Television, and Film Building; the Murchison Performing Arts Center; and Wooten Hall.

UNT joins the University of Texas at Arlington; University of California, Los Angeles; University of Colorado, Boulder; and Vanderbilt University as the only colleges in the nation with EV-charging capabilities.

Helen Bailey is UNT’s director of facility management and construction, and the University’s facilities representative for the WMGF subcommittee that green-lit the project. Bailey said she hopes the charging stations will encourage more people in the Denton, Texas area to invest in more hybrid and EV automobiles.


UNT to Add Six Electrical Vehicle Charging Stations,” North Texas Daily, March 29, 2012.

DOE’s 10 Most Fuel Efficient Cars of 2012

Wednesday May 2, 2012
Posted at 08:42

If you think the all-electric Nissan Leaf is a super fuel-efficient car (on account of the fact that it doesn’t actually use any gas) you’d be right. But if you think it’s the most fuel-efficient 2012 model you can buy, you’d be wrong. That designation goes to the diminutive 2012 Mitsubishi i-MiEV, a mighty mouse of an all-electric car that gets the equivalent of 112 miles to the gallon.

Miles to the what? You heard right. To make sure that its list is able to evaluate gas cars, hybrid cars, plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEV) and electric vehicles (EV) equally, the Department of Energy compared fuel costs with the assumption that a gallon of gas is equivalent to 33.7 kilowatt-hours of electricity.

It’s no surprise that the top fuel-sippers of 2012 don’t actually sip any fuel at all, or that there are no gas-only cars on the list, but here’s a breakdown of the top 10 so you clearly see how the rest of the best stack up.

1. Mitsubishi i-MiEV

Engine: EV

Mileage: City 126 / Highway 99 / Combined 112

Cost to Drive 25 Miles: 90 cents

Annual Fuel Cost: $540

2. Nissan Leaf

Engine: EV

Mileage: City 106 / Highway 92 / Combined 99

Cost to Drive 25 Miles: $1.02

Annual Fuel Cost: $612

3. Ford/Azure Dynamics Transit Connect Van/Wagon

Engine: EV

Mileage: City 62 / Highway 62 / Combined 62

Cost to Drive 25 Miles: $1.62

Annual Fuel Cost: $972

4. Chevy Volt*

Engine: PHEV

Mileage: City 58 / Highway 62 / Combined 60

Cost to Drive 25 Miles: $1.08 (elec. only), $2.54 (gas only)

Annual Fuel Cost: $648 (elec. only), $1,524 (gas only)

* Individual driving habits, especially range, make it difficult to determine average fuel costs. As a result, the DOE has separated electricity and gas costs for the Volt.

5. Toyota Prius c

Engine: Hybrid

Mileage: City 53 / Highway 46 / Combined 50

Cost to Drive 25 Miles: $1.74

Annual Fuel Cost: $1,044

6. Toyota Prius

Engine: Hybrid

Mileage: City 51 / Highway 48 / Combined 50

Cost to Drive 25 Miles: $1.74

Annual Fuel Cost: $1,044

7. Honda Civic Hybrid

Engine: Hybrid

Mileage: City 44 / Highway 44 / Combined 44

Cost to Drive 25 Miles: $1.98

Annual Fuel Cost: $1,186

8. Toyota Prius V

Engine: Hybrid

Mileage: City 44 / Highway 40 / Combined 42

Cost to Drive 25 Miles: $2.07

Annual Fuel Cost: $1,243

9. Lexus CT 200h

Engine: Hybrid

Mileage: City 43 / Highway 40 / Combined 42

Cost to Drive 25 Miles: $2.07

Annual Fuel Cost: $1,243

10. Honda Insight

Engine: Hybrid

Mileage: City 41 / Highway 44 / Combined 42

Cost to Drive 25 Miles: $2.07

Annual Fuel Cost: $1,243

Do you drive one of the cars on this list? Let us know what kind of gas mileage you really get.


U.S. Department of Energy, Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Transportation & Air Quality, “’s Top Ten.”

Finally, A Car That Gets More than 100 Miles Per Gallon

Friday April 27, 2012
Posted at 09:49

If you’ve been waiting for someone to make a car that breaks the lofty 100 mile-per-gallon milestone of automobile efficiency, your wait is officially over.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has just certified Ford’s new all-electric Focus compact car to offer the combined city and highway equivalent of 105 miles per gallon of gasoline.

The electric Focus, which is rated at 99 mpg-equivalent on the highway and 110 mpg-equivalent in the city, is the first gas, hybrid or electric car to top the 100 mile efficiency threshold. The all-electric Nissan Leaf comes in just under the threshold at 99 mpg-equivalent for combined city and highway driving, while the Chevy Volt, the next most efficient car, comes in at a combined 94 mpg-equivalent.

The Ford Focus electric car is expected to go on sale in the U.S. during the first half of 2012.


Ford Focus Electric Car Rated at 105 MPG Equivalent by EPA,” FuelFix, March 2, 2012.

Electric Tesla X SUV Sets the New Standard for Green Urban Warriors

Wednesday April 25, 2012
Posted at 09:30

If you’re an enviro-friendly urban warrior who has been crossing your fingers for somebody to build an all-electric, all-wheel drive SUV, your wait is officially over.

In early February, Tesla Motors announced that it was taking preorders for its brand new Model X electric SUV, which comes in rear-wheel and all-wheel drive versions, costing from $60,000 to more than $100,000. Just days later, the company had already taken orders for $40 million worth of the plug-in SUV. To get their hands on one, folks had to put down deposits of $5,000 for the base model and $40,000 for the top-of-the-line Signature model.

