National Plug-In Day

Sunday, September 29th is the third annual National Plug-In Day! Events are2013PlugInDay_ClayTerraceChargingStation taking place in cities nationwide to celebrate plug-in vehicles, and Carmel is joining the fun.

Visit the Clay Terrace Mall on September 29, 2013 from 11 a.m. - 2 p.m. for the Electric Vehicle Tailgate in the parking lot behind Whole Foods Market!

At 11:30 a.m., Mayor Brainard will be joined by representatives from the Sierra Club, Duke Energy, Tom Wood Automotive Group, Energy Systems Network, the Carmel Green Initiative, and Hoosier EVA to talk about the importance of plug-in vehicle and solar technology.

The public is welcome to learn about electric vehicles and how the Clay Terrace Plug-In Ecosystem charging station uses solar power to recharge electric vehicles.

Several of the latest EV models - including a Toyota Prius Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV), Chevrolet Volt, Nissan LEAF®, battery-powered Ford Focus, and Think City electric vehicle will be on display.

EV owners are encouraged to register for the event at to bring their vehicles and park at the tailgate.

National Plug-In Day is organized by the Sierra Club, Electric Auto Association, and Plug In America.



WishTV reported on the event -



Carmel Green Initiative is happy to participate in the National Plug-In Day event to help raise awareness about electric vehicle and solar technologies.

How green are electric vehicles? Well, it depends on how clean your electricity is. Electricity fuel mix (coal, nuclear, gas, renewables) varies greatly by region. Indiana has one of the nation's dirtiest grids because of its heavy reliance on coal.

According to the Energy Information Administration, each kWh of electricity produces roughly about 2.08 lbs of CO2.  The Union of Concerned Scientist has conducted a comprehensive analysis of the global warming emissions of electric vehicles and presented them in easy to understand terms.  For example, in Indiana, the Nissan Leaf which gets about 0.34 kWh/mile produces carbon emissions equivalent to a car that gets 32 mpg. For the Chevy Volt, it's 30 mpg. So if you're upgrading from an old minivan that gets about 18 mpg, the Nissan Leaf is definately greener. But if you're shopping for the greenest car, it's hard to beat the Prius Hybrid which gets about 50 mpg.

Our mission is to help build a more sustainable community and so we want to take a closer look at the solar panels at the Clay Terrace charging station.  It's this renewable energy piece that makes electric vehicles truly sustainable. Without it, we are simply shifting carbon emissions from the tailpipe to the smokestack because almost all of our electricity comes from coal.

Given the environmental impact of carbon emissions, we believe that we need to clean the grid and deploy electric vehicles simultaneously, not sequentially.  These two technologies need to go hand-in-hand. The solar enhanced charging station at Clay Terrace is a wonderful example of how this can be accomplished.  Going forward, we would encourage the City and electric utilities to require all new electric charging stations to have a solar power component. Solar power is essential to building a sustainable community.

Taking a look at the Clay Terrace Plug-in Ecosystem, how much electricity would you say comes from the solar panels?  Is it 100%, 50% or 5%?   Solar technology is so new that the average person might assume that all or most of the electricity comes from the solar panels.  But that's not the case.

These solar panels are primarily for demonstration purposes.  They produce a fraction of the system's design capacity. Most of the electricity is designed to come from the grid. In fact, to put it in perspective, the electricity generated by these solar panels produce less than 5% of the system's design capacity. The rest would be supplied by the grid.  To really clean the grid and get 100% solar, you'd need about 10 times as many solar panels.

But there's another way to look at these solar panels. The electricity generated from these panels is enough to charge roughly over 1000 Chevy Volt batteries a year.  That's a step in the right direction.  We'd like to see all new charging station have a solar component.

Download pdf - How Green are Electric Vehicles?