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Tag Archives: electric vehicles

UCLA Installs First Solar-Powered EV Charging Station


20170621_102021_resizedElectric vehicle (EV) commuters can now drive home on sunshine with the installation of the University’s first solar-powered charger in Parking Lot 36, located at Kinross Avenue and Veteran Avenue in Westwood. Bruins and campus visitors can power their green mode of transportation from this environmentally-sound source of energy.

The latest sustainable solution on campus, the new charging station is a transportable setup from Envision Solar that fits in a standard-size parking space and doesn’t reduce parking availability. The station can service multiple EVs at a time and charges power day and night.

Six to eight hours of charging will provide enough renewable energy for a ride home.

This new charging station is part of an effort to make the campus more EV-friendly. Another sun-powered charger will soon be available for use in Lot A behind Murphy Hall.

Four types of Level 1 and Level 2 EV charging stations are already available for the UCLA community and visitors for “top-off” charging in Structures 1, 2, 3, 5, 7, 8, 9, 32, MP and SV. Level 1 is free to permit holders and Level 2 costs $2 an hour.

UCLA is charging ahead with plans to install more stations, with close to 400 places where EVs can be plugged in. The goal is to convert 2% of all permit spaces into EV charging spots by the end of the year.

So how does an solar EV charger work? Photovoltaic (PV) energy is captured through a small solar grid attached to a steel plate that sits on the ground. PV panels on top are attached to a battery storage unit in front of the parking stall that is connected to three 110 volt outlets, which provide a Level 1 long-term, low-level charge.

Moving throughout the day, the solar power generator optimizes its position as the sun moves. Electric motors tilt the array 15 degrees in three directions, angling east to catch sunrise, and south and west. This sun tracking technology generates up to 25% more electricity than fixed solar arrays.

The solar panels produce enough electricity each day to fully charge a lithium-ion battery pack that holds 22.5 kilowatt hours of electricity.

Built portable yet tough, the charging station is strong enough to withstand L.A.’s powerful Santa Ana winds and has on-board energy storage that can stay powered during a blackout or other grid failure.


What Do We Do At UCLA Transportation? [VIDEO]

Dickson Plaza 01-00354 copy2 blog

Dickson Plaza 01-00354 copy2 blogPeople often think all we do is provide parking on campus, but that couldn't be further from the truth. Sure, parking is part of it. Most of it, however, is getting you access to campus. That's what we're all about: being green, sustainable and safe.

To highlight some of our goals, accomplishments and best practices, we've made this nifty video. Check it out below and on our YouTube channel.


Navigating the Roads the Green Way

Skyline of Los Angeles with freeway traffic,CA

Skyline of Los Angeles with freeway traffic,CAAre you a recent graduate? Headed off to college? How do you plan to get around town?

If you have a driver's license, you're probably thinking about getting behind the wheel. Driving in LA is a unique (and unavoidable) beast that gives you insights into other people and lessons in the local culture. But driving in LA the green way will help safeguard our future. Start developing green habits now with these tips.

  1. Learning California (& LA) Rules of the RoadLA Weekly’s less subjective observations are worth taking into consideration, such as protecting your left side from the sun, LA drivers' lack of experience with rain (you remember rain, right?) and unexpected, off-rush hour traffic jams.These are things you'll pick up with driving experience. For now, you first need to learn to drive according to California's road rules, which, in theory, supersede LA's.Before you get into a car and start driving these hallowed freeways, take an online driving assessment and an interactive test. It's definitely worth finding out how much you don't know about driving in California or any other state.
  1. Driving Green Brings Rebates & PrivilegesIn California, the Clean Vehicle Rebate Project hands back up to $2,500 for battery electric vehicles (BEVs), $1,500 for plugin hybrids, and $900 for electric motorcycles and those tiny neighborhood electric vehicles (NEVs) you see on surface streets.Many states allow green vehicles to use the express/HOV lanes, so you can get to work (and home) sooner.
  1. Green Cars are Getting More AffordableYou wouldn't know it from the headlines, but Tesla is not your only option. Green vehicles are becoming increasingly more lists the 2015 Prius at under $20,000. Electric cars are more expensive than hybrids; still, several list under $30,000. While this may seem like a lot of money, remember that gasoline prices are unstable at best, so consider your long-term savings.Additionally, more than half of U.S. states offer some kind of incentive for purchasing electric or hybrid cars, according to and electric cars have been on the market for several years now, so you could also consider buying a used one to save more money. A secondhand one can be more affordable than you might realize, even on a starter salary.
  1. Public Transport: The Ultimate in Green TransportationIn many cities like New York City, commuting via public transportation is normal and preferable to driving.Business Insider says LA has the ninth best public transportation in the nation. It has a huge bus ridership, and is channeling a few billion dollars into its light rail system, which will also alleviate road traffic. And like many cities, LA runs a bikes-on-buses service so commuters who really work out of the way can still get there without a car.


