A new well-to-wheel calculation on the John Batchelor radio show

John Batchelor, host of the John Batchelor radio show, talked to Lou Ann Hammond, CEO, drivingthenation.com, about Chevy Solar canopies at Chevy dealerships. These canopies will allow anyone with an electric vehicle that has a J-connector charger to charge their EV for free!!

Driving the Chevy Volt requires energy – but not necessarily money
chevy_solar_canopy A new well-to-wheel calculation on the John Batchelor radio show Alternative Fuels Alternative vehicles Automobiles and Energy Chevy Electric - Range Extender Vehicle (E-REV) electricity Manufacturers Podcasts Radio The John Batchelor show

Cheryl Balch is known as Mom Balch on the futureiselectric.com, a GM blog about the Volt. Her Son, Shad, works for General Motors, but that is not the reason she decided to get the Volt. She and her husband have solar panels.
Mom Balch had a Lexus RX SUV previous to the Volt. She bought the Volt in April, 2011. She put 15,000 miles a year on her Lexus, averaging 15 miles per gallon around her Northern California town of Pleasanton. That works out to $4,000 a year in gasoline charges.
Since Mom Balch has had her Volt she has used 1/2 a gallon of gasoline. That averages out to over 4,000 miles per gallon.
GM Ventures invest in Chevy Green Zone – all electric vehicles can charge for free at Chevy dealerships! Even if they are competitors cars!
Dave Halvorson owns American Chevrolet in Modesto, CA. Modesto has seen eighteen percent unemployment for the last four years. Halvorson has sold seven Chevy Volts, “all them content loaded. The hardest Volt to sell was the one with cloth seats.” Halvorson sold them all for sticker price, though he could have sold them for more.
Halvorson didn’t have to invest money in the canopy that sit’s on his Chevy dealership lot. The annual savings for his dealership is $7,500 because of the solar panels, which is the cost of the program for the next ten years.
He has four charging unit’s in his canopy and allows anyone that has the J-connector to charge their vehicle. So far only the Volts that Halvorson has sold have charged at his canopy.
The Chevy Green Zone Initiative is part of GM Ventures’ recent announcement to invest $7.5 million in Sunlogics, a solar panel manufacturing and development company that will supply the panels and install the dealer charging stations.
Jon Lauckner is the President, General Motors Ventures, LLC, effective July 1, 2010. Lauckner confirmed by email that the $7.5 million was a direct equity investment of common stock which gave General Motors Ventures a minority position.
Lauckner is known as having a key role in developing the Chevrolet Volt extended-range electric vehicle. In Bob Lutz’s book, Car guys vs bean counters, Lutz referred to Lauckner as the person inside GM that allowed “GM to tap true economies of scale.”
Sunlogic is installing canopies of solar charging unit’s in Chevy dealerships.  24 dealerships have come online so far, 50 more are coming on board. Threlkeld says that currently dealers will allow any electric vehicle to charge at their facility free of charge. The vehicle will need to have a J-charger, that is an ASE certified J1172 charging unit on their car.

About the Author:

Lou Ann Hammond is the CEO of Carlist and Driving the Nation. She is the co-host of Real Wheels Washington Post carchat every Friday morning and is the Automotive, energy correspondent for The John Batchelor Show and a Contributor to Automotive Electronics magazine headquartered in Korea. Hammond is a member of the North American Car and Truck of the Year (NACTOY), Women's World Car of the Year (WWCOTY), and the Concept Car of the Year.