This year, Tesla Motors has struggled with three battery fires induced by accidents, two of which include videos that have virally spread across the web. Tesla’s stocks suffered, advocates and media sources positioned against electric vehicles pounced, and bad publicity sprouted all over the net. The minimal attention paid to a testimonial from an actual driver in one of the accidents by some media outlets was near absurd.
Tesla is rebounding well. It’s provided strong customer support to the Tesla drivers involved in the high profile accidents. The company has issued software adjustments that push a Tesla to ride higher off the ground at highway speeds. Additionally, Elon Musk, Tesla’s Founder and CEO, welcomes any government investigations on his battery powered sports cars.
On November 27th, German regulators stepped forward and released a statement claiming no manufacturer defects could be found to be responsible for the accidents. In all three accidents drivers walked away safely from their vehicles, and it was concluded that the vehicle responded well for the speeds at which the accidents occurred. The passenger compartments suffered no damage, and were safe enough for drivers to collect personal belongings inside. Now, electric sports car fans across the world wait to hear from U.S. National Highway and Safety Administration’s Investigation. None could be more ready to hear the vehicles are officially cleared and perfectly safe than Elon Musk himself.
At the end of September, Empire Clean Cities (ECC) was proud to host New York City’s National Plug in Day 2013 event at Madison Square Park. Like events across the country, it was supported by local electric and hybrid vehicle owners and supporters, with the goal of raising electric vehicle awareness within a community building celebration.
We were lucky enough to have the support of the NYC Department of Sanitation and the NYC Dept. of Parks and Recreation who each brought vehicles from their respective green fleets. Among the other displayed vehicles were two Nissan Leafs, A Mitsubishi I, a BMW ActiveE, a west coast exclusive Chevrolet Volt, an electric Ford Focus, a Tesla Model S, and a rare converted Hybrid Ford F-150. ECC would like to thank our participants who registered and brought vehicles for the display. We couldn’t have done it without you!
Each of the vehicles was parked in Madison Square Park, allowing thousands of New Yorkers and tourists passing by access to them. Children were seen exploring the inside of vehicles, packs of adults huddled around the hood of the Chevy Spark admiring its technology, and the Tesla Model S & BMW Active E proved to be big hits with the crowds. Many onlookers were seen taking photos – surely to prove to all of their friends and family how close they were to some of the coolest vehicles on the market!
We also had support from Hevo Power and CarCharing, who both took the opportunity to promote their respective charging stations. We was able to personally engage with individuals on the street about Mission Electric, provide them with information about electric vehicles, and generally enjoy ourselves with the community we aim to serve by bringing us all closer to a city with cleaner air and less traffic noise. ECC is looking forward to next year’s event, and we hope to see you there!
Ever wondered what it’s like to drive an electric car? Why don’t you go out and test one.
As a thank you for your vote in our Share Electric campaign, we’d like to give you an hour of free driving in one of Hertz on Demand’s current electric vehicle fleet. Located in select city locations, you’ll be able to choose between the all battery powered Nissan LEAF and Smart Electric Drive, or the Plug in Electric Chevorlet Volt. We’re certain that after you get behind the wheel, you’d want one in your neighborhood.
To redeem your hour of free driving. Vote for your favorite location making sure you leave your name and email. And we will send you a free sign up code.
Offer is valid for new Hertz on Demand members only and is limited to 100 voters.
Recently we reported that 45% of potential electric vehicle are considering dumping the pump to save on gas. Today, we would like to showcase what these savings look like. During the past year, Volt Owner, a Chevy Volt driver and blogger has documented his driving habits and energy consumption. 11 months into this project the preliminary results are in: 19,017 miles, 19.4 gallons of gas for a whooping 980 miles per gallon. Factoring in additional electricity costs at $341 and gas at $67 we get a combined average of 2 cents per mile. (see graph below for detailed explanation)
Volt Owner driving stats
According to Volt owners, these results aren’t unique. The website Volt Stats tracks voluntary information submitted from drivers through their On Star GPS systems. According to the website the median MPG for all 1,047 drivers is 183. Now of course electricity isn’t free, but assuming you drive a 28 MPG car the electricity equivalent would set you back $1.10, which to us seems like a good deal.
As some of you eagle-eyed agents may have noticed, over the last couple of days there has been a shift in 3 of the voting locations we initially offered and they have migrated to new garages a few blocks away. Unfortunately, the original candidates could not accommodate EVs so we have tried to come up with new locations that are as close as possible to the original ones.
- The candidate on Columbus Circle has traveled 8 blocks up to 68th St.
- The East 34th St. candidate has been replaced by a location off Madison Square Park
- Another candidate is at East 88th St. replacing 919 Third Ave.
To the ones of you that had your hearts set on the previous locations we do apologize and prmise that your votes are accounted for. In any case we recommend that you check out the new list and see whether we’ve moved closer to your home.
Help us drive NYC electric!
A new JD Powers study emphasizes a rift in electric car adoption between present and future drivers. In summary, while environmental reasons were a compelling call to action for the first wave of drivers, new drivers are looking for a faster cost recovery. Overall, 82% of current drivers will say that they “definitely will” or ”probably will” buy another electric car from the same brand.
