America's first line of defense against enemy forces is doing the same against range anxiety.

A U.S. government program that pays military veterans to install Eaton Corp.-produced electric-vehicle charging stations is expanding, Green Car Reports says.

Under the VetCars program, which involves the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and Community College of Baltimore County, former soldiers are being trained to install EV chargers across the country, according to the publication. The program also involves the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) and the company Autoflex, which installs the stations.

Charging stations have already been installed in the first five test cities: Los Angeles, San Diego, San Francisco, Detroit and Washington, D.C. Under the program, which has been in the works since October 2010, more than 60 stations have been installed at various Federal departments and agencies.


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  • 35 Comments
      Turbo Froggy
      • 2 Years Ago
      Having vets further the EV movement is the best thing they could possibly do to fight terrorism. I would argue that doing this, installing EV infrastructure is what we should be doing, not wasting lives and money in Iraq, Afganistan etc. To install a network or quick charge stations every 40 miles on every interstate in the US would cost around $56M dollars. This is less than 6 days of what is spent on the wars in Iraq and Afganistan. It would be less than 2 hours of what we spend on foreign oil.
        Spiffster
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Turbo Froggy
        Well said... Totally agree. Just curious where you got that 56M number though for the charging infrastructure.
        Dave D
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Turbo Froggy
        I COMPLETELY agree with you about the best use of US soldiers. But I think a more realistic number to install quick chargers every 40 miles of US interstate would be about $25Billion. (50,000 miles / 40 miles per station * $2Million per station = $25 Billion) I know it cost about $1million to build a traditional gas station today so I'm doubling that to $2million to allow for bringing in power sources to the stations and assuming the fast chargers cost about the same, installed, as a regular petrol pump today. Just a back of the napkin estimate, but probably in the right ball park. But two points: 1) EXTREMELY worth the cost as it cost less than we spend in a week screwing around in the middle east and getting the world pissed at us 2) A much better use of our soldiers lives than getting them shipped around the world to get maimed and killed.
        Naturenut99
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Turbo Froggy
        ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
      DaveMart
      • 2 Years Ago
      Just out of interest for anyone who thinks that the US is pushing on fast, tiny South Korea is installing 150,000 chargers by 2016! Adjusted for population to the US, that is 600,000 chargers. Adjusted by land area, 15,000,000! Presumably that includes home chargers, but even so....... http://www.electric-vehiclenews.com/2012/06/renault-samsung-to-sell-all-electric.html
        EZEE
        • 2 Years Ago
        @DaveMart
        Well thank you for spoiling a story about Vets installing car chargers that help reduce the need for foreign oil, and something to help our soldiers, Captain Bringdown. As as friends call you, ' Buzz Killington.' (laughing at myself....)
          Dave D
          • 2 Years Ago
          @EZEE
          Look EZEE, I refuse to talk with you anymore...until you explain how you know the porn star. :-)
          EZEE
          • 2 Years Ago
          @EZEE
          While getting my MBA, I knew this guy who was in my learning team. He later lost his job and went into business for himself. Yes, that biz.... While getting started he would have me do video, and even camera work. One of the 'models' was very nice and I go over to his place from time to time ( he is now a 1% er) and hang. She was there once and made me waffles. Went out in his boat and she, plus 3 others was there. interesting day. Now on the camera work, the answer is yes, that kind of camera work. One time I literally was laying on the floor with the camera pointed straight up, and two feet on each side of me. Yes, that was a 'how the hell did I get into this' sort of moment....
          EZEE
          • 2 Years Ago
          @EZEE
          As Arthur Dent once said, 'I am more differed to than differing.' All this stuff just seems to find me. I am an engineer who works for an insurance company and has a Fusion, for goodness sake. I never thought I would have to move a knee out I'd the way because it was casting a shadow in the wrong place, nor....well....other stuff.
          Dave D
          • 2 Years Ago
          @EZEE
          ROFL....you have lived an interesting life my friend.
          DaveMart
          • 2 Years Ago
          @EZEE
          Maybe the vets can get busy installing 15 million chargers.......
      Marco Polo
      • 2 Years Ago
      Good stuff, ! What a really commendable program for returning vets! A very positive image for EV technology. Well done .
