The calculator on the Go Electric Drive website uses industry standards (e.g., 14 gallon tank size for gas vehicles, .3 kWh per mile for a battery-powered car) that were agreed to as a group while the one on the Southern California Edison site is based on the utility's numbers and allows customers to then figure out their best rate if they move up to an electric vehicle. On Go Electric Drive, when you put in your state in the calculator, some numbers change to a statewide average rather than a national average (gasoline prices, for example, which are updated monthly). EDTA will also monitor some numbers, like customers' price per kilowatt and update that now and again.
So, there are now two real-world helpful widgets from two big players in the plug-in vehicle space. Why are they pushing them now? SCE's Ed Kjaer told AutoblogGreen, "It's all about making sure that we are providing tools, outreach and education to customers so they can make good value decisions." He continued:
EDTA president Brian Wynne echoed Kjaer's thoughts:We've had a couple bites at this apple – we [SCE] were very active back in the 1990s – but what's different now is that we have this perfect storm. If you compare where we're at today with the 1990s, we had $20 barrels of oil then, we have $80 barrels of oil now. It peaked at $147. We didn't really have carbon policy in those days, we have carbon policy today emerging, certainly in Europe, in Asia and here in California. There is the potential of it happening at the federal level, too. We didn't really have global terrorism. We didn't have this rise of environmental activism that we have today. And we didn't have the bipartisan support that we have today. When you add it all up, it's this perfect storm. The technology has come a long way from where it was and there's a realization in the industry [that they can do electric vehicles]. It gives the auto industry maximum flexibility.
Put all this together and it's real easy to calculate that the future of the industry includes a plug.One element that you shouldn't look beyond is the commercial competitiveness. We thought we were doing good with government support, but the Chinese are taking that to a different level. They're doing it for environmental reasons, sure, but also because they see it as an emormous commercial opportunity to leapfrog in the automobile business. And that's part of what is different today.
[Source: Go Electric Drive]