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The long road to renewable powered EVs: Is it the highest leverage opportunity?

Marc Lefkowitz  |  06/05/12 @ 3:00pm  |  Posted in Transportation choices

· Ohio is an urban state, and that should align well with the deployment of electric vehicles. With a range of a few hundred miles, a charging station connected to the grid would always be in reach. Green Energy Ohio and Clean Fuels Ohio want to talk about a game changer – renewable energy charging stations. Their EV road trip rolls into Cleveland this Friday with a workshop on spurring the development of Ohio's EV infrastructure and charging using renewable energy.

· Despite taking some strong financial hits and their CEO's troubles, Chesapeake Energy, the nation's second largest natural gas energy company, reported that two of its new ('fracking') wells in Northeast Ohio produced 700 barrels of oil and three million cubic feet of natural gas a day in February. Tonight (June 5) a panel led by PD reporter and Sound of Ideas host Mike McIntyre will discuss "Fracking" in Our Backyard-Why Should We Care?" at Park Synagogue in Pepper Pike.

· In our carbon inventory and plan for Northeast Ohio to reduce its carbon emissions, electric vehicles are one slice in the climate stabilization 'wedges'. Outlined in the GreenCityBlueLake transition plan (out of our highest leverage GHG producing activities – buildings, transportation and energy), EVs plugging in to a coal-powered grid still significantly reduce the CO2 intensity of fuel.

But how many EVs would we need to deploy in Northeast Ohio? At 31% of our carbon emissions, transportation is our single largest source of pollution contributing to climate change. GCBL's transition plan (see page 45) forecasts a 0.5% increase in plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (it conservatively holds a 0% increase in straight EVs). If Northeast Ohioans buy 13,448 plug-in hybrids by 2030, it would reduce the region's CO2 by 25,839 short tons. It ranks sixth on the list of most important changes to vehicles. The best thing we can do from a carbon reduction standpoint is drive smaller, more fuel efficient cars (and convince everyone we talk to that going small is some thing we can all easily do-and it can dial up a 7% reduction in our CO2).

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