Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Yokohama Trip Part 1

After spending 6 days either flying or riding around Japan, I am still playing catch up with everything at home which is a good thing because it has allowed me a better chance to digest the trip.

It started Monday Jan 21st with a drive to Seatac for my flight scheduled to take off just before noon.  I was still in the rental so I dropped it off at the Hertz Station and shuttled over to the United terminal. I was originally scheduled to be on a All Nippon Airlines  787 Dreamliner but the batteries (kinda figures ya know...) started acting up and the plane was grounded along with my chance to fly in a brand new plane.  The trip is not starting out so well. strike one

Nissan was nice enough to fly us business class allowing me to do the short lines thru check out, TSA screening and passport control which means I got to the airport 3 hours early since I never thought to adjust for my "elite" status.  strike two

Anyway, I get to my gate and notice that I cannot see a thing out the windows due to fog. I mentioned this to someone sitting next to me and she stated that her flight was originally scheduled to fly out Saturday but fog had grounded her forcing her to wait.  Luckily she was on a ski trip so her return was not very time sensitive.  Sure enough, as soon as she said that; my flight status flipped from "On Time" to "delayed" with take off changed from 1150 to 1430 and then later to 1550.  strike three

Well that last strike kinda filled me with relief since there were no strikes left to use for things like crashes and stuff, so naturally I did what everyone else does is commiserate my miseries on Facebook to which someone immediately replied "at least you can get food in the lounge for free"  to which I said "What??" this naturally ignited a brief flurry of FB exchanges and 15 minutes later I was sipping on a Coke and eating trail mix in the "United Sky Lounge" an area reserved for First and Business Class customers.  Life was getting better.

I finally got on the plane (a 777 so not too bad) and settled in for the 11½ hour flight. I quickly realized that the one movie of five that I had not already seen might not keep me busy for the entire flight, so decided sleep was the best course. The pilot did advise that he would be flying higher than scheduled and that would allow us to cut down on the flight time. I was originally scheduled to take off Monday morning at 11:50 AM and land at 4:15 PM Tuesday afternoon in Tokyo (crossing the international dateline really plays havoc on your Circadian Rhythm) which would have provided me enough time to bus it to Yokohama, check in, get settled a bit, take a shower and get dressed for the kickoff Dinner at 8 PM.  Well, the plane delay insured that that would not be as convenient as that.

Departing the plane in Tokyo, I was ushered and somewhat guided towards Immigration and realized that English is not as common in Japan as I had hoped. It;s funny how we complain about "Press one for English" but expect people to understand basic English in their own country, or maybe its just me...Either way, I vow to press one with a smile from now on.

But despite my trepidation, the process went smoothly and I was out front getting onto a bus within 15 minutes but it was already 7:30 and hopes of getting to the hotel were not very high. To top it off, the Airport is in the North end of Tokyo and  Yokohama is a Southern suburb... Figures.

The bus took me to Yokohama Air Station which is basically the transportation hub in town combining High speed rail, airport shuttles, buses and subways into a huge connection terminal, where I was met by a Nissan appointed rep.  From there we took a 10 minute taxi ride that took me essentially across the courtyard to the Hotel's front.  (the courtyard faces the Hotel's front. We pulled up to the "Yokohama Bay Sheraton Hotel and Towers".  I was checked in and in my hotel room in less time than it took to taxi the few hundred yards from the Yokohama Station.

I changed clothes and went down to dinner on the 8th floor walking in and seeing 10 hungry faces anticipating my late arrival. (Only about 45 minutes late...)

There I met Chelsea, (from "Who Killed the Electric Car" for the 3 people who dont know)  who organized the group; George from Virginia; Don from Georgia; Kathleen from LA; Darell from Northern CA (Davis near Sacramento) ; Fran from Florida; Jeffrey from the UK; and Mark from France.  (We were joined by Ruud from the Netherlands the next day)

After an introduction and a wonderful dinner, we bid goodnight and I retired to my room to organize a bit and go to bed. By then it was 1 AM local time and I was tired. I slept but could not sleep past 4 AM. Now the real meaning of jet lag was starting to set in.

(To be Continued)

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Happy Birthday LEAF; Going To Yokohama!

Yesterday my LEAF celebrated its 2nd Birthday and my present? A trip to Yokohama courtesy of Nissan!

As part of a marketing focus group led by Chelsea Sexton, a group of us will discuss with Nissan what needs to be done to encourage sales. The 2013 MY does go a long way towards that end but there is still a question of getting the right message out to the public.

