EV Tour Comes to Atlanta, an Electrics-Ready Town

published: 2011-06-15 15:41 | editor: | category: News

Following the success of a seven-city EV tour that reached consumers, community leaders and the business community, GE decided to host a similar event for its employees in Atlanta, to bring the excitement and knowledge back home.

The event featured forums and presentations to inform employees about swiftly-evolving EV technologies, and to build interest in GE’s EV Pilot Program and the 25K Commitment project. On the experiential side, it offered a chance for many to test-drive vehicles from GM, Ford, Nissan, Think, Smart and Mitsubishi, not to mention Brammo’s Enertia motorcycle.

The event was attended by GE senior leaders, local officials, EV industry leaders, and manufacturers.

Holding an event like this in Atlanta is about more than just test-drives. America’s evolution toward an EV system will require back-end infrastructure upgrades to ensure there is enough clean power to meet the charging demands. Atlanta has a history of leadership in alternate fuel vehicle (AFV) transportation planning — it was designated the first Clean City by the U.S. Department of Energy in 1993, and awarded the Clean Cities Movers and Shakers Award for adding the greatest number of AFVs and refueling stations in its area in 1998.

Organizations like Clean Cities Atlanta are helping coordinate Atlanta’s EV’s upgrade, creating the Electric Vehicle Readiness Task Force that played a role in expediting the residential permitting process for level 2 charging stations. This March, the Atlanta City Council created the almost identically named Electric Vehicle Task Force, to carry on a similar mission.

Meanwhile, Georgia Power is offering a special plug-in rate to customers with EVs who sign up and agree to a 12-month commitment. According to George Power, a typical residential EV owner who charges a vehicle overnight will save approximately 13 percent annually relative to the standard residential rate. That’s not only a benefit to the EV household, but a bonus to the system overall — it helps flatten power usage patterns between peak and off-peak times.

Even Atlanta’s students are getting in on the movement:Emory’s Goizueta Business School is sponsoring a case competition, First to 50,000 – The Atlanta Electric Vehicle Race, that challenges Georgia graduate and undergraduate students to craft a comprehensive strategy to make Atlanta the first American city to have 50,000 electric vehicles. Best wishes to them in that quest!

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