WWL>Topics>>9-4, 10am Garland, electric cars

9-4, 10am Garland, electric cars

Sep 4, 2014|

Guess who is making a big push for electric cars? The utility companies! Utilities want to place more charging stations all across the U.S. But they want everyone to pay for it….even those who don't own or want an electric car. Is it worth it for all of us to pay for the future? Garland was joined by Kerwin Olson, Executive Director, Citizens Action Coalition and Dr. Mark Duvall, Director at the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI).

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Automatically Generated Transcript (may not be 100% accurate)

Welcome back to -- drink -- Here in New Orleans. We've got a lot of news about homeless. We moved out from under the interstate overpasses. And trying to get him and -- some buildings. Not much seems to be working. There's a group in the Texans called -- a mobile loaves and the shoes project. And there they're taking a very you're pursuing in different look in different movement to help the homeless. But we'll have them -- talked in exactly about that. -- colleges you wouldn't be one of the things homeowner explore. The media -- been debating. Whether or not they should be carrying these be heading to be getting themselves. And the the big you can goes down to should be even show. The dot ices member with the victim in this still photographs. And all of the question. Forget the media why do we watched the news. And I've got. Number code from from people in comments sections about what is. And just discuss what is it in a loss. -- wants to see this and are there in the belly belt of reasons to see it. Does sell or something good dug up by and fascinating. As you well know if you listen to short a semi regular -- should we do a lot of technology. Year show. And one of the things that -- Sudanese me is electric cars. Kent. Quite figure if electric cars will become the norm. Or with -- gasoline powers soon to be required. To get almost fifty miles to a gallon. Whether or not that won't prevail or will have -- culmination of the two. Ordered do -- we're lucky enough get a couple of big virtual recur when an old some good news. Executive director citizens action coalition -- I've appreciated called very much. All born in reading is that a number. Of -- she utility companies. Or -- or seeing a decline. In their electricity rates because of -- electrodes to be sabres. We've governor appliances. And everything else. No more the worry is they -- to build lives back garbage put more and more charging stations -- the country but. It would seem to be at least most children are rebound. -- asking all of their customers to pay for -- what are your thoughts. Well yeah there is a proposed electric car share program here in the -- city Indianapolis program my mind. That we don't we don't necessarily -- were supportive of the idea electric cars and the reduction in and I airborne emissions that it that it brings in the reduction in oil use is generally a good thing however. The way in which they wanna pay for this car share program and the Turkey stations it is too. Force you know captive electric ratepayers in the city in Annapolis to. Pay for these charging stations in the infrastructure necessary to. Ruled these charging stations out in our city. And really you know -- -- this this this case raises many many questions not the least of which why are electric. Rate payers who pay for electricity service to their homes and business. Being required to pay for. Charging stations and have to do we have transportation options and and not electric service so we have. Serious concerns about the legitimacy of this request by I mean Apple's power and light. It seems like a reasonable question of the utility company has the utility companies responded to that question. Well they see you know electric cars as technology that needs to be researched and explored. We don't disagree with that they also CO electric vehicles as you mentioned as a business opportunity. For the electric utilities to increase their load. Which of course increases their sales of their revenues and their profits. And so this is really -- business venture for any maps powered like this has nothing to do with. Their responsibility to provide that safe and reliable and affordable -- this is a business opportunities for the company. And name and if it is just such a business opportunity that's something that. Voluntary shareholders. Should put up the money for and invested business opportunities for the company that is not. Other responsibility of the captive rate -- most notably. Many Indianapolis are struggling to pay their bills we have high unemployment. And folks are our have a hard time getting by asking them to funded R&D projects. You know for IPO to increase their load and for the French company to. You know may make profits. On the backs of our city we just find out patently unfair. There in the -- what -- asking seems to be. -- reasonable and common sense go okay we don't think. Electric cars that thing with control urgent -- probably good idea. Just charger your shareholders not the people in the builds that that don't necessarily benefit from that. As the utility come out and said we disagree beat callers. They are are seeking. This money before the regulatory commission may have actually entered into a settlement agreement. With the office of utility consumer counselor who is -- public advocate. Here in the state of Indiana may intend to. To move forward with this project on the back expect to break prayers and at another another outrageous. Up to the fact that. These charging stations once they're. Installed and paid for by ratepayers. Will be turned over to be up blower CAA -- French company that's gonna run this program so. This to be the first time ever that captive utility ratepayers would actually a pretty in by a private company. We'll talk about electric cars we've done that in the the little bit different -- news. Utility companies old cross country or thinking about it because there there