Charging Up City Hall: They're Plugging in Electric Vehicle Charging Stations All Over

Ecotality-charging-station-1.jpg
ECOtality
A couple of months back we noted that as part of the U.S. Department of Energy's $115-million EV Project, which will spend a few years analyzing if and how much folks actually charge their rides, San Francisco-based ECOtality will be plugging in electric vehicle charging stations at a handful of city-owned locations: a Fair Park parking lot, Dallas Love Field and Dallas Executive Airport. ECOtality's spokesperson told us the reason they went with Fair Park was because it's a "destination location, a place where people are already going and spending a lot of time, and it's a high-profile location." It also happens to be the site of this year's Earth Day Dallas wingding.

Turns out, those aren't the only hot spots getting charging stations. On Wednesday the city council will OK the previously mentioned locations; says the council agenda, Love Field's getting six so-called "charging points," while Executive and Fair Park will get two each. Council will also vote to accept two more EV charging stations courtesy TXU: Dallas City Hall, which will get two charging points, and the across-the-street central library, which will receive one. Says the consent agenda item:
The stations ... may be used for City and/or public vehicles. TXU is promoting this program to provide the City with a no-cost way to gain experience with the deployment and operation of electric vehicle charging infrastructure. TXU will install and maintain the stations for three years. In addition, TXU will reimburse the City for electricity used for a period of one year for public vehicles and three years for City vehicles.
Says the agenda, all of the charging stations will be installed this month and go live come February.
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Shopfitting
Shopfitting

Electricity is used within telecommunications, and indeed the electrical telegraph, demonstrated commercially in 1837 by Cooke and Wheatstone, was one of its earliest applications. With the construction of first intercontinental, and then transatlantic, telegraph systems in the 1860s, electricity had enabled communications in minutes across the globe.

Boston Park Plaza Hotel
Boston Park Plaza Hotel

These things are probably chock-full of birdwatcher that could be gathered and marketed by the inadequate destitute folks walking around around town corridor and the collection.

Jstack6
Jstack6

50% of electricity comes from COAL, about 20% from Nuclear and 20% from Natual Gas, even 12% from hydro and 1% from solar and wind.

The big key here is there is excess energy in the GRID at night Off Peak. The Utilties can't turn down nuclear, COAL or even hydro at night, that's why they offer you Time Of Day Rates. A plugin car can charge at night Off Peak.

Also an Electric car is over 75-85% efficent, a gas car is only 20% efficient, idles getting negative mpg, makes pollution and wears out brakes burning 50% imported OIL. A plugin vehicle is American made and powered.   GET THE FACTS

Car Transport
Car Transport

hopefully there'll be lots of charging stations all over

Smoke Detectors
Smoke Detectors

  I think so. I think your article will give those people a good reminding. And they will express thanks to you later 

Tots4Masses
Tots4Masses

So once TXU decides to stop providing electric car drivers with the electricity everyone else is paying for through our electric rates, will it then change over to the City increasing taxes to pay for charging the Chevy Flamer?

ObserverFan
ObserverFan

Fair Park is a destination location? I'm a bad Dallasite.

Noah Jeppson
Noah Jeppson

It would be nice if they could incorporate a shade structure over these spaces that contain solar panels for power generation. It's good to see the city cooperating with more charging station installations. You can see a map of all the EV charging stations around town here: http://maps.google.com/maps/ms...

Abj4
Abj4

Let me figure this out.  How long should my extension cord be, to power my house ?  And, can I bring all my rechargeables and plug them in ?  For free ?

MarshallbpAyne
MarshallbpAyne

This is all we need, encouragement of more car ridership. I know electric is better than gas, but we need to be moving away from car usage not encouraging it, regardless of environmental impact.

Jason
Jason

You have a poorly formed comment that leaves it open to a lot of snark towards people who do actually believe that people should be moving away from car usage.  Actually, I take that back.  You just have a poorly formed opinion when it comes to transportation, people moving and daily life in a top 10 city.  

Yes.  Dallas should be moving toward creative ways to get people to bike and walk but the reality is that not everybody can do that.  For all the sprawl we have in Dallas, DART doesn't do a good job in design and execution of its function.  

Back to your comment.  What did you exactly mean when you said, "regardless of environmental impact."?  What is your reason for wanting to move away from car usage?  What is your lifestyle like that allows you to say something like this - do you live in a neighborhood that allows you to not use a car at all?  I guess your comment just came off a little too high and mighty or maybe I'm reading too much into it.  I don't see a handful of charging stations leading to someone thinking, "Gee.  I have lived my life without a car for the past three years.  I see there are poorly placed charging stations around Dallas now.  I think I'll go out and purchase an electric car."