Green Vs. green- money or environment. According to the study, the first wave of drivers are educated, financially well off and environmentally conscious individuals. For 44% of them the motivation to purchase an electric car stemmed from the need to reduce toxic emissions. While potential drivers don’t sidestep these environmental concerns the majority of them want to save money. 45% of those considering an electric vehicle indicated that they are doing so for fuel saving reasons. Only 11% indicate that environmental concerns are their primary reason. ”Current EV owners focus on the emotional benefits of owning an electric vehicle–which are having a positive effect on the environment–but the way for manufacturers to take EVs to the masses and increase sales is to address the economic equation,” said Neal Oddes, senior director of the green practice at J.D. Power and Associates. “There still is a disconnect between the reality of the cost of an EV and the cost savings that consumers want to achieve.”
Do EVs actually save money? According to current users the answer is yes. On average EV drivers save $147 on fuel monthly, while seing only a minimal $18 increase on their electricity bills. Looking at total cost of ownership the picture gets a bit trickier. As electric cars sell at a premium, it will take an electric car driver between 6-11 years for owners to recoup the premium they paid for going electric. “The payback period is longer than most consumers keep their vehicle,” said Oddes. “The bottom line is that the price has to come down, which requires a technological quantum leap to reduce the battery price. There also needs to be an improvement in the infrastructure, or the number of charging stations outside of the home. Until those two concerns are addressed, EV sales will remain flat.”
What about range anxiety? For potential users limited range seems to be the top operational concern, alongside the availability of public charging. The good news on this front is that while this is a barrier to entry for new drivers, once behind the wheel electric drivers tend to forget about range. According to the study EV drivers travel 34 miles a day, and only 11% of them are concerned that their batteries will run out.
For the first time in it’s history Motor Trend magazine has named an electric car as it’s 2013 car of the year. The Tesla Model S won the award The 2013 Motor for being: “One of the quickest American four-doors ever built. It drives like a sports car, eager and agile and instantly responsive, and is more efficient than a Toyota Prius”.
On Monday, Tesla’s CEO Elon Musk rounded up Tesla fans to celebrate the winning in NYC, “Our aspiration with the Model S was to show that an electric car truly can be better than any gasoline car, which is a critical step towards the widespread adoption of sustainable transport,” said Elon Musk, Tesla Motors co-founder and CEO. “Nothing illustrates this more clearly than winning Motor Trend’s Car of the Year by unanimous decision against a field of exceptional competitors.” Tainting the celebration is the actual production of the car that is lagging behind. As of now there are a couple of hundreds of drivers that pre ordered the car and are still waiting for delivery, and only about 300 cars have actually been delivered.
For 2013 Tesla is focusing on broader deployment of its Supercharger Network that launched in California two months ago. The chargers allow Tesla owners to rapidly charge their cars using solar power. In a NYT interview, the Tesla team declared that soon it will open the first charging station on the Boston- Washington DC route, with the hope it will abate some of the range anxiety fears current opponents have and convince them to dump the pump.
Remember the first time that a friend let you use his cellphone to make a quick call? The magical feeling of being able to call anyone from anywhere. Well, it’s not the 80′s anymore but if you want to experience technological breakthrough all over again, we want you to get in an electric car.
Yes, you’ve heard and read about them, and probably have some concerns like price and range, but have you actually driven one? As we feel that most electric car questions are answered while driving, we are pleased to announce our new campaign Share Electric.
Electric and looking for a place to park
During the next month we are giving three NYC locations the opportunity to win a shared electric car for their neighborhood. The cars operated by Hertz on Demand will allow more New Yorkers to experience electric driving and see if it’s right for them. Moreover, as most trips in NYC are public transportation based, electric car sharing is an ideal complement for that errand trip you’ve been putting off.
So log on, vote, and join us in test driving the most advanced cars on the market.
One of the neat things about Electric Vehicles, is the amount of data and knowledge they provide to drivers, policy makers and the public. For the last 3 years The EV Project has deployed robust charging infrastructure in 9 states and the District of Columbia. Through the data collected all of us can gain insight to what the lives of driving an EV look like. The following highlights are based on the most recent EV Project quarterly report that can be downloaded here.
Going the distance
To date, 4,998 cars have drove over 33 million miles, saving over 1.7 million gallons of gas. This means that during a typical day. an electric car driver will travel an average of 30 miles a day. When segregating the data into the car models, we can see that in general Chevrolet Volt owners travel on average 5 miles further, using their extra gas tank as a backup. (35 miles is within range of the Volt’s electric motor)
Miles traveled per day, Volt/ LEAF. (click to enlarge)
Where do they charge?
At the end of the day, most drivers still prefer to do most of their charging at home. Overall, 89% of charging events occur at home, even though the percentage of public charging events has risen as more charging stations become active. As for charge times, majority of drivers draw power for 1-4 hours during the week and 0-3 hours during the weekend.
According to the data, Volt owners tend to charge their cars more often during the course of the day, which leads us to the conclusion that drivers are doing their utmost to stay off gasoline.
We look forward to see if in the next report drivers gain more confidence in their car’s range, as well as the impact public charging network has on distance.
Over 60 cities took part in celebrating National Plug in Day, but only in New York, can you see an Elvis impersonator checking out a Tesla, and a guy wearing a skirt made out of candy on an electric motorcycle.
6 cars, 3 trucks, 2 motorcycles, and 1 global location- Times Square, were the ingredients that made this day unforgettable for us. In case you missed the event, make sure to check out our photos on Facebook.