rapes their proper level who's going home. Jordanian do you electric car movement to end and beginning new position charging stations in many different areas. In soothe their shareholders they want you to do users of electricity. To pay for it. Oh board of prewar airborne radio with the -- coral and Olsen. Is executive directors citizens action coalition. And and I think we're -- probably. Rivers and the majority of thoughts in our listeners. As. This sound like good thing to do -- good experiment to do -- a big shareholders not the people paying the bills. And possibly in probably not getting electric car. -- and if I understand correctly you -- you're under Indianapolis power and light bright in that -- And have they want customers please sixteen million to installed 200. -- of -- charging stations over this brides that are only comes up to 28 cents a mile for the next in yours for customers that grant. That that is correct that is the other calculation when you amortize the total to over ten year period. Does does that swayze. In the people. To be in favor of this because when you cents a month. I think even people of lower income will barely notice that right. Oh I think it's easy to you know used 28 cents a month as an excuse to say what's the big deal but the reality is these utility companies are. You know making -- request before commissions several times a month. 28 cents here fifty cents -- seventy cents here before you know looked over the course of ten years your electric bill has doubled. So it's not necessarily -- the amount of this particular requests that is that is problematic it's it's the premise. Behind. The request and really the precedent that. That this case will set in our state that is very concerned. It's a good point. -- let's code too low and Laura. Laura you earn double dubbed Leo appreciate call. I can't -- wanted to ask mr. Altman that kind about any kind of started to practice and that's what kind of a precedent. That this type. Program -- the utility there and Indianapolis might set for the rest of the United States. In terms of electric utility trying to promote. More use of electricity because they see. A decline in the because people are going to renewable energy instead. Well. That's -- that's good question there's there are several disturbing precedent being set here with this case first of all this Tuesday. -- project desired by the city Indianapolis and really the proper channel for discussions. How to fund this type of project should be done in concert with the deputy county council using mass transit funds and other taxpayer. On the sources that are available however the mayor and apple chose to. Circumvent. The city county council not disgusted with the other elected officials and instead go right IPO. And ask IPO lot to ask for the money. Secondly this -- incredibly dangerous precedent from our perspective with. Ratepayers paying for. Equipment that will then be turned over to me a price that French company -- I would love solar panels on my house but I certainly can't afford it. -- would be great you know other regular ratepayers would. You know send 151000 dollar in my ways are like could put does solar panels on my -- using their money -- on the solar panels but unfortunately. That's not how it's supposed to work go to. In our free market economy that these investors want -- takes -- risk. And proposed project from which they demand deliver revenues to their shareholders when it's that the shareholders and that that you assume that risk and not. Not -- rate -- it's it's a business investment for the company. And not not something -- necessary for reliable electricity that ratepayers pay for. Are there let's go to a -- in Gulfport -- Chara appreciated called -- and would -- colts. Are below electric car of a road GM Ford and Chrysler are recharge all movies. 010 an -- when we will turn it recharges. Are also world about charging stations. If person. Drives and negative four with a couple big bolt made. Within a brand new batteries -- Solar off some garments should capacity. All the taxis in Tokyo -- converted into larger cars. -- -- dead guy unfortunately. I had him -- years ago. After seeing them Ted -- come news out of his rules room Perez. Even helped him in the business. But that folded and I don't know be in the electric cars that recharges as the go buy hybrids like the one I'd. Recharges when you hit the brakes. But it's it's not quote an electric car runs good one more -- -- your own with -- Knowles. Up high girl I just have a couple of questions about this -- but I. -- start apologizing at a time to being probably deterrent thousandth person to ask this question. But why don't these charging stations -- just beset. Light parking meters so that do bowler of the car puts money and buy it cash or credit card charge as far and -- Fort -- their source. -- Her when UW thoughts -- moment. Well. They -- they have to pay for that's that's another thing about this -- charging stations you know while the installation of the equipment and all the infrastructure necessary to make them operational. Will be -- fronted by. The -- the ratepayers in Apple's power light if you want to use -- charging station not only do you have to pay a monthly fee. To be a member of this this blew him the system but then you'll also have to to paid to a the charger vehicles so they will be set up. In that manner which raises another question and the fact that there a parking meter currently. Where these charging stations will be parking meters at the city gets revenue from. That the city will remove these parking meters and then put these charging stations in its place so I -- you know the city will also lose additional revenues that they would gain otherwise. Up from a parking meters which raises another question in this case but yes it is a it is they paid charge systems so. What does that look like maybe double and triple dipping their but ultimately it by the way the technology is going how do we know. That now well for -- now electrical pole vault or are gonna get what 6200 miles