Friday, December 20, 2013

100K miles on the West Coast Electric Highway

By Noel Brady

Gov. Jay Inslee presents Steve Marsh with the Governor’s
Recognition Award, naming him Washingtonian of the Day.
Our charge to short-circuit the range barrier for electric vehicles passed milestone 100,000 on Dec. 16, when a Kent man stopped in Tumwater on the West Coast Electric Highway.

The fast-charge station at a Shell station in Tumwater is a regular stop for Steve Marsh on his way to work at Taylor Shellfish in Shelton – a 130-mile roundtrip commute. When he pulled up Monday in his Nissan LEAF, his odometer flipped to 100,000 miles.


Suddenly Steve was an EV-VIP, shaking hands with the likes of Gov. Jay Inslee and Transportation Secretary Lynn Peterson. They and others congratulated Steve for reaching the six-digit milestone and saving nearly 30 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions in the process.

By the Numbers
Steve Marsh purchased a Nissan LEAF in May 2011 for his 130-mile roundtrip commute. After 100,000 miles, here are the numbers.
62-65
Marsh’s daily commute in freeway miles each way, depending on route
60+
Freeway miles he can drive on a single charge; 75+ when LEAF was new
$1.80-$2
His cost in electricity per one-way commute
$11,660
His savings in gas he didn’t purchase over the last 2 1/2 years (based on his previous 2006 Honda Accord EX)
$8,700+
Total net saving, counting out changes
29.6

Metric tons of CO2 equivalent Marsh would have released if he kept his 30-mpg Accord (EPA greenhouse gas calculator).

The Governor handed Steve a plaque declaring him the Washingtonian of the Day and vowed his administration’s commitment to reducing use of fossil fuels in Washington. One strategy will be extending our network of electric charging stations west-to-east across the state, he said. 


Already the West Coast Electric Highway enables EV travel between British Columbia and Oregon with a network of 12 fast-charge stations along I-5 and parts of U.S. 2. They can fully charge an electric car in about 30 minutes. We are working with Oregon and California on the West Coast Green Highway to extend the charging network to Baja, Mexico.


Steve said cash was his biggest motivator for being among the first in the state to buy a LEAF – some $9,000 he saved by passing the pump and plugging in on his long commutes.
 

Shortly after he bought his electric car, he suggested his company install a public-use charging station at his office. 

Here’s the shocker: They did!

5 comments:

The Geezer said...

And how much gas tax did he NOT pay, even though he used the road?

And that "greenhouse gas" calculator, does it calculate how much "bad stuff" went in the air to generate the electricity? (at the US average for generation, please be honest)

But, he does get the big cajones award for having to be in the same room as our Gov. (Be careful about censoring this one)

Joel Johnston said...

Geezer, Geezer, Geezer. You are such a pessimist. At 15 cents a gallon, that is only $500 in taxes. That can easily be made up when Tolling of I-5 starts down the road.

Unknown said...

All electric cars should have a built-in tax to pay for towing them off the roads if we get a big solar flare.

Miss Peacock

Anonymous said...

Geezer, once a roadway is built the effect of a passenger vehicle on pavement longevity is practically negligible. It's the trucks, vans, trailers, etc. that put wear and tear on our nations roads and they will not be going electric any time soon. Plus gas tax is not the only source of funding for roads. Until there are far more electric vehicles on the road, this is a non-issue and serves as an incentive for getting more people out of gas-driven vehicles.

As for emissions created to make power generated for the electric car, from the PG&E website: On average, approximately half of the electricity PG&E delivers to its customers comes from a combination of renewable and greenhouse gas-free resources. So, close enough.

Miss Peacock, virtually all vehicles on the road now have computers in them. And your understanding of physics is woefully under par.

- UW Engineering Grad

alke said...

The spread of various types of electric vehicles (vans, trucks, golf carts, etc ...) within urban areas is essential in order to reduce air pollution, improving air quality and public health. In addition, electric vehicles are also economically viable because they don't require regular maintenance and can fully recharge their batteries with only 2-3 dollars.