The 2013 does address better instrumentation, more options and price points,  (instead of  two loaded packages) and HVAC enhancements.

Nissan has also announced plans to install several fast charge stations in dealerships and claim great progress in this within 60 days,  a very ambitious statement!

But there are still key issues concerning both attracting new owners and supporting current owners which is just as important since the LEAF, being new technology will still generate most of its sales thru word of mouth advertising and unhappy current owners will not help.

I posted several queries and a partial list of concerns for current owners;

Enhancements to Current/Future LEAFs

spare tire
change/set default center screen
allow permanent "accept" of privacy for Carwings
reduce steps to make calls
more voice control for calls, NAV, etc.
More HVAC controls ("air only" mode)
multiple charge timers/ SOC setttings (remove ability to set conflicting times)
Google maps/ touch repositioning of maps/ POI's sortable by distance
Filter charger list (free, L1/L2, etc)
multiple voltage EVSE
Plug adapter kit
2nd 12 volt power port
120 VAC power port
automatic BT switching with multiple linked profiles with Primary setting
Better instrumentation (SOC meter added to 2013)with multiple ways to determine remaining range
fixed accelerator response
more powerful windows motor?
12 volt battery management
manual access in case of 12 volt battery failure/exterior hood release
 Convenient Eco shifting (why have to shift twice?)
adjustable Regen (addressed for 2013, Thank you Nissan!)

This is very much a partial list and I will be part of a very capable and motivated team but if anyone sees something missing here, please suggest it.

Now the primary goal of this is how to sell more LEAFs and some ways to do that is to eliminate two big obstacles.

One is the preconceived notion of the word "Battery." We all have experience with batteries and I fear that many people will associate LEAF reliability with their general experience with batteries, cellphones, etc. We have all had our cellphone die at the worst of times or simply forgot to plug them in.  Emphasis on how this is addressed is critical.

The other thing is cost. Nissan did reduce prices primarily by adding more options and reducing the base price along with adding an entry level model (should be a big hit with fleet managers!)

Finally the 3rd thing; Security.  People need to be able to do a TCO "pencil it out" on their own terms. Being able to plan for that "big ticket" item is a must for many. Battery replacement costs, Nissan support, Degradation, Range, etc. all needs to be clear. Granted, pricing of things change over time and battery costs should only go down for now but right now there is not even a process in place.

Marketing Suggestions

real people experiences in commercials
Retrench Dealerships/Sales. Not enough local knowledge to sell LEAF effectively
Display Range Chart next to EPA sticker
Fun to drive! Quiet, no shifting/lurching (drink coffee with no spillage!)
Costs for TMS, Battery replacement, Different Capacities, etc to provide ability for long term planning by owners

Time is money.  Driving a LEAF saves money.

A commercial bouncing around in my head. Two drivers both near empty and near home. One driving gas car, another driving LEAF.

Get a call from SO (significant other)  "Honey, make sure I have enough gas/range for my trip tomorrow"

Timer starts. Gas driver pulls into gas station while  LEAF driver pulls into garage. LEAFer plugs in, goes inside house to sit down. Timer on LEAFer stops.  Gas driver looks at line at the pump, while LEAF driver looks at daily mail.

Tagline; When is your "free time" really free?

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

12 Volt Battery Management; Part 2

Well, was hoping to post this much sooner and have much more information but alas I dont have either.

I have continued to monitor the voltages and found that there are a few things that seem to be developing as trends. For anyone else out there that is also monitoring their 12 volt battery, please chime in with your observations so we can put our heads together to get something more definitive.

I also tried to find out the feasibility of replacing the lead acid battery with Li since Li is much more amenable to being the the middle SOC ranges but not much response there and guessing most would have discounted it due to a much higher cost.

But a few things that I have seemed to notice;

** leaving the car plugged in after charge is complete lowers the voltage faster.  Not able to double check this due to driving demands but on the few occasions I was able to let the LEAF sit 10+ hours plugged in, the voltages were in the 12.15-12.2 range.

**Temperature is playing a part. We are just finishing up a cold snap and it was parked outside with temps in the mid 20's and seeing voltages dropping much faster. In one case to 12.14 volts after just 4 hours when normally I would see about 12.4 or so.  So park it in the garage if you can. that extra 10 º of warmth might make all the difference in world.

