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The electric vehicle transformation is coming full speed ahead

by WayneTimes.com
July 3, 2021

The electric vehicle transformation is coming. Just about every car maker throughout the world is gearing up for the change from combustion to electric, battery powered units.

Tesla was founded in 2003 by a group of engineers who wanted to prove that people didn’t need to compromise to drive electric – that electric vehicles can be better, quicker and more fun to drive than gasoline cars. Elon Musk, who made his fortunes at PayPal, invested $6.35 million dollars to really get the ball rolling.

The first Tesla made such an impact that buyers and car makers sat up and took notice. General Motors, who initially adopted the electric concept had to play catch-up, providing a lower cost common man approach. Other manufacturers emerged, as electric vehicles became the future.

Just one year after announcing the purchase of 100,000 custom electric delivery vehicles as part of ‘The Climate Pledge’, Amazon has begun replacing the way your packages are delivered.

Ford is looking ahead with its production of its Transit vans, also tapping into the future of all electric.

Europe, along with China, have seen electric plug-in cars quadruple in sales. So far this year, some 796,000 passenger plug-in electric cars were registered in Europe. That’s also 15% of the total market. The growth initially started slow, but the pendulum is swinging away from the gas powered modes of transportation.

The move to electric-only vehicles is being pushed by many European countries over the upcoming years, banning production of combustion engines entirely.

Canada will require 100% of car sales to be zero-emission by 2035, but most auto makers expect the demise of gas engines well before that time.

In Germany plug-in car sales more than quadrupled in May 2021, with close to one-in-four new passenger cars sold was electric.

Just about every city in America is looking forward, replacing the aging bus fleets, along with school districts with “electric makes cents” approaches. Along with reduced maintenance and fuel costs, many government subsidies and grants are available for school districts that are willing to buy electric.

Why are municipalities going electric? The same reasons car buyers are moving the needle. Reduced fuel costs, no oil changes, no transmission maintenance and overall reliability.

Initially, the auto makers were unsure how the public would perceive the move

away from combustion engines. Battery power, charging times, distance between charges all provided a hesitancy on the part of buyers.

Although Tesla is sold through internet purchases and leasing, orders began to mount. Both federal and state incentives brought the more expensive electric vehicles into range. Government incentives to install chargers throughout the country began to build an infrastructure, easing the mind of distance travellers.

New York State has installed Level 2 and Level 3 electric vehicle (EV) charging stations are available along the New York State Thruway. Some are free to use, while other Thruway motorists will be charged $0.30 per kWh. Customers can pay by the EV Connect App on Google Play or Apple Store , RFID card or credit card.

Level 2 stations take approximately 4 hours to charge and are free to use.

Level 3 stations are capable of supplying 50-100 kilowatts of power and enable fast-charge-capable EVs to be powered in approximately 30 minutes.

So, how have conservative Wayne County dealers and drivers accepted electric vehicles?

Van Bortel Chevrolet on Route 31 in Macedon jumped on the bandwagon in 2017 and has since sold 80 Chevy Bolts. But, Sales Manager Jim Keyes has now ordered 30 more 2022 Bolts and its longer sister the Bolt EUV. They admit most of the all-electric vehicles were sold to nearby Monroe County residents.

With a range of 250 miles on a full charge the Bolt is in high demand and 2021 Bolts are difficult to find.

Cavallaro-Neubauer Chevrolet-Buick, with locations in Williamson and Wolcott is also an authorized dealer in electric vehicles. They began selling the now discontinued hybrid Chevy Volt in

2016 and have sold approximately 10 Bolts since becoming a dealer in 2019. Currently they have only one 2021 Bolt left on their lots.

Tradition Chevrolet in Newark, sells and services electric vehicles out of their Geneva location.

One of the reasons local car dealers have been slow to move to electric sales and service is due to the high cost of required equipment and training for both EV Service Technicians and Sales EV Specialists.

Just a decade ago, options for an affordable electric car were extremely limited. In 2011, the only option for an affordable fully-electric car was the 73-mile Nissan Leaf for $32,780. Ten years later, with the increased demand and exponential technological improvements, many cheaper electric cars are arriving on the market. Now, you can easily obtain a 200+ mile EV priced in the $30-40 thousand range – that is before Federal and State tax rebate incentives. From crossovers, sedans, to a two-door sports cars, trucks, buses and 18 wheelers, there are now more EVs available than ever.

In the U.S. Volvo has announced its Ridgeville Plant will be first to go 100% electric.

In 2022 most major auto makers will introduce a full range of all electric pick-ups, with back orders already in the tens of thousands.

