5th Annual REFUEL Clean Power Motorsports Event at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, Sunday 2013-06-30

Official Press Release


Speed Ventures presents the 5th Annual REFUEL Clean Power Motorsports Event at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, Sunday June 30, 2013.




Perception becomes reality: Is the Volt an electric car?

One learns so very much about marketing complex technical products in the three month sales cycle of a Volt … What got answered in the research/sales process and what didn’t and what got met with silence. There’s a few Bob Lutz quotes rattling around the trade and enthusiast press which are super-duper instructive here, but they’ll only make sense once one has taken delivery.

I’ve had the following conversation like about five or six times so far in the journey:

I got a Volt.
Really, it’s electric, right?
[as in: but, um you always ever owned V-8 vehicks right?]
Uh, yeah, it’s mostly electric.
[as in: keep it short, it's a social situation]
What’s the range?
About 35 miles.
That’s pretty risky isn’t it? I mean, what do you do when you’re out of juice?
There’s a gas engine, you just drive it. I did that last week.
Really? I’ve never heard of this.
it varies a bit after that.
Oh, so it’s not like a Leaf then?
Yup. The gas engine takes over. In fact, I don’t bother to charge at work. Too pesky with all the pure battery folk in a panic to get home.
Is that what they call a hybrid?
blah blah blah series-parallel hybrid blah blah blah lead with the battery, follow with the engine to make up average power but not till ~70 mph blah blah blah
[the laugh here is that last bit is right out of the GM media campaign 2010, it's good patter]
Interesting, what’s the 0-60?
it’s pretty much straight home after that.

There’s this rule of thumb in marketing somehow that one must recite simple messages over and over and over. Everyone knows this but then you learn it again and again in the trade. And then once again because you get so steeped in the process that you can’t begin to see the concerns of the prospects who aren’t really listening to you anyway.

Short Messages:

  • The Volt is just a car, drive it like one.
  • It’s not a toy. Use it as you would a family car.
  • You buy this car and you buy freedom. Enjoy that.

I got endorsed by the focus group: “Dad, this car is way cool. I want it.” age 14.5

[I now have a problem when that focus group element hits 15.5. Kids these days love their computers and this machine is way full 'o computers. Maybe the ELR will get built and I can trade up.]

The “range anxiety” concept is accurate, precise and honest. But it’s a fancy enough term that it reminds me that it’s a problem I didn’t have before, so entering into a situation that buys that problem, owns it and solves that problem is a wash. And bathing is … um, um, cough, a good idea. But it must offer some other benefit. Faster, cheaper, bigger, rougher are a thing, and in that, you can’t beat coolness.

The charging cord is not really a demonstrable symbol of freedom.  The leash aspect has to be argued away somehow.  As in “if you don’t want it, don’t use it.”  They have some of this simplicity in the brand campaigns, but it’s totally overdriven by blaring angry self-righteous EV culture.

The success recipe here has to be:

  • hide the sanctimony
  • hide the save-the-planet stuff
  • hide the entitlement
  • hide the tech policy stuff
  • hide the job subsidy stuff
  • hide the accounting cost basis stuff
  • hide the acronyms unless they’re in the frat, know the secret handshake and are a serious serious policy wonk.

To wit: AC AEV AEV-100 AEV-300 ANL BEV BSC CAFCP CAISO CARB CDFA CEC CHAdeMO CMAQ CPUC CVRP DC DGS DMV DOE DRIVE EERE EPIC EREV ETP EV EVSE FCEV GEELA GOBIZ HCD HEV HOV HVIP ICE I-HIB L1 L2 L3 LCFS LG LMC LMP MAP-21 NAIS NEMA NEV NGO NREL NRG OPR PACE PEV PEVC PHEV PV SAE SAE-J1772 SAE-J2929 SGC SOC TCO V2G VA VMVSS WGB WOT ZEV. I read all this stuff just to figure out if I could own this vehicle, they’re all real places, orgs, standards, programs or concepts. Most of ‘em are irrelevant. A few matter. The ones that matter aren’t colocated & separated from the irrelevant ones. Everyone is a policy wonk and an expert in their own affairs so all this stuff gets interwoven in arbitrary ways. Such is the magic of social proof.

I still have worries & questions. But most aren’t directly related to owning & operating the voltec technology in a “daily driver” vehicle, not really.  The car “just works”  It’s the stuff around it that’s pesky: the smartphone apps don’t work, for-pay nav is expensive & confusing, for-pay radio is expensive, confusing and wow is it expensive on any cost basis you choose to measure, and getting into the fine world of residential L2 charging is a longer process than one might imagine, etc.

Would You Buy A Tesla Model S? | Dan Lyons

Dan Lyons; Would You Buy A Tesla Model S?; In ReadWrite (no longer Web); 2013-02-19.


  • Dude is not in the club.
  • Wouldn’t join anyway.
  • Warns off others who aren’t in the club either.
  • He’ll send us the signal when “it’s ready.”
  • Stay Tuned.

Contrast With

Vivek Wadhwa; Confessions of a Tesla ‘fanboy; In The Washington Post; circa 2013-02-20 & 21.

  • Owns a Tesla Model S.