Speed is an important consideration for Tesla, which has built its brand on the idea that fast can also be green. Tesla claims top end versions of the Model X will go from zero to 60 in 4.4 seconds, which is the sort of acceleration you’d normally associate more with a Porsche than an SUV.

But the car’s cool factor, at least visually, may be the “falcon wing” back door design, which allows the doors to go almost straight up and channels the way-before-its-time DeLorean. With these visually striking and functional doors, passengers and cargo can easily get in and out in tight spaces, such as parking lots.

As an extra feature, Model X buyers will be able to choose from a variety of battery pack sizes to customize their driving range.

In addition to the Model X, Tesla makes the Model S, an all-electric sport sedan, and the Roadster, the all-electric sports coupe that launched the brand. Tesla is also building battery packs and motors for an electric version of the Toyota RAV4, battery packs for an electric version of Daimler’s Smart Fortwo and a full powertrain for an all-electric Mercedes-Benz.


Tesla Racks Up $40M Worth of Model X Orders,” CNN Money, Feb. 15, 2012.

Electric Vehicle Enthusiasts Get Cool New App for iPad, iPhone

Thursday March 29, 2012
Posted at 08:48

Charging electric car

Electric vehicle (EV) owners and enthusiasts have a cool new way to communicate with their cars, get personalized data and analyze the operation and performance of their vehicles.

GreenCharge, a new iOS app for iPads, iPhones and iPod touches, fully connects drivers with their Nissan LEAFs and Chevrolet Volts:

  • Seamlessly syncs a car’s data to a driver’s iOS devices
  • Connects driving data with local electricity pricing to give personalized feedback about the cost of operating an electric car
  • Provides environmental impact information by letting drivers know how many pounds of CO2 emissions they’ve offset by driving an electric vehicle instead of a gasoline vehicle
  • Allows drivers to see the cost savings of driving an electric vehicle instead of a gasoline vehicle
  • Provides real-time charging, battery and range information
  • Breaks down mileage and electricity price by day, week and month
  • Offers a social media outlet so that drivers can share their information via email, Facebook or Twitter

And, just in case you don’t have an EV but are thinking about getting one, there’s even a feature that lets you test out a demonstration vehicle, simulate your driving habits and generate cost information so you can make more informed comparisons.

GreenCharge looks like a pretty cool app. And at just $9.99 — or the average cost of operating an EV for a week (according to the developer behind the app, Xatori Inc.) — we’re pretty sure EV drivers will geek out over it.


GreenCharge App for Electric Vehicle Enthusiasts Launches Today in the iOS App Store,” Xatori Inc. press release, Jan. 31, 2012.

Chicago Gets New Electric Vehicle Station at Kimball Brown Line Stop

Friday February 17, 2012
Posted at 10:07


Chicago electric vehicle owners and I-GO Car Sharing members are getting a new solar-powered charging station at the park and ride lot adjacent to the Brown Line Kimball El station.

The electric vehicle charging station, approved by the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) in December, is the first solar-powered station to be installed on CTA property and is part of an I-GO project to add 18 solar charging stations and 36 electric vehicles to its fleet.

The company’s charging stations have solar canopies that cover four parking spaces and can power two electric vehicles, including one I-GO vehicle and one electric vehicle owned by the general public. Each canopy is topped with 44 solar panels and can produce about 10 kilowatts of electricity. Together, the company’s solar canopies will produce about 200,000 kilowatt-hours of electricity annually, good for about 600,000 miles driven per year.

The Kimball charging station is slightly smaller. It has a solar canopy that covers only two parking spaces for electric cars, but will still be able to serve one I-GO car and one electric vehicle owned by the general public.

I-GO, formed in 2002, now claims some 15,000 members and more than 200 locations in nearly 40 neighborhoods and suburbs throughout the Chicago region. The company’s mission is to create a seamless transfer from public transportation to a pollution-free I-GO all-electric vehicle. According to I-GO, the average member spends about $2,520 per year to share its cars, roughly $5,000 less than what the average American spends to own, operate and maintain a car.


CTA Approves Solar-Powered Charging Station for I-GO Electric Vehicles at Kimball Brown Line Stop,” Center for Neighborhood Technology press release, Dec. 14, 2011.

Philadelphia Electric Vehicle Owners Get Public Garage Charging Stations

Monday November 28, 2011
Posted at 14:24
Tags: peco


Philadelphia electric vehicle owners who work and play near the Philadelphia Convention Center now have access to the region’s very first charging stations to be installed in a public garage.

Parametric Associates LLC announced the installation of eight 2-plug EV charging stations in its public Convention Center Garage, located at the corner of 11th Street and Arch Street. The garage is near the Reading Terminal Market, The Gallery Shopping Mall and the Market Street Commercial District. The garage also serves guests of the Hilton Garden Inn Hotel. The stations will be able to charge up to 16 electric vehicles at the same time.

While plug-in auto manufacturers claim that most EVs can travel 50–150 miles before needing to be recharged, Parametric hopes that the quick-charging stations will alleviate “range anxiety” that Philadelphians may have when it comes to driving their electric cars around town.

Josephine Wang, executive vice president of Switzenbaum & Associates, an affiliate of Parametric Associates, said the company “put the cart before the horse” in its decision to offer the charging stations before the widespread adoption of electric vehicles because it wanted to offer convenient, secure 24/7 access to chargers. However, with an increase in the pre-orders of electric vehicles in the United States this year, Wang said the company’s quick-charging stations at the Convention Center Garage has laid the foundation for serving electric vehicle owners in the future and that the company expects to install additional quick-charging stations as the market demands.

Are you an EV owner living or working in Philadelphia? Will you be using the new charging stations? Share some tips for getting around town in an electric vehicle.


Electric Car Charging Stations Installed at Pennsylvania Convention Center Parking Lot,” CityBizList, Oct. 18, 2011.