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Georgia Power website helps EV buyers get ready

As more choices of electric vehicles hit dealer showrooms in Georgia this fall, the potential buyers of those cars will have already contacted their local power provider via a website and know what kind of charger they need and roughly how much it will cost to drive. The answer may surprise you.
Posted: June 1, 2011 - 3:24PM
Author: Don Bain

The site offers detailed information about different types of plug-in vehicles, how to prepare your home and where to find public charging stations around the state and country. Potential buyers can also explore Georgia Power's three residential rate options, including a new PEV rate, and what impact recharging is likely to have on their bill.

"Georgia Power is committed to being an industry leader and expert resource for customers as they purchase their first electric vehicles," said Chris Bell, Georgia Power's vice president of energy planning and sales. "With more than 20 years of experience researching, developing and marketing electric vehicles, our goal is to educate customers about this developing new industry and help get them up to speed on everything they need to incorporate an electric vehicle into their household."

The whole-home PEV rate plan for residential customers willing to shift their energy usage and recharge their electric vehicles between 11 p.m. and 7 a.m. By choosing this plan and charging their vehicle at night customers can save 13 percent annually compared to Georgia Power's standard residential rate.

The power company estimates typical residential usage 12,000 kilowatt-hours (kWh) annually. Based on 12,000 miles of driving, an electric vehicle would add an additional 4,000 kWh annually to a customer's bill.

Based on that model if your electricity currently costs $200 per month, it would cost $66.67 to drive your EV 1,000 miles. In comparison, you would have to have a combustion engine vehicle that could go 60 miles on a gallon of gas to get around that cheaply. That estimate might even be high for the cost of electrically powering your car.

Georgia Power will also be testing the new technology as they expect to receive their first Chevy Volt in June. The plan to test the demonstration model under a wide array of conditions and tasks to better evaluate performance and fully comprehend the impact EVs will have on the grid and peak generation.

The company has also added a plug-in hybrid bucket truck into its fleet in Columbus and is working with Alabama Power on an additional hybrid truck for integration into their fleet operations.

College students will also have input on the future of electric vehicles, through a partnership with Emory University's Goizueta Business School. Georgia Power is sponsoring a competition challenging students to devise the best strategy for Atlanta to build demand for 50,000 EVs over the next two years. Learn more at the competition website.