A lot of the sneering reviews pretty much boil down to “writer is not rich enough to own one, not really.”  But the writer is connected enough to sample the product literature and borrow one for a bit of sample authenticity.  And that’s wealth along two dimensions: can’t front the cash to buy it ’cause early adopter gear is expensive gear, very expensive gear, so they have to sit on the sidelines throwing eggs and “what ifs” which is their trade anyway; and also because they’re really not well off enough to be in the elite early adopter class of really anything but free web services of Web 2.0 despite the white collar job in the literate trades.  That’s not wrong. It’s just not informed by much or trenchant on any axis.

Confessions of a Tesla ‘fanboy’ | Vivek Wadhwa

Vivek Wadhwa; Confessions of a Tesla ‘fanboy; In The Washington Post; undated, but promoted & syndicated around 2013-02-20 & 21.


  • Was & is a fan.
  • Demonstrates elite access
    • Daily driver was a Mercedes-Benz
    • Has driven a Formula Ford at Skip Barber Racing School
    • Has friends who own Porches and Ferraris, who let him drive.
    • Has direct access to Elon Musk; quotes an email conversation.
  • Demonstrates expertise in the material
    • Something about browsing the web from the dashboard.
  • Nav turn-by-turn is by Navigon (a Garmin company); c.f. com.navigon.navigator_checkout_us.
  • Provides “nuance” (i.e. some negative):
    • He bought the low-end model; didn’t get the “Tech Package” to save money
    • Wants Google Nav (who doesn’t?) because it’s free on phones.
  • Buried lede:
    • Broder was wrong.
  • Other quotes:
    • “Internal-combustion engine technology doesn’t hold a candle to electric. That is probably why Motor Trend named the Model S, car of the year this year. They called it ‘truly remarkable’ and said it would ‘sashay up to the valet at a luxury hotel like a supermodel working a Paris catwalk.’ Supermodel is a good analogy for my Tesla.”
    • “I’ll say that I completely agree with what the Times’ Public Editor Margaret Sullivan said — that Broder had “problems with precision and judgment.” After all, the car has a giant display that tells you how far it can travel, and it provides many options to manage mileage.”
    • “I have found the 200-mile range of my 60-kWh model, to be more than enough for day-to-day driving.”
    • “I assumed that since the Web browser has Google maps, I would get the same features I have on my iPhone. I was wrong.”
  • Claim:
    • Model S version 3, will be available in four or five years. with a range of more than 1,000 miles. [Um rly? That's the singularity talking, huh?]

Recapitulation of the boosterism prior:



Vivek Wadhwa is:

  • Vice President of Academics and Innovation at Singularity University (SciFi U).
  • Vice President of Innovation and Research at Singularity University
  • Fellow at Stanford Law School.
  • Arthur & Toni Rembe Rock Center for Corporate Governance at Stanford University.
  • Director of Research at Pratt School of Engineering at Duke University.
  • Previous and/or concurrent academic appointments include Harvard, Duke and Emory, University of California Berkeley.
  • “a leading scholar and public voice on entrepreneurship and public policy.” ref citing ref
  • “Silicon Valley’s provocateur-in-chief” ref
  • Unfailing gushing booster of immigrants & immigration, “startups” and “entrepreneurs.”  Probably not a favorite of the urban underclass reps. on scene today.

Idaho National Laboratory (INL), Advanced Vehicle Testing Activity (AVTA)

Idaho National Laboratory (INL), Advanced Vehicle Testing Activity (AVTA)

Reports of Interest


  • BOT => Beginning of Test
  • C/3 => a discharge rate
  • CS => Charge-Sustaining (of a battery)
  • CD => Charge-Depleting (of a battery)
  • DOD => Depth of Discharge (of a battery)
  • EERE => Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy, an office of the U.S. Department of Energy (DoE)
  • ERM => Extended Range Mode
  • EM => Electric Machines (generalizing the concept: a generator or a (road) traction motor)
  • EV => Electric Vehicle
  • EVSE => Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment
  • HPPC => Hybrid Pulse Power Characterization
  • SAE J2841 => definition of City vs Highway
  • SAE J1772 => Charger Connector Standard
  • USABC => United States Advanced Battery Consortium

Projects of Interest

Actualities & Images

(fair weather commuting)

AeroVironment EVSE-RS+ does not support residential networking

AeroVironment EVSE-RS+ Smart Charging Station


Per AeroVironment communications with Martin Young, Regional Contractor Manager.
For the EVSE RS and EVSE RS+.


  • GPRS => is available; this is cellular transport and carriage & cost is unstated.
  • Ethernet => not available.
  • WiFi => not available.
  • Zigbee => not available.


  • Communication is by GPRS only
  • Connectivity is to the AeroVironment back office only.
  • It is a commercial-grade application, not a residential one.
  • Not available in California.

The word “yet” may apply.