With gas prices escalating and expected to increase, serious buyers are looking at the cost savings as a major incentive. This, with increased mileage, more charging ports, very low maintenance costs, longer battery life, fast pick up and environmental concerns, all favor electric motors.

Just about everyone who follows the electric vehicle scene agrees that a greater number of public charging stations need to be deployed over the next few years. Governments, electric utilities and private firms are rising to the challenge. The bipartisan infrastructure proposal now on the table in Washington includes $7.5 billion in new funding to install some 500,000 charging stations by 2030. New figures by several manufacturers suggest both home charging ports and roadside charging average about $35 per month in electrical cars. While gas engine vehicle costs are rising, electric motor driven cars are actually dropping.

The main installer for charging stations in the Wayne County and surrounding areas area is Colacino Industries in Newark. Owner Jim Colacino was an early convert to electric vehicles, buying a Tesla several years ago and is preparing to acquire his second shortly.

Not only did Jim go electric, but he also encourages employee participation in electric vehicles. Currently Colacino Industries have installed free charging ports at the company site at 126 Harrison Street in Newark. Jim’s father, Dick Colacino said it is not unusual to see electric car owners parked at one of the chargers late at night taking advantage of the free electricity.

Jim is also currently expanding his parking area with more charging stations in preparation of replacing his entire fleet of trucks and vans with all electric motors.

The Company also has installed numerous charging units at hospitals (Newark Wayne Hospital has several chargers), hotels, municipalities, shopping centers and area businesses. Companies are finding incentives to install charging stations as a benefit for employees and customers.

Due to current New York State and Power Company programs and rebates, about 90% of the costs of charging stations is covered.

Norm Waterman, who prepares the paperwork for rebates for charging stations said that the state program is slated to end on December 31 of this year, unless the Governor and State Legislators again expand the program.

Any company or municipality interested in electric charging stations should call Colacino Industries at 315 331-1076.

Environmental moves to all electric Governments thwarting climate change due to fossil fuel emissions are promoting electric transportation. The electrification of cars and trucks will need to accelerate to avoid the most severe impacts of global warming. By one estimate, the number of passenger BEVs on US roads could increase from roughly 1 million today to 43 million by 2035 and globally from 5 million to 245 million While EVs do not emit CO2, lithiumion batteries are made from raw materials such as cobalt, lithium and nickel. The mining of many of these materials can raise ethical and environmental concerns and some of these metals could face a global shortage given potential battery demand.

As a recent article in Wired put it: “while you can re-use most parts in EVs, the batteries aren’t designed to be recycled or reused.” Once in landfills, metals from the batteries can contaminate both water and soil.

Early concerns of discarded lithium battery pollution have subsided as advances in technology have led to the creation of numerous lithium recycling companies.

Reusing and recycling batteries when an electric vehicle comes off the road, whether due to its age or an accident, must be processed in some way.

Potential end-of-life pathways include reusing the battery in other applications(“second life”), recycling

the battery’s materials, and disposal.

The US Department of Energy’s Re-Cell Center is a collaboration of academia, industry and national laboratories working to improve lithium-ion recycling techniques.

Companies are currently guaranteeing battery lives between eight to ten years, but the life of batteries is expanding with chemical and mineral research.

While producing many more BEVs will require new raw materials in the near term, recycled materials from used batteries could meet a significant portion of new demand in the future. Widespread battery recycling can create a more stable domestic source of materials for battery production, reduce the demand for raw materials, and minimize the risks of geopolitical disruptions of the supply chain.

Work by the Union of Concerned Scientists and others has found that, based on today’s average sources of electricity in the United States, the total global warming emissions associated with BEVs are about 55 percent lower than those of gasoline vehicles. In parts of the country with higher levels of renewable energy—California, for example— BEVs reduce emissions by more than 70 percent. And the emissions associated with BEVs will continue to decline as the nation derives more of its electricity from renewable resources.

Increasing the efficiency of battery manufacturing while also increasing the share of renewable energy used in assembling battery cells could reduce the global warming emissions associated with battery manufacturing by more than 40 percent.

Another concern surrounding electric vehicles is related to car accidents. Most firefighters do not have the training to deal with how to cut into, or extinguish electric car fires.

Dick Colacino stated that an August guest speaker is being brought in to train local fire companies in the handling of electric car accidents. Local fire companies are to contact Dick at Colacino Industries at 315 331-1076.

Please Note: Times Editor/Owner, Ron Holdraker, moved from a self charging hybrid years ago, to a plug-in hybrid, and now to a full electric Chevy Bolt last year. Two weeks ago the Company acquired a second all-electric Bolt EUV as a newspaper delivery vehicle.

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