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Tag: electric

Honda Joins EPRI, Utilities and Automakers to Help Create an Open Grid Integration Platform for Plug-in Electric Vehicles

  • Project seeks to develop a streamlined platform for vehicle-grid functionality that can help create value for drivers, improve grid reliability and reduce GHG emissions
  • Honda pioneered a similar demonstration effort with IBM and PG&E (V1G)
  • Honda is participating in a vehicle-to-grid (V2G) demonstration with the University of Delaware and NRG Energy

Honda has joined a group of eight major automakers and 15 utilities organized by the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) to demonstrate a standards-based, open grid integration platform for plug-in electric vehicles (PEVs). The open platform will simplify and streamline V2G communications, enabling PEVs to provide grid services and increasing the overall value proposition of plug-in vehicles.

There are more than 3,300 utilities in North America and various global automakers providing plug-in vehicles. Collaboration of this nature is necessary to maximize the potential of vehicle-grid integration.

“This project is an important step in enabling plug-in vehicles to reach their potential as a valuable distributed resource that can increase grid stability, improve power quality and reduce demand peaks,” said Steven Center, vice president of the Environmental Business Development Office at American Honda. “Honda is participating in several projects aimed at accelerating vehicle-to-grid integration, which has the potential to reduce the total cost of owning a plug-in vehicle while enabling higher concentrations of renewable energy.”

Honda has steadily advanced and expanded its knowledge of V2G systems through its participation in several projects. Leveraging IBM’s cloud-based PEV Enablement platform, Honda demonstrated a PEV’s ability to receive and respond to charge instructions based on grid conditions and the vehicle’s battery state. Phase II of the project expanded the use of this network to schedule charge times based on the needs of the driver and preferred rate structures, including the use of renewable energy sources for charging.

In addition, in December 2013, Honda supplied an Accord Plug-In Hybrid with a bi-directional on-board charger to the University of Delaware’s Science, Technology and Advanced Research (STAR) Campus. In conjunction with the university and NRG Energy, Honda will investigate the potential of V2G technology to benefit the grid, vehicle owners and society.

In March 2014, Honda launched Honda Smart Home US at the University of California, Davis, which seeks to investigate the integration of the home with distributed renewable energy, the smart grid and the electric vehicle.

Honda Environmental Leadership
Honda is committed to further advancements in environmental technologies and the effort to improve fuel efficiency and reduce CO2 emissions from its products, including the 2014 Honda Accord Hybrid and Plug-In, the Fit EV, Civic Natural Gas and the FCX Clarity fuel-cell electric vehicle (FCEV). Honda has been recognized as among the top automakers in the Union of Concerned Scientists’ (UCS) rankings of overall vehicle environmental performance since 2000, and a Honda vehicle has been included on the list of America’s greenest vehicles from the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) for the past 16 years.

2014 Honda Accord Plug-in Makes it Hard to Empty the Gas Tank

The 2014 Honda Accord comes in several  models, including the 2014 Honda Accord Plug-in which wows owners because of its advanced technology that means you’re stopping for gas far less than any of your neighbors.

In fact, one estimate based on common driving habits has owners only stopping for gas nine times per year!

“If you are a heavy commuter or even someone who just needs a car to get around town, the 2014 Honda Accord Plug-in will save you big time in gasoline costs and the time spent at the pump,” said Keith Hofkamp, general manager at Sims Honda dealership in Burlington. “Everyone wants to save money and time. The 2014 Honda Accord Plug-in lets you do both like no other vehicle on the market.”

Depending on your range and/or performance needs, there are three ways to drive the 2014 Honda Accord Plug-in: electric only, hybrid and fuel-only modes.

According to this article, “For example, even with some long trips added, the test car averaged 54.1 miles per gallon with a mix of all-electric driving plus city/highway on the gasoline engine. In fact, the federal government’s www.fueleconomy.gov website estimated the tester would only need to stop at the gas station about nine times in a year if driven at its current pattern.”

“If your highest priority is the amount of gasoline your vehicle consumes, then you need to come check out the 2014 Honda Accord Plug-in,” said Hofkamp.

Stop by Sims Honda, Northwest Honda or Apple Valley Honda dealership today to take the 2014 Honda Accord Plug-in for a test drive!

