Electric Car Super Highways

Electric Car Super Highways

Why Electric Cars can be an ECONOMIC BOOM for California


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Electric Car Super Highways Drivers who jump into their combustion driven vehicles today are pretty much guaranteed to be able to refuel no matter where they go in California. Not so with electric cars as customers who buy them still suffer somewhat from vehicle range anxiety. Hence here lies the major drawback for electric car customers in California.

Lack of charging infrastructure is a drawback not only within cities but a huge drawback between destinations such as Los Angeles and San Francisco or Sacramento. Add to that the lack of standardization between electric vehicle manufacturers that directly drives massive differences in the interoperability between charging services, and the result is a very challenging task for California to install charging infrastructure. Install what exactly and to match what?

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The available electricity everywhere is 120 volts or 220 Volts at 60 Htz, typically single phase but 3-phase is also common. So in fact, the most economical solution to the charging infrastructure in California may be as simple as a weatherproof and shockproof 120 V and 220 volt pole installed throughout the state putting the charging solution onto the automakers. In other words, electric car vehicle manufacturers would need to install a black box into their vehicle with a cable that plugs into a standard weatherproof and shockproof 120/220 Volt outlet.

Installing this type of infrastructure throughout California would be simple, economically feasible, and could be done rapidly by utility companies throughout the state! It would standardize charging infrastructure everywhere and play a large part in significantly lowering driver’s vehicle range anxiety possibly moving more individuals to purchase electric cars sooner.

Electric vehicles (EV’s) are thought of in general as a clean air vehicle, but what is generally not discussed is the significant impact electric cars may have on the economy in California.

“Electric vehicles are much cheaper to operate than conventional vehicles. Drivers who switch to electric vehicles will have more disposable income to spend in other sectors of the economy, such as housing and services. Spending in these sectors keeps more wealth moving within local economies and will drive job creation in sectors not immediately connected to producing electric vehicles.”

“The above paragraph is an excerpt from a report by the International Economic Development Council Creating the Clean Energy Economy Analysis of the Electric Vehicle Industry

The latter is the same effect as in lowering the cost of a gallon of gas as I am proposing to do as governor of California.

Lowering the price of a gallon of gas has the similar effect as jumping into an electric except that electric cars have the same effect at lowering the price of a gallon of gas by much more than is possible by conventional means. Both effects drive the economy upward in a big way.

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“According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, over 80 percent of the cost of a gallon of gas immediately leaves the local economy!”

“In the study by the U.S. Energy Information Administration most communities are not significant producers of oil and gas for personal transportation, which means that when local residents spend money at the gas pump, much of that wealth exits the local economy. Savings on gas can add up to significant benefits to regional economies. Not all of the savings will be spent locally, but even a fraction of what is spent annually on personal transportation has the potential to bolster job growth and builds wealth within local economies.

“A study by the California Electric Transportation Coalition found that EACH DOLLAR SAVED from gas spending and spent on other household goods and services generates 16 jobs in the state.”

“The above three paragraphs are excerpts from a report by the International Economic Development Council Creating the Clean Energy Economy Analysis of the Electric Vehicle Industry
California Electric Transportation Coalition. (2012). Plug-in Electric Vehicle Deployment in California: An Economic Jobs Assessment. Retrieved from http://www.caletc.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/Economic-Jobs-Assessment- Exec-Summary.pdf
Cortright, J. (2010, April). New York City’s Green Dividend. CEOs for Cities. Retrieved from http://www.ceosforcities.org/pagefiles/NYCGD_elctrnc_FINAL.pdf
Cortright, J. (2007, June 28). Portland’s Green Dividend. CEOs for Cities. Retrieved from http://www.ceosforcities.org/files/PGD%20FINAL.pdf

It is for the above mentioned economic reason that I propose we accelerate the use of electric vehicles in California. Consumers will purchase an electric vehicle as long as they are economical to buy and convenient to use.

Why Electric Cars can be an ECONOMIC BOOM for California?

Because when we talk about lowering the price of a gallon of gas the electric vehicle wins hands down with the equivalent price per gallon of gas anywhere from 75 cents to $1 dollar depending upon the cost of a kilowatt hour. That means approximately an equivalent of a $1.50 plus is pumped back into the local economy when driving an electric vehicle, and that reduction in cost by individual users bolsters job growth and build wealth within local economies.

Electric Vehicles will give Californians more disposable income that is spent in their local communities!

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So how do we get more electric cars on the road and give the California consumer the confidence they can drive anywhere without having to worry about vehicle range?

  • Work with vehicle manufacturers to standardize vehicle charging interoperability at charging stations – this will not be a simple task as each electric vehicle has a unique charging system and software to go with it. But commonality must be attained in some way between charging systems from station to station similar to that of a gas pump otherwise each charging station will be unique to a vehicle from one manufacturer to another and will add complexity to implementing a common charging system.
  • Work with auto manufacturers, oil companies, gas station owners, mall owners to install common charging infrastructure – locally.

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  • Electric vehicles offered by the auto manufacturers should be both for low end priced vehicles as well as high end models so that our young and middle income families can afford an electric car without breaking their piggy bank - Young families starting out and middle income families may not be able to purchase two cars, one electric car for city driving and one for long haul trips.

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  • Designate I-5 San Diego to Oregon, and Pacific Highway 1, 101, I-15, and I-10 as Electric Car corridor super highways. Using these freeways a driver can reach just about any city in California. Standardized electric vehicle charging stations along these corridors will allow EV drivers to reach pretty much any destination that is within the range of their electric vehicle.

    This will require working with auto manufacturers, oil companies, and local business to standardize vehicle charging interoperability at charging stations.

    These freeway corridors could also be opened to experimental driverless cars .

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Driverless Experimental Cars (Electric)!

One of the major difficulties of driverless cars is that there are unpredictable human drivers driving on the road. Traffic congestion in cities adds significant complexity to driverless cars and unless we have experimental blocks in cities, or an entire town for only driverless cars it may be very difficult to implement the use of these vehicles. It will take time and advances in technology.

However, the electric vehicle freeway corridors I proposed above in California may be an opportunity to allow their use in a significant way.

In short driverless car technology has arrived on our doorstep and we should embrace it as it isn’t going away. It is not unlike the auto pilot in use today on modern jets.

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