TexasIsHot – Energy Efficiency

Charge! Texans are Poised to Reap Benefits of Electric Vehicles

Electric Vehicles are Leveraging Smart Grid Technologies and Consumers are Poised to Reap the Benefits

Okay. After spending the past year highlighting the financial benefits of using less electricity, encouraging Texans to plug in their cars may seem counter to our energy reduction mission. However, our goal is to get people to change the way they think about energy use and to throw convention out the window in order to reap significant financial and environmental rewards.

While electric vehicles may sound a little space age-ish…electric transportation has been around for decades. Electric powered cars and trains were the wave of the future back in the day – with the goal of creating a better alternative to the hand cranked gas guzzlers of the time. And, while gas powered cars evolved as the lead mode of transportation, car companies and electric providers are currently leveraging the advantages of smart grid technologies to bring EVs back in vogue.

Texas’ Electric Vehicle Leadership

Texas continues to be a leader in developing advanced solutions to address our energy demands – and EVs are a significant part of the equation. As recent headlines show, to support the roll out and acceptance of these vehicles, car companies are working with Texas utilities to make sure the necessary infrastructure and grid capability are ready for mass use. Just some of the EV facts and figures:

  • New battery technologies promise a driving range of 100 miles or more.
  • Nissan says its battery-power 2011 Leaf, due in December, should cost about $400 to run as far as you’d go on $1,800 worth of $3-per-gallon gas.
  • At-home refueling can take a few hours, but charging at most public stations will take about 15 minutes.
  • Electric cars have been called the killer application for the smart grid because they are able to both consume and provide energy like no other device can and can really change storage…”It’s an arrangement that could save utilities money, reduce pollution, and potentially save consumers money.”
  • EVs are raising the bar for technology in cars. For example, the Chevy Volt’s new On-Star application for smart-phones lets drivers control various aspects of the car, including: charge mode and charge status, lock/unlock, remote start, and remote climate control (heat up your car before you get there).
  • Ford has developed an intelligent vehicle-to-grid (V2G) communications and control system that talks to the grid and allows the vehicle owner to program when to charge, for how long and at what utility rate.
  • An NRG executive recently highlighted the “beneficial electrification” opportunity’s of EVs: 
    A Texas home that increases electricity consumption by 20% (about 3,000 KWh per year) to fuel an electric vehicle for 12,000 miles produces a valuable societal result for the environment, the economy, the grid, and the customer, including:

    • 2007 study found that using a plug-in electric car charged from electricity generated from a coal plant would result in CO2 emissions that are 25% lower than a conventional gasoline vehicle
    • Reduction of the $300B+ U.S. oil import trade deficit
    • Less expensive to operate – as low as 2.5 cents per mile instead of 10 cents per mile for an internal combustion vehicle
    • Demand comes at night where there is existing renewable and under-utilized generation to serve these incremental EV kilowatt hours
  • Click here for a glossary of EV terms.

Electric Vehicles in the Headlines

The Age of the Electric Car is Here
By the end of the year there will be 3-4 EVs in dealer showrooms. These cars have almost no emissions…and they’re real cars you can live with-all the usual features (plus some cool ones!)

Ford on a mission to make Texas an EV leader – Partnerships include Oncor and CenterPoint 
Texas is the best place in the world for plug-in electric cars… Preparations now will help curb drivers’ emissions, improving air quality, and will reduce the need for power plants to charge these vehicles.

NRG plans flat-rate deal for unlimited charges for electric cars
Monthly rate will include leasing and installing a home refueling station, charging at stations around town and emergency charging, in case a driver runs out of juice.

TXU Energy to Install Electric Vehicle Charging Stations in Dallas and Fort Worth
‘Filling up’ an electric vehicle should be cheaper than gasoline – comparable to paying about 75 cents/gallon of gasoline.

USA Today Review: 2011 Nissan Leaf electric car is a treat to drive
Our favorite gee-whiz feature was “driving range.” Nervous about how far you can go? Push a button and a circle appears on the navi map screen. You can drive straight to anywhere in the circle on the remaining juice.

