You’ve heard stories about them, but like Big Foot or Chupacabra, you didn’t think they actually existed.
Though major car manufacturers created, and then tried to kill them off—automobile companies are now racing to be the first to resurrect electric vehicles for mass production.
The electric car or EV is back with a vengeance, and is coming to White Plains.
“Our mission is really to help reduce petroleum consumption and improve air quality in our region,” said Julie Migliacci, director of development and communications for the New York City & Lower Hudson Valley Clean Communities, Inc. (NYCLHVCC). “This is about the future, and what’s next.“
The NYCLHVCC is co-hosting a series of events in White Plains with The Federated Conservationists of Westchester County, Inc. (FCWC) and the City of White Plains, which aim to bring EV technology to the masses in the lower Hudson Valley.
EV is For Electric Vehicle
EVs use an electric motor for propulsion and are powered by batteries, which are recharged by plugging into an electric outlet at home or a public charging station. EVs reduce foreign energy dependence since electricity is produced domestically.
While EVs do not emit pollutants, the electricity provider may. Electricity from nuclear, hydro, solar or wind-powered plants do not produce air pollutants, and .
According to the U.S. Department of Energy’s website, EVs have quiet motors, operate smoothly, have stronger acceleration and require less maintenance than internal combustion cars. They get about 100 to 200 miles before they need to be recharged, while a gas powered car can go 300 miles without refueling.
The battery packs—which are large, expensive and may need to be replaced one or more times—can take four to eight hours to fully recharge, while a “quick charge” to 80 percent capacity takes about 30 minutes, the website says.
There are also cars that use hybrid technology, with combinations of battery, gasoline, and plug-in technology.
The Electric Car is Alive in Westchester
Tesla Motors—an all-electric car company started in 2003—will soon open a new location at in White Plains in May, making its EVs available to the lower Hudson Valley.
According to the Tesla Motors website, their new Model S—a plug-in electric car that gets 160 to 300 miles per charge, and will be built in Southern California—will save owners about $8,000 in fuel costs over five years. Owners of the company’s first model, the Tesla Roadster, showed off their cars at Wednesday and talked to passersby about what its like to drive an electric car.
Watch our video to see what they have to say about EV technology.
In addition to selling EV cars, White Plains will also offer EV infrastructure, as the City received five EV charging stations from ChargePoint America through a grant from the U.S Department of Energy, which will soon be in service at the Bank Street parking lot near the Metro-North train station in White Plains.
“Electric vehicles are really made for the commuters,” said Migliacci. “It is the perfect vehicle for them to drive from the house to the train station, then take the train.”
The City is also in the process of acquiring electric cars for the City’s fleet and about 30 more EV charging stations, some of which will be solar powered, through grants from NYSERDA and New York Power Authority.
There are public EV charging stations at SUNY Purchase College, the Metro-North Train Station in White Plains, Nissan City in Port Chester, and Premium Nissan in New Rochelle—according to the U.S. Department of Energy’s Alternative Fuels & Advanced Vehicles Data Center found here.
“This is a priority for the mayor to create an infrastructure here in the city that can bring the use of electric vehicles to full scale implementation, as a part of the mayor’s green agenda,” said Kim DiTomasso, director of special projects for Roach’s office.
Con Edison To Power EVs
After the Tesla car show, John Shipman of Con Edison joined Director Chris Paine at to discuss widespread EV technology during a special screening of Paine’s documentary “Revenge of the Electric Car,” which was sponsored by .
Con Edison estimates that it will serve between 100,000 and 150,000 EV customers by 2020. Con Edison’s recently launched a website (coned.com/electricvehicles/) dedicated to electric vehicles. It says that charging costs differ when you charge at home or at a public station, and that electricity bills can double or triple as a result of EV charging, depending on certain conditions.
“These vehicles are environmentally friendly and lessen our dependence on oil,” said Shipman, who heads Con Edison’s EV programs, in a press release. “Our system is ready for electric cars. We will leverage the capabilities of our existing system, including energy efficiency programs, to blend in the new load.”
Revenge of the Electric Car
Paine’s first film “Who Killed the Electric Car” tells of the birth and death of the EV-1—which GM created and distributed, then roundup and destroyed—and investigates the role of car manufacturers, the oil industry, U.S. and California government, consumers and others in the halt of electric vehicle production.
Ten years later as consumers began to feel the rise in gas prices and with increasing concern for the environment and dependence on foreign oil—Paine follows car companies from 2007 to 2010 in “Revenge of the Electric Car,” who race to be the first to mass produce an EV during a recession. The film documents Tesla Motors’ efforts as the first to start the EV race, with GM working to roll out the Chevy Volt (that switches from electric to gas) and Nissan with the mass production of its all-electric LEAF. Paine also follows a mechanic who converts existing vehicles into electric cars.
According to the film, it costs less than $1 per gallon to charge an EV, and one million people will be able to charge their electrics cars at one million charging stations by 2015.
Learn More About EVs Locally
BMW, Mercedes-Benz and CODA, Eaton Corporation, Beam Charging, Con Edison and Green Mountain Energy will showcase their EV technology in White Plains during the Sustain event—on Saturday, April 21 from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. near White Plains City Hall, from 12 to 4 p.m.—to talk to the public about where and how to purchase and charge an electric car in the area.