LG Chem | Compact Power

LG Chem, LG Chem Power Inc., LG Chem Ltd., LGCPI; Compact Power

R&D Facilities

  • US
  • China
  • Japan
  • Korea (South Korea)


LG Chem at Jimi Wales’ Wiki

Chevy Volt

CPI announced in a press release dated June 5, 2007 that it had been chosen by General Motors Corp. to develop a lithium-ion polymer battery system for the GM E-Flex platform propulsion system. The E-Flex electric vehicle architecture underpins the Chevrolet Volt plug-in hybrid car that GM began producing in 2010.[4] GM had also tested batteries from a partnership of Continental AG and A123 Systems.[5] In October 2008, GM announced it had chosen CPI to provide the battery systems for the first production version of the Volt, which was rolled out in December 2010.[6][7][8]

As of 2011, the Volt’s battery cells are produced by LG Chem in South Korea and subsequently shipped to the US, where the battery packs are assembled at a purpose-built facility in Brownstown Township, Michigan owned and operated by GM.[9]

6th U.S.-China Bilateral Electric Vehicle Initiative

David Howell (DoE); Update on U.S. DOE Electric Drive Vehicle R&D and Deployment Activities; 2012-08-12; 15 slides.

See also

Previously noted: EV Everywhere: Grand Challenge Blueprint


  • Initiative kickoff 2009-11-17.
  • U.S Department of Energy
  • China Ministry of Science & Technology
  • U.S. DoE EV Everywhere Challenge
    • Enable U.S. companies to produce electric vehicles that are as affordable and convenient for the average American family as today’s gas – powered vehicles by 2022 (in ten years).
    • Benchmark:
      • 5-passenger vehicle suitable for an average American family
      • Majority of vehicle-miles powered by electricity under standard drive cycles.
      • 5-year simple payback vs. equivalent gasoline powered vehicle.
      • Vehicle range & charging infrastructure scenarios support adoption of the EV as a primary vehicle.
      • No reduction in grid reliability.
  • Grand Challenge Targets
    • PHEV-40
    • AEV-100
    • AEV-300
    • EV-100
    • EV-200+
  • ANL (Argonne National Lab) BatPaC model; BatPaC v1.0
  • NMC411 Cathode
  • EC-EMC-LiPF6 electrolyte
  • SAE J2929 Battery Safety Standard


  • AEV => All Electric Vehicle
  • ANL => Argonne National Laboratory
  • ICE => Internal Combustion Engine
  • PHEV => Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle
  • L1 => Level 1 charging (AC)
  • L2 => Level 2 charging (AC or DC)
  • L3 => Level 3 charging (DC only)


David Howell
Team Lead
Hybrid & Electric Systems Vehicle Technologies Program
U.S. Department of Energy
1000 Independence Avenue
Washington DC 20585

Images & Actualities

The experience with charging the volt is 16 hrs at 8A, per-chargecycle configurable to 12A.

State of California 2013 ZEV Action Plan

2013 ZEV Action Plan; State of California, Governor’s Interagency Working Group on Zero-emission Vehicles; 2013-02; Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr.; 32 pages (35 pages of content).

Theme: A roadmap toward 1.5 million zero-emission vehicles on California roadways by 2025




  • ZEV => Zero Emissions Vehicle
  • EV => Electric Vehicle
  • FCEV => (hydrogen) Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle
  • BEV => (pure) Battery Electric Vehicle
  • PEV => Plug-in Electric Vehicle
  • PHEV => Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle
  • HOV => High Occupancy Vehicle
  • EVSE
  • CHAdeMO => (e.g. CHAdeMO-certified)
  • SAE => Society of Automotive Engineers (e.g. SAE-certified)
  • V2G => Vehicle to Grid (for PEV batteries)

Stakeholder Representation

  • California Plug-in Electric Vehicle Collaborative (PEVC)
  • California Fuel Cell Partnership (CaFCP
  • National Renewable Energy Laboratory Alternative Fuels Data Center
  • ZEV Fleets Users Forum
  • High-Efficiency Truck Users Forum
  • Joint Apprenticeship Training Committees and Chambers of Commerce
  • Local Workforce Investment Boards
  • Employment Training Panel

Executive Order B-16-2012

Governor Brown, of 2012-03-23

  • Enablement of the boosterism
  • A copy of the Executive Order is Appendix A of The Plan


Generalized boosterism & “findings”

  • “Zero Emission Vehicle Regulation”; Staff Report; California Air Resources Board (CARB); 2011-12.
  • Greene, D.L. Low Carbon Transportation: A Crucial Link to Economic and Energy Security; Presentation at the Chair’s Lecture Series; California Air Resources Board (CARB); Sacramento, CA, 2012-09-04.
  • Powering Innovation: California is Leading the Shift to Electric Vehicles from R&D to Early Adoption; Next 10 and Collaborative Economics; 2011.
  • Clean Energy Patent Growth Index (CEPGI); 2012.
  • Taking Charge;  a report; California Plug-In Vehicle Collaborative; citation unclear.
  • 2012 Electric Vehicle Ownership Experience Study; J.D. Power and Associates; 2012-11.
  • David Roland-Holst; Driving California’s Economy: How Fuel Economy and Emissions Standards Will Impact Economic Growth and Job Creation; 2012-01.


