For a couple decades now, we've offered consumers an easy way to have their electricity usage met by renewable energy. That's simple — just plug some wind and solar into the grid. But how about air travel? Although progress is being made on electric planes (you read that right), it will be a while before you get on a jet powered by batteries. But we need to mitigate the impacts of flying because those impacts are real, huge, and growing.
The 21st century brought us faster processing speeds and smaller processors, spurring a glut of electronic devices. Many of these products are battery-powered and portable, like cell phones, laptops, e-readers, and smart watches, all sporting a longer battery life with each new generation of devices. So where do electric cars fit into our increasingly electrified world, and how much does battery technology need to improve so that they become the new norm?
With the transportation sector contributing 39.7% of state carbon dioxide emissions in Rhode Island and 49.4% in Massachusetts, we find the topic of transportation emissions especially urgent. Getting places requires energy, right? But some ways are less carbon intensive than others. We at Green Energy Consumers wanted to share the ways in which we all commute to work. And we would like to emphasize one thing above all else - it's essential that public transportation be given more support by all of us - politicians, taxpayers, those who use use public transit, and those who do not. When buses and subways work well, we all benefit.
On March 14, 2019, Green Energy Consumers held a webinar about upcoming initiatives, programs, and policies related to electric vehicle (EV) charging in Massachusetts and Rhode Island. If you weren't able to make it, or you attended and want a review, I've highlighted the key points in this blog post.
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) offers a federal tax credit of $2,500 to $7,500 per new electric vehicle (EV) purchased in the United States. Right now, both the Chevrolet Volt and Chevrolet Bolt qualify for the full $7,500 federal tax credit. However, as of April 1st, the credit will be cut to $3,750 as the tax credit phases out for General Motors vehicles. If you want a Bolt or a Volt, we highly recommend you get it before April 1st to take full advantage of this incentive.
Did you miss the “What’s New with Drive Green” webinar, but still want to know what’s new with Drive Green? We have you covered. Below is a brief overview of what we went over during our February 12th webinars.
Massachusetts and Rhode Island have both announced plans on how they intend to spend funds coming from the national Volkswagen “dieselgate” settlement. We’re seeing some solid ideas on how the states can use the VW settlement money to reduce air pollution from diesel fuel. This development is akin to turning swords into plowshares. While it’s horrible that VW deceived governments throughout the world about emissions from its diesel engines, there will be two lasting benefits from the settlement. Firstly, car-makers appear to be reducing their commitment to new diesels, as VW’s experience highlights the impossibility of making low-emission diesel vehicles. Secondly, the VW settlement money will help greatly to accelerate the transition to electric vehicles.
Edited by Mal Skowron
Holly Reid and Rich Shaw live in North Carolina. They have driven a Prius since 2006, but their ever-growing interests in reducing energy consumption drove them to consider purchasing an all-electric vehicle. They heard about the Drive Green program from their daughter, Indy, who worked at Green Energy Consumers Alliance in 2018.
Holly and Rich explored their options using the Drive Green webpage and decided to purchase an EV—even if it meant traveling up to New England to complete the deal and driving it back to North Carolina. And although their small town hosts six EV charging stations, the Reid-Shaws' plan to charge their vehicle at home using solar energy from the rooftop panels they installed on their historic home (ca. 1795).
Electric vehicles (EVs) are better for the environment than gas-powered cars not just because gas-powered cars rely on fossil fuels, but because EVs are more efficient.