Monday, April 25, 2016

Review of current electric prices - PECO with regard to Solar PV usage

Quick review of the post I made back in late 2012 regarding the dropping electricity prices in SE PA in the PECO area.

02/08/11 (reading date)
Generation Charges             1,283 kWh X $0.09070 $116.37
Alt. Energy Portfolio Standard 1,283 kWh X  0.00120 $  1.54
Transmission Charges           1,283 kWh X  0.00730 $  9.37
Distribution Charges           1,283 kWh X  0.05960 $ 76.47

Generation Charges             1,404 kWh X $0.09180 $128.89
Transmission Charges           1,404 kWh X  0.00740 $ 10.39
Distribution Charges           1,404 kWh X  0.06000 $ 84.24

04/07/16 -- reduction is shown here with Solar in use.
Generation Charges                54 kWh X $0.07383 $3.99 
Transmission Charges              54 kWh X  0.00580 $0.31 
Distribution Charges              54 kWh X  0.06813 $3.68

It appears that power prices have continued to come down since higher periods in the late 2000s and early 2010s.   Generation charges have dropped due to the fuel sources used to generate power while the distribution charges keep rising due to added costs of maintaining transmission lines including labor and fleet management costs.  Should fuel costs rise, this would play against the benefits seen only in the area of the generation charges.  The Transmission Charges are also slightly lower but are a fraction of a cent and are negligible.  

Friday, February 26, 2016

2016 Plug-in Market growth prediction for the USA market

It's time to take a look at what the 2016 sales profile of plug-in cars will look like.

In early 2015, I posted numerous times in article comments on InsideEVs that 2015 didn't look like it would be much of a growth year for Plug-In vehicles in the USA.  I said growth in 2015 would simply be about 5% over 2014 for all plug-ins for the entire year.  Many were excited to see "exponential growth" of the plug-in market but I looked at the recent as a "stair-step" type of growth curve potential with some fits-and-starts.  2015 would be a "step" in the stair-step model.

2015 was below 2014 for total sales of plug-ins in the USA. shows us that total sales were 116,099 for 2015 and 122,438 for 2014.

Why was 2015 "worse" than 2014?   A few reasons.  First, large incentives in Georgia were lifted such that the $5000 rebate available for as little as a 2-year, 20,000 mile total lease for a Nissan Leaf was not available.  Such big incentives made Georgia a top five plug-in sales state.  No new incentives for 2016 exist in any state other than extensions of HOV lane access stickers in California for PiHV and BEV drivers.

2016 growth should be anchored around a few specific changes in vehicle choices.

Chevy Volt Generation 2 is now out with the 2017 mode and will be nationwide by late spring.
Nissan Leaf gets a higher-mileage vehicle for 2016.
Tesla Motors has started to slowly deliver Model X and may sell up to 20,000 worldwide during 2016 with a good 2/3 or more inside the USA.  They also have positioned many hundreds of Model S vehicles at Tesla showrooms for "immediate sale" otherwise known as "lot cars".

I expect 2016 to be a sales growth year - over 2015.  I expect no more than 7.5% growth of the plug-in vehicle sales number over 2015 so that makes for a sales target of:   125,000    This is a number slightly bigger than 2014 but again, "not exponential".

What I also see happening is that used PiHV and BEV are on the market now and attracting a second tier buyer.  These are being bought-up instead of new PiHV cars by those who may want to own an EV but not pay full price thinking they would be hit by the high depreciation of new plug-ins.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

GivEV Campaign 2014

The one and perhaps only way to reach a tipping point for EV adoption in the mass market is to have charging infrastructure installed at those locations of high utilization.  These locations may be where we go every day or where our children go.  I want to seed the idea of financially-capable EV owners to act as a benefactor to a non-profit institution to install at least one charging point at a facility of their choice to begin a more widespread visibility of EV charging infrastructure.

I will start with my own story and then offer some ideas for the reader to consider.  My story goes back to 2007 regarding EV adoption.  I was involved in RC Car racing with my son at some local tracks in my area. We were racing various scale models using batteries made with the NiMH chemistry.  New Lithium Ion batteries were just coming out but they were very expensive ($100 or more each).  Most RC Car racing up through that time was done using Nitrous fuels (base on alcohol) but the move to battery was starting to take hold.  RC Car as well as full scale car racing is more exciting (they say) because of the noise.  However, as electric race cars started to show up, they started to perform better than the fuel cars and this led me to believe that "if RC Cars will switch over to electric, so can our commuter cars".

I followed the development of the "real" consumer cars happening.  Fisker Motors was one firm I followed because it was going to open up a plant in Delaware, not far from me.  I also watched as GM and Nissan brought their cars to production in 2010.  Fisker is no more but I did follow closely enough to buy a GM Volt in July of 2012.  In the name of sustainability and financial resources, I chose to buy a one year old new 2011 model and saved quite a bit off the MSRP.  I wanted one - but didn't want to pay full price.  This car made perfect sense.  Drive locally 100% electrically and drive long distances with the gas generator at over 41 mpg.  I didn't buy the car to save money - I did it to significantly cut my gasoline usage.  And, technically it was interesting and quite a bit of a hobby like my RC Car racing was.