Honda Dealership in New Jersey is First in Nation to Achieve “Electric Grid Neutral” Status

Of the approximately 17,500 automobile dealers in the United States, Rossi Honda of Vineland, New Jersey is the nation’s first and only dealer to achieve “Electric Grid Neutral” status, producing as much as or more energy from renewable energy sources than it consumes from its local electric utility over a one-year period.[1] Working closely with Honda’s Environmental Leadership Program team, the independently-owned dealership was able to quantify its energy use and develop and execute a plan to make it the nation’s first electric grid neutral dealer, a significant achievement for a type of business that has large energy needs.

Watch a video about it here: http://youtu.be/5NyUf_Kn6Pg

Electric Grid Neutral buildings reduce CO2 emissions resulting from the generation of electricity by the nation’s electric grid. CO2 (carbon dioxide) is a greenhouse gas that contributes to global climate change.

Rossi’s precedent-setting achievement earned it a top-level “Platinum” Honda Environmental Leadership Award, reserved for dealers who verifiably reduce their net grid electricity use to zero (Electric Grid Neutral) or achieve LEED[2] certification. Through a combination of energy efficiency measures and on-site solar energy, the dealership reduced its annual grid electricity consumption by approximately 321,000 kWh and annual CO2 output by approximately 341,000 lbs.

How Rossi Honda Did It
In 2012, Rossi installed a 223kW solar PV system that generated 90 percent of its total electricity consumption from solar energy. In March 2013 Rossi replaced the metal halide lamps on its parking lot light poles with LED lamps, reducing its energy consumption by 22 percent. After the lighting upgrade, the solar PV system now generates over 100% of the dealership’s annual electricity use, achieving Rossi’s goal of Electric Grid Neutral.

The local electric utility invoices Rossi Honda the difference between its electricity consumed and electricity generated by the dealer’s photovoltaic solar system. Ron Rossi, the dealership’s owner, saw a steep decrease in the electricity he consumed from the utility, and a corresponding steep decrease on his utility bills.

The Challenge of “Greening” Auto Dealers
Automobile dealers have unique energy use characteristics that are different from other typical commercial or industrial energy users. Abundant parking lot and interior lighting, an auto service and repair operation, and an on-site car wash are all common features that can contribute to high energy demand.

Honda, which launched its U.S. “Green Dealer” program in 2012, has developed a measurable and verifiable system to help its dealers achieve significant reductions in energy use and cut their CO2 emissions. The voluntary program has three successive target levels – Silver, Gold and Platinum – that allow dealers to develop incremental improvement strategies.

To achieve the entry-level Silver award, dealers must achieve a 10 percent minimum reduction in total energy use. The Gold level award requires dealers to reduce their energy use by 30 percent or more. To date, 200 dealers have enrolled in the program, and 28 have earned an award.

Rossi is the first Electric Grid Neutral Honda dealer in the country and the fourth to earn the highest level Platinum Environmental Leadership Award from Honda.

Honda Environmental Leadership
Over the past three decades, Honda has been working to reduce the environmental impact of its products, manufacturing and logistics operations, and facilities in North America. These initiatives are reported annually in the company’s North American Environmental Report. Expanding its environmental initiatives to its dealer body is the logical next step in the company’s effort to reduce waste, energy use and CO2 emissions across the full spectrum of its operations and throughout the lifecycle of Honda and Acura products, including at the point of sale.

In 2006, Honda became the first automaker to announce voluntary CO2 emissions reduction targets for its global fleet of automobile, power sports and power equipment products and its global network of manufacturing plants. Today, the company is striving for even greater reductions in CO2 emissions that contribute to global climate change, while also working to minimize waste, water use and the total environmental footprint of its operations worldwide.

Executive Quotes
“Rossi Honda has pioneered a new era for automobile dealers in which they too can be environmental leaders,” said Steven Center, vice president of American Honda Motor Co., Inc., in charge of the company’s Environmental Business Development Office. “By virtually eliminating CO2 from the consumption of electricity and saving money in the process, Rossi has created a path that other dealers can follow.”

“By becoming the first Electric Grid Neutral dealer in the nation, we want to demonstrate that even automobile dealers, which are big energy consumers, can take a leadership role in being environmentally responsible businesses, and save money at the same time,” said Ron Rossi, owner of Rossi Honda. “We encourage all dealers to join us in this effort.”

Honda Fit EV Available on East Coast

Until now the Honda Fit EV has frustratingly only been available at select dealerships in California and Oregon. Well, by the end of February, the Honda Fit EV will be hitting the East Coast (which is still frustrating for those us in the state of Washington, but “Yay!” for the East Coast).

