Check it out.
Eugene Mulero, E&E reporter
Published: Monday, April 29, 2013
A “large majority” of American car buyers plan to buy fuel-efficient vehicles in the coming years, according to a survey released today.
The Consumer Federation of America said interest in models with high gas mileage has been spurred by new federal fuel economy standards that will bring U.S. cars to an average of 35 miles per gallon by 2017 and 54.5 mpg by 2025.
“In a time when consumers are feeling the pressure of higher fuel costs, the 2017 to 2025 fuel economy standard significantly reduces the economic hardships associated with volatile gas prices,” the report says.
The survey found 77 percent of Republicans, 87 percent of independents and 92 percent of Democrats expressing support for the higher standards.
A majority of those surveyed say they expect their next vehicle to achieve 31 mpg, and more than half of respondents who plan to buy a sport utility vehicle said they want its fuel economy to be at least 25 mpg.
Consumer acceptance of electric vehicles is higher today than consumer acceptance of hybrids at a comparable stage of their introduction into the marketplace, the report says. Also, high gasoline prices nationwide have contributed to automakers’ production of electric, hybrid and gasoline-powered vehicles.
“The adaptation of all electric vehicles is proceeding at a faster pace than the adoption of hybrids,” said Jack Gillis, who co-wrote the report, “On the Road to 54 MPG.” “So that indicates that there will be no question that electrics will be a significant factor in the future vehicle mix.”
The survey used in the 27-page report was conducted by New Jersey-based ORC International, which interviewed 1,001 representative American adults April 11-14 by land line or cellphone. The poll’s error margin is 3 points.
The Obama administration has promoted electric cars and plug-in technology, with senior officials encouraging automakers to provide middle-class families with fuel-efficient options. In a farewell speech today, outgoing Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said the new high-efficiency standards will be part of Obama’s legacy.
…..Stock Watch..Amazon Revenue Rises, Starbucks Sees Cooldown, Expedia Travels Lower….In Two-Way Charging, Electric Cars Begin to Earn Money From the Grid
By MATTHEW L. WALD | New York Times
WASHINGTON — Finally, payback for the plug-in.
A line of Mini Coopers, each attached to the regional power grid by a thick cable plugged in where a gasoline filler pipe used to be, no longer just draws energy. The power now flows two ways between the cars and the electric grid, as the cars inject and suck power in tiny jolts, and get paid for it.
This nascent form of electric car commerce will be announced on Friday by the University of Delaware, the regional grid operator and an electric company. They have developed a system to collect payments for work (balancing supply and demand moment to moment) that is normally the domain of power plants.
The possibilities of using electric cars for other purposes are being explored.
Wind energy netted a 16.6 percent increase in year-over-year production, from 120 million MWh in 2011 to 140 million MWh in 2012. Solar, meanwhile, saw its output go from 1.8 million MWh to 4.3 million MWh, a 138.9 percent increase. That’s a greater increase than any fuel, although from a smaller baseline than bigger sources. Natural gas is catching up on coal as the biggest source of fuel for electricity…30-37%
Some have suggested that gasoline taxes or mileage mpg requirements constitute a “War on Cars” and suburbs. I disagree, as does Todd Wilton, who said:
“Critics are wrong to claim that raising road tolls, parking fees or fuel taxes is unfair. Does charging admission at movie theatres constitute a “war on film viewers”? Does charging for bread constitute a “war on eaters?” Motor vehicle user fees only finance about half of roadway costs and a much smaller portion of parking facility costs; the rest is financed indirectly through general taxes (for local roads), higher retail prices (for business parking), lower wages (for employee parking), and higher housing costs (for residential parking) (Litman 2009; Subsidy Scope 2009). This funding structure forces people who drive less than average to subsidize their neighbors who drive more than average. Automobile travel also imposes other external costs, including congestion delays, accident risk, pollution emissions, and various economic and environmental costs from fuel consumption. North American fuel taxes are among the lowest among developed countries and have not been raised to account for inflation during the last two decades. These low user fees exacerbate traffic and parking congestions. The pricing reforms that critics call “anti-car” are often the most effective way to address the problems motorists face.”
And you can download the entire book as a pdf for free from the National Academies press site. www.nap.gov
A new report released today by SEIA and GTM Research shows that solar energy continues to be one of the fastest growing industries in the country. While the overall U.S. economy grew at a sluggish 1.8% during the first three months of 2011, the domestic PV industry grew at 66% compared to the first quarter of 2010. Domestic manufacturing of PV modules grew at 31% compared to 2010. In total, there is now enough solar energy installed in the U.S. to power nearly half a million homes.
More Americans today believe that global warming is occurring compared to one year ago, according to a new Ipsos poll conducted on behalf of Stanford University and Reuters news agency and released today.
Currently, 83 percent of all adults surveyed say that global warming has been happening while only 15 percent say they believe that it has not been happening.
The poll finds a statistically significant increase in the number of Americans who believe the Earth has been warming – from 75 percent one year ago in 2010 to 83 percent now.
Environment News Service (http://s.tt/1kVzZ)