How to negotiate for a new Nissan LEAF battery pack

In designing, testing, and producing the Nissan Leaf, the first modern electric car sold in volume, Nissan made a design decision that some other companies didn't.

It chose not to build an active thermal-conditioning system (otherwise known as cooling) into its battery pack.

Instead, it relies on ambient air to shed heat—which got the maker into trouble with owners in very hot climates like that of Phoenix, Arizona, where asphalt temperatures can reach 140 degrees F or more in the summer.

2011 Nissan LEAF electric car after battery pack replacement (by owner, Tim Jacobsen, Concord, CA.)

2011 Nissan LEAF electric car after battery pack replacement (by owner, Tim Jacobsen, Concord, CA.)

Nissan later switched to a more heat-resistant battery chemistry, informally known as "lizard cells," but many earlier Leafs have experienced significant battery capacity declines.

Some of those, however, are not quite enough to hit the 70-percent mark within five years, meaning that Nissan's battery-capacity warranty is no longer in effect.

Nonetheless, owners can sometimes bargain with Nissan and their dealership to get concessions on a replacement battery pack.

Owner Tim Jacobsen of Concord, California, was able to get a deal on a replacement battery for his 2011 Nissan Leaf even though the car had only 33,000 miles on it.

He and his husband Steve have shared the car for more than four years, but their saga of negotiating a battery replacement carries some important lessons for all Leaf owners—especially those with the earlier, more heat-sensitive battery packs.

He shared his tips on negotiating with dealers with us, which we've edited only for style and clarity, here:

While keeping your expectations low to avoid disappointment, a few key things can greatly increase your chances of out of warranty coverage.

  • Start calling Nissan early, before you lose your fourth capacity bar, to report your disappointment.
  • Call a few times, and establish a case number.
  • Keep a positive and respectful attitude with every contact: being rude and nasty to a representative will get you nothing in the end.
  • Nissan's end goal is customer retention: they want to hear that you love your car, that you want to keep it for many years, and that you will recommend Nissans to your friends and relatives.
  • Loyalty counts: if you have purchased, or own, more than one Nissan vehicle, tell them! Mention that some day you want to buy a new Nissan electric car again.
  • Mention anything else positive about your car: that you haven't driven it all that many miles, that you keep it nicely maintained, or that you love to drive it.
  • Write a concise, one-page letter with all the information above, and fax it to your Nissan case manager when the time comes to apply for battery replacement assistance.

Intrigued by these tips, we asked Tim for more information about his Leaf purchase and his experience with Nissan warranty claims.

He wrote us the following, which we've edited only for style and clarity:

In 2010 with rising high fuel prices we became interested in the Leaf after an indoor test drive at the San Francisco auto show. I was very impressed with the car.

We decided that we could own a Nissan Leaf, which would be secondary to our other gas vehicle for long trips.

The Leaf could be used as a ‘Bay Area car’ since its range was around 100 miles, largely depending on road usage and speed. This would cut our gasoline budget in half. 

In March 2013, we made our purchase of our 2011 Leaf from Antioch Nissan. It was a manager's demonstrator car with only 4,000 miles on it, and it was their only with our desired equipment and color selection.

After our purchase, we had also applied for the PG&E EV-Rate plan of which resulted in a substantial break on our electric rates. It was a huge bonus to seemingly get paid mileage, when you calculate the difference.

My Nissan Leaf is a great car, and an excellent car to drive. it's very quiet, smooth power, excellent handling. It’s definitely a favorite of the many cars I’ve owned over the years.

But soon after the hot summer of 2013, I started to notice a small drop in range. Then came spring 2014, and I lost my first capacity bar.

It wasn’t long after this when it was announced that the 2011 and 2012 Leafs were built with a lithium-ion battery pack that was highly prone to capacity loss in high temperature zones.

As time went on, thru the following summers, my range continued to suffer and drop. This wasn’t the same car any more.  

Eventually I could not drive it to San Francisco and back without needing to charge en route. And then I couldn't even get to Oakland and back without the blaring messages that warned me of low battery charge. 

I had made contact with Nissan Consumer Affairs twice within the 5/60k capacity warranty range and voiced my frustration at how it wasn’t fair to those of us who lived in hot climates to suffer this terrible range loss.

Since I had not lost my fourth capacity bar, Nissan refused to do anything for me. So I continued to live with the progressing range loss.  

At three capacity bars lost, I had just crossed over the warranty expiration date of August 8, 2016—which was a very frustrating feeling.

March 2017 came along and my four capacity bar was lost at 33,435 miles. I could barely reach 45 miles of freeway driving until the low-battery message activated.  

I immediately contacted Nissan for the third time, and I was fully prepared with a written letter of reasons why they should cover battery replacement for me. I submitted my letter and applied for “out of warranty” assistance.

I was assertive but—MOST IMPORTANTLY—respectful to the representative helping me.  My letter contained facts and explanations supporting my case.

Also, I highlighted my personal brand loyalty, my history of previously owned Nissans, my love for the Nissan electric cars, the desire to keep my Leaf for many years, and future interest in buying another down the road, and lastly the mint-condition in which I keep my Leaf.

Two days later, I received a phone call from Nissan Consumer Affairs. They granted me a deal to cover 80 percent of the cost to replace the battery. I accepted the deal without questioning anything,  knowing that I had just become lucky.

I happily paid 20 percent, or $1,200, for the brand-new battery pack. I am now a very happy customer with my Nissan Leaf regaining its lost range, and grateful for the assistance.

I feel that being organized and submitting my story in this way made all the difference in the outcome. My low mileage was also likely a major factor in receiving assistance. 

My Nissan Leaf is once again ‘the perfect car” for me.  There is not one complaint. (Thank you, Nissan Consumer Affairs!)

-- From Green Car Reports, April 20, 2017

Where have all the 'makers' gone ....