  1. Infrastructure Planning
  2. Consumer Awareness, Demand Generation (advertising)
  3. Government Usage (transform [government] fleets)
  4. Promote private investment (grow jobs & investment)


  • Recites tasks and domains against agencies, with multi-year deadlines (e.g. by 2015)
  • Concepts like: (fueling/charging/transfer station) development, siting, permitting, technical & commercial standards, signage and brochurage
  • Electricity (Charging) Stations
  • Hydrogen (Delivery) Stations



Building Standards Commission
California Air Resources Board
California Department of Transportation
California Department of Food and Agriculture, Division of Measurement Standards
California Energy Commission
California Housing and Community Development Department
California Independent System Operator
California Public Utilities Commission
Department of General Services, including the Division of the State Architect and
Building Standards Commission
(State of California) Department of Motor Vehicles
United States, Department of Energy
California Labor and Workforce Development Agency, including the Employment
Training Panel
Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development
Not clear
Governor’s Office of Planning and Research
National Renewable Energy Laboratory
Alternative Fuels Data Center has a database
Strategic Growth Council
Has a grant-making process.

Laws, Regulations, Programs

  • AB 118
  • AB 923
  • Carl Moyer Program
  • Cap-and-Trade
  • EPIC (Electric Program Investment Charge) Program
  • Federal Transportation Law MAP-21
  • Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement (CMAQ)
    a program within Map-21
  • (California) Governor’s Environment and Energy Leadership Awards (GEELAs)
  • PACE (Property Assessed Clean Energy); a loan program
  • Low Carbon Fuel Standard, a program
  • Clean Vehicle Rebate Project (CVRP)
  • Hybrid & Zero-Emission Truck & Bus Voucher Incentive Project (HVIP)
  • I-HUB Regional Innovation cluster program


The “interagency” here is defined as

  • California Air Resources Board (CARB)
  • California Department of Food and Agriculture, including the Division of Measurement Standards (CDFA)
  • California Department of Transportation (Caltrans)
  • California Energy Commission (CEC)
  • California Housing and Community Development Department (HCD)
  • California Independent System Operator (CAISO)
  • California Labor and Workforce Development Agency, including the Employment Training Panel (ETP)
  • California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC)
  • Department of General Services (DGS), including the Division of the State Architect (DSA) and Building Standards Commission (BSC)
  • Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development (GO-Biz)
  • Governor’s Office of Planning and Research (OPR)

EV Everywhere: Grand Challenge Blueprint | U.S. Department of Energy

EV Everywhere: Grand Challenge Blueprint; U.S Department of Energy; 2013-01-31.



Output from the EV Everywhere Grand Challenge Framing Workshop.

From page 4 & 5

To summarize the EV Everywhere Grand Challenge vision, realizing PEVs that meet or exceed the performance of ICE vehicles on the basis of cost, convenience, and consumer satisfaction will require the combined efforts of technological push (R&D), operational enablers (charging infrastructure), and market pull (consumer adoption and incentives).  PEVs have already established a foothold in a world long dominated by gasoline vehicles. As technology improves and production scales, batteries and electric drive systems will become less expensive and better performing. DOE’s goal is to work with leaders in the private sector, state and local governments, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), and academia to accelerate these trends.

The report is referred to as a “Blueprint” (which may be the same as a “Roadmap”).  It has the flavor of the grand semiconductor industry roadmaps and keynote addresses: we gonna need; we need more this, we need more that, we need more R&D

This [Blueprint] document serves as a “living strategic framework” that will guide DOE’s investments in the Challenge going forward.


  • AEV => All-Electric Vehicle [definition, page 3]
    • AEV-100 => an AEV with a 100-mile range (a goal)
    • AEV-300 => an AEV with a 300-mile range (a goal)
  • DOE => Department of Energy
  • EVSE => Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment (the charger equipment)
  • HEV => Hybrid Electric Vehicle [definition, page 3]
  • HOV => High-Occupancy Vehicle
  • ICE => Internal Combustion Engine
  • LMP => Local Marginal Price (of a commodity in a tiered pricing scheme)
  • NEV => Neighborhood Electric Vehicle
  • NGO => Non-Governmental Organization
  • PEV => Plug-in Electric Vehicle [definition, page 3; PEV = AEV | PHEV]
  • PHEV => Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle [definition, page 3]
    • PHEV-40 => a PHEV with a 40-mile range (a goal)
  • PV => Photo-Voltaic (i.e. solar) systems
  • V2G => Vehicle to Grid
  • WBG => Wide Bandgap (semiconductors)
  • lightweighting => design concepts & schemes pursuant to reducing weight; simplespeak: weight reduction
  • FMVSS => Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards
  • SAE–J2929 => Battery Safety Standard


  • Levelized Cost = purchase cost + operating cost

Claims & Observations

  • Claim => [page 4] “Driving on electricity is cheaper than driving on gasoline—generally comparable to roughly $1 per gallon of gasoline equivalent”
    • for the same sized car
    • at some retail price point of gasoline
    • at some retail price point (LMP) electricity
    • extra credit: what are those price points?
  • Observation => [page 5] “Additional social science research is required to better understand consumer preferences regarding vehicle structures and fast-charging technologies.”
    • A fancy way of saying “market research”
    • There is a huge marketing challenge here in the classic tech adoption curve of the electronics industry, except it plays out across auto industry R&D/build/sale/use/dispose cycles of 8+8+8+8 years
  • Claim => [page 7] ” The cost of today’s batteries is over four times too high.”
    • Relative to what?
      • To consumer demand curve willingness&ability-to-pay?
      • To theoretical efficiency?
      • To some macroecon class theoretical “percentage-of-gdp dedicated to batteries” which is optimal for a society?
  • Claim => [page 15] “Taxpayers currently receive a Federal tax credit from $2,500-$7,500 for qualified PEVs. Policy mechanisms, such as transferring the Federal tax credit to the point-of-sale, can reduce consumer PEV purchase barriers.”
    • Indeed … many consumers are surprised to find out that the tax credit scheme of the IRS only works if you have a tax liability to match it, and you only close out that credit+liability (sic) four hundred fifty days later when you file your final year-end tax return for the year in which the sale occurred. good luck with that.
    • Case: my booked arbitrage lasts on my books: 2013-01-31 -> 2014-04-15.
    • Paraphrasing the parable of prudence: a lot can change in a deal structure in a year and a quarter.