Another thing; once I checked it first thing in morning in garage; voltage 12.23 volts. then checked it a few hours later after Sun came up and there was a lot of radiant heat (have window where morning Sun shines into garage) where temps were a good 15º warmer.  and voltage had risen to 12.42 volts.

** The Voltage drop, at least in my case rarely goes below 12.2 volts but that is still too low. The voltage drop rate seems to level off after about 12 hours or so so guessing that is a semi decent indication of my battery's overall state of health which is not very good considering the battery is 2 days short of 2 years old in a climate that is nearly ideal for lead acid battery health (yes, unfortunately once again, Phoenix will see a shorter lifetime here as well)

Solution; Well most are investigating simply replacing the OEM battery with a more robust one able to weather the deep discharges a bit better.

One thing I would definitely do is have a jump box on hand charged and ready to go.  I have used one for years while camping to charge my cellphone and that kind of stuff so I have a few in various states of readiness. If maintained and boost charged once or twice a month when not used, they are usually good for 4-5 years.

They are sealed units so leakage is not a problem so carrying it around in the car (not during Summer!) is doable plus they are fairly light so even people of modest physical capabilities can handle them easily. The unit is too light for my scale to weigh it separately but it works out to be about 6 lbs.

I think my last one came from Harbor Freight and a scan of their online catalog looks like one can be had for under $50.

Here is mine. The Harbor Freight one is a bit nicer than mine since it has a light and all, but then again, I think I paid like $25 for this one at Big Lots about 3-4 years ago...

The other thing is that unless your LEAF is going to be sitting in extremely cold or hot weather for more than a few days, you should have little to worry about.  Since I drive my LEAF nearly daily, I am thinking that I could eek out my current battery for years without issue.  Despite that, I have definitely been maintaining my jump box a lot more than usual lately as you can see by the pix, it is plugged in which I do a few hours a month...

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Public Charging; An Owner's Perspective

As we EV'ers are well aware of, the rollout of the public charging system has been far from smooth. Timelines were stretched, extended and sometimes just abandoned.  In WA, the West Coast Green Highway  Project (WCGH) was supposed to launch in Summer of 2011. It was then pushed back to Fall, then Spring and then finally the first stations started to come online in Early June, 2012 nearly a year late. As bad as that was, Aeroenvironment was way ahead of the National program being handled by Ecotality whose timeline was earlier than Aeroenvironment's.  In fact, very little has gone according to plan or expectations.

But when the stations did start coming on, it opened up a whole new world. Before, I had to know how much I needed to go to make sure I had the charge to make it but at the same time, I did not want to maintain too high a charge for fear of degrading my batteries quicker. Add to that, a commute of under 10 miles and it was not always the easiest thing to manage. I tended to keep my SOC between 30-60% or so. Only once (and it was not really critical) did I get caught with an insufficient charge and ended up taking the Prius (which I REALLY hated to do), but I really felt unprepared.

But with Tumwater QC open, I was able to jump over there to get a 10-12 minute boost which was enough to get me to Centrailia (where SO had worked for 4 years before her transfer to Lacey last month) It  became a very valuable asset to me and many others and because it was the only public quick charge station in a 55 mile gap to Seattle, it became one of the most used. In my gratitude, I always bought something from the Shell station while charging.

Today, I had a chance to talk with Mike Pak the owner of the station. His response was a bit shocking. He was upset that he was still not getting paid what Aeroenvironment had agreed to in the 5 year contract with him.  He was supposed to collect 5% of the revenue from the station but because AV had not yet started charging, he had received no money from them.  The energy of his response prompted me to find out exactly what his deal with AV was and that just made it that much stranger.

In the contract, AV paid for all the installation costs and the electricity being used so Pak had zero out of pocket expenses.  He did admit that most of the people who used the station except for a small handful did buy something from the store. I did point out that that is business he would not normally see so he is "making something"  

He stated "If this was a Shell corporate store, I bet they would not have tried to pull this off, but they do this because I am an independent owner"

I also asked him what AV had to say and they said they were still working out software bugs. He stated that they would investigate a possible "good faith" payment to him but would have to research the usage on the station and would get back to him in two months. This did not make him any happier...

Now, for anyone using AV, they receive (if they choose) a text anytime the car is plugged in. Well, a half a dozen times or more, I have received these messages that my LEAF was plugged in (I did verify the account number in the text as being mine) while I was sitting in my living room with the LEAF parked in the garage!  At the time, I thought it was a good thing the charging was still free because I did not want to "pay it forward" especially for someone I did not know...