For almost 50 years General Motors and the other auto makers have offered hobbyists, hotrodders and the racing community the option to purchase their best motors for installation in one of a kind vehicles. This practice resulted in increased sales and huge brand recognition with Chevy, Ford, and Mopar motors becoming legend for generations.  But even more, it grew  generations of creative makers who thrived on the intellectual challenges of overcoming the limitations of Detroit engineering, and became a force to be reckoned with for technical aptitude, cleverness, and disruptive vision. Today, this shade tree culture has evolved into the maker culture   - where backyard DIY grew a technological extension.

Reno's own EV maker, William Brinsmead, and his instantly recognizable, iconic eHearse.

Reno's own EV maker, William Brinsmead, and his instantly recognizable, iconic eHearse.

I am proposing that Tesla investigate the feasibility of a similar 'crate motor' option. Since the model S motor, controller and differential is a powerful compacteasily adapted unit,  it is able to be mounted in a variety of popular repurposed suspension systems such as Jaguar or Corvette.  The components would only need cooling, DC power and control connections, giving builders a fast, reliable and eviromentally sound option to re-power classic, custom built cars and hotrods. 

In addition to the drive units themselves a simplified canbus controller would be needed in order to communicate with the existing motor drive inverter, providing inputs/outputs like regen/braking, throttle, forward/reverse, current/rev limiter, etc. this could be a newly designed unit or a simplified, reprogrammed existing Tesla unit.

Accessories such as, axels, batteries/BMS, charger, cooling and instrumentation would be the responsibility of the individual builder. 

Please give us your thoughts about such an out-reach. And, if you have any contacts with Tesla, we be happy to help initiate discussions. Contact me, or EAANN through this website. Let's see if we can't collaboratively keep the American innovator spirit alive in the EV age.

 

 

Misconceptions about EVs abound.

A recent opinion piece in the Sierra Sun ( a newspaper up at Lake Tahoe, CA.) seemed to encapsulate all the common misconceptions, mistakes and outright fabrications shared by those who either don't understand where transportation is headed, or are pursuing a fossil fuel agenda.

The September 10, 2017  piece by Jim Clark was one of these, based, we believe, on a string of simple but far-reaching mistaken ideas. It required a lengthy, considered rebuttal by EAANN's current Chair, Cynthia Ryan.

If space hadn't been a consideration, we would have gone on to comment that the old canard of 60% of electricity to power EVs is coming from coal is a flat-out fabrication. Coal-fired plants are being closed down across the country, and being replaced either by natural gas, or renewable sources. 

Furthermore, Lithium-Ion batteries are being repurposed and recycled for use in homes and businesses.

 

Screen Shot 2017-09-13 at 10.06.58 PM.png

 

 

 

Innovative EV advertising campaign resonates

Everybody who drives, and advocates for the adoption of electric cars has been there. Trying to persuade family, friends and the public that EVs are better. We all know they are, but getting the point across in terms of 'better for the environment' seems to be falling on deaf ears. Past experiences with EV's as relatively expensive, no-frills, no-fun cars didn't help the image, either.

Fortunately, along came Matt Stevens and the gang at FleetCarma. They understood that selling EVs as a public service wasn't working, and came up with an approach that's funny and engaging, while making important points about the many EV benefits we EV evangelists have long known about.

To begin with, EV drivers note that they spend much less time and money on their highly reliable electric cars. No more oil changes, timing belt replacements, schedule maintenance, oil and water pump replacements etc. And, more. Electric motors are simplicity personified. An electric car can have a fraction of the moving parts that a fossil fuel car will have.

Then, there's the issue of a full gas tank. Waiting in line at the gas station, getting gasoline stink on hands and clothing is a thing of the past. Drive into your garage, plug in on your way into the house and you're all set. Your car can be charged up and ready to go every single morning. Range anxiety is becoming a thing of the past, too, with the release of the Chevy Volt (an Extended Range Hybrid) and newer pure electric models such as the 2018 Nissan LEAF.

We keep stressing the 'fun' factor of EVs. Yeah. The instant torque of a quiet electric motor, directly to the wheels. We can be 'off the line' while the other cars are still thinking about it. Not that we'd ever do anything like lay rubber. Nope. We're all about safety, and following the rules. Snort.

It's hard to not take a quietly self-righteous stance when listening to your neighbor tout the extra horsepower of his fossil fuel ... um, fossil. We smile, and pretend to be fascinated, while thinking "Wow. How last century! ... how stone age." Eye roll.

But, perhaps the bottom-line will be about the next generation, and the planet we leave for them. Will the skies be bluer? The air cleaner? Will we be able to say that we did our part to leave the world a better place? EV drivers are hoping that will be true ... and that their grandkids will say "Grandma and grandpa were the cool kids. They were early adopters. Yeah."

The cool kids. Because #EVsAreBetter 

Do people misunderstand the Chevy Volt?

Do people misunderstand the Chevy Volt?

How badly does the public misunderstand the Chevrolet Volt range-extended electric car? Pretty badly indeed, if the comments received by Volt owners are any indication. The first Volt was revolutionary. Its extended-range technology turns the car from a pure electric vehicle to one that uses fuel to maintain charge in the battery, making range anxiety a thing of the past.

EV benefit Talking Points worth circulating

We'd like to thank Tom Polikalas and Will Toor of SWEEP (Southwest Energy Efficiency Project) for all their hard work and commitment to ensure a bright future for electric vehicles and their drivers here in Nevada.

 

Additionally, we hope that you will voice your opinions on these two bills at the Nevada Legislature website .

Here's a link to the SWEEP study on the economic and environmental benefits of EVs for Nevada:

http://www.swenergy.org/data/sites/1/media/documents/publications/documents/Economic_and_AQ_Benefits_of_EVs_in_NV-Sept_2014.pdf

 

FROM WILL TOOR, SWEEP TRANSPORTATION PROGRAM:

 

AB 401  is the anti EV bill: http://www.leg.state.nv.us/Session/79th2017/Bills/AB/AB401.pdf

 Section 1 of this bill newly requires a person applying to register or renew the registration of a clean fuel vehicle or a hybrid fuel vehicle to pay an additional fee. The additional fee for a clean fuel vehicle is $336 and the additional fee for a hybrid fuel vehicle is $168.The additional registration fee is much too high. 

