Alternative Technology Finds a Home in Texas: How a Small Town Embraced Electric Vehicles
Reports for this year's auto sales were recently released by the National Auto Dealers Association on NADA.org and the results put a smile on my face. According to their statistics, sales on electric vehicles were up by 13.4 percent from what they were last year and 3.5 million electric vehicles were sold and this amount adds up to 2.4 percent of the entire auto industry. This is great news for people who are strong advocates of electric or "alternative" cars and hybrids.
These numbers aren't huge, but the fact that more consumers are seeing that alternatively fueled cars are the way of the future, is giving car manufacturers the inspiration to produce more energy efficient and electrically fueled vehicles. It's as simple as supply and demand. Alternative vehicles have been in the auto industry for so long that if you couldn't afford a new alternatively fueled vehicle, you could still look for used car deals in Dallas, a city that loves their hybrid cars, says local CBS DFW reporter, Robbie Owens.
Paul A. Eisenstein, an NBC news contributor, reported about a small neighborhood in Texas that was chosen to be the testing ground for plug in hybrid vehicles like the Chevy volt. Pecan Street Inc., directed by Scott Hinson, was created to give substantial evidence to the concept of alternative energy being a viable solution to energy consumption.
So far, Pecan Street Inc. has received support to the tune of more than $25 million from General Motors, Dell, Intel, private donors and the U.S. Department of energy. 600 residents and commercial businesses have signed up for this project, which was named after the one-square-mile neighborhood on Pecan Street. The next step is to get all of the participants to connect their vehicles to a smart grid system that will allow Hinson and his team to observe the progress of the energy consumed by participants via slow motion cameras. They have the money and the eager participants, but there are two major factors getting in the way of Hinson's project.
Not-So-Super Storm and High Priced Utilities
Super Storm Sandy's effect only proved our nation's electrical grid system to be less than reliable, leading some investors to hold off on going full tilt with their support. Another big road block standing in front of this ambitious project is the increasing cost of utilities. Currently, there are 60 plug-in cars actively being observed and are receiving energy. When this project is in full force, the utility company could be required to support the energy consumption of millions of cars. Hinson and his team believe it's possible and are charging ahead.
Moving towards progress and the future of renewable energy, the Pecan Street Project residents are not only changing the type of fuel they are using to power their cars; 200 residents from this neighborhood have also added rooftop solar panels to their homes.
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