Drive Electric Week, Sept. 26 – Oct. 4, is an annual event to highlight the climate, clean air and cost savings benefits provided by electric vehicles. Beginning in 2011, this year marks the national event’s 10th Anniversary. It has grown from celebrations in 29 cities across the country in 2011 to over 300 individual events in 2019.
In recognition of Drive Electric Week, Lincoln Electric System is offering customers an update on the current state of EVs in the community along with what the utility has been doing to help prepare the Lincoln area for a plug-in future:
- New rebates. LES’ new Electric Vehicle Public Engagement and Rebate Program was made possible by a grant from the Nebraska Environmental Trust, or NET. Incentives of up to $4,500 are available for the first-time purchase or minimum 3-year lease of a new electric vehicle, some terms apply. Having only launched Sept. 1, nearly 50% of funds have been allocated to LES customers in under a month. More information can be found at LES.com/ev.
- Ongoing research. Launched in 2018, LES’ EV Impact Study records data on when and where customers charge, when and how far they travel, and the energy consumed while both traveling and recharging. LES is teaming with the National Renewable Energy Laboratory and the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln for data analytics.
LES has received two grants to help support the research project. One from the American Public Power Association’s Demonstration of Energy & Efficiency Development program, and another from NET.
- Recent webinar series. In conjunction with the 10th Annual (first digital) Sustainable Living Festival, LES hosted a series of free EV webinars for customers on the topics of charging, LES research, purchasing new or used vehicles, and innovation in electric transportation. The webinar series included a host of industry experts from the Electric Power Research Institute and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, an arm of the US Dept. of Energy, along with local experts from LES. Replays can be found at LES.com/ev.
- Charging stations. Last year the Nebraska Department of Environment and Energy announced the availability of approx. $1.2 million allocated to the state under the Volkswagen Diesel Emissions Environmental Mitigation Trust for State Beneficiaries for Nebraska organizations to install public EV charging stations. Noting a deficiency in the number of charging infrastructure in the Lincoln area, LES offered additional funds to further incentivize local organizations to take advantage of the grant.
Fifteen locations took advantage of the funds, planning a total of 19 new charging stations with 4 of those chargers being DC Fast Chargers.:
- Lincoln Public Schools — INSTALLED
- Lincoln High School – 2229 J St. (Level 2 Charger)
- Lincoln Southeast High School – 2930 S 37th St. (Level 2 Charger)
- Lincoln East High School – 1000 S 70th St. (Level 2 Charger)
- Lincoln North Star High School – 5601 N 33rd St. (Level 2 Charger)
- Lincoln Southwest High School – 7001 S 14th St. (Level 2 Charger)
- Lincoln Northeast High School – 2635 N 63rd St. (Level 2 Charger)
- LPS Maintenance Building – 800 S 24th St. (Level 2 Charger)
- UNL Locations — UNDER CONSTRUCTION
- Howard Hawks Hall – 730 N 14th St. (Level 2 Charger)
- Nebraska Union & Jackie Gaughan Multicultural Center – 1505 S St. (Level 2 Charger)
- East Campus – 1705 Arbor Dr. (Level 2 Chargers)
- Innovation Campus — UNDER CONSTRUCTION
- 2021 Transformation Dr. (DC Fast Charger & Level 2 Charger)
- H.I.S Auto Care — COMING SOONG
- 7000 Van Dorn St. (Level 2 Charger)
- B&R Stores — COMING SOON
- Russ’s Market – 4400 S 33rd Ct. (DC Fast Charger & Level 2 Charger)
- Super Saver – 840 Fallbrook Blvd (DC Fast Charger & Level 2 Charger)
- Waverly Russ’s Market – 13901 Guildford St. (DC Fast Charger & Level 2 Charger)
- Lincoln Public Schools — INSTALLED
- Electric buses. After adding four new electric buses to its StarTran fleet earlier this spring, the City of Lincoln announced in July that it had been awarded an additional $387,569 grant for the Lincoln Electric Bus Fleet Replacement Project from NET. The grant will be used to replace six more aging diesel buses, making a total of 10 electric buses serving the community. The new buses are expected to begin service December 2020.
“Like many industries, electric transportation purchases have slowed in 2020,” said Marc Shkolnick, manager of Energy Services at LES. “However, infrastructure is still being installed and movement in the markets remains. We continue to monitor trends and prepare our community for increasing adoption of electric vehicles.”