 

In Nevada, the total gasoline tax is $0.338 ($0.184 going to the state government and $0.154 going to county governments) per gallon.  An average new vehicle with a fuel economy of 32 mpg and driving 12,000 miles per year would be expected to pay about $125 per year in state and county gasoline taxes. The tax on a new gasoline vehicle that is as energy efficient as an EV would be about $40/year.

 

While a number of other states have assessed additional registration fees on electric vehicles, the fee imposed by AB 401 far exceeds that of any other state.  Currently, the state with the highest fee is Georgia which charges $200.  At the other end, Colorado charges $30.   Most states that have created a new fee have set the fee around $75-$125 which is approximately what a new vehicle would pay in state gasoline taxes.

 

AB 401 would require electric vehicles to pay far more than their fair share of highway and road maintenance costs.  

 

This high fee would discourage Nevada residents from purchasing an electric vehicle thus reducing the economic and air quality benefits that electric vehicles can bring to Nevada.  

 

 And EVs have played essentially no role in impacting gas tax collections in NV (less than one tenth of one percent impact).: http://www.swenergy.org/blame-inflation-not-fuel-efficiency-for-potholes-and-rickety-bridges 

 

 

AB 398 is the pro EV bill,https://www.leg.state.nv.us/App/NELIS/REL/79th2017/Bill/5458/Overview

  which provides a modest sales tax credit for purchasing an EV. The exemption from the Local School Support Tax provides a reduction of 2.6% of the state sales tax of 4.6%.  For a new electric vehicle with an MSRP of around $30,000 (like a Nissan LEAF) this would provide an incentive of $780.  

 

 While this is lower than the incentive offered by other states for electric vehicle purchases it should have a positive impact on electric vehicles sales in the state. 

 

EAANN and The National Automobile Museum Join For EV Event

The 1914 Detroit Electric car - a star of Reno, Nevada's  National Automobile Museum - will be on display. EAANN members will be bringing their own electric vehicles to showcase EVs, and bring awareness of just how many years electric vehicles have been in use.

The "Test and Tune" event takes place this Thursday evening, July 21, from 5:30 to 7:30 pm in the Auto Museum's parking lot between Mill St and the Truckee River. It's free, there's a chance to win a ride in the 1914 Detroit Electric, experts will be on hand to answer questions, and food & beer will be available through vendors.

EAANN members who bring their EVs will have the chance to photograph their cars alongside the famous 1914 Detroit!

Additional sponsorship is being provided by NCETan independent award-winning 501(c)(3) Nevada nonprofit organization whose programs include the NCET Small Business Expo, the NCET Tech Awards and the monthly Tech WednesdayTech Bite and Jelly events.

What better way to learn about the history of the electric vehicle, but during a warm, clear summer evening along Reno's Truckee River? Bring the entire family!

What better way to learn about the history of the electric vehicle, but during a warm, clear summer evening along Reno's Truckee River? Bring the entire family!

 

 

 

 

 

Summer EV Show & Shine at Reno's Virginia Lake

We have recently revived our electric car club, gained a lot of new talent and are on our way to becoming a much more active and hopefully more fun organization. We've restructured the governing body to be more inclusive and democratic and in doing so gained a great deal of excitement and enthusiasm. The number of electric cars and their diversity in the area has increased over the last few years and we hope to capitalize on that to grow our membership and participation in the up coming events. 

We will be kicking off with a show and shine and pot luck picnic at the Virginia Lake park on July 16th from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. and hope to see you there. It's open to all, members, and non members, families and friends. If you already have some form of electric transportation whether it's a car, bike, motorcycle, skateboard, etc. bring it! We want to see it, show it off and talk about it. If you don't already have some form of electric transportation and just want to see what they're all about, come on in with some kind of food or non alcoholic drink to share and join our celebration!

If you would like to RSVP potluck items, Cynthia Ryan will be happy to coordinate that. Contact her at: ladybird53@icloud.com. There are small BBQ's located around the site, but if anybody would like to bring a couple small propane grills so that we can consolidate cooking in a convenient area, that would be great, too. 

Virginia Lake is located on Lakeside Drive, between Plumb Lane and Brinkby, Reno, just west of the Peppermill Hotel and Casino.

May 2016 Newsletter

SPECIAL MEETING ANNOUNCEMENT
WHO:
Electric Auto Association of Northern Nevada (EAANN)

WHAT: Social / Officer Elections 

WHEN: Wednesday, May 18, 2016, from 6:00 - 8:00 p.m. 

WHERE: Sport Haus Reno, 9732 S Virginia St, Reno, NV (Click here for map)

WHY: Social and officer elections

AGENDA:
Social: 6:00 - 6:30 p.m.
Future of the EAANN and leadership discussion: 6:30 - 7:30 p.m.
Officer elections: 7:30 - 8:00 p.m.

Hi EVeryone!

It's been well over a year since the Electric Auto Association of Northern Nevada (EAANN) has met.

So once again we're trying to find a couple of folks willing to takeover leadership of the group.

Typically, the minimum requirements for organizing the EAANN are conducting two events each year: Earth Day and National Drive Electric Week, and organizing the occasional meeting / social so local EVers, and the EV curious, can get together and swap stories.

There's already a willing volunteer handling the website and social media--but she can't do it all alone. 

With two or three more people we should be able to get the EAANN up and running again--and just in time to start planning National Drive Electric Week, September 10-18, 2016. (You only need to organize a NDEW event on one day, not for the entire week--whew!)

Really, it seems odd there's no active EV group in Northern Nevada given the Tesla Motors' Gigafactory is located here.

So whether you're interested in helping organize the group or not, I hope to see you at the next meeting. It will be fun to catch up with everyone!

Full batteries all!

Bob Tregilus
Acting Chair

 

EV ANNOUNCEMENTS

Wanted
EAANN member, Robbin Palmer, is looking for a used, "well-loved" EV. If you know of one for sale, please email her.
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Action Item!
The Southwest Energy Efficiency Project (SWEEP) has done a lot of great work (ex. 1, 2, 3) promoting EV adoption in Nevada and elsewhere in the SW United States. On Monday, May 16th at 9:00 a.m., at the Nevada Legislature (401 S. Carson Street, Room 2134, Carson City), the Governor's New Energy Industry Task Force will meet. SWEEP is asking: "If anyone has time, we could sure use pro-EV statements at our Clean Energy Committee meeting coming up this Monday. Go to the Agenda ... Public comments (3 minutes) are taken before and after [the meeting]."