  • U.S. DRIVE is a government-industry partnership.
  • U.S. DOE Clean Cities Program
    • Currently available resources include
      • a permit template
      • Residential Charging Installation Video.


Stated twice, once in the Vision and once in the Technical (should you read that far).


The technical targets for the DOE PEV program fall into four areas: battery R&D; electric drive system R&D; vehicle lightweighting; and advanced climate control technologies. <snip/>  The technical targets presented in this section represent “stretch goals” established in consultation with stakeholders across the industry who acknowledge that innovations in PEV technology will only occur as a result of  collaborative efforts in scientific investigations and technology development.


In summary

  1. Cutting battery costs from their current $500/kWh to $125/kWh.
  2. Eliminating almost 30% of vehicle weight through lightweighting
  3. Reducing the cost of electric drive systems from $30/kW to $8/kW


In detail

  1. Batteries
    • Framing
      • 2012-2017 => Near-Term
      • 2017-2027 => Long-Term
    • Energy Storage (“beyond Li-ion”)
      • (near-term) higher capacity cathodes, higher voltage electrolytes, tin replaces graphite anodes
      • (long-term) lithium-sulfur, magnesium-ion, zinc-air, and lithium-air
    • Materials (“beyond silicon”)
      • Silicon Carbide
      • Wide Bandgap semiconductors
    • Requirements
      • Fast discharge across a wide (enough) range of applications (teeny-toy cars [NEVs], actual cars, crossovers, SUVs, some light-duty trucks].
      • Fast charge is nice-to-have for consumer adoption; reasonably comparable with liquid fueling onloading (~10 min).  Gingerly stated but not a declared goal:  “Fast charging may be important for consumer adoption of certain PEVs.”
    • Goals
      • Density (not clear why the units are different in these two declared goals)
        • (near-term) battery energy density from 100 Wh/kg to 250 Wh/kg.
        • (long-term) battery power density target of 2000 W/kg.
      • Weight
        • reduce vehicle weight by 30% across all components (not clear why this is in the Battery imagery and not in the Lightweighting imagery).
      • Cost
        • electric drive => $30/kW (2012) to $8/kW (2022);
          assuming: 1.4 kW/kg, 4kW/L, 94% efficiency
        • battery => $500/kWh (2012) to $125/kWh (2022)
          assuming: 250 Wh/kg, 400 Wh/L, 2 Wh/kg (not clear what the three ratios are)
  2. Electric Drive Systems
    • Electric Motors
      • reduce rare-earth components
    • Power Electronics
      • high-temperature
      • heat-transfer & management
      • high-voltage
      • WBG semiconductors
    • Traction Drive Systems
    • On-Board Chargers
  3. Vehicle Lightweighting
    • Mechanical characteristics improvment
    • Cost reduction
    • Facilitation of manufacturability
    • Cost effective joining of multimaterial structures
    • Corrosion protection of multimaterial structures
    • Safety validation of lightweight designs
    • Design tools for (faster) development of new materials.
    • Weight reduction goals, by 2022 (i.e. a decade hence)
      • body structure => -35%
      • chassis => -25%
      • suspension => -25%
      • interior => -5%
  4. Efficient Climate Control Technologies
    • Emergy Load Reduction & Energy Management
    • Advanced HVAC Equipment
    • Cabin Pre-Conditioning
  5. Charging Infrastructure
    • Charging Infrastructure Siting
    • Codes & Standards Development for Charging
    • PEV Charging Station Permitting
    • PEV Charging Station Signage
    • Grid Integration
  6. Education & Policy
    • Adoption by government & private fleets
    • Boosterism towards the industry
      • Increase scale & scope
      • Drive down cost through scale
    • Federal tax credits
      • $2,500 to $7,500 tax credit against a PEV purchase
    • State tax credits
      • none cited
    • Policy mechanisms (vague); tax & regulatory

      • Transfer the Federal tax credit to the point-of-sale
      • Access to restricted roads; e.g. HOV lanes for PEV
      • Preferred parking for PEVs

Workshop Recommendations

Selected & summarized, even for the report (there may have been more that they didn’t disclose).