I began attending energy fairs in my area and researching Solar PV technology.  In 2012 I was able to learn all about Solar and install our own Solar PV array, outlined in this BLOG post.  For that project, I chose to buy products from companies who made the products in the USA.  This cost me a bit more but it also was the right thing to do to help slightly maintain our workforce here in this country.  In fact, I enjoyed the quality of the products so much, I bought stock in the inverter company - it was called PowerOne at the time.  That stock value sat quietly at roughly $4.00 for months until the company was bought out by ABB, a very large conglomerate electronics firm based out of Europe - for a share price above $6.60.  This gave me a relatively large payoff - enough to pay for the Solar PV array that I had put in entirely (before taxes on the gains).  A lot of people have benefitted by growth in some stocks like TSLA and SCTY.  Some may have not sold shares yet.  You can donate shares to a non-profit directly, as I did with PowerOne shares and the giving is tax deductible.

An so, I thought "why not give something away to help benefit the EV cause."

We all are given opportunities to make a difference and I contacted my son's college, which happens to be where I personally went as well back in the late 1980s.  From my other blog posts, you can deduce that I went to RIT in the Rochester, NY area.  In contacting my son's school, I learned the school had a brand new college of sustainability and had already installed four J-1772 charge locations in the parking lot outside of their school of sustainability.  They did so to study the charging habits and draw of users of those free charging locations.  It was told to me that once the charging stations went in, two faculty members bought EVs.  From recent visits to the school, at least four faculty are driving plug-ins since every time I go to charge there during a school day, all four spots are taken up with cars charging.  The school's president also drives a plug-in vehicle as well but charges in a different location using 120V.

So I decided to do something about this.  I contacted the school to try to give money to provide more charging stations.  I believe the school has told me that the monies I gave will be used for at least four more J-1772 charging locations, if not more.  I have to check back with them to verify.  The goal of the school is 40 charging points around campus and apartment complexes.  I ask you - "Is this really enough?"  With thousands of students commuting to the school each day, from locations 5 to 25 miles or more away, this school is a perfect location to install more EV charging points.  Students and faculty cannot all buy Tesla Motors' Model S or forthcoming Model X vehicles but they can lease a Nissan Leaf or Chevrolet Volt and become part of the EV community.  Also, this school has access to matching NYSERDA monies for donations.  In addition, the school is about to offer land for a Solar PV company to install a 3MW Solar array and then become involved in a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) for power from this large array.  It is Rochester, NY, it is typically cloudy but this array will perform well enough to provide a large amount of sustainable power to this area of Rochester.

Now that I have given my story - I want to call out to others.

What will your story be?

I believe everyone who drives an EV with financial means should consider being part of the solution to help grow the EV adoption in your local community or at your own college or university.  If you donate enough to have a charging point installed and that then attracts another EV purchaser, I think you have planted another seed for the growing adoption of electric transportation.  It is not up to our government or businesses to solve this for us.  It is for us to become a "pay it forward" organized group of benefactors helping to lead to a final tipping point where EVs become far more common than they are today.

Some ideas for installations and giving:

Colleges and Universities
- L1 charging points for students who may buy used Leafs or Volts  (free charging)
- L2 6.6KW J-1772 for commuters (free or $1.00 hour)
- Assist with purchase of EV service vehicles like a Nissan e-NV200 or other to-be-designed models
- If the school already has charging, they don't have enough.  They need more.

Business owners
- You're a business owner and you installed charging for your own EV
- Install L2 6.6KW capable charging for employees  ($.50/hour)
- By offering low-cost charging, you are not favoring fueling for some select employees.

Will you be part of the solution?  If you can - then you should.  If you are a Tesla or a Smart ED owner, you have the same passions involving EVs.  If you have the ability to install just one more charging location at a non-profit institution, it can make a big difference if enough people get the momentum going.  As Red Green says "We're all in this together."

