Southern California environment news and trends

Ebay introduces new site for green vehicles

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Kiyoshi Ota/Getty Images

It was announced late last week that online auction/shopping site eBay has launched eBay Green Driving, a new site devoted to eco-friendly vehicles. As reported by Inhabitat, the site is more than just a portal for buying and selling electric vhicles, hybrids and “greener cars,” but also an educational resource for gathering a trove of information regarding more sustainable vehicles.

“The site is a one-stop-shop for all things related to green driving. It helps inform shoppers with news, data, and research tools, and with eBay’s vast inventory of new and used vehicles,” said Brad Berman, eBay Green Driving expert to Inhabitat. “In a single site, users can learn about fuel-efficient vehicles, find those vehicles, and make a purchase. There’s demand for this type of inventory among both cost- and environmentally-conscious drivers, especially as gas prices remain high.”

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Gov. Jerry Brown drives electric highway development

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California Gov. Jerry Brown.

The $120 settlement Governor Jerry Brown and the California Public Utilities Commission reached with NRG Energy late last month will pave the way for sweeping upgrades to the state’s infrastructure aimed squarely at drivers of EVs.   

According to Triple Pundit, The plan is to install 200 new public fast charging stations and an additional 10,000 plug-in units at 1,000 locales throughout California.

This follows Gov. Brown’s recent executive order that set goals to have at least 1.5 million zero emission vehicles on California roadways by the year 2025.

“This executive order strengthens California’s position as a national leader in zero-emission vehicles,” Gov. Brown said in a statement cited by The Bottom Line. “The settlement will dramatically expand California’s electric vehicle infrastructure, helping to clean our air and reduce our dependence on foreign oil.”

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Electric vehicle sharing service finds success in San Diego

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Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Rising gas prices continue to reap dividends for electric and hybrid industries. As we reported recently, Toyota reported a massive jump in Prius sales over the month of February, attributed in part to consumers fighting back against the cost of gasoline.

Now a report out of San Diego says that car2go, North America’s first all-electric car sharing service, has registered more than 6,000 users who have taken over 25,000 trips in the company’s 300 vehicles in just the first 100 days of availability.

"At a time when the cost of fuel is reaching record-high prices, San Diegans are looking for ways to reduce their dependence on fuel and for more cost-efficient modes of transportation; and car2go is a very logical choice for them," said Nicholas Cole, president and CEO of car2go in a company press release.

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New smart system charges electric vehicles from any power outlet

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Kiyoshi Ota/Getty Images

For the many benefits that come with electric vehicles, a basic drawback is still the relative lack of EV charging stations around town. As of February of this year, there are a scant 5,507 EV charging stations in all of America, according to U.S. Dept. of Energy numbers compiled by EVs Roll. Although here in California, we boast a large chunk of that number, topping out at 1,458 outlets (Texas is a distant second at 462, followed closely by Washington state at 459).

A new smart system being developed by automaker Volvo and telecommunications firm Ericsson aims to make the hunt for charging stations obsolete by giving any power outlet the ability to charge an EV.

As reported by Gizmag, the Electric Vehicle Intelligent Infra Structure (AKA “ELVIIS”) has been installed in a Volvo C30 Electric car for testing. Using a touchscreen, the user can select from various energy sources. Once the charge point is identified via GPS, the system communicates with the electricity grid to not only establish the best price for the juice, but also charge the amount to your home utility bill. No shady charging! 

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