      Ryan
      • 2 Years Ago
      Attack the financial means of the oil producing countries sponsoring terrorism at home... and get EVs at the same time. Install some solar panels and wind turbines too for each one. Sounds like a much better use of the military at this point.
      Spiffster
      • 2 Years Ago
      Somewhat unrelated, but out of curiosity, I checked availability of the Th!nk cars that are on clearance in MD... 3 left at 23,500 or 15,000 after federal rebate. Smoking deal... add to that, state incentives where available. Check out: http://www.eurostarautos.com/powersearch.cfml Sorry for the tangent, but the article pic is a Th!nk City, so...
        Spec
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Spiffster
        I think I'm going to pick one of these up here in California. There are one or two left at Mission Valley Ford in San Jose. There is a nice Think City Yahoo group and apparently parts will still be around. It comes with a 3 year warranty.
          Spiffster
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Spec
          Does it still qualify for the $2500 CA state rebate? Hell of a deal either way... almost wish i was in the market for a car, I would totally sport one of these for that price.
          Spec
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Spec
          Yep . . . I believe it still qualifies. See why it is hard to say "No"? At that price, if you calculate the gasoline savings, the car will essentially be free.
      EZEE
      • 2 Years Ago
      Hey Evryone! Here is a good article on Ger,any switching to renewables, and even shutting down their nukes. It looks at everything from both sides, so outlines negatives as well as positives. A good read. Here is the link: http://www.technologyreview.com/featured-story/428145/the-great-german-energy-experiment/
        Spec
        • 2 Years Ago
        @EZEE
        The Germans had a very generous incentive programs to promote solar power and then they got blind-sided by a huge drop in PV panel prices that turned it into a "free government money" program. What was intended to support the PV market and get some renewable energy onto the grid accidentally turned into a boondoggle. They have reduced the incentives but they now have a lot of excess solar power so they are working hard to figure out how to use it efficiently. Their struggles will be our gain since they'll figure it out and then sell us the solution.
          Spec
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Spec
          You are viewing it solely as an economic decision. It is not. People go to the Opera . . . I don't understand it but I don't criticize them for doing it. What makes you think you have the right to decide what is right for everyone else? They have made a conscious decision to use more green power and thus have less pollution, less risk industrial accidents, less reliance on outside energy, etc. Do they not have a right to do so? You can whine all you want but you'll eventually be buying their technology as the North Sea oil & gas continue to decline. Fossil fuels will not be around forever and they are working on solutions. You are just sitting on butt and whinge about it. I admire the do'ers much more. The 0.3% statistic is ridiculous gamesmanship. The PV panels replace 0% of the carrot consumption too! The PV is for electricity not other purposes. And it does provide a lot of electricity for them.
          DaveMart
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Spec
          With only 1/10 as much power from solar panels available in December when it is needed as in July when it simply ruins the economics of sensible power solutions as the utility has to buy it even though demand in Germany during the day in summer is very low - little need for US levels of air conditioning - then it will always be a farce there. The most economic thing they could do with their solar panels is to pay to have them uninstalled, pay to ship them to India, and give them away. Far cheaper than their ludicrous feed in tariffs. Solar pv in Germany is the triumph of the innumerate.
          DaveMart
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Spec
          @Spec: Funnily enough power supply is not the only metric important to an economy. You could start looking at a much better educational system, lower income differentials, and the advantage of the Euro making their exports cheap if you want to understand German economic performance. Plus of course they have only thrown away 135 billion Euros on solar, incomparably less than the war in Iraq etc. For that they have got a stunning 0.3% of their total power needs, aside from having virtually none of it in midwinter. Good old fashioned coal and imported Russian natural gas is what actually powers the German economy. I love the way when I say that it is purest insanity to throw money at an energy source which produces almost no power when it is needed all sorts of different hares are started to avoid facing the facts. I repeat, it is not the enterprise of any sensible person under those conditions to try to use solar. It won't work so long as the world is round, no matter what some people's prejudices are.