Smartphone apps to turn your daily commute green.



Using sustainable transportation is not always an option for some but we can take steps to help make our commute as green as possible when we do have to drive. Below are four mobile applications to help you go green when you are behind the wheel.

Fuel-SaverFuel-Saver Lite:
This mobile application is available for free in the Apple App Store and will help you increase your fuel efficiency. Fuel-Saver offers tips on best practices to drivers and assists in calculating your miles per gallon (MPG). This application works for all vehicle types and can help you achieve 30% greater fuel economy.

For those with an electric vehicle, PlugShare will be your new best friend. This free mobile application, available on both Apple and Andriod products, uses crowdsourcing to help drivers locate nearby charging stations. Find EV chargers, view ratings and availability, and pay with your phone.

FuelEconomyFuel Economy:
Fuel Economy is a free application available only on Andriod devices. Like Fuel-Saver, Fuel Economy helps drivers maximize their fuel economy. The Andriod app simplifies the process for drivers with visual cues. To maximize their fuel consumption, drivers turn red bars into green to save fuel. Unlike its Apple counterpart, Fuel Economy will cost users $1.95 to download.

CommuteGreenerCommute Greener:
Available for both Apple and Andriod phones, Commute Greener is a free application developed by the employees of Volvo. Commute Greener rewards drivers to maximize fuel economy and choose zero emission commute methods through friendly competition. Users gain points and incentives for making their commute as green as possible.

Will electric vehicles reclaim the road?


Nearly every major car manufacture produces an electric vehicle today.

Can you imagine a world where electric vehicles (EVs) dominate the roads? Too far-fetched? Just look at the late 1890s, when EVs were the car to have, outselling gasoline cars 10 to one! EVs were so popular that the first car dealerships were exclusively for electric cars.

Starting in 1910, Fordism and motorized assembly lines allowed gasoline fueled vehicles to be mass produced and take over the automotive industry. By the end of World War I, production of EVs stopped and soon became a rare commodity.

Riker Electric First EV

Thomas Parker built the first practical production EV in London in 1884.

Prompted by concerns of air pollution and the OPEC oil embargo, EVs regained popularity in the late 1960s. As the 1990s approached, along with California’s landmark Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) Mandate, a few major automakers resumed EV production in limited quantities. As the ZEV mandate weakened, automakers abandon EVs once again.


The AMC Amitron (left) and GM EV1 (right) were the hot EVs of the 1960s and 1990s, respectively.

Recently, EVs have started their comeback with new, modern and efficient designs. Concerns for the environment, greenhouse gas emissions and air pollution have prompted individuals to go green. Big automakers such as Toyota, Ford, GM, and newcomer, Telsa, all offer EVs aiming to please customers as well as decrease the negative environmental impacts caused by gasoline fueled cars and motorcycles.


Today's Tesla (left) and Nissan Leaf (right) were in the top-three selling EVs for 2014.


Will EVs ever rule the road as they did 100 years ago or are their glory days behind them?

Electric Vehicle History. Retrieved from
Electric Auto Association