Now AV was supposed to start charging just a few months after the stations were put in last Summer and that has not happened yet but the AV portal online does list a $2.50 charge per session which would be a bit disappointing.  I am a huge fan of just charging the bottom half of the pack simply because its much quicker. I get more range in the first 10 minutes of charging than I do in the next 20 minutes! A per session charge will encourage people to charge longer which will jam up the station. Already I have had to wait because someone else was already there several times. I have been lucky enough in that I did not have a time crunch and it was also a great way to meet fellow LEAFers but until the Fife and Lacey stations open up, Tumwater will remain pretty busy!

But recently Nissan announced that they will have a significant number of quick charge stations at LEAF dealerships within 60 days. First response to that was "60 days... in which year?"

Well, lets hope that Nissan, a major corporation can do a much better job than a small tech start up. Ok, Nissan; Ball's in your court!

Monday, January 14, 2013

Car Sharing; Another EV Challenge!

The Nissan LEAF has probably a 50 mile range in the worst of conditions. Cold, rain, snow, etc; all increase the amount of power needed to get the LEAF down the road. The average daily distance driven is less than 40 miles.  This pretty much means that a huge majority of multi-vehicle households could easily incorporate the LEAF in the day to day transportation needs but the LEAF has still failed to take hold.

Nissan just announced awesome pricing for the 2013 LEAF including the Base model S starting at $28,800! That will insure very good lease rates to continue into the new year. Now is this finally going to be enough to get the sales over the top?

One big reason is that effectively taking full advantage of the LEAF requires it to be shared among the drivers of the household. This is not as easy as it sounds. Right now, I am able to do it relatively easily but more thru  control than everyone being on board.  Since I own both cars and I nearly always am first out of the house, The SO is usually left with whatever car is sitting in the driveway when she gets up. Now, as some might guess, this method has not always been a smooth one.

Sharing cars requires planning and a dedication to getting it right. Although we tell each other not to put in stuff that one would need, we still find ourselves running off without something because it was left in the other car. Wherever I could,  I have simply duplicated things I tend to want to have with me when out driving so that has been taken care of to a point. My SO hasnt been able to be as adaptive as I have and am guessing many others would have the same issue.

Also, cars are a very personal thing. The aftermarket Car Bling stores doing very brisk business as always even during tough times simply because many feel a car is an extension of oneself. But bling comes at a relatively steep price so the thought of duplicating the bling besides being expensive, could be met with some resistance especially if your SO does not share your tastes in driving decor.

But an EV does counter the inconvenience of car sharing with pluses of filling up in the comfort of your driveway or garage.  Smooth responsive acceleration and best of all; the ability to sneak out of the neighborhood without making a sound!

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Gas Is Cheap!

After paying more than $4 a gallon for most of the year due primarily to speculation on supply shortages from various refinery incidents, the precipitous drop in prices has been welcome. But is it really a good thing?

Right now, prices are hovering in the $3.20- $3.25 range locally. Analysts also expect prices to stay low for most of 2013 due to low demand and ample supply. As much as I want to save a few bucks on my fuel bill, I think that allowing prices to stay low is a mistake.

Consumption is only low because prices were high. As people get accustomed to the lower prices, they will begin to drive more. I think the government needs to address the antiquated method used to support the national highway system.  Currently the Feds collect a pittance on each gallon of gas which is put into a fund that pays to maintain roads and bridges. That fund is inadequate meaning the money comes from other areas and must be debated in Congress which simply adds delays and more cost.

As we all know after the I-35 Bridge Collapse in MN and the subsequent flurry of inspections, most bridges are failing and failing because we simply dont have the money to repair them.  Right now,  the entire country is in a tizzy trying to figure out how to control the debt.  The gas tax has not been raised since 1992 and the price of materials and labor to maintain the roads has nearly doubled.

What we really need is the ability to create an adjustable gas tax.  The recent fiasco in Congress is a perfect example of how hard it is to legislate any kind of permanent increase that involves the tax payer and his wallet.  So what about an adjustable tax?  This allows flexibility in a very volatile market.

The cost associated with the oversight and enforcement would be small compared to the income and will encourage people to drive more efficiently and make high efficiency vehicles more attractive.