Testimonials
  • "“As the Texas population continues to grow, so will our energy consumption needs. We must have tools that empower the consumer to choose their products and monitor their usage wisely. TexasIsHot.org is a great resource, which is exactly what Texans need in today’s deregulated market.”" - State Rep. Burt Solomons (R-Carrollton), Chairman of House State Affairs Committee
  • "In order to meet our goals, we need programs like the TexasIsHot campaign to help change the way people think about energy." - State Sen. Troy Fraser (R-Horseshoe Bay), Chairman of Senate Natural Resources Committee
  • "Texas leads the nation in wind power because it makes money, not because it makes us feel better. Texans are a practical, penny-wise people who I think will be happy to learn how to save a few bucks on their power bills with the common-sense advice at TexasIsHot.org."-Jerry Patterson, Commissioner of the Texas General Land Office
  • "If every Texas household adopted just a few of the dozens of energy efficiency strategies referenced on TexasIsHot.org, our air would be cleaner, our limited supply of natural resources would be better protected, and our wallets would be heavier..." Kip Averitt (R-Waco), Former State Senator and Chairman of Senate Committee on Natural Resources
  • ”The TexasIsHot campaign targets an important piece of the clean energy effort -- educating Texans on the way we use electricity and quantifying the financial and environmental costs associated with our use. By just reducing the amount of electricity we use and waste, TexasIsHot.org can show people how to save money..." State Sen. Kirk Watson (D-Austin)
  • "Fluctuating energy costs are really hurting Texas families and businesses, but by just making a few easy changes, Texans can cut down on energy waste. TexasIsHot.org is a tremendous resource which arms consumers with the information they need to save themselves money by becoming more energy efficient, and help our environment." State Sen. Rodney Ellis (D-Houston)
  • "Texas is the third fastest growing state in the nation with a net growth of 1,000 people each and every day. This brings many challenges including providing clean and affordable electricity. That is why I'm excited about TexasIsHot.org. This website is an instructional resource that will help Texans save on their energy bills at home and in the workplace..." State Rep. Phil King (R-Weatherford)
  • "Now, more than ever, Texans need to work together to conserve energy and to make more efficient use of the energy we consume. The TexasIsHot.org website is an extraordinary resource for people who want to save money and help conserve our precious natural resources..." State Rep. Rafael Anchía (D-Dallas)
  • "By partnering with the TexasIsHot Coalition we can extend our effort’s reach, leverage our resources, and ensure that Austin’s energy grid continues to be a test-bed for technologies, products, and services that will transform our state’s energy system." Brewster McCracken, Executive Director, Pecan Street Project
  • "The City of Houston is working harder than ever to make Houston green and energy efficient, but we need the help of every citizen. I would encourage everyone to take a moment to explore the TexasIsHot website to learn what we can all do to make Houston, and the rest of Texas, the green and energy efficient example for the rest of the nation." Mayor Annise Parker, Houston
  • "Energy efficiency is one of our top priorities. Partnering with the TexasIsHot Coalition will help us educate citizens and local businesses about energy-efficient practices in order to meet our goal of reducing residential and commercial electric use." Gavin Dillingham, Chief of Sustainable Growth – General Services Department, for the City of Houston
  • "We are excited about the new partnership that the City of Corpus Christi has entered into with the TexasIsHot Coalition. TexasIsHot.org provides a platform to educate policy makers, city employees and citizens on how to save money and help the environment by conserving energy..." Mayor Joe Adame, Corpus Christi
  • "I am excited that the City of Corpus Christi has joined the TexasIsHot Coalition and look forward to working with them to help Texans become smarter energy users. Energy efficiency is by far the best way for people to reduce their bills and help the environment, but we need education and outreach to make this happen." State Rep. Solomon Ortiz, Jr (D-Corpus Christi)
  • "Because of its fast growth and hot summers, Texas has to get smarter about energy conservation. I applaud the efforts of Corpus Christi and TexasIsHot to help businesses and residents reap the benefits of increased efficiency." Senator Juan “Chuy” Hinojosa (D-McAllen)
  • "Energy efficiency is the cleanest, quickest and cheapest way to get smart about energy use, saving both money and the environment. I applaud the TexasIsHot Coalition in their effort to educate Texans about the benefits of energy efficiency..." Luke Metzger, Director, Environment Texas
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