In the meanwhile, peruses this handy SWEEP produced EV and PV Power Purchase Handbook, Economic and Air Quality Benefits of Electric Vehicles in Nevada 


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Workplace Charging Challenge
The Workplace Charging Challenge enlists stakeholder organizations as ambassadors to promote and support workplace charging. Ambassadors, including Clean Cities coalitions across the country, are organizations that are knowledgeable about local incentives, best practices for workplace charging, and other aspects of plug-in electric vehicle (PEV) community readiness. Challenge partners can benefit from working with ambassadors in their region to promote PEVs and workplace charging. 
There's more ...
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Tahoe-Truckee Regional Plug-in Electric Vehicle Readiness Project
Electric vehicle readiness is on its way to the Tahoe-Truckee Region. The Tahoe Regional Planning Agency, the Truckee-Donner Public Utility District, a consultant team, and a Plug-in Electric Vehicle Coordinating Council have partnered to accelerate transportation electrification in the Tahoe-Truckee Region.
There's more here ...

EV NEWS

Inside the Gigafactory That Will Decide Tesla’s Fate
To get to Tesla's Gigafactory, you drive east from Reno, Nevada, turn into a sprawling industrial center, and make a left on Electric Avenue. The high desert landscape dwarfs everything, even the vast white building with the red stripe along the top. As you reach the gate with the security guard, the breadth of Tesla's ambitions becomes clear. Even the name itself suggests more to come: Gigafactory 1. [Article includes some really great photos. Ed.]
There's more here ...

Tesla Model 3: Will it Be a Good Family Car?
We knew the Tesla Model 3 would make a splash when it was introduced. Pretty much every Tesla has. But when nearly 400,000 people plunked down a refundable $1,000 to reserve one, we were surprised. "100,000 would have been an impressive number," Elon Musk said. "Now, with some 400,000 preorders, the number is almost unbelievable. … The Model 3 was probably the real wake-up call for the rest of the industry." Those preorders account for $400 million Tesla didn't have a month ago. This is serious interest. At Motor Trend HQ we wonder how many of those possible future Tesla owners might be families (or starting families), which led us to ask whether the Model 3 is the family-friendliest EV soon to be on sale. In terms of features and ownership intangibles, the Model 3 makes a compelling purchase case as a family-friendly EV.

There's more here ...



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As World Races Toward Mass Electric Car Adoption, Analyst Says GM Will Sell 30k-80k Chevy Bolt EVs in First Year
If there's one thing that we've learned in the past two months about electric cars, it's that there has been a dramatic and noticeable shift in attitudes towards cars that run on electricity rather than gasoline. From the unexpected, unprecedented numbers of people putting their name down to buy a Tesla Model 3 electric car to the way in which the alluring, if fake, Chevrolet Jolt EV website gained social media notoriety just a few hours after going live, something is blatantly clear.

Read more about it here ...

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EV charging research at the University of Washington
[Some of you may have participated in this prof's survey ~1.5yrs-ago. Ed.]
Don MacKenzie is an assistant professor of transportation engineering at the University of Washington in Seattle. In this Hangout On Air, he will discuss some recent research results relating to the charging behavior of plug-in vehicle owners. Members of the Electric Auto Association (EAA) contributed to this research by completing a survey on their charging preferences, and this Hangout is a chance for EAA members and other interested members of the public to see what we have learned from their responses. [~30 minute video. Ed.]
 


Why not join the National Electric Auto Association (EAA)?
If you like what you see, please show your support by becoming an EAA member. Your membership will support our volunteer efforts to keep the public aware of EVs as a clean, easy, and fun transportation option. EAA Members regularly receive the national EAA newsletter Current EVents. (It's a real newsletter unlike this one!)

 

Economic and Air Quality Benefits of Electric Vehicles in Nevada

Originally published by SWEEP - Southwest Energy Efficiency Project - Author: Mike Salisbury. September 2014

Click for Original Document link

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

Electric vehicles (EVs) help create jobs and provide economic and air quality benefits to Clark and Washoe Counties and the state of Nevada overall. In order to maximize these potential benefits for all Nevada residents, the state should consider adoption of policies that overcome barriers to greater numbers of people acquiring them.

EVs provide economic benefits to the state by reducing fuel costs and shifting consumption away from imported oil to more locally produced electricity sources. These fuel savings become additional disposable income that will be spent mostly in the local economy, creating additional jobs in the state. At higher levels of market penetration, the fuel savings from EVs could produce thousands of jobs in Nevada in future years.

EV drivers can expect to save between $1,000 and $1,300 annually on fuel costs, totaling between $11,600 and $17,100 over the life of the vehicle, depending on the price of gasoline. The total economic benefit to the state of Nevada in reduced fuel costs could reach $138 million per year by 2030.

The analysis in this report shows that, in Clark and Washoe Counties, EVs will improve air quality by reducing emissions of criteria pollutants compared to a comparable gasoline- fueled vehicle. In Washoe County, EVs will reduce levels of all pollutants compared to gasoline vehicles by 2015. In Clark County, EVs provide reductions of every pollutant except SO2. By 2020, despite the new federal Tier III tailpipe emissions standards, EVs will continue to emit fewer pollutants than new gasoline vehicles in both counties. Reduction of all these pollutants provides public health benefits to the region by reducing respiratory ailments, especially in vulnerable populations such as children and the elderly.

ECONOMIC AND AIR QUALITY BENEFITS OF ELECTRIC VEHICLES IN NEVADA

Because of the substantial economic and air quality benefits, SWEEP recommends that the state of Nevada take more action to spur the adoption of EVs. Important policies the state could adopt to promote EVs include: 

 

  • Rebates for the purchase or lease of an EV or the installation of a public charging station;

  • Allowing charging station owners to resell electricity to EV drivers;

  • Expanded use of performance contracting to purchase EVs for government fleets;

  • A statewide charging station funding source (tied to EV registration fees); and

  • A registration fee that ensures EVs pay their fair share of roadway maintenance costs.