  • Framing Workshop Recommendation
    • Maximizing “electric miles driven” should be a key goal for DOE.
  • Battery Workshop Recommendations
    • EV Everywhere should pursue a balanced battery R&D portfolio focused on
      aggressive Li-ion (80%) and beyond Li-ion (20%), given the probability that Li-ion can achieve the EV Everywhere Grand Challenge.
    • EV Everywhere should develop lower-cost processes for materials production (cathode, anode, electrolyte, and separator) since these represent a large portion of battery cost.
  • Electric Drive Workshop Recommendations
    • EV Everywhere should leapfrog silicon devices for power electronics, and focus on silicon carbide and wide bandgap materials.
    • Electric motor development should focus on concepts that reduce or eliminate rare earth materials.
  • Vehicle Lightweighting Workshop Recommendation
    • Modeling and simulation of advanced alloys/materials (aluminum, steels, composites, magnesium, and advanced materials) for improved performance and cost is needed, including modeling techniques that can integrate with objectives for both materials property improvement and cost reduction to address a path towards performance and cost needs in each material system.
  • Auxiliary Load Reduction Workshop Recommendation
    • EV Everywhere should focus on advanced climate control technologies (passenger comfort and window defrost/defog) that use less energy to achieve the same level of climate control, allowing for a smaller, less expensive battery.
  • EV Everywhere Workshop Finding
    • Wireless charging could enhance consumer acceptance of PEVs, and the potential offered by the technology presents an opportunity for innovation. In the near term, static (stationary) wireless charging may provide convenience to the PEV driver.


  • Major Energy Sources and Users; United States, Energy Information Administration
  • EIA AEO 2013 Reference Cost; cryptic figure footnote citation, cited page 06.


When these goals are met, the levelized cost of an all-electric vehicle with a 280-mile range will be comparable to that of an ICE vehicle of similar size. Even before these ambitious goals are met, the levelized cost [purchase cost + operating cost] of most plug-in hybrid electric vehicles—and of all-electric vehicles with shorter ranges (such as 100 miles)—will be comparable to the levelized cost of ICE vehicles of similar size. Although there is little evidence that levelized cost plays an important role in vehicle purchase decisions for most consumers, there is substantial evidence that initial purchase price plays an important role—and meeting these targets will help to reduce the purchase price for plug-in electric vehicles. In light of uncertainty concerning consumer preferences and manufacturer plans for PEVs, DOE is selecting ambitious technical goals for this program.


page 15.

  • Disclaimer: This paper does not represent, reflect, or endorse an existing, planned, or proposed policy of the U.S. Government, including but not limited to the U.S. Department of Energy. The U.S. Department of Energy does not guarantee the accuracy, relevance, timeliness, or completeness of information herein, and does not endorse any sources used to obtain this information. As such, this paper is not subject to the Information Quality Act and implementing regulations and guidelines.
  • Reference herein to any specific commercial product, process, or service by trade name, trademark, manufacturer, or otherwise does not constitute or imply its endorsement, recommendation, or favoring by the United States government or any agency thereof.



David T. Danielsen, Dr.; Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy

David Sandalow
David Sandalow

Steven Chu, Dr.

Images & Actualities

Images from the report

FleetCarma, MyCarma


Fleet-scale Electric Vehicle Monitoring

Their words: Electric vehicle Total Cost of Ownership and Monitoring for fleets.
C5 Data Logger

  • Value Proposition
    • Something about fleet management for EVs
    • C5 data logger spec sheet
    • Advice to planners (maybe?)
  • Product
    • Reports (as a webside quasi-interactive tabbed dashboard)
    • Generalized education & promotion; Webinars, Studies That Show, Tips & Tricks
  • Promotions
  • Waterloo CA
  • Latest blog post 2013-01-31 (end-of-last-week => active)


Clip in

  • Value Proposition
    • Something about recommending the optimal car for you based on your actual datalogged driving conditions.  [May be OBD-II port but that isn't asserted] FAQ
  • Product
    • A MyCarma Report
    • $495 value (i.e. valued at “100 gal of gas”)
    • may be/is waived under promotional conditions
    • Sample Report (2 pages) … um, really this is the report valued at $250/page?
  • Based on a dealer-installed data logger.
  • Reporting & recommending based on data+simulation+MMY(make,model,year) for “actual” fuel efficiency
  • Waterloo CA
  • Latest blog post 2012-08-31 (five months ago => moribund)

Electric Vehicle Tax Credits | IRS Form 8936 | Folklore & Factoids

This applies to the 2012 year filings.  The dramas around the 2013 year-end filings will commence in 2014.


  • Internal Revenue Service (IRS); IRS forms that 1040 filers can begin filing in mid-February; as of 2013-02-03, last updated 2013-02-01.
    • Form 8910 Alternative Motor Vehicle Credit
    • Form 8911 Alternative Fuel Vehicle Refueling Property Credit
    • Form 8936 Qualified Plug-in Electric Drive Motor Vehicle Credit

Folklore, Rumor & Myth

From the Chevy Volt Owners Facebook Group

Plugless Power, Evatron, MTC Transformers (and SPX)

From the New York Times Wheels Blog and other promotional outlets

  • Plugless Power at Jimi Wales’ Wiki
  • Claim: the Chevy Volt can be ordered with Plugless Power preinstalled (builtin)
    from Evatran Plugless Power Customer Purchase Process
  • (sign up to) Reserve your Plugless Power System (with promotion)
  • Jim Motavalli; A Wireless Charging Solution for the Leaf and Volt; In Wheels blog of The New York Times (NYT); 2012-10-30.

