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North Coast Plug-in Electric Vehicle Project

January 2016    |    News and Updates


Welcome Message

Welcome to the fifth issue of the North Coast Plug-in Electric Vehicle (PEV) Project newsletter series! This is a continuation of the newsletter series of the North Coast PEV Project that began in 2012.1 For further information about the project, visit, or contact us at

To view this newsletter as a PDF, click here.


News and Events

There are currently no upcoming events scheduled, but they will be posted in future newsletters. Be sure to watch out for Ride and Drives and other opportunities to test drive Plug-in Electric Vehicles (PEVs) coming this spring. Can’t wait? Check out RCEA’s events page for the most up-to-date information.2

PG&E PEV Expansion
In October 2015 it was announced Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) plans to add about 750 Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles (PHEVs) to their fleet, allocating upwards of $100 million to the effort over the course of five years.3

Humboldt County Rebates

The chart below shows monthly PEV rebate data from the California Clean Vehicle Rebate Project (CVRP), from March 2010 to January 2016.4 In Humboldt County, a total of 229 Battery Electric Vehicle (BEV) and Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV) rebates have been processed for a total of $424,250 in rebate funding to date.

Number of Humboldt County, CA, CVRP Rebates per month. Center for Sustainable Energy (2016). California Air Resources Board Clean Vehicle Rebate Project, Rebate Statistics. Data last updated February 01, 2016. Retrieved February 03, 2016 from  

PEV Nuts and Bolts

A Plug-in Electric Vehicle (PEV) is a vehicle with an electric motor powered by a battery that can be recharged by plugging into an electricity source.5 But what is the difference between a Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV), a Zero Emissions Vehicle (ZEV), and a Battery Electric Vehicle (BEV)?

Read more here to learn the basics of a PEV.


California Ahead in PEVs

The International Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT) recently charted the top 30 metropolitan areas in the US, based on the share of new light-duty Battery Electric Vehicles (BEVs) and Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles (PHEVs).15 The demographic region surrounding Eureka, one of many California cities on the list, ranks well above the U.S.’s average percentage of new PHEVs and BEVs.15 The North Coast Plug-in Electric Vehicle (PEV) Project team is working on strategies to help businesses and municipalities to invest in charging infrastructure to keep up with a quickly growing number of Electric Vehicles (EVs) in the North Coast.

Share of New Vehicles. Image used with permission from:

Have you heard of regenerative braking? PEV engines transfer saved energy back to the battery whenever brakes are applied, which recharges it.16 Sounds like smart conservation!

Breathe Easier in a PEV

There are a few key differences between Plug-in Electric Vehicles (PEVs) and conventional gas-powered internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles, but one of the main differences is in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. The Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS), a non-profit organization focused on advocating innovative and sustainable solutions to prevalent issues, recently released an analysis comparing GHG emissions of Battery Electric Vehicles (BEVs), a type of PEV, and ICE vehicles. The report consisted of GHG emissions over the lifespan of the vehicles from manufacture to disposal. The UCS found the total emissions from the average BEV generates about 50 percent fewer GHG emissions than a comparable ICE car.7

PEVs contain lithium-ion batteries, plugging in to the local electrical grid to recharge. Humboldt County’s grid power comes from the Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) electric system.14 PG&E’s generating plants make electricity by hydropower, gas-fired steam, and nuclear energy.14 The electricity is then carried over transmission lines from power plants to substations, which lower the electricity voltage, to the distribution system, to the PEV.14 Now PEV users can breathe easier knowing PG&E provides some of the cleanest electricity in the nation.14

Electric Vehicle Electric Grid Fact. Source used with permission from:

Did you know?
During the 2011 Tsunami in Japan, people were able to use their PEVs as back-up generators to power their houses when electricity went out.17

Electric Vehicle Myths Debunked

Are EVs too quiet? Are they really more environmentally friendly? Won’t they be too inconvenient to refuel? Some popular myths about electric vehicles are debunked.
Myth: EVs are too new to the market.
Fact: Contrary to popular belief, PEVs are not a new concept. In 1900, 38% of automobiles were powered by electricity compared to only 22% powered by gasoline.18 From 1901-1920, electric vehicles were produced by manufacturers such as Anderson, Anthony Electric, and Edison.18 Later on they were not able to compete with the cheaper prices of oil and mass production of internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles. The modern-day resurgence of EVs began in the 1990s, but the technology remains the same.18

Read more myths by clicking here.



Click here to view sources.

LEGAL NOTICE: This document was prepared as a result of work sponsored by the California Energy Commission.  It does not necessarily represent the views of the Energy Commission, its employees, or the State of California. The Commission, the State of California, its employees, contractors, and subcontractors make no warranty, express or implied, and assume no legal liability for the information in this document, nor does any party represent that the use of this information will not infringe upon privately owned rights.

All pictures by Redwood Coast Energy Authority unless otherwise noted.

Redwood Coast Energy Authority


Upcoming Events
Stay tuned!

Project Background

Funded by the California Energy Commission’s Alternative and Renewable Fuels and Vehicle Technology Program, the North Coast Plug-in Vehicle Project is being led by the Redwood Coast Energy Authority along with implementation partner Humboldt State University’s Schatz Energy Research Center. The purpose of this bulletin will be to provide relevant local, state, and national news related to the deployment of vehicles powered by electricity. For further information about the project, visit or contact Redwood Coast Energy Authority at 707.269.1700 or

633 3rd Street, Eureka, CA 95501

Copyright © 2016 Redwood Coast Energy Authority. All rights reserved.

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Redwood Coast Energy Authority · 633 3rd Street · Eureka, CA 95501 · USA

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