on a full charge. The way technology is today how we note that -- Wrote the short -- time too in street -- years. They might not be getting less than 400 to 500 miles so -- question becomes from a business standpoint. How to -- that these charging stations are actually. Going to be useful in servicing. These cars -- it may -- a few years now. People struggle to recharge -- course. But -- an -- particularly good investment. Big could become obsolete that we are concerned -- -- That that's that's -- very good point technology is is moving rapidly. There -- many batteries being explored research and development and improving all the time -- there's no question that. Yet these could be obsolete. As -- as they're put in and yet you know from our perspective as well you know from a from an environmental standpoint you know here in Indiana we are almost exclusively reliant on coal for our electricity. You know there are reports that show an electric vehicle. You know tied into the grid powered by coal fired electricity. Is no clear. Then you know today's best hybrid or fuel efficient models were not even sure that this is necessarily a win not environmentally. Port city as well and we would prefer charging stations that are. Powered by solar energy which are readily available and being developed as well. Hermann I think understand these issue a little bit better because who gave those. So your valuable time we have -- didn't think -- call. Come right back WWO and will be talking when we come back entered rector of the electorate Powell or -- search institute. Try to take a look at the technical side at this. Also the political side and -- so go do what do -- looking at five major utility companies across the country. Whose profits a goal ago and we got energy -- -- appliances. And and apps and everything all over the place it's so the profit or dropping. And one of the -- is accused bill put it. Charging stations all over the country because. Electric cars are coming tells -- can -- Build a giant battery factory in one of the worst states. More immoral -- records being so. But the controversy -- with. Every utility company have looked. Has decided to charge you with the customer. Forty's. Weather and a trio of electric car and no there shareholder. So we're gonna take an additional look at the technology. -- issue. Look at not to know about doctor mark Duvall. He was and the student one -- -- -- two in group frank who go on the show many men on. Doctor do bullet -- director of the electorate Powell were search institute doctor welcomed the Chicago. Thank you are happy to hear what is the electorate or -- search institute what would you do. What were that weren't nonprofit. We're nonprofit organization and we do scientific research and development. Around them electric power so it is basically anything. From. How to keep nuclear power plants operating safely throughout their lifetime -- how to. Figure out how to squeeze more -- onto the grid to how what's the best way to -- electric vehicle we've we've got folks Sodom and now we're. We've got offices all cross country and in different spots were about 700 people. Do and that's kind of research mostly for. Electric utilities. Who are members but also for government agencies and private companies so where were big collaboration. Are built around -- -- do this kind of work its. A mobile boarding usage report is the best ways to charge these towards solutions charging. Solutions. Well before electric vehicles came now. Com we were a lot of us were really spending a lot of time figuring out what is the best way to chart electric vehicles trying to have that exact question I can probably about 2008. And we were gonna get cars until about Christmas of 2010 has won the first Chevy Volt and Nissan -- kind of hit the road in the US. So we start talk -- Problem a long time before actually had the problem. And no one of the things that we did was -- said -- -- charge most of that Turkey is going to be done at home people are gonna get home they're gonna -- and it. It takes less than thirty seconds to put your car and and then it's it's very -- all night while you're asleep administrative -- in the morning and then some folks army to get a decent charging network. I do that I I ownership people that I've owned it for almost four coming up on four years. And I live I live further from work I can drive round trip in the car silent about 25 miles from work and actually drive fifty miles today is my commute. And assure people go about forty miles so I I get I can plug and it work. And try contrived. All weeklong just on the electricity that Chevy Volt as a plug in hybrid so has had a gasoline engine panel. Will take over he need to drive long distances and I'd I'd be larger and very long distances in the car and it works much like that a hybrid like a Toyota Prius. But so I charge a little bit at work. And then some folks charge a little bit what we call public charging meaning any east stop that that shopping sent her arrest stopped. Or on EU you go to -- hotel and they have charging stations and use those charging stations. I'm warrior out out about doing your errands -- getting dinner watched a movie. How long do -- read charges usually there. So get anywhere from a little bit anywhere from very quick. Very long. So I -- Said depended on a much in need or the charging station or both. Every gamble and so some cars have very small batteries. And some have very large batteries so the smallest battery. Out there is in a Toyota Prius plug in it's about four kilowatt hours. So that's about enough energy you know to to dry one load of laundry OK so bomb. And it takes you know it takes anywhere from. If he can take up just four hours on the -- the slowest charging. Is what if we call level one. So level one has the lowest that you just plug that into any old 120 volt outlet so. He just plug it in the court every car comes along the visa call ports that's in the back. And so you can just give your visiting a friend when he's not looking you can just plug it into his garage in charger