Plug-in car owners to share info, tips in St. Paul

  • Article by: MARIA ELENA BACA , Star Tribune
  • Updated: September 24, 2012 - 8:34 AM

Sunday event at Como Pavilion is part meet-up, part info fair for those curious about swapping the pump for the plug.

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jbpaperSep. 22, 12 7:27 AM

Do they have to pay to use the charging station at Como park or are the taxpayers taking care of that for them?

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jbpaperSep. 22, 12 7:46 AM

"He reported driving 1,806 miles and spending about $42 for additional electricity, a little more than 2 cents a mile. The savings are the equivalent of more than 150 gallons of gas, he said. At $4 a gallon for gas, that's saying something." ---- Huh? He is saying that it would take more than 150 gallons of gas to go 1800 miles? That's about 12 MPG. A small car like that would probably average (city and hwy) about 25 MPG, using less than 75 gallons of gas. At $4 a gallon, that is $300 savings. That sounds nice until you factor in how much more he had to pay to get the car. According to a car selling website, a place where people can "trade" autos, the volt was about $10,000 more than all the other chevy cars except for the camaro and corvette.

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jeff55016Sep. 22, 12 8:11 AM

The guy drives about 900 miles a month, it would take about 13 years to break even on a car that gets 32mpg, between the extra cost of about 10k for the car and a 2500 charger, plus you are limited on how far you can go.

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sharkysharkSep. 22, 12 9:56 AM

Who pays the electric bill when they charge away from home?

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rickbmnSep. 22, 1210:21 AM

jbpaper: You're right on. Also, keep in mind many of those vehicles are further subsidized because they get about a $7,000 tax credit to purchase. GM LOSES tens of thousands on each Volt it produces (remember: WE own most of GM, so we lose). People like this expect everyone else to fund his "feel good about the environment" attitude. I don't thinke Excel is yet producing 47% alternative energy either. Numbers can paint a pretty picture when you only use the ones you want. But I wouldn't expect any analysis from the STRIB.

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raleighmamaSep. 22, 1210:26 AM

Why should citizens foot the bill for the electricity for a plug-in car? Does the city pay for my gas?

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esandeenSep. 22, 1211:44 AM

Wow, easy there with the jumping to conclusions; a quick search would tell you that the Como stations do not offer free charging. Users must have a credit card or a "ChargePass" card.

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dwhesterSep. 22, 1212:10 PM

Hello all. This is Derek, the one mentioned in the article. First, the article is incorrect, I'm getting the equivalent of 150 MPG. It did not take the equivalent of 150 gallons to go 1,800 miles. Hopefully this misquote will be corrected. Also, you're right, this car is, for now, not designed for long road trips and this car is not for everyone. As I mentioned in the article, it is a great urban commuting car. On average, I drive 26 miles per day, far below the car's power capacity. It is great for my driving needs. Not everyone needs a minivan, a sedan or a pickup. It is simply another vehicle option. Second, for the charging stations and who pays for their use, it depends on which charging station you are talking about. While I don't know who pays for the equipment, the various charging stations in the Twin Cities range from free to the user paying up to $3/hr. One example of a free charging station is at the BP gas station in uptown. As for the "environmental feel good aspect", that was not the main reason I purchased a Nissan Leaf. I wanted to free myself from foreign oil as much as possible and test a great new technology. And while I may not "break even", cars in general are not good investments. But I will also save money since there are no oil changes, timing belts, radiator leaks, etc. These have not been factored into my savings yet, simply because I haven't hit that maintenance time yet. Also, one other thing the article did not mention, Nissan is bringing jobs to America (Tennessee) to build Leafs. Freeing myself from foreign oil and bringing jobs to America seem like good reasons to me to support the Leaf.

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esandeenSep. 22, 12 1:05 PM

rickbmn, Xcel's non-fossil output for Northern States Power is at 49.4% for 2011, including 29.1% from Nuclear, according to their annual report.

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annetillerSep. 27, 12 3:47 PM

We purchased the 2012 i Miev (innovative Mitsubishi Electric Vehicle) last Friday and absolutely love it. We drove it over to Como Park and showed it to the folks in attendance. This great little car was on display at the MN State Fair and I fell in love with it. We charge it in to our garage outlet with an extension cord and run the car on our solar panels on the roof of our house. This car is very affordable (about the same as a new Prius) and is also available to lease. It responds to the way we drive and our mileage range has been increasing daily! I am working on getting it to 90 miles per full charge. When we drove it out of the showroom the range registered 64 miles, and two days ago it read 77! Minneapolis has many level 2 charging stations and I heard they were free. St. Paull has many level 2 stations and they charge $1.00 per hour. That would take 6-7 hours to fully charge the battery. Now we await the level 3 charging stations which fully charge the car in 30 minutes. Then we can think of driving across the country on a slow road trip! For now, we will drive our Prius on longer trips but the i Miev is great for around town! Anne and Charlie Tiller

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