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DC Fast Charge Webinar – December 2014

The North Carolina Plug-in Electric Vehicle Taskforce hosted a free webinar on December 9, 2014 on the latest information about DC Fast Charging from industry leaders. The presentations included specifics on the development and benefits of DC Fast Charging and how they are being integrated into electric vehicle charging infrastructure projects.

Guest Presenters:
Lisa Poger, Project Manager, Advanced Energy
Lin Khoo, Senior Vice President, Greenlots
Jennifer Szaro, Manager of Renewables, Orlando Utilities Commission

Click this link to view the webinar: https://advancedenergy.adobeconnect.com/p6g8a505afi/

There were many questions asked during the presentations. To view the questions and answer document, please click here – QandADocument

Click the below links to download the presentations:

Greenlots Presentation

OUC Presentation

Advanced Energy Presentation

NC High School Students Excel in EV Challenge

The Electric Vehicle (EV) Challenge is an education program for high school students to learn about engineering through real world experience. As part of the program, students participate in a year-long educational program and build full-size plug-in electric vehicles that they then compete with. The program is currently serving high schools in North Carolina, Virginia, Florida, West Virginia and Iowa and would like to grow to include a national reach.

Here in North Carolina, there are 14 high schools currently participating in the program: West Wilkes, Topsail, Dudley, Northampton, Hertford County, Roanoke, Morehead, McMichael, Hertford, New Hanover, Laney, Ashley, Chapel Hill – Carboro, and Rockingham. Students at these schools are learning numerous skills as they convert cars into electric vehicles. A few examples of the cars being converted are West Wilkes’ Mazda Miata and Chevy S10, Topsail’s Mr2 and Ford Ranger, Dudley’s Mazda truck, Roanoke’s Mazda RX-7, Morehead’s Saturn and Chevy S10, and McMichael’s Ford Mustang.

The yearly final event brings students and the converted cars together to compete on multiple levels. The car design is inspected with a presentation given by students and a section on trouble shooting. The vehicles then compete in acceleration, range and autocross events. Currently, Topsail High School is on a winning streak, with 11 overall wins.

The program is often a life-changer for students and has a significant positive impact on their experience of science and engineering. The EV Challenge is currently looking for supporters and additional members, if you’re interested in learning more, visit http://www.evchallengekids.org/

Not all EVs have four wheels!

Thanks and credit go to Vinny Swendsen for contributing this article. Vinny is a North Carolina resident and an owner of a Zero SR electric motorcycle.

While electric vehicles of the four wheeled variant seem to make most of the headlines today, electric motorcycles are slowly gaining in popularity. Electric motorcycles offer many of the same benefits as owning an electric car and also face many of the same challenges. But the two wheeled world clearly has a different view of the electric motor and battery pack that is at the heart of an electric motorcycle. The environmental benefits so frequently touted with four wheeled electric vehicles takes a back seat to the performance aspects of an electric motor when you are talking to the two wheeled world. Automatic transmissions so common in today’s cars are extremely rare in motorcycles. Motorcyclists expect to use a clutch and to shift gears! But electric motorcycles are direct drive and use a belt or chain to transfer power from the motor to the drive wheel. No shifting makes the electric motorcycle ideal for commuting. With the electric motor producing “all the torque all the time” the electric motorcyclist never has to worry about what gear they are in or what RPM their engine is running at. This means they can focus more on the traffic around them and how best to assess and respond to inattentive drivers. The direct drive feature of the electric motor also makes the electric motorcycle ideal for people who are interested in a motorcycle, but find using the left handed clutch and left foot shifting of a gas powered motorcycle a bit intimidating.

Team Power Sports of Raleigh and Motorcycles of Charlotte are two local motorcycle dealers who sell the Zero brand of electric motorcycles. Zero Motorcycles is based out of Scotts Valley, California and is the largest manufacturer of electric motorcycles in the U.S. Not only does Zero sell motorcycles designed for street and off-road use to the general public, but Zero also offers a law enforcement version of their dual sport motorcycle and a military version of their off-road motorcycle.

The Zero SR is Zero’s top of the line model for 2015. The Zero SR comes with a 50kW motor and a 15.3 kWh battery (with optional 2.8 kWh Power Tank) giving the SR a range of 185 miles in the city or 115 miles on the highway. Charging the SR’s battery pack is done with an internal 1300 watt charger that plugs into a standard household outlet and can take up to ten and a half hours to charge. Zero offers quick chargers to speed things up a bit, and there are aftermarket chargers available as well. By using two 2,500 watt Elcon chargers and the Zero’s internal charger, a rider can fully charge the Zero’s battery pack in under two hours using a level two charging system. The Zero SR can go from 0-60 mph in under four seconds and has a top speed of 102 mph. But this performance comes at a cost and the base Zero SR is listed at $17,345.00. The Power Tank equipped Zero SR is listed at $19,840.00.  Start buying extra chargers and the price climbs quickly.

But electric motorcycles aren’t just for commuters looking for an easier way to ride to work. Lightening Motorcycles is producing their LS-218 electric motorcycle with a 150 kw motor (200 HP) and up to a 20 kwh battery. The LS-218 is so named for its 218 mph top speed at Bonneville on 2011. In 2013, the Lightening electric motorcycle beat all gas powered motorcycles in the Pikes Peak Hill Climb Challenge by 21 seconds! Mission Motorcycles is also designing an electric motorcycle with a 120 kw motor and up to 17 kwh battery pack capable of 0-60 mph in under three seconds. With performance numbers like these, electric motorcycles can meet the needs of the most demanding sport bike rider.