    A suite of other policies that other southwestern state governments have implemented to support EVs can be found in the report, Policies to Promote Electric Vehicles in the Southwest: A State Government Report Card. 

 

INTRODUCTION

There are currently 17 light-duty electric vehicles (EVs), including plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs), available in the United States from large-scale vehicle manufacturers, with more models expected in coming years.1 With so many diverse models available over the next few years, electric vehicles have the potential to play an important part in the transportation future of Nevada. The benefits of EVs compared to gasoline fueled vehicles include the following:

  • Greater efficiency: Compared to gasoline powered internal combustion engines, electric vehicles can travel the same distance using approximately 24% less energy.2

  • Locally produced energy source: Almost all of the petroleum and refined gasoline used in Nevada is imported, while electricity can be produced using clean energy resources that are abundant in the state, such as solar and geothermal.3

  • Reduced emissions: EVs have the potential to reduce greatly harmful tailpipe emissions compared to gasoline powered vehicles.4

  • Reduced fuel cost: Because of their higher efficiency and the low cost of electricity compared to gasoline per unit of energy, EV owners pay the equivalent of $0.60 per gallon to drive their EVs.5

Furthermore, the energy and environmental benefits of electric vehicles are expected to increase as older power plants are retired and additional natural gas and renewable generation is constructed.6 Clark and Washoe Counties face air quality challenges, and light duty vehicle emissions are a significant source of pollutants that contribute to this problem. Supporting widespread adoption of electric vehicles is an important strategy for improving air quality in the state. 

ECONOMIC BENEFITS FROM ELECTRIC VEHICLES

Job Creation Benefits

Nevada does not produce any oil and must import all its vehicle fuel from outside the state, meaning that almost all of the money spent on fuelover $5 billion annually—will leave the state’s economy. The money saved from EVsreduced fuel costs will result in consumers spending less disposable income on imported energy and more on local goods and services.

Producing and supplying energy is one of the least employment-intensive sectors of the economy, so shifting expenditures away from this sector and towards local goods and services will create more local jobs. An additional dollar of household spending will create 16 times more jobs than if that dollar were spent on fossil fuels.7 The jobs created by this additional spending are spread. throughout the economy, not focused in the vehicle or alternative fuel sectors; therefore, all income levels will benefit from the fuel savings benefits from electric vehicles.

Without the development of a detailed model based on regional and statewide data that could predict the employment benefits of EVs, it is not possible to provide precise estimates of this impact. However, one methodology provides an approximate estimate of the scale of employment benefits offered by EV fuel savings in Nevada.

In 2012, Dr. David Roland-Holst, an economist at the University of California, Berkeley, analyzed the economic and job creation impact of two EV market penetration scenarios for California.8 While the study focused on the impact of EV fuel savings in the California economy and the results may not be directly applicable to Nevada, the general scale of the economic and employment impacts should be applicable.

This analysis found that, if EVs comprise 15.4 percent of new vehicle sales by 2030, then nearly 50,000 additional jobs would be created in California from the fuel savings (compared to a baseline scenario). Allowing for less aggressive market penetration in Nevada and for the smaller number of vehicles in the state, we scaled down the equation to give an estimate of how many jobs could be created by the fuel savings from EVs.

The first “baseline” market penetration scenario comes from the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) and is their forecast of EV sales in the Mountain region. Based on the percentage of vehicle registrations, we estimate that Nevada would account for 11 percent of vehicles sales in the region. By 2020, EIA forecasts that EVs will make up 0.9 percent of all new vehicles sales and by 2030, 1.8 percent of sales.9 This translates to approximately 0.3 percent of all light duty vehicles in 2020 and one percent of all light-duty vehicles in 2030. At this level of market penetration, 430 jobs would be created in Nevada by 2030.

A second “current trend” market penetration scenario was analyzed based on how Nevada’s vehicle sales compare with California’s. In 2013, electric vehicles in California made up 1.4% of all new vehicle registrations while in Nevada they made up 0.4%. If future sales in Nevada follow this trend of having a new sales rate 29 percent of California’s, EVs would make up 2.4 percent of all light-duty vehicle sales by 2020, increasing to 4 percent by 2030. At this level of market penetration, 960 jobs would be created in Nevada by 2030.

A third and more aggressive scenario looks at what the market penetration would be if Nevada sold about half as many vehicles as is required by the ZEV mandate currently adopted by eight states. California, Connecticut, Maryland, Massachusetts, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island and Vermont mandate that 15 percent of new vehicle sales to be zero emission vehicles (ZEV) by 2030. At this level of market penetration, 1,930 jobs would be created in Nevada by 2030. Figure 1 compares the job creation potential for each of the three market penetration scenarios. 

Individual Vehicle and Economy-Wide Fuel Savings Benefits

Over the lifetime of the vehicle, higher upfront costs for EVs will be more than offset by significantly lower fuel costs than gasoline vehicles, bringing economic benefits to their owners that will in turn provide an economic benefit to the state. We analyzed the economic benefits of EVs based on two forecasts for the price of gasoline developed by the EIA: the Reference Case and the High Oil Price Case.10 The average price of electricity per kWh for Nevada customers taking advantage of NV Energy’s electric vehicle rate is estimated at $0.053 per kWh.11 The average rates were increased based on EIA’s projected increase in electricity prices for the Mountain region.12 Table 1 shows the economic benefits for three types of EVs: a Toyota Prius Plug-in Hybrid (PHEV) with an electric range of 10 miles, a Chevrolet Volt extended range PHEV with an electric range of 40 miles and a fully electric Nissan Leaf with a range of 70 miles. Specific benefits estimated here include the incremental cost (minus the federal tax credit), the payback period, the lifetime fuel cost savings (total fuel savings minus the incremental cost), and the average annual savings for each vehicle in both the reference and high energy cost scenarios.