Thanks for considering this idea.  If you are taking part, leave a comment on this blog post below.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Ev sales for 2013 and beyond

Good coverage of annual sales of evs at

My estimate of sales growth in the US for plug in vehicles is:

2013 ..... Was a 85%  growth for 97,000
2014 ..... 35%. ..130,000
2015 ..... 30%. ..168,500
2016 ..... 35%. ..227,500

Tesla worldwide sales estimates.
Q4 2013...   6145.  (Actual 6900)
Q1 - Q4 2014 ....  5911, 6390, 7144, 8600
Updated estimates...1/15/2014
Q1 - Q4 2014 .... 6340, 6844, 7035, 8980

Updated estimates...7/20/2014
Q1 - Q4 2014 .... (6457), 7599, 9000, 9500

Updated estimates...8/09/2014
Q1 - Q4 2014 .... (6457), (7579), 8000, 10,600

Updated estimates...8/24/2014
Q1 - Q4 2014 .... (6457), (7579), 7164, 10,800 = 32,000

Updated estimates...8/30/2014
Q1 - Q4 2014 .... (6457), (7579), 7764, 10,800 = 32,600

My revised was off by 20 for the Q2 sales number.  Raising Q4 a little for Tesla as I think they will send some extra cars to sales centers to sell as new off the lot cars late in 2014.  Mostly in the US for people wanting to get one for the 2014 tax credit.  And who wants to wait, really...  Buying off the lot is how we do things in America.

Revising down Q3 due to slow run of the line in August after restart, August 4.

Updated estimates...12/03/2014 - due to line problems with P85D first-runs
Q1 - Q4 2014 .... (6457), (7579), (7785), 10,100 = 32,021
2015 - ModelS 41600  ModelX 10300

Volt US sales estimates for 2014.... 24600
Leaf US sales estimates for 2014 .... 27000. --- as of August, looks like 30,000 is possible.

Those are for year over year growth.  Let's review next January.

2014 end of year
Q1 - Q4 2014 .... (6457), (7579), (7785), (9,834) = 31,655

Telsa Q1 2015 estimate  4/2/2015
Q1 - Q4 2015 ....  9371, 8700, 11100, 13400 = 42,571

Q1 - Q4 2015 ....  (10,030), 8400, 11100, 13400 = 42,571

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Oil Prices - Jan 1, 2014

This picture shows that oil hasn't changed much during 2013.
Let's compare to early 2013.  WTI has gone up a few dollars since January 1, 2013.  Brent is flat right now.

About a $2 decrease in oil prices shows that we really haven't progressed in either direction and oil prices just simply fluctuated during the year.

There are a few new EVs coming out during 2014 but not a lot of progress is being made for enough compelling models for the USA car-buyer to choose from.  The automakers are all looking at new battery technologies and ways to save money during manufacturing and this should make for a much more dynamic EV marketplace in the late 2015 and early 2016 time period.

The countries absorbing many of the EVs are those which have high incentives.  Norway, Denmark, Holland and a few others have given away a large amount of incentives to start to move new EV sales.  Norway is very interesting as they do not charge the import car tax which they do charge on ICE vehicles.  BMW, Nissan, Tesla and others are taking advantage of that by fast becoming a few of the top cars selling in Norway during the fall of 2013.  In the USA, the plug-in vehicle fleet is nowhere near the top 50 models sold across the country.  Tesla does lead Luxury Sedan sales in richer zip-codes and primarily in California.  However, Tesla is now sending at least 30% of their cars overseas to Europe now due to the limited time exposure of their incentives for new EV sales.

One other example is the huge number of plug-in CUV sales made by Mitsubishi in the form of the Plug-in Hybrid Outlander:

EV Charging resource list

This originates at:

This is a good list for EV drivers who want to find public charging while travelling.

Beyond Superchargers - Road Tripping Resources
High powered charging stations are being built out by different groups, companies and organizations to that we can better enjoy our cars.
Here are some other resources that consist mostly of the medium power Level II chargers:
More commonly known resources are listed below and there is a mixed variety of charging
Here is a thread with information about how Chargepoint works: - tracks and maps charging stations. They differ from some of the others in that they verify a station before listing it.
If you have range questions you here is a resource. You just select the car you are using and enter your estimated speed and give yourself a good buffer. This map does not compensate for crossing bodies of water properly, so keep that in mind.
Hotels with Charging:
I know that there is more out there so, please chime in!

Monday, July 8, 2013

Mid-year oil price updates

Updated: July 20, 2013  --  WTI reaches Brent Crude prices, as predicted.


Here we see the mid-year point of oil.  It has crept up, as expected, from an earlier post that I had made.  I also expected the WTI and Brent spread to be tightening.  This tightened quite a bit since early in the year.  Here is the prior graph that we will compare to.

As you can see, the WTI-brent spread was about $15.  Today, it is only $4.  This means that oil imported into the ports of the USA from other countries costs roughly the same as WTI crude, otherwise known as "North American" oil.

An article on suggested this would happen back in January of 2012.

Take a read at:

It's interesting to watch this but also goes counter to what the politicians were spouting a year or more ago about.  Do you remember hearing "once the oil drilling happens in the USA, it will be countless jobs and cheaper prices at the pump" during the elections?  Well, now that WTI oil is not piling up in Cushing, Oklahoma, the WTI price has now become nearly on-par with the world oil price.  Without politicizing this, people have to wake up to the fact that oil prices are not coming down anytime soon and unless there is another 2008-2009 type recession, they are here to stay.