car lawyer you know at a barbecue we're watching the game and and and that takes the longest but it's also the most convenient. Could almost everyone has access to an outlet. This stations that you -- coming out about when your drivers are now -- at the airport someplace and you see these stations permanently installed. Because that level to an act that's at about three to four times faster than -- one. We're very good about electric cars as to their future when they arrived if there -- how all the rock and and also look kind of been your towards utility company to run the country. Are starting to. Put these charging stations around the country but they want to -- few whom. The utility. -- you're rather than their shareholders. Who have talked to lose about the technical side of it. Directorate the electric power forward church institute to doctor mark Duvall. A doctor a couple of questions is the -- constrained portable always wondered about it couple years ago -- more than a couple of years ago. Interviewed. -- Joan Lynn that out of Israel Shai Agassi had a company called better place. And the concept was. A big battery under the car. You drive in two converted to gasoline stations. And dude there's a robotic arm comes out -- -- your battery is slow. It's another it's already charged and would you go. The company hold it. It didn't make it and now we've got to tell slow. Which is going great guns but you've got to be exceedingly rich to board one of those. A do you see this becoming. An affordable car at any time soon. That people don't worry about getting stranded because of book likeable actress. So actually I would -- in many cases they're affordable today. The Tesla well. Half the typical that of a special story because it's. It's obvious that very expensive car. If you actually compare at Tesla to the other kinds of cars that are in the same category like -- Mercedes S class and there are really expensive Cadillac. They actually are them over their life they actually are cost effective is one thing electric vehicles they cost more to buy. But even. -- gasoline about pour gasoline has about four times as expensive electricity. You know root for each mile you drive sell electricity -- really inexpensive. Fuel and your listeners in your area. Generally pay below the national average for electricity electricity is pretty inexpensive and your area relative to may be -- -- unless might pay. So there's that fuels really cheap and you don't have to be very much maintenance because you don't have an internal combustion engine problems moving parts so the maintenance is lower. And so Seattle goes up together. In many cases. Some of them are actually really good deal today and I'll give one example which is when he suddenly. And down it it's about 8000 dollars cheaper to own over its life than a normal car. Any compatible car so and out of the car the same size of the same features and performance in the room. And so it comes down to if your if your commute is. Point miles a day or more greed drives say about that 101000 miles a year more. It's actually cost effective for you not get that cart today and now granted they cost look more Dubai and you say them overtime so. What we're seeing a lot of people got leaked the car because when you -- are you not to pay for the whole thing up front just pay. By the mountain and we've heard a number of stories from folks who used to drive not that. There cars almost free to them that they've they've paid 200 to 215 month to lease the car. They say about a hundred dollars in gas and hundred dollars and depreciation so it's basically almost a free car. So the other cars that are cost effective today the Chevrolet Volt does. A little bit more expensive to own dental Nissan leaf it's got a few more parts and it because it does have -- combustion engine. Usually don't use it very much but it also is over -- black the car actually you know what does all that stuff does pay off he used. Very cheap electricity -- typical car. I -- a drive and -- 10060000. Miles in and year you know you're generally looking at fifteen to 20/20 5000 dollars in fuel. Over the -- of the car so that's not -- not a lot of money and if you could cut that down you can build a little bit more expensive car. 11 final question. Included some people are concerned. You put to charging stations up today. Below with the wind technologies. Seems almost removing exponentially. -- more towards more X within group groove today. Are are these charging stations can get built and didn't become obsolete. So we worked really hard on this problem and and this solution we came up with. It was a utility industry the auto industry and every. And others and then solution came with design a single connector. And so every electric vehicle the United States and about a quarter million electric vehicles on the road today. And that number is increasing. Exponentially so it fit every every every year is better in the year before so the sales are increasing. And pretty significantly so we're pretty optimistic on that point it's not it's obviously still very small number of cars that it's it's going up quite a bit. We did we design a connector and a system that could. That would. Would take us into the future so in other words as cars get bigger you -- right now. Chevrolet Volt -- -- these are pretty small cars but even when you're you're going out buying. Full size pickup truck Europe as she needed is. Electric or plug in hybrid. There's you can still get a power out of the system to charge those vehicles so we think we've more or less future proofed it further. For the next cup -- a couple of decades or more. But more importantly the most important thing is yet but the charge station where it's going to be used that's the hard part is. Is are you -- putting it somewhere where no -- -- to use it very gonna put some more. Doctor maroon and fortunately we run out of time but I'm fascinated by weren't. Could we go get critical moment at a later date any -- attitude so much good talk can do thank you for calling and number of jail.