    • <quote>Wireless company Evatran, which makes chargers under the Plugless Power brand name, will shortly announce a partnership with SPX Service Solutions, an official charging supplier for the Chevrolet Volt, to provide residential installations.</quote>
    • Chevrolet Volt
    • Plugless Power
    • Rebecca Hough, chief operating officer of Evatran
    • Kevin Mull, vice president of E.V. solutions at SPX
    • Evatran Statements (Rebecca Hough)
      • Evatran, Apollo Launch Program
      • Includes: receiver on vehicle, floor plate
      • Price: $2,500 (est)
        • Including outdoor installation of receiver on the vehicle
        • indoor installation (garage) plus $1,000-$1,500 (est)
      • Installation
        • Multi-hour (single day?)
        • Two-person team + certified local electrical contractor
        • Building permit needed? unclear
    • SPX Statements (Kevin Mull & SPX Investor Relations)
      • SPX has installed more than 4,000 Level II chargers in North America
      • SPX has distributed 10,000 of Level II chargers
      • “Mostly” for the Volt but also for the Leaf, Ford Focus, Fisker Karma and other cars.
      • SPX also has Daimler as a partner for Mercedes-Benz and Smart
  • Jim Motavalli; Hertz to Test Plugless Power on Nissan Leaf; In Wheels Blog of the New York Times (NYT); 2012-02-02.

    • This test (Plugless Power)
      • Six participants: companies & university
      • 3-month pilot
      • Plugless Power is a brand of MTC Transformers;
      • MTC Transformers; VA, US.
      • Evatran, a subsidiary of MTC
    • Color & Background
      • Jack Hidary, global E.V. leader at Hertz
      • Paula Rivera, a spokeswoman for Hertz
      • Scope: Hertz will have a single charging station for a Nissan Leaf at its headquarters in Park Ridge, NJ
    • Plugless Power
      • aftermarket kits starting late 2012
      • Chevrolet Volt and Nissan Leaf
      • $2,500
      • Rebecca Hough, the chief operating officer at Evatran
      • Vision: wall-mounted screens to guide drivers to optimal parking positions for charging.
      • There are efficiency losses in wireless charging.
      • Apollo Launch Program
    • Some other test (WiTricity)
  • Lin Edwards; Plugless Power soon to arrive for electric and hybrid vehicles; In Phys.Org News; 2010-07-30.


From the articles referenced

Plugless Power E.V. system, which uses inductive charging to wirelessly charge an electric vehicle.

2013 Chevrolet Volt Specs Revealed. More Range, Hold Mode, And Slower Charging? | InsideEVs

; 2013 Chevrolet Volt Specs Revealed. More Range, Hold Mode, And Slower Charging?; In InsideEVs; 2012-08-02 (or so)


  • L1 charging defaults to 8A instead of 12A; implies 16hr recharge period, not 12 hours.
  • Pointers to primary source documents at GM removed at the request of GM. [very unhelpful]


Some Questions about Owning & Operating a Chevrolet Volt

Previously Noted: Some Questions about Owning & Operating a Chevrolet Volt; 2013-01-01.

Short & Basic

  • To buy or to lease?
  • What of the optional packages were actually available in the nearby market?
    i.e. does any of that sales funnel “build your own option package” machinery work or does one have to take whatever was predelivered to the dealer lot in last year’s build plan (silver color, standard options, etc.)?
  • Which dealer did to buy from?
  • Which charging system do to have:
    • the factory-GM one
    • “GM-preferred” aftermarket one from SPX?
  • Any insurance issues?
    • Does it “insure like a car” or “insure like a motorcycle?”
    • Are any special riders on the auto insurance needed?
  • Does one garage it?
    • What’s the clearance between the sothecket on  car and the charging station in the garage?
  • Can one get get a second (low-end) charger unit for “away” or for when the first one fails/breaks/is lost/is stolen?
    • Are they even available?
    • If so, what is the price?
  • Does one get free charging service at work or are must one solely charge only at home on residential service?
  • Are there new special taxes?
    • CA has upfront charges for the sale of Li batteries, don’t they?
    • Did we have to pay any of these?
  • What is the service plan for the vehicle?
    • How much does that cost?
    • Is there an upfront or is it paygo?
    • Is GM/Chevy dealership service the only option?
    • For example, Chevy has special rates for trucks and Corvettes.
  • How is disposal managed when you’re done with the car?
    • For example, are there special e-waste disposal fees?
    • If one can’t find a buyer when one is done with the car, now does one “get rid of it”?
  • Can one drive it from Berkeley to Palo Alto and back?
    • Is that too much to expect?
  • They have subsidies for EVs, don’t they?
    • How much did you get, and from whom?
    • Who has actually collected that subsidy money, in the bank?
    • Are there risks there (i.e. State of CA runs out of budget to fund that pot of subsidy money)
  • [How much] Does one pay for any subscription data services (Internet, Music, Navigation, Safety, etc.).
    • How much per year is all that?