Applying the same three market penetration scenarios described above in the job creation section, the economic impacts to the entire economy are estimated in Table 2, which shows that the adoption of EVs in Nevada has the potential to provide between $18 million and $138 million in annual economic benefits to Nevada in 2030. 

ANALYSIS OF EMISSIONS FROM ELECTRIC VEHICLES IN CLARK AND WASHOE COUNTIES

SWEEP compared the emissions associated with five types of vehicles in two years, 2015 and 2020, using the GREET model developed by the Argonne National Laboratory.14 The vehicles include: a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) like the Toyota Prius Plug-in that has an electric range of 10 miles; an extended range PHEV like the Chevy Volt with an electric range of 40 miles; a battery electric vehicle (BEV) like a Nissan Leaf with a range of 70 miles; a compressed natural gas (CNG) vehicle like a Honda Civic CNG which gets 33 miles per gallon equivalent; and a traditional gasoline passenger vehicle with a fuel efficiency of 30 miles per gallon.15 The analysis focused on the lifecycle vehicle emissions that take place in Clark and Washoe Counties, which include the Las Vegas and Reno metropolitan areas where approximately 88 percent of Nevadans live.16 For a detailed description of the methodology, please refer to the Appendix at the end of the report.

The analysis evaluates emissions of the following criteria pollutants: ground-level ozone precursors, such as volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and nitrogen oxides (NOx); particulate matter of 2.5 and 10 micrometers (PM2.5 and PM10); carbon monoxide (CO); and sulfur dioxide (SO2). 17 The analysis also evaluates greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. 

The PM10 emissions are particularly important, as both counties currently exceed the EPA’s standard for acceptable levels of PM10 emissions. NOx and VOC emissions are also important, as Clark County is currently close to being in non-attainment for permissible levels of ground-level ozone. The EPA is expected to issue new ozone standards in 2014, which may present additional challenges by lowering allowed ozone levels from 75 to 70 parts per billion (ppb) or lower. 

Clark County Vehicle Emissions Results

In 2015, the Leaf provides significant reductions in all pollutants except SO2 compared to a new gasoline vehicle meeting current fuel economy and tailpipe emissions standards.18 The Prius Plug- in and Volt have fewer emissions as well. The Civic CNG offers the greatest reduction in NOx and SO2 emissions.

For the seven pollutants analyzed, Figure 2 compares the emission rates (how many grams of pollutant are emitted during a mile of driving) and provides an emissions profile for each type of vehicle. Based on these emission rates, Table 3 shows the percent reduction of each pollutant compared to a gasoline vehicle. For each pollutant in Table 3, the vehicle with the greatest reduction compared to a gasoline vehicle is highlighted. 

Figure 3 compares the emission rates and provides an emissions profile for each type of vehicle. Table 4 shows the percent reduction of each pollutant compared to a gasoline vehicle; the vehicle with the greatest reduction is highlighted. 

An EV driven in Clark County will have lower emissions in 2020 than in 2015. That’s because the electricity mix in southern Nevada will be cleaner due to the retirement of the last coal-fired unit of the Reid Gardner power plant. However, because the federal Tier III tailpipe emission standards will significantly reduce emissions of all the criteria pollutants,19 the net emissions benefit of EVs compared to new gasoline vehicles in 2020 will actually be reduced in some cases compared to 2015.20 Even with stricter tailpipe emissions regulations, though, EVs still offer emission advantages compared to gasoline vehicles for almost all pollutants. 

Washoe County Vehicle Emissions Results

In Washoe County, every type of electric vehicle has lower levels of pollutant emissions in 2015 compared to a gasoline vehicle. Even though a higher percentage of coal is used to produce electricity for Washoe County, the power plants are located outside of the county’s airshed, so EVs deliver even greater air quality benefits in Washoe County than in Clark County. The Leaf offers the greatest level of emission reductions among the five vehicle types. The level of emission reductions for the Prius Plug-in and the Volt generally fall between those of the Leaf and the Civic CNG.

Figure 4 compares the emission rates and provides an emissions profile for each type of vehicle. Table 5 shows the percent reduction of each pollutant compared to a gasoline vehicle; the vehicle with the greatest reduction is highlighted. 

By 2020, EVs still hold an emissions advantage in Washoe County over gasoline vehicles, despite the implementation of the federal Tier III tailpipe emission standards. While methodology and data upon which we based our analysis projects forward only to 2020, it is worth noting that northern Nevada’s remaining coal plant, Valmy, is currently scheduled to be retired in 2025. This closure will greatly reduce GHG emissions from electric vehicles at that time.

Figure 5 compares the emission rates and provides an emissions profile for each type of vehicle. Table 6 shows the percent reduction of each pollutant compared to a gasoline vehicle; the vehicle with the greatest reduction is highlighted. 

Table 7 shows the percentage of each criteria pollutant generated by light-duty vehicles in Clark and Washoe Counties. 21 Because such a large proportion of VOC, NOx, and CO emissions are attributable to light duty vehicles, replacing gasoline vehicles with EVs (which offer dramatic reductions in each of these pollutants) should be effective at reducing both ground level ozone and carbon monoxide in both counties. 

 

Clark and Washoe Counties are currently in attainment for the EPA’s ozone standard. However, if the EPA adopts a stricter standard in 2014as recommended by their scientific advisory panelthen both counties may no longer be in compliance.

As Clark and Washoe Counties develop plans to reduce ground-level ozone levels, increasing the numbers of electric vehicles on the road can play an important part in reducing emissions. This analysis demonstrates that a shift to electric vehicles will help both counties comply with both the current and new standards. Electric vehicles significantly reduce emissions of other pollutants as well.

Electric vehicles provide reductions of PM2.5, PM10 and SO2 compared to gasoline vehicles, but light duty vehicles make up a relatively small portion of these emissions overall. Even with high levels of adoption, electric vehicles likely would not have a significant impact on overall emissions in the Counties.

Reducing the levels of all these criteria pollutants provides public health benefits to the region. Elevated levels of these pollutants lead to respiratory ailments such as aggravated and more frequent asthma attacks and decreased lung function, all of which increase hospital and emergency room visits.23 Vulnerable populations such as children and the elderly are at greater risk from exposure to these pollutants. 