I agree with what dallasmay said in response to your comment and am probably just repeating the same sentiment as them.  I really do wonder how you envision a future where no cars exist and everyone did take the great step of not being dependent on cars.  

dallasmay
dallasmay

I don't think the answer is to move away from cars entirely. I think the answer is to move away from car DEPENDENCY. If you HAVE to drive a car then you are no more free than a person 100 years ago who HAD to walk. 

The future will include cars. The technology itself is not bad. What is bad is the over reliance on the technology. The answer is a to have a broad spectrum of choices in transportation. An Ideal location would be one where a resident has the option to ride a bus, a train, to drive, walk, ride a bike, skate board, pogo stick, snowmobile, etc. and can choose for themselves the optimum form for transportation at any given time to any location. Over reliance on public transit would be no better than over reliance on a car. 

RTGolden
RTGolden

I'm going to go out on a limb and declare, here and now, that snowmobiles are not likely to become a viable means of transportation in Dallas.  (I reserve the right to amend this declaration if the ecofreaks switch climate change gears and go into ice age mode again).

Phelps
Phelps

My god, almost ALL of those poor people have cars now!  It's disgusting how they just putter around all the time.  They should know their place -- which is not having freedom of movement.  That's for their Betters.

Anon
Anon

the bigger issue is how to finance the infrastructure appropriately if this trend continues. freedom of movement and the ability to own a car aren't the same thing.

Anon
Anon

they can be idiots, but they don't have a monopoly on that particular trait

Phelps
Phelps

Since when do you have to be a conservative to think liberals are idiots?

Anon
Anon

since when are conservatives all about making sure that poor people's consumption habits are equal? besides, I don't care about the environment more than I care about people. I just don't understand the logic that consumption trends on a worldwide basis should come into parity with a country whose population consumes something like 20%+ of the world's resources for 5% of its population. 

Phelps
Phelps

tl;dr version: "Fuck the poor!  I like trees!"

Anon
Anon

first of all, the point is that if you switch to more electric cars, there will be less gas consumed. second, the gas tax funds highways. third, the gas tax fund will soon run out of money to afford maintenance on existing highways, let along expansion. fourth, if you raise the gas tax people will do the rational thing and buy more efficient vehicles, thereby perpetuating the cycle.also, the large scale electrical plants are far more efficient than the engine in your car. so it's not as simple as your argument that electric cars are running on coal. the solution to that is fairly simple too, though harder in practice because the government would make sure to mess it up - exact a premium on daytime power when it is actually the most expensive (as in, a true market for energy consumption instead of this nonsense we have now) and people will charge their cars at night when the power is mostly baseload energy from nuclear and wind (though some would inevitable still come from coal).as for the regressive tax argument, I don't really care about the poor in that way. I don't care if they can't afford to eat beef like wealthier people. they can eat rice and beans for all I care. stop trying to subsidize consumption so poor people "feel" like they are having some of the luxuries that only the wealthy should rightly be able to afford. I also don't care if they have a car. the government is subsidizing their transportation whether it's by hiding the true cost of car infrastructure or providing public transportation at a discount. and public transportation is a more efficient means of moving people per dollar spent. 

Phelps
Phelps

Easy, gas tax. That way it is paid disproportionately by the poor, and the left loves regressive taxes, as long as they can hide them in the price of necessities.

Scruffygeist
Scruffygeist

The entire world apologizes that we haven't been able to move on to solar-powered personal helicopters to appease you yet.

Tony (same as above user)
Tony (same as above user)

I agree. I demand teleportation dammit!

Paul
Paul

The other problem has been refilling the smoke into the electrical wires after an overload or short.

The Credible Hulk
The Credible Hulk

It's probably the "knuter valve". Or maybe check the blinker fluid.

Also, quit hiring former Greyhound Bus drivers to pilot that thing. They are sooooo grouchy.

Paul
Paul

We have to keep telling Schrodinger to stop sending his cat through the teleporter while inside a box ... now he is on this tangent of whether or not the cat is inside the box or not at the receiving station.

We'll give the cup of tea a try ... we had been using dust motes and cat dander as detected by a sunbeam through a partially open set of window drapes ... may be we hadn't considered the diffraction around the edges of the drapes ...

Mightn't the convection currents in the tea cup instill a 2nd or 3rd order level of order on the Brownian motion of the lipid molecules in the cream and once the density gradient has disappeared that the motion is no longer Brownian?

Ed D.
Ed D.

Try a fresh cup of hot tea. It's an excellent source of Brownian motion.

