In a nutshell, the main goal of the Southwest EcoMotoring Club is to promote ecologically and economically friendly motoring in the Southwest United States and nearby areas. But what does that mean, specifically?

There are several areas we need to work on:

  • Advocacy and Awareness
  • Education
  • Infrastructure improvements for electric vehicles (EVs), including plugin hybrids

Advocacy and Awareness

Advocacy and Awareness is an ongoing effort. We will be monitoring social media, political developments, and other situations where our voice needs to be heard. We will also attend relevant events and help promote our mission to the public.

Education

We currently offer free online training to help drivers use their existing vehicles more efficiently.  We plan to put on events and workshops to offer in-person training in this area.

Additionally, we plan to offer assistance to car buyers seeking efficient vehicles. This will include online training, outreach to automotive businesses, and accompanying car buyers seeking a vehicle.

Infrastructure

Before we can discuss plans for improving the infrastructure, we need to know what our current situation is.

Green markers are the approximate location of existing DC fast charging stations that offer both CCS and CHAdeMO connectors.
Yellow markers are the approximate location of existing Level 2 J1772 charging stations in rural areas that provide at least 6 kW.
Red markers are the approximate locations of upcoming DC fast charging stations, to be installed by Electrify America before the end of 2019.

Note: Tesla Supercharging stations are not included in this map because they are only compatible with Tesla vehicles. A big part of expanding EV adoption in the Southwest will include promoting lower cost used vehicles for lower income families, such as the Chevy Spark EV or Nissan LEAF. Available for under $10,000–these vehicles are within the reach of nearly all in the Southwest. To support the widest adoption of electric vehicles, we need to focus more of our efforts on stations all EVs can use.

The addition of these future stations will be a large and very welcome improvement for the Southwest, but it will still leave some very significant holes:

  • Large rural areas of the Southwest will remain completely inaccessible to non-Tesla EV drivers unless they are willing/able to use slow L2 charging at RV parks. Even for Teslas, these rural areas are often far from a supercharger or destination charger.
  • Drives between major metro areas will still have significant holes in the DC fast charging network for CCS and CHAdeMO vehicles:
    • No stations between Phoenix and Las Vegas
    • Insufficient stations to climb from Phoenix to Flagstaff, and on to Albuquerque
    • No stations between El Paso, TX and Albuquerque, NM.

The following map adds markers showing the improvements we’d like to make:

Orange markers show the places we need to add J1772 level 2 charging stations for all electric vehicles.
Blue markers show the places we need to add medium speed (20-30kW) DC fast charging stations for both CCS and CHAdeMO vehicles. These stations can also be used by Tesla vehicles with the CHAdeMO adapter.

Level 2 stations can be added at the orange locations in a variety of ways:

  • Club members or local businesses can donate the needed electric vehicle supply equipment.
  • We can assist local businesses with an application to the Tesla Destination Charger program, which generally installs both J1772 and Tesla HPWC at approved sites.
  • We can work with EV charging companies to get them to install at these locations.

To keep costs low, we can use lower-speed DCFC equipment at the blue markers. Each station will cost approximately $10,000 to install and provide medium speeds to ease EV travel on routes not served by Electrify America or other networks. Additionally, these stations will be installed in such as way as to be easily removable so the medium speed station can be redeployed to more rural areas when something better gets put in locally.

Future Plans:

As things change and we get more stations in the Southwest, we will revise this plan accordingly. Station equipment will be removed and placed elsewhere when an area gets something better and our equipment is no longer needed. In this way, we will continually improve electric motoring in the Southwest.

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