Currently the federal gas tax is 18.4 cents (24.4 cents for diesel) per gallon. With state taxes added the cost ranges from 26.4 cents (Alaska) to 69.7 cents (New York)  and a national consumption (138 Billion gallons in 2010) the government has the potential to

** Wean Americans off gasoline

** Raise an additional billion dollars in revenue for each penny the tax is raised

** Insure a more robust and flexible fuel supply for the future due to reduced demand.

First off, the base gas tax should be raised (it has not been raised since 1992) by at least 10 cents a gallon.  Then a set point should be determined where the gas tax is adjustable should the national average fall below the set point.  For example, a set point of $3.50 a gallon.

The national average is about $3.31 a gallon. A permanent 10 cent rise in the gas tax would put the national average around $3.41 a gallon, then another nine cents would be adjustable.  Now, before we scream that we cannot afford even a penny more at the pump, lets examine what is likely to happen.

In the spring of the year, a refinery in the Pacific Northwest had a fire that disrupted the supplies of fuel in the area. The refinery did provide a lot of gas for consumers but primarily provided jet fuel for the airports in the region.  Immediately gas prices shot up over $4 and stayed that way until mid Summer.  The prices went up over speculation of feared shortages that never happened. What essentially happened was a several billion dollar windfall for the already rich oil companies.

This adjustable tax is a way of combating that scenario. What does happen is high prices will force people to use less gas which reduces consumption and prices will fall. So what looks like more money out of our pocket is really only more money out of Big Oil's pocket.

The above scenario despite more than doubling the national gas tax income is equal to approximately the profit level of Exxon for a single quarter last year.  Since the indirect burden of the gas tax would be split among several different oil companies, I think they can afford it much better than we can.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

12 Volt Battery Management; Houston, We've Got a Problem

Ya, thats right 12 volt battery, not the big expensive traction battery. The little (not so cheap probably around $100) lead acid battery.

Now that many are hitting the 18 months to two year range in ownership, we are starting to hear a lot of people getting dead 12 volt batteries.  Since the LEAF is very much a computer on wheels, an unreliable 12 volt power source on the LEAF is causing just as much weirdness as an unreliable 12 volt power source would cause weirdness on your home computer.

One person who drives a lot as a regional manager for a major wireless phone provider had his LEAF sitting over the holidays for just 3 days. Came out and car would not boot up.  Got all kinds of weird dash messages. Instantly realized it was a dead 12 volt battery. He measured it and it was in the 5 volt range!!  He charged up the battery and now everything is fine. No seemingly permanent issues other than a 12 volt battery that has probably lost at least a few days of storage now.  Now, the person in question did store his LEAF outside and it was during one of the coldest periods we have had this winter but we are talking nothing lower than the mid 20's.  IOW, a balmy winter day for most of the Midwest!

The other thing is that he did what he was supposed to do.  He parked it unplugged with about a 60% SOC.  The LEAF was supposed to give the 12 volt battery a small boost, the another recharge in about 5 days which is supposed to be enough to keep the battery going. But it did not work and he is now one of nearly a dozen reports in the last two months of DOA LEAFs where the cause was eventually traced back to the 12 volt battery.

I then decided I needed to monitor mine since my LEAF is 12 days away from its 2nd birthday.  I checked it and found it to be about 12.54 volts but this was after it had been driven about an hour before.

From this chart, I would be at what is really considered the bare minimum a lead acid battery should be at for long life. Remember, lead acid wants and needs to be fully charged at all times.  In a regular car, the battery is used to start the car and as soon as that happens, it is then recharged to full almost immediately and in good conditions can last 5-7 years. (Like any battery, in AZ they are good for 3 years due to the heat)

I had no other trips planned for that day and planned light driving the next day so the LEAF was not plugged in.  The next morning, I get up and checked it and it was 12.18 Volts!!  Despite that still being in the "green" part of the charts, I drove a ZENN with lead acid and even deep cycle batteries did not tolerate a discharge that deep (they lasted about 18 months max when discharged below me. after 3 sets of batteries, this I know!)

Now this was 12.18 volts OVERNIGHT!  I immediately turned the LEAF on (still had 65% SOC) and checked the voltage and it was at 13.08 volts which I determined later is probably the onboard 12 volt system regulating the voltage.  I had to do a few short errands that took a total of 20 minutes of driving.  When I got home, I checked the voltage again after 15 minutes and it was at 12.54 volts so I did get a bit of a charge during that period.

I plugged in the LEAF and it went to 13.27 volts. I came back out an hour later and it was at 14.62 volts so obviously was on a charge cycle.  I had a few other short errands to do so at the end of the day, I checked the voltage and it stayed in the 12.75 volt range for the 4 hours before I went to bed that night.