EV POLICIES IN NEVADA

In 2014, SWEEP published Policies to Promote Electric Vehicles in the Southwest: A State Government Report Card, which graded southwestern state governments on how much they had done to support EVs.24 Nevada received a C, having adopted only six policies that support the adoption of EVs.

The two states (Colorado and Utah) with the most robust EV policies are those that have experienced the highest rate of EV adoption in the Southwest. Colorado, the state receiving the highest grade of an A-, had adopted 12 policies supporting EVs. Among these policies is a tax credit of up to $6,000 for the purchase or lease of an EV as well as an EV infrastructure fundcapitalized by an annual fee on each EVto invest in a network of charging stations. Utah, which received the second highest grade of a B+, has adopted a $1,500 tax credit for the purchase or lease of an EV.

Figure 6 below shows EV registrations as a percentage of all new vehicle registrations in each of five southwestern states in the last two years. Nevada has a similar rate of adoption to Arizona and is ahead of New Mexico, but the state trails both Utah and Colorado. 

Figure 7 compares the number of publicly available charging stations per million residents in the southwestern states.27 Arizona’s number is somewhat inflated compared to other states as it received a significant amount of its charging stations essentially at no cost via the EV Project.28 Due to the efforts of NV Energy, Nevada compares favorably with other states, which may indicate that public charging by itself is not sufficient to drive EV sales.

SWEEP recommends that the state of Nevada adopt the following policies that support EVs in order to increase the economic and air quality benefits detailed in this report. Each of these policies has been successfully adopted and proven effective in other states.

Rebate for Vehicle Purchase or Lease

One of the greatest barriers to wider adoption is the additional incremental cost of EVs. An upfront rebate would spur EV sales and put them within financial reach of a larger percentage of the population. Several states (Massachusetts, Illinois, Pennsylvania and California) offer EV rebates of $2,000 to $4,000. Combined with the federal tax credit for EVs, a rebate could eliminate almost all of the incremental cost to EV buyers. Nevada could also set up a sales tax exemption for EVs which both New Jersey and Washington currently offer. Because there is no income tax in Nevada, it is not possible to offer a tax credit for EVs as several other states such as Colorado and Utah do.

Energy Performance Contracting

Energy Performance Contracting (EPC) is a financing mechanism used to pay for energy efficiency improvements. The “loan” is then paid back by utility bill savings from using less energy. EPC has

been used to fund energy efficiency building improvements in Nevada’s universities, hospitals and other public facilities. Extending this mechanism to acquisition of highly efficient and alternative fuel vehicles is an important and innovative use of performance contracting. EVs face the same issue as energy efficiency improvements for buildings: a higher capital cost, offset over time by savings in fuel and maintenance costs.

Deregulation of Electricity Sales to EVs

This policy would allow charging station owners and operators additional flexibility in how they provide and sell electricity to EV owners at public charging stations. Under current regulations, only entities regulated as utilities are able to sell electricity to the public on a $/kWh basis. Allowing EVSE owners to charge by the kWh ensures that all vehicles are paying equitably for the energy they are receiving. Currently, 10 states (California, Washington State, Virginia, Colorado, Florida, Oregon, Minnesota, Illinois, Maryland, and Hawaii) have changed their laws to allow the re-sale of electricity to EV owners.

EV Infrastructure Fund and Registration Fee

Electricity sold to power EVs is not currently taxed as a transportation fuel, which means that EVs are contributing less than gasoline vehicles to the state’s transportation fund for road maintenance. In addition, the lack of public charging stations creates “range anxiety” and inhibits consumers from purchasing EVs.

To address these two issues, the state could impose an additional registration fee on electric vehicles. In the early years, this fee will fund additional EV charging stations. As EV numbers grow to the point that they are impacting transportation funding, the fee transitions over to the road fund.

A suite of other policies that other southwestern state governments have implemented to support EVs can be found in the report referenced above, Policies to Promote Electric Vehicles in the Southwest: A State Government Report Card.

 

APPENDIX: AIR QUALITY ANALYSIS METHODOLOGY

SWEEP performed the analysis using the Greenhouse Gases, Regulated Emissions, and Energy Use in Transportation (GREET) fuel-cycle model developed by the Argonne National Laboratory with funding from the U.S. Department of Energy.31 New vehicles purchased in 2015 are analyzed to show which vehicles will have the most immediate impact regarding energy use and emissions.

The GREET model also calculates the amount of emissions occurring in urban areas to show which emissions would be most likely to contribute to air quality issues. To better represent the impact that electric and gasoline vehicles will have on air quality, SWEEP characterized the transportation energy system in Nevada to show exactly what emissions are likely to contribute to Clark and Washoe Counties’ airshed. Note that in July of 2013, SWEEP released a multi-state analysis of emissions from electric vehicles, which arrives at slightly different conclusions for Nevada, as it analyzes statewide lifecycle emissions, and does not focus specifically on Las Vegas and Reno metropolitan areas.32

The analysis also looks at how new vehicles purchased in 2020 perform in that year. It is assumed that these vehicles will meet the EPA’s Tier III emission standards which will impact 2017 and later model years.33 We assumed new gasoline and CNG vehicles purchased in 2020 will meet the CAFE fuel economy standards that will be in effect in 2020.

To estimate electricity generation mixes, SWEEP relied on the latest data from NV Energy regarding the electric mixes in their northern and southern regions to establish a baseline.34 Then electricity mixes were adjusted to reflect the planned retirement of coal power plants (such as Reid Gardner) and the increase in renewable and energy efficiency sources under the state’s Renewable Portfolio Standard. By 2015, three of the four power generation units at Reid Gardner will have been retired and by 2020 all of its units will be retired. By 2015, 20 percent of electricity will come from renewables and energy efficiency and this will increase to 22 percent by 2020. Table A-1 breaks down the baseline and projected electricity mixes used in the analysis for each scenario. 