Electric motorcycles, like their four wheeled counterparts are slowly becoming more accepted and more commonplace. Harley Davidson has been taking their prototype electric motorcycle called Project Live Wire on the road this year giving many motorcycle enthusiasts their first chance to ride an electric motorcycle. Getting people to try electric vehicles no matter how many wheels they have is important to their acceptance. Riding a motorcycle has never been easier than when it is equipped with an electric motor, so perhaps now is a great time to give your four wheeled electric car a two wheeled electric companion!

Interesting feats by electric motorcycles:

– Winning the Pikes Peak Hill Climb Challenge against ICE bikes!http://lightningmotorcycle.com/lightning-story-chapter-6-2013-record-year-fastest-production-motorcycle-world/

– Terry Hershner covers 1,047 miles in under 23 hours on a heavily modified 2012 Zero S!http://insideevs.com/board-time-lapse-video-electric-motorcycle-covers-1047-miles-23-hours/

– Other sources of information on electric motorcycles:



Traveling with Your Electric Vehicle – More Hotels are Installing Charging Stations

A recent article in Green Lodging News details the reasons why hotels should install electric vehicle charging stations. More hotels are installing stations as a benefit for guests needing to charge their car while traveling or on vacation. Here in North Carolina, many hotels have electric vehicle charging and are seeing the benefits that come from this amenity.

The Ritz-Carlton in Charlotte was the first hotel in North Carolina to install a charging station. The station is an extra amenity to guests and fits well in their LEED Gold-certified property.

The Gateway Centre Hotel Complex in Rocky Mount, North Carolina  offers two level 2 chargers and four Tesla SuperChargers to guests. Conveniently located off I-95 and Highway 64 in Rocky Mount, the midpoint between New York and Florida, the Gateway Centre is an ideal location for electric vehicle charging.

The Umstead Hotel and Spa in Cary, North Carolina installed two charging stations in 2011 to further enhance their sustainability initiatives and provide an additional resource to the community and hotel guests. The charging stations are free and open to the public, employees and guests. Since the installation, the charging station experience has been positive and the hotel has seen traffic increase over the years, especially on week days.

Other North Carolina hotels with electric vehicle charging include Courtyard Raleigh Crabtree, Raleigh Marriott City Center, Jacksonville Hampton Inn and Residence Inn Charlotte Uptown.

Greensboro Airport Installs EV Charging Stations

Piedmont Triad International Airport is the first and only airport in North Carolina to install electric vehicle charging stations.

Four level one charging stations were installed in the long term parking deck after inquiries from airport employees who either owned electric vehicles or were thinking about purchasing one. PTI first reached out to Denver International Airport to learn more about offering electric vehicle charging at airports and found that Denver had a positive experience with the ten stations they had installed. PTI Airport then purchased eight chargers total and is currently testing out four in the long term parking deck before installing two in the employee parking deck. They are keeping an additional two chargers in storage for future use once charging demand increases.

The charging stations were up and running in July and so far have been a success. Tom Dunlap, parking manager at the airport, said that they have been pleasantly surprised with the regular usage of the stations.

Congratulations to PTI Airport on this great success and thank you for leading the way in airport charging in North Carolina!

National Drive Electric Week Recap

National Drive Electric Week was September 15 – 21, 2014. North Carolina had celebrations take place across the state with lots of electric vehicle support and enthusiasm! See below for a few highlights from NC’s celebrations.

Raleigh, NC – An electric vehicle meet-up and ride-and-drive event took place at North Hills on September 17th. Around 100 people showed up to learn more about electric vehicles from owners, dealerships and local organizations.

Asheville, NC – A ride-and-drive and showcase event took place at the Asheville Public Works parking lot on September 21, with over 300 people attending!

Charlotte, NC – A vehicle showcase event took place at Charlotte 7th Street Public Market on September 17th.

Workplace Charging Workshops – Also during National Drive Electric Week, Advanced Energy hosted three workplace charging workshops in Asheville, Charlotte and Wilmington. Over 100 people total attended the workshops to learn more about how to install workplace charging and the benefits that come from it.

Webinar – Electric Buses

The NC Plug-in Electric Vehicle Taskforce hosted a free webinar on Thursday, September 18, 2014, on the topic of electric buses. Guest presenters included:

Dale Hill, Founder of Proterra – A world leader in the design and manufacture of zero-emission vehicles that enable bus fleet operators to reduce operating costs and deliver clean, quiet transportation to the community

Micheal Austin, Vice President at BYD America – BYD Motors is the largest electric-bus manufacturer in the world with over 1300 battery electric buses completed that run entirely off battery power lasting up to 24 hours on a single 2-4 hour charge.

Ward Thomas, Transportation Operations at Stanford University – The Stanford Marguerite, the university’s transit service, currently operates 13 40-foot electric buses on and off campus, providing free service for faculty, staff, students and the surrounding community.

To view the recorded webinar, please click this link – https://advancedenergy.adobeconnect.com/p5wdkqeq8u8/

Following the webinar was a question and answer period. Please click here for the questions and answers provided by our presenters.

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