I had to charge overnight to 100% and charge was completed at 3:35 AM so when I checked it at 5:15 AM, the voltage was 12.72.

Over the next week, I checked it randomly never seeing it below 12.5 volts until this morning.  Friday night, LEAF was fully charged with charge finishing at 5:05 AM. Saturday,  I had a short errand ran at 10 AM.  then another at 2 PM and then a quick jaunt to the drug store at 7 PM (round trip length 2.2 miles) SOC level at 60%.  I get up and check the voltage this morning and its at 12.20

The next "scheduled" charge is probably not going to happen for 4 days. I sincerely doubt that my 12 volt battery will last that long although I am doing exactly as I am supposed to do for long term battery storage.  So the situation is that if I let is sit 4 days (Traction battery will charge 12 volt battery every 5 days) then I will probably find a dead 12 volt battery. If its more than 5 days, I will probably be able to start the LEAF thinking I did everything right and being COMPLETELY UNAWARE OF THE PROBLEM just around the corner!
 Problem with that is every time the 12 volt battery deep cycles like that, its suffering degradation and greatly shortening its life.

Nissan, This needs to be fixed!

**Edit** Just a correction here. Have been advised by people smarter than me that if the 12 volt battery is so dead it wont start the car, in most cases it will be too dead to charge the battery on its 5 day cycle. I am guessing it does take a pinch more power to boot up and then open the contactors to energize the traction battery than it is to open the contactors to charge the 12 volt battery without the boot up.  Either way, does not make me feel any better about the situation.

Hopefully, I can dig up a few workarounds until Nissan gets us a fix. Stay tuned!


A few people have asked if it was prudent to just replace the battery every few years when the capacity starts to wane. I think I would go for a portable power supply instead for two reasons

1)its cheaper! sorry but money is always a consideration

2) portable power supply is versatile and can be used for other things such a cell phone charger when camping (which is the main reason I got mine)

You can get these all over. I think this one came from Harbor Freight a few years ago. I paid like $50.  A replacement battery for the LEAF would probably be close to $100. They are small, light (about 10 lbs or so?) and provides a portable 12 volt power supply to run your electronic gadgets

Saturday, January 5, 2013

EV Success and How to Achieve It!

In 2012, Norway (pop 4.9 million) sold over 10,000 Nissan LEAFs (EVs account for 5.2% of all vehicle sales) while the US (pop 311.6 million) managed to eek out under 10,000 ("plug in" sales were a mere .6% of vehicle sales) LEAFs.

Electricity is a home grown product that has the side benefit of building the infrastructure and increasing the local tax base thru higher purchases and jobs when the demand goes up. Add to that, emerging new technology advances that is eliminating the TCO of green technologies of Wind and Solar and we have a great way to help reduce the national debt so why are we so resistant to the technology?

A better way to answer that is to ask "Why is Norway buying so many EVs?" Well, that is simple.  Norway simply made it cost prohibitive not to.  For years, Norway has levied HUGE taxes of gasoline imports so they were already half way there.  It does not take a lot of analysis to realize that burning gasoline is not good for the environment, the economy or really for anything else.  The improving mileage of newer cars also meant that the traditional method of maintaining roads (collecting gas taxes) were not working either so additional revenue had to be found and unlike "some" countries, Norway did not see fit to simply print money out of thin air and ignore the problem.

An EV in Norway is not subject to import taxes (which can add 30% to the price of the vehicle) and Norway did it right. the more gas a vehicle uses, the higher the tax and since EVs dont use any gas...

EVs are also not subject to congestion taxes for driving in dense population centers, can drive in the bus lanes (not in favor of that...but a great way to kick start the program so a temporary allowance I can accept)  which greatly reduces commute times, and they get free parking.

Norway also installed 3,500 charging stations which includes over 100 quick charge stations, so you might think EVers have it made?

Well, not so much. Check earlier entries in my blog for a better understanding of what cold weather does to my LEAFs range. But my "coldest" weather is a balmy fall day in Norway!  So a LEAFer in Norway can usually only expect to see 40-50 miles on a typical snowy, frigid winter day making use of public charging much more required for them than us.

Now, other European countries like Sweden are studying what Norway is doing right and are likely to adopt many of Norway's policies.  I can only hope that we as a country can learn as well and realize that the money spent today to support and build an EV infrastructure will come back to use many times over.

Spread the word!! We need to get into the EV adoption fast lane ASAP!