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    New Electric Vehicle Resources

    For those interested in electric vehicles and charging, there is no shortage of information and resources available. With the help of companies like Tesla and a push for better EV infrastructure, EVs are becoming more and more popular as consumers choose a greener method of transportation.

    Though it seems nearly impossible to keep up with all of the news and resources surrounding EVs, we wanted to highlight a few more recent resources that we’ve heard about in order to spread the word about their usefulness and help make learning about EVs seem like a more accomplishable task.

    THE SIERRA CLUB’S EV GUIDE

    The Sierra Club just recently released an Electric Vehicle Guide for consumers interested in learning more about plug-in EVs. The guide breaks down information about a variety of different PEVs on the market to help users figure out which PEV might work best for their situation. In fact, the guide even offers a short quiz for users to offer users a list of PEVs that best match their needs. Just enter some basic information about driving habits and car requirements, such as total miles driven in a typical day, access to charging resources, and budget, and you’ll be presented with a suggested list of vehicles to meet your needs.

    A snapshot of the short EV guide quiz along with a glance at some of the results

    The guide offers estimates of fuel savings and incentive information based on zip code along with general information about each vehicle including descriptions of “who will drive it,” “how fun it is to drive,” “how much gear can you cart around in it,” and “will it be around in 10 years.” For those interested in an electric vehicle but overwhelmed by the amount of information out there, this could be a great resource to help narrow your choices and figure out what kind of EV could work best for you.'

    ENTERGY’S POWER DRIVE INITIATIVE

    While the Sierra Club is helping individual consumers choose an EV, Entergy offers resources for both consumers and fleets looking into electrification. Through their Power Drive Initiative, Entergy “[provides] helpful resources and information on electric vehicle choices, economic considerations, and the many benefits of light duty electric transportation.”

    Image from Entergy's Power Drive website

     

    Their Power Drive website compiles useful resources and case studies from the Alternative Fuels Data Center (AFDC) along with helpful information such as EV Basics, resources for choosing a vehicle, fleet electrification resources, and charging considerations. It’s an excellent and easy-to-follow compilation of information for anyone who is interested in learning more about EVs but isn’t sure where to start.

    EV Charging Stations in Google Maps

    Google Maps, which has been showing charging locations since October 2018, has now added functionality to show whether or not chargers are currently available to use. The app already show “the number of chargers at each location as well as their wattage, pricing, and reviews from other drivers” (The Verge), and now EV owners will be able to know ahead of time where they should head for a charge. Currently, charger availability information is available for chargers from EVgo, SemaConnect, and Chargemaster, with plans to add Chargepoint chargers in the near future. Other chargers are still shown on the map but without the added availability functionality.

    A quick search around Baton Rouge on my own app turned up several locations in downtown Baton Rouge and around LSU campus. Though none of the chargers (a mix of Chargepoint and Tesla chargers) have the new availability functionality yet, most chargers included photos, reviews, and general information about the chargers that could be valuable to EV owners looking for a place to charge.

    A few photos showing a quick Baton Rouge search for EV Charging Stations and that the results currently look like for a Chargepoint charger, which will soon be compatible with the availability feature.


    According to
    The Verge, there seems to be some doubt as to whether the chargers listed in Google Maps is a comprehensive list, but even if not, the ability to check the availability of nearby chargers before making a stop could be a game-changer for some EV owners, particularly in areas lacking the charging infrastructure needed to meet higher charging demand.

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