Categories

A sample text widget

Etiam pulvinar consectetur dolor sed malesuada. Ut convallis euismod dolor nec pretium. Nunc ut tristique massa.

Nam sodales mi vitae dolor ullamcorper et vulputate enim accumsan. Morbi orci magna, tincidunt vitae molestie nec, molestie at mi. Nulla nulla lorem, suscipit in posuere in, interdum non magna.

Supporters say B-N electric-car effort charging ahead

Three years ago, community leaders announced a new initiative designed to put 1,000 electric vehicles on Twin City streets by 2014.

While only about one-third of that goal has been met so far, organizers still believe Normal’s EVTown initiative and work by the Bloomington-Normal Electric Vehicle Task Force have been successful.

“I’m very happy with the program; a lot of people know about it,” said Normal Mayor Chris Koos. “It’s absolutely raised awareness of the town of Normal.”

Town Planner Mercy Davison said she routinely receives calls from communities across the nation seeking information on how Normal started the programs.

More http://m.pantagraph.com/content/tncms/live/

Supporters say B-N electric-car effort charging ahead

Three years ago, community leaders announced a new initiative designed to put 1,000 electric vehicles on Twin City streets by 2014.

While only about one-third of that goal has been met so far, organizers still believe Normal’s EVTown initiative and work by the Bloomington-Normal Electric Vehicle Task Force have been successful.

“I’m very happy with the program; a lot of people know about it,” said Normal Mayor Chris Koos. “It’s absolutely raised awareness of the town of Normal.”

Town Planner Mercy Davison said she routinely receives calls from communities across the nation seeking information on how Normal started the programs.

“They think it’s really exciting,” she said. “They seem to think we’re successful.”

Joe Mikulecky, chairman of the EV Task Force, said the numbers, while below the original goal, indicate success.

“The percentage (of electric vehicles) per capita is higher than most communities,” said Mikulecky, one of about 40 active task force members.

Brad Wurth, a Country Financial representative, was one resident who decided to take advantage of a $69-per-month lease for a Mitsubishi i-MiEV.

“As long as gas is above $3 a gallon, we figured I’d need to drive 400 miles a month to break even,” he said.

Typically Wurth drives between 800 and 1,000 miles a month so it made “good fiscal sense.” He said it was easy to put on the now-popular advertising “wrap” that includes his name and other company information — it stands out on the roadway and is easily recognized.

“It’s awesome in the snow,” he said. “The skinnier tires cut through the snow.”

Wurth said the heater works well, but it does drain the battery. He heats it up in the morning while it is plugged in at his house; occasionally, he plugs it in one of the uptown charging stations during the day; and sometimes he plugs it in while he’s at his office.

“From my perspective, it was a great business decision,” he said. “I think electric technology is cool, but it has a way to go.”

Moe Davis, owner of Tobin’s Pizza, made the same business decision — only in a bigger way. He’s leasing 12 Mitsubishi i-MiEVs as part of his delivery fleet.

Davis said each of the cars has to be used for a certain number of deliveries each month and he needed the incentives available for the plan to make good financial sense. Besides the monthly lease deal, Mikulecky said electric vehicle owners receive a $7,500 federal tax credit.

There’s also a state tax rebate of 10 percent off the manufacturer’s suggested retail price if an electric vehicle is purchased. It does not apply to leased vehicles, he said.

Most electric cars cost between $28,000 and $42,000. The Tesla, which can travel as far as 285 miles on a single charge, can cost as much as $95,000.

Davis has not invested in charging stations; instead the fleet cars are plugged into outlets at the Bloomington business.

“If (manufacturers) increase the distance and mileage of electric cars and bring the cost down, I think they will be a viable alternative for a much larger segment,” he said.

Right now, he said, electric vehicles are competing against new gas-powered vehicles that get good mileage and are relatively inexpensive.

Koos agreed electric vehicle technology needs to improve before there is a broader buy-in, but he thinks electric vehicles “make much more sense for a community like ours” where trips are relatively short.

“We met with dealerships last month and they are excited to continue the momentum,” Mikulecky said.

The EV Task force plans to continue educating the public, he said, including at the April 5 Family Science Day and a May sales event.

Copyright 2014 pantagraph.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

EVTown events

September 2011

•Mitsubishi Motors North America films a 30-second commercial in Normal. A 2½-minute video featuring several residents ran on the Mitsubishi website.

May 2012

•The Discovery Channel-Canada films a documentary about the Mitsubishi i electric vehicle in Normal.

June 2013

•Tesla Motors unveils four superchargers for their electric vehicles at the Uptown Station parking deck. It’s the first Midwest supercharger location and the 10th in the country.

•Normal Mayor Chris Koos receives an honorable mention at the 2013 Mayors’ Climate Protection Awards for the EVTown initiative.

September 2013

•Normal officials are chosen to speak at the sixth annual Growing Sustainable Communities Conference in Dubuque, Iowa.

•The EVTown initiative has been featured in articles in a variety of publications, including Green Car Reports, Planet Save and EV Parade.

By the numbers

Electric and plug-in electric vehicle sales and lease numbers in Bloomington-Normal from the initiative launch through Dec. 9, 2013:

•230 Mitsubishi i-MiEV

•24 Chevrolet Volt

•24 Ford CMax Energi

•15 Nissan Leaf

•6 Ford Fusion Energi

SOURCE: Joe Mikulecky, chairman of Bloomington-Normal Electric Vehicle Task Force

Share

Leave a Reply