Regarding relevant upstream emissions from electricity generation, SWEEP calculated that in Clark County by 2015, 21 percent of coal plant emissions take place within the county and all of the natural gas plant emissions comes from within the county. By 2020, with the retirement of the last of Reid Gardner’s units, there will be zero coal plant emissions in Clark County. For Washoe County, none of coal plant emissions take place in the County’s airshed and all of the natural gas plant emissions take place in the county’s airshed.

There are no refineries located in either Clark or Washoe Counties, so there are no upstream emissions attributable to gasoline vehicles. Likewise there is no energy extraction (mining or drilling) that takes place in Clark or Washoe Counties that would contribute to lifecycle urban emissions from vehicles. 

 

For more information: Electric Vehicles - Reducing Foreign Oil Dependence, Enhancing U.S. Competitiveness and Decreasing Pollution. PEW Environment Group.

 

 

 

 

 

The e-Gallon : How much is it costing you to drive electric?

Your friends who are still - sigh - driving on fossil fuels can figure their cost much more easily, since the per gallon price is posted at every gas station. Fortunately, the U.S. Dept. of Energy has created a nifty little algorithm so that you can plug in your state's average electricity cost (available on a drop down) and get a good idea of how much it's costing you to drive cleanly, and electrically around town vs. a gallon of unleaded.

Our next meeting is one that you shouldn't miss

We've scheduled our May meeting at 250 Bell Street, Reno on Thursday, May 28th, 5:30 p.m. Susan Clark, of the Nevada Electric Vehicle Accelerator will be hosting the meeting, as well as giving a brief presentation.

The agenda will include:

An election of principle officers

Earth Day Review 

Social Media Update 

Presentation by Susan Clark

Discussion and Planning of an event around National Drive Electric Week (September)

We hope you can join us, and participate in the election.

 

 

 

A visiting scholar would like to chat with you about your Tesla experience

Scott Hardman is currently working with California Tesla owners as part of his PhD research at the Institute of Transportation Studies, UC Davis. Hardman, from the University of Birmingham, in the United Kingdom. He has already connected with Tesla owners in the Sacramento area, interviewing them about their vehicle ownership experiences. His area of investigation involves how new transportation technologies diffuse through the market, and he is looking at this from" the consumer perspective".

He is now willing to come over to Reno, and interview Tesla Model S and Roadster owners, with each interview lasting between 30 minutes and one hour - depending on how much time the owner/driver has available. The topics will explore what vehicles you've owned previous to the Tesla, and the reasons why you chose to purchase a Tesla. The collected data will be used in his doctoral thesis.

If you have any queries about his research please connect directly with him and feel free to ask him

Scott Hardman (530)-318-5414

Electric Vehicles Are On Your Side

With a full time job, a spouse, a house, kids, and lots of projects, it sometimes feels like life can gang up on you. How many times in your life have you had more things to do than hours in which to get them done? Not to mention the expenses. . . If you’re like me, the answer is, “way too often”. 

It used to be that just about the time I could see a glimmer of light at the end of the ‘to do list’ tunnel, along came that five-thousand mile mark on one of the cars, and there went another few bucks and another few hours to get the oil changed. I’m one of the folks who switched to synthetic, fully willing to pay the extra cost to extend the time between oil changes and hopefully extend the life of the engine. 

Spring is here and I’ve got gardening to do, track and field events to attend, my daughter’s high school graduation to plan, and enough household repairs and home improvements to make Tim the Tool Man Taylor grunt himself into a coma of despair. While my house remains just as maintenance intensive as it ever was, the cars have gotten with the program and now require less attention than an artificial cactus. 

Two years ago my wife and I were tired of paying a small fortune each time we had to make our weekly trek to the gas station. After finding out about the Nissan Leaf, we put pencil to paper and found out that we could have one for less than the cost of our monthly tithe to the Cult of OPEC. When we decided to make the switch to electric, we could not have guessed how it would change our lives for the better. 

Smog checks, fuel, oil changes, air filters and a myriad of other maintenance hassles are a thing of the distant past. For the first time in my life, I actually did 100% of the factory scheduled maintenance. That recommended maintenance consisted of rotating the tires.

The Leaf is ready to go, and simply doesn’t need me for much apart from wiper blades and washer fluid a few times a year, the aforementioned tire rotation, maybe a good washing and that’s about the extent. 

My wife hasn’t been to a gas station, in two years. Think about that. Two years without a stop at fueling station. Two years without exposure to the fumes, the PIN thieves, or the elements. Instead, the car recharges overnight in our garage. Since we were coming home anyway, it turns out that contrary to what the oil peddlers would have you believe, charging at home is the MOST convenient way to fuel your car. 

Some people think that they will have to adapt to the electric car, but the truth is, the electric car gives back to it’s owner. It saves you money, hassle and most importantly, time. 

My EV is on my side.

EAANN Participation at Reno Earth Day - Car entries invited!

Hello to all,

My name is John Beck and I'd like to introduce myself as a new member to EAANN and the club's point-of-contact for Reno Earth Day 2015.  This year's Earth Day is Sunday, April 26th from 10:00 a.m. to 6 p.m. at Idlewild Park in Reno.  You can visit www.renoearthday.com for additional information.  

To get this years EAANN Earth Day event off to a great start, I’m looking for about 20 cars, but I'm sure we can find room for everyone if the number exceeds 20.  I've already had a couple of members step up to display their Teslas (thank you!), and I'd like to see as many different models as possible, including any one-offs and electric motorcycles.  We're somewhat limited on space, but I'm gonna do my best to get our stable of EV's parked together and away from the regular ICE parking.  

Our booth will be pretty basic, but bringing any refreshments is encouraged and appreciated.  Unfortunately, we won't have any extra chairs, so I'd recommend bringing a lawn chair for seating.  One word of note- if you choose to display your car, plan on leaving it on display the entire show, as likely it can't be driven out until the end of the show.

It's nice to meet you all, hopefully face-to-face very soon.  I'm sorry this email is late in the game, next year I'll be in front of the event a lot sooner- thanks for your flexibility!  All your support is much appreciated, as I get more details I'll pass the information along,

Respectfully,

John Beck

(Nissan Leaf and Chevy Volt owner)