Longer & Open-Ended


  • Buy vs Lease
    • Leasing seems very short-term, with a 3 year term.  Leasing never seems like a good deal.
    • Owning seems better, but …
  • Power
    • The SPX charging system is a custom on-site install (at your house).  The questions here revolve around that.  How much is their unit (price quotes are very hard to come by) and what were the requirements for current, wiring, physical & electrical contractor, wall mounting, building permit, etc.  Were there building permit issues?  Palo Alto recites a very stern warning on their web page about such installations: get a permit first.  Permits can be denied, permits can force other code upgrades at the same time.  What are those?
    • The Stanford 350Green charging station is reputed to cost $21 for a 30 min shot.  They promote using a special-magic speed charger “240V” system (30A?) plus (maybe?) plus a monthly membership in the 350Green system.
    • Are public charging stations, such as the 350Green system compatible with the Volt?
    • It feels like maybe $80 to fuel the vehicle (er… keep the vehicle charged) at residential rates
      • That’s from the specs: 10 hours to charge, 15A constant rate, 120V.
      • I pay average $0.15/kWh E-1 but the marginal cost is $0.17/kWh at the 3rd tier (I’m at that now).
      • I buy 2000-2500 kWh/month from CPAU averaging around $350 already.
    • By way of contrast, I spend ~$100/month in gas on the Avalanche; ~$40 on a Subaru WRX.
    • Are there lifespan and performance differences between the “low end” factory charger and the “preferred charger”?  For example one of the challenges with residential solar is energy storage to the extent that one must use special Bosch chargers to avoid the “Pb fuzz” that grows on the big batteries and degrades them into unusability after a time [been a while since I researched that]
    • The feeling from the SPX marcom literature was that the SPX unit would be in the $2,000 range with on-site installation (construction, promotion to current code, and permitting) beyond that.  So it could be $4,000 for the installation of the “preferred” charger.
  • Social Expectations
    • When you drive around to visit people or errand places, is there an expectation that you can charge?
    • Where are we on the social expectations scale here?  Is charging at your host’s house like long distance dialing in the days of yore where charging at someone else’s house while you’re there for dinner is considered an imposition?
  • Compatibility issues?.
    • Public / private charging stations, sockets, plugs, etc.  Anything worth knowing there?
    • This feels like an area that will be rife with patents, licenses and incompatible “great cultures” that will be at war with each other.  iPhone vs Android.  Is it like that?
    • Consumer electronics … a lot is made of the interfaces to consumer electronics.  But the marcom literature only seems to exhibit the iPhone.  Is this an iPhone only car?  [I run Android]
  • Lifespan
    • In the folklore and marcom literature, GM vaguely promises that the car’s power output degrades by 30% after year five.
    • There are some other statements that GM is “researching” how to replace the battery but the statement is somewhat short of a commitment to provide replacement batteries for older vehicles, in the future.  [not worried about cost, just the availability of replacement components at any price at all]  I’m sure they have a positive counterpoint to all this?
    • We all own laptops with Li-batteries so we know “30% degradation” means in Li batteries; it means 50-80% lifespan curtailment.  Minutes.  Power output degradation is highly nonlinear.  It isn’t unreasonable to view that the car may not be meaningfully driveable after five years (reduced to golfcart scale range).  This implies that leasing ls a much better option.  Keeps the risk with GM.  But 3 years is super short.



Some Questions about Owning & Operating a Chevrolet Volt


  • There’s a reference to a preferred 240V charging system here which needs “professional installation” I’d like to get some clarity around that. I am looking for the name or model number of that product, its pricing, availability, product image, physical size, power requirements, installation requirements, etc. Must it be installed by a licensed electrician or how does that work? A pdf of the installation procedure would be great.
  • The low-end charging cable seems to have a NEMA 5-15 plug. The 240V charging system is not depicted but it would take at least NEMA 6-20 or larger. I’d like to understand the power requirements for the higher-end system. I have 50A into my garage, but it is located poorly, suitable for use with an electric dryer.
  • I believe that I have found the 2012 Volt Owner’s Manual in PDF from a Chevy site. Pages beyond page 276 seem to cover the charging system, but it does not have details on the preferred charging system.
  • A reference is given to SPX Home Charging for the Volt


  • I’m trying to gauge the actual cost of charging; this is more of a background characterization than a showstopper for the vehicle.
  • Palo Alto power runs $0.15/kWh I’m already well into the 2nd tier of electrical use at CPAU.
  • I spend $99/month on gas on the Avalanche. The Subaru runs $40. It’s not unreasonable to expect $40 in electricity charges appearing on CPAU?


  • Many of us in Silicon Valley use our garages for storage and leave our vehicles out in the driveway. This works great for vehicles with long-term power storage. It doesn’t seem like an optimal option for vehicles that need frequent connections to power. I live at a house with a 2-garage and a 2-car driveway, but the garage is full.
  • There are depictions of the Volt being charged outdoors in sunny weather It rains nowadays. What needs to happen with charging a Volt outdoors during wet weather?

Services & Monthly fees

  • I bought my Avalanche in 2002. I love it. But I did not get OnStar. Therefore I have no monthly fees to operate the vehicle. There’s a radio and a CD (ahem, and non-pay terrestrial broadcast is challenged, and nobody listens to CDs any more). Nav. one gets from one’s phone.
  • This doesn’t seem to be the modern style. Monthly fees for the services are the style. Seems that I have older cars.
  • The Volt seems to come with a lot of “services” that (I’m sure) have monthly fees and billing. I’d like to understand what those are (OnStar, Nav, Radio, etc.). A concern that I have is that these can add up to beyond a hundred dollars a month. And while they may be optional, their omission obviates somewhat the point of all the tech in the car. I’d like to understand the subscription charges for operating the vehicle in a “meaningful” manner, with the in-built factory services.