The Honda Fit EV will be available to lease (still can’t purchase one) at select dealerships in Massachusetts, Connecticut, Maryland, New York, and New Jersey. While we are certainly happy for residents of the eastern seaboard, we are jealous its 118 mpg and EPA-rated 82 mile range is still not an option for us here in Washington.

The Honda Fit EV will be available to lease for $389 for 36 months as a part of Honda’s ‘real world feedback’ efforts before fully releasing it to the rest of us.

http://www.plugincars.com/honda-fit-ev-headed-east-coast-dealers-end-february-126448.html

Electric Cars: Fad or Future?

Electric Cars: Fad or Future?

Are electric cars just a passing fad like bell bottoms, lower-back tattoos and big hair? Honestly, I hadn’t even thought to ask this question because it seemed easy to see that electric cars will be a big part of the automobile industry, but the writer of this article had been asked the question enough times that he felt he needed to answer it.

His answer to the above question is a resounding “No” and here are some of his reasons why EVs are here to stay:

Honda FCX Clarity

“Among other things, 1) electrics cars run dead quiet, 2) electric cars have instant torque and terrific acceleration at low RPMs, performance which cannot be matched by gasoline engines, 3) electric cars have platform flexibility, turn radius/handling that can be amazing, since you can use distributed motors, all electric control etc, the same promise that fuel cell cars had, but couldn’t deliver, and 4) maintenance goes WAY down, virtually no fluids fewer moving parts.

Bottom line, once an EV or PHEV comes close on range and cost, it’s a better car than a gasoline car.”

 

As we, the consumer, get used to the EV idea, the technology will perform the way we demand and the price will come down. It will take time, but EVs are definitely a thing of the future (especially with gas prices as high as they are and no sign of coming down).

 

It is true, the mainstream consumer feels uneasy about aspects of owning an EV: range (how far can the car travel on a single charge), charge time (how long it takes to charge the battery), and maintenance (if you’re like me, you assume the new technology will be more costly to maintain and repair. Read on).

The range of EVs of today (and the future) is not like the EVs of yester-decade. Most EVs in the industry will easily get you to and from work if you have an average commute. I, however, have had a very un-average commute (100 miles per day) and what’s the point in not having to pay for gas if you can’t take your car on a long road trip? There are a couple EVs today that could handle that and as far as the future, the writer of the article predicts “by 2015 the average EV/PHEV range will approach 200 mi, and range anxiety will be a thing of the past.” Good news for all.

 

So, let’s say we want to go on that long-range road trip and we find a several charging stations along the way; am I going to have to spend half the day waiting for my EVs battery to charge? The not-so-short answer is no, but it depends on your cars battery. Here’s what the writer said: “charging is not a huge limitation, it’s a technology and cost choice.  Charge time is effectively a function of battery size, onboard charger size, and volts.  Let’s start out by saying we’re not going to be charging EVs at 110.  Too slow.  But charging at 220 is very doable.  220V home chargers today are in the 1-2K range. They will not stay that high for long.   Onboard charging The Leaf chose a 3.3Kw onboard charger.  Big mistake, done to skim $2K off the price of the car and keep it inline with the conventional Camry price point after tax credit.  They should have offered multiple options.  The Focus and Volt noticed this went with a 6.6 kw job, the Tesla Model S comes with a 10 – 20 kw.  Faster charging is pretty much an ask and you shall receive issue.”

As someone who put a lot of miles on her new 2009 Honda Accord (remember the 100 mile per day commute?) and someone who previously owned a very costly used foreign car (every six months we’d have to put $1,200 into a car we paid bought for $10,000…thus the new Accord), maintenance and repair costs are very important to me. The writer touched briefly on the fact that EVs have “virtually no fluids fewer moving parts” which brings costs way down. Winning.

So here’s what we know about EVs:

  • While they currently cost $8-$35,000 more than a gas vehicle, prices will continue to go down and demand and supply go up
  • They will cost less to fuel (electrically charging vs gasoline that is currently around $3.50 per gallon)
  • They will cost less to maintain and repair because they are simpler
  • They will drive better and perform better as the technology catches up with the potential of not having a big, heavy engine in the front
  • Many manufacturers will be producing cars that will alleviate concerns about range and charge time by 2015.

Yeah, I’d say EVs are here to stay.

 

http://www.csmonitor.com/Environment/Energy-Voices/2012/1126/Electric-cars-niche-technology-or-the-auto-industry-s-future

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