Paul
Paul

We adapted a circuit module from the improbability drive and it is working quite well ... although we do occasionally have our test subjects materialize as yarn dolls even though that is quite probably very improbable.

Scruffygeist
Scruffygeist

Ah, yes. Spaceballs demonstrated that problem with body part reversals and transportation. I'm glad that's been eliminated.

Paul
Paul

We're working on it ... we still have a few bugs in the plasma wave guide conduits and the energy/mass converter module.  We think we are about to have a breakthrough on the antimatter volume mass storage isolators.

The dipole matrix generators are still a bottleneck with regards to conversion mass throughput.

At least on our test subjects the legs and arms are no longer inverted and transposed.

dallasmay
dallasmay

It's really great that this is finally a reality. I know crusty people that just choose to hate anything that sounds even remotely liberal (even if it's just a car) will choose to hate it, but I think it's a pretty great thing. And it's even better that the infrastructure is being built with private money. I personally see no negatives with the electrification of transportation.

PlanoDave
PlanoDave

Get within 3 miles of a coal-fired electricity plant and look at the acres and acres of dead trees and you may change your mind about that position.

TXU was the largest polluter in TX for many, many years.  That crap if far worse for the environment than gas engines.

Now, if you wanna talk about a gas-powered car with KERS, that is something that is a worthwhile advancement.

The Credible Hulk
The Credible Hulk

Hey! Why so negative? Look on the bright side: These things are probably chock-full of copper that could be harvested and sold by the poor homeless folks wandering around city hall and the library.

See? Silver (er... copper) lining! 

dallasmay
dallasmay

because gasoline is magically created with no negative environmental side effects. 

DoubleOJoe
DoubleOJoe

Wait, wait, wait.  There's parking at City Hall that the public is allowed to use?  Isn't that the bigger story here?

Phelps
Phelps

Got one of those at the Walgreens around the corner from my apartment.  Passed it hundreds of times.

Never seen a single car hooked up.

Noah Jeppson
Noah Jeppson

I've used it several times, and I've been told it's a hotspot for Tesla EVs. The reason you may not see people for very long at this location is because it's a high capacity 480v charger... unlike other slower charging stations around town this one will give the car a rapid charge in only a few minutes. More of these are going up around town too.

dallasmay
dallasmay

You wouldn't believe what I saw the other day. It was a "cellular phone tower". Really? Who own's a cellular phone? No one. I've never seen anyone use it. Therefore it will never amount to anything. Ever. Cellular Phones will never ever ever be a real market because I haven't see anyone use it yet. 

Oh, gosh. Sorry. That was supposed to be posted in the 1980's. 

Phelps
Phelps

Yeah, because a coal-powered car is a real advancement.

Phelps
Phelps

It started a long time ago.

The fact is, a modern gas or diesel burning car releases less pollutants over its lifetime than an EV car.  It actually doesn't matter much how the current is generated for the EV -- even if it is something optimal like hydroelectric, so many pollutants are generated in its manufacture that it's a wash.  Meanwhile, we have gas engines that release fewer pollutants mile-per-mile than you would get generating that power in the highest tech of coal plants.

mark zero (Jason)
mark zero (Jason)

Think a bit bigger, then, please? It's a lot easier for electric utilities to swap out coal burning plants down the way with something more efficient and less polluting, than it is for millions of people to swap out the gas-burning engines of their cars.

You gotta start somewhere, or you never get anywhere.

Paul
Paul

Might want to exchange that Crap Detector for a Sarcasm Detector ...

Crap Detector
Crap Detector

But the source for electricity is limited (oh I know, deregulation was supposed to fix that but we still have basically one owner of the delivery system a la Oncor) and they've got you by the short hairs, then there is ERCOT to manipulate the grid and availability -- while you can visit a multitude of vendors for groceries and thus have a little more freedom. Encouraging reliance on electricity can cause problems, too, and leave you at the mercy of the one or two parties who control it. Speaking of: how are those folks with all-electric houses feeling these days?.

Paul
Paul

Are you sure?  Last time that I looked I didn't see any ash dribbling out of the outlet in my house.

Besides electricity is just like food ... electricity comes from outlets and food comes from the grocery store ....

Phelps
Phelps

I am thinking bigger, as in big picture. The plug in car boobs are thinking small.

"electricity is MAGIC!". No, it isn't. It comes from electrical plants. What do electrical plants run on? Coal.

Congratulations. You bought a coal powered car. Thanks for acid rain, asshole.

dallasmay
dallasmay

.... try to think.... bigger.

Scruffygeist
Scruffygeist

Is that a frame from a scene that didn't end up in the final edit of Dire Straits' Money For Nothing video?

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