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September 2014

Dear Wheego Enthusiast:
In this issue:
  • Natl. Drive Electric Week A Resounding Success Across The Country
  • Utah State University Breaks Ground on Electric Vehicle Test Facility
  • Local Successes and Initiatives   

National Drive Electric Week A Resounding Success Across The Country

This article by Stephen Edelstein appeared in Green Car Reports.

This past week, thousands of people came out to learn about, experience, and extol the virtues of the electric car.
They were participating in National Drive Electric Week--which, despite its name, has become an international event taking place not only in 150 U.S. cities, but also in Canada, Italy, and The Netherlands. Organizers estimate that more than 90,000 people attended the 152 events held throughout the week. Previously known as National Plug-In Day, this sprawling event is used to promote plug-in cars, educating potential buyers and the general public about how they work. National Drive Electric Week is a joint project of the advocacy group Plug-In America, the Sierra Club, and the Electric Auto Association.

One of the biggest highlights of the week took place in Apple's hometown of Cupertino, California, where organizers broke the previous Guinness World Record for most electric cars in one place by assembling 507 battery-electric vehicles. The Cupertino rally featured 507 battery-electric cars--no plug-in hybrids were allowed--which beat the 481-car assemblage at an event in Stuttgart, Germany, earlier this year. Other events included car shows, information sessions with electric-car owners, and more than 5,500 test drives. Simply getting "butts in seats" is viewed as one of the biggest obstacles to electric-car adoption, so holding thousands of test drives is a very effective way to raise awareness. Not surprisingly given that it has grown from a weekend to an entire week, this was by far the largest national plug-in event since the first National Plug-In Day in 2011. Organizers estimate that attendance grew by 150 percent, while the largest contingent of plug-in car owners ever--over 7,000--was on hand to share their experiences with the public. If you missed out on National Drive Electric Week this year, it's never too early to start planning for 2015.

Utah State University Breaks Ground on Electric Vehicle Test Facility

The following is excerpted from an article by Charles Fleming for the Tribune News Service
A university in Utah has broken ground on the country's first electric vehicle test track fitted for in-motion, wireless electrical charging.
Workers at Utah State University (USU) began construction Tuesday on a state-of-the-art facility that will include an electrified track, a quarter-mile-long oval, that will demonstrate the effectiveness of wireless power charging. This technology will help address at least one of the principal blocks to more widespread adoption of electric vehicles -- range, and the range anxiety that accompanies drivers afraid they'll run out of juice before they have time to recharge.
Systems designed to charge electric vehicles, while they are at rest, already exist in pilot programs, said Regan Zane, the professor in USU's Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering who will be in charge of the USU facility. More cutting-edge is the technology that allows the transfer of power to vehicles in motion as they pass over wireless charging stations.

One result of in-motion, wireless charging, Zane said, would be the reduction of size and weight of the batteries required to power electric vehicles. "If we want to push toward a vehicle that has a 300-plus mile range, the battery size and vehicle weight goes up prohibitively," he said. "But if we had a vehicle that could receive charge in motion, we could get that range with a smaller, lighter battery that might have only a 30-mile range."
The 4,800-square-foot facility will be built near the USU campus in North Logan, Utah, north of Salt Lake City, with a budget of $2 million to $3 million, said Zane. The test track will be operational as early as spring of 2015.

Local Successes and Initiatives
Inside EVs ranked the top and bottom 10 states for EV Market share. What makes the difference? The Department of Energy lists incentives by state for EV owners.

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