          Marco Polo
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Spec
          Spec, Dave even though I uprated you for your courageous "emperor no clothes" analysis, Spec's point is also well made. Like an individual, a nation has every right to choose an uneconomic, but moral, stance on power production. Where it comes undone, is when the taxpayer is left paying the bill for the governments idealistic judgement, and is forced import it's power from Nuclear power plants in France, having wilfully destroyed valuable public assets !
          DaveMart
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Spec
          'They have made a conscious decision to use more green power and thus have less pollution, less risk industrial accidents, less reliance on outside energy, etc. Do they not have a right to do so?' If it is utterly ineffective it is simple folly. Renewables are utterly dependent on fossil fuels, and there is absolutely no technical way of altering that in prospect. The confirmed death toll from nuclear is a tiny fraction of that from fossil fuels, and they are building 19 new coal plants right now because for all the eco-bling they are totally dependent on that and natural gas. In the process they are also destabilising the European grid, with possibly disastrous consequences, apart from their emissions of CO2, amongst the highest in Europe, contributing massively to global warming. It is by no means illegitimate to refer to solar production as a fraction of total power, as the huge cost of that lunacy together with wind means that the very high prices of electricity there make Germans use natural gas whenever possible, rather than the electricity which would be used in many countries, for instance in my very efficient air source heat pump. If you want the figure as a percentage of electric use, it is around 3% You are of course still simply trying to evade the fact that your first response of why the German economy has still done relatively well was obviously refuted. Instead of engaging in genuine debate you try to shift the grounds. I can't be bothered to respond further to such dishonest debate. Beyond that of course you are also trying to avoid confronting the fact that it makes no kind of sense at all to spend a fortune on a power source which provides almost none when it is most needed, and so again are using any mean shift which comes to hand to change the subject. You are rationalising to cover a prejudice, not reasoning. I will leave you to it. No matter how you twist and turn solar pv in Germany makes absolutely zero sense to any rational being.
          Spec
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Spec
          If those Germans are so stupid then why is their economy in better shape than yours?
        Letstakeawalk
        • 2 Years Ago
        @EZEE
        The Germans also just signed a LOI to expand their hydrogen infrastructure: "The German Ministry of Transport, Building and Urban Development has today signed a joint Letter of Intent with several industry partners to expand the network of fuelling stations from current 15 stations across the country. The letter forms part of the National Innovation Programme for Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technology (NIP), in which Germany’s federal government will work with its partners; Air Liquide, Air Products, Daimler, Linde and Total Germany to expand the public network." http://www.thegreencarwebsite.co.uk/blog/index.php/2012/06/20/germany-plans-50-hydrogen-fuel-stations-by-2015/
          EZEE
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Letstakeawalk
          Last week nukes were evil. There may be a few holdovers....
          DaveMart
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Letstakeawalk
          'The expansion plan focuses on the country’s metropolitan regions and the creation of corridors connecting these metropolitan regions.'
          EZEE
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Letstakeawalk
          Always at war with East Asia....
          Dave D
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Letstakeawalk
          LTAW, Then why the hell are they are shutting down their nukes? It's a great way to produce H2. Sigh, shutting down the nukes in Germany is an over-reaction to the tsunami.
          Dave D
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Letstakeawalk
          We totally lose our mind about nukes because of the way they were first used and the destructive power of the bomb. But how many people have died because of Nukes compared to coal mining or deep sea oil rigs? How many times have trains derailed with toxic chemicals and threatened or killed populations? As for the war use, during WWII ALL sides were fire bombing civilian populations and wiped out hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of civilians with old fashioned fire bombs. Why don't we ban ICE vehicles because they burn some of the same chemicals used in traditional bombs! Seriously, we get hysterical when we hear the word Nuke.
          Spiffster
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Letstakeawalk
          Nukes getting a bad rap... build one next to my neighborhood! Im not scared! Good, clean energy...
      Spec
      • 2 Years Ago
      Sounds good to me. -Give our returning vets a new skill -Give our returning vets a job -Install EV chargers Perhaps we can have them install solar panels at military bases in southern latitudes too. Learn more skills, generate electricity, employ those vets, etc.
        EZEE
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Spec
        Yes, but in tiny South Korea, they have installed 4 billion chargers! 4 BILLION! Translate to our land mass and we would blot out the sun! (read davemart's comment....)
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