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EV charging remains a great question for the burgeoning industry. Michigan's DTE Energy is the first to tackle developing a specialized bill scheme for EVs (Chevy Volt charger is pictured).  (Source: Car Fanatic Forum)
Customers can also opt for cheaper off-peak charging; may have to pay up to $2,500 for high-tech meter

The Tesla Roadster is already prowling the streets while the 2011 Chevy Volt and 2011 Nissan LEAF EV are preparing to launch later this year.  That's familiar news to most, but what might be a little more hazy is how the growing ranks of EVs are getting their power.

Amid all the EV excitement, charging has been one topic that has been decidedly undercovered -- largely due to lack of available information.  However, the Michigan Public Service Commission this week announced that it had approved the state's first experimental rate for residential customers to recharge their EVs.  

Utility DTE Energy Co.'s Detroit Edison unit filed the application.  By having a regimented payment infrastructure and usage monitoring, the utility will be able to better cope with demand and presumably provide customers with more competitive rates than if it left them on their own to install home charging stations and charge off their current connections.

DTE Energy is offering EV customers two options -- either pay a flat rate of $40 per vehicle per month, or sign up for a lower, variable off-peak rate.  The big expense will be the installation of a specialized meter circuit and charging station -- DTE Energy says that customers may be charged up to $2,500 for that.  It's unclear whether automaker-provided chargers will be compatible with DTE's system.

The trial program will run through December 31, 2012 and can cover up to 2,500 consumers.

For moderately heavy drivers (40-100 miles per day), assuming $40/week in gas expenses and the full charging station cost, it looks like customers will start to see savings in about 2 years.  While those savings have a long way to go towards justifying the large cost premiums on the Volt and Leaf, they're a start, at least.



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By Spuke on 8/11/2010 7:00:45 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
but we don't wanna be in the boat that doesn't have decent healthcare, education, or infrasructures.
I and millions of other Americans have great healthcare and education!! Don't know what you mean by infrastructure. Let me clue you in on a little secret about the US. You will learn absolutely nothing about our country by watching our "news" outlets. They are publicly traded companies that exist to turn a profit and part of that is by wining viewers. And since Americans have this morbid fascination with death and destruction, that's what you see on these "news" outlets. They show the worst of everything and stretch the truth (and lies) to something that does NOT resemble reality.

I know others have said this before (me included) but the culture of the US and Europeans is different. I leave it to you to discover what those differences are and how they may be relevant to discussions of healthcare, education, values, work ethic, goals and aspirations, and etc.

Good day to you sir.


By hyvonen on 8/12/2010 12:01:49 AM , Rating: 1
Depends on what you consider a "public University". There are plenty that are called 'public' in the US, but you still pay an arm & leg to attend. Meanwhile, 'public' european universities don't charge tuition etc. (and you might get a stipend from the government to pay for your housing/food/books etc.).

And to those who think the taxes are so high... overall, the taxes between Europe and the US are roughly the same, when you factor in additional american 'taxes' like Medicare, social security taxes, state taxes...

Note also, that in Europe you don't have to pay high health insurance premiums (or massive deductibles/copays/coinsurances), and dental care is included (which, for some reason, isn't considered part of your health insurance in the US). If you tell a European that "my annual out-of-pocket maximum is only $4000", you get laughed at.

Factor in also the fact that European social security is pretty much guaranteed, while in the US there are no guarantees, and even if you get what they promise you now, it's nowhere enough to actually retire on... you have to save money for your retirement yourself (with 401k's, IRAs etc). These necessary retirement savings could also be considered a "tax" when comparing to Europe.

Make no mistake, US is a great place if you're rich, but a baaaad place if you're poor (or, at least baaaad compared to Europe).


By Solandri on 8/12/2010 2:23:28 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
And to those who think the taxes are so high... overall, the taxes between Europe and the US are roughly the same, when you factor in additional american 'taxes' like Medicare, social security taxes, state taxes...

Total US tax burden is about 35% in the U.S. vs. ~45% for the EU.
http://images.forbes.com/media/2009/04/02/asiaTax....

quote:
Note also, that in Europe you don't have to pay high health insurance premiums (or massive deductibles/copays/coinsurances).
...
Factor in also the fact that European social security is pretty much guaranteed, while in the US there are no guarantees,
...
Make no mistake, US is a great place if you're rich, but a baaaad place if you're poor (or, at least baaaad compared to Europe).

That's because Europe has been living beyond its means to a far greater extent and for far longer than the U.S. You haven't paid for the services you're getting right now. You've simply dumped the costs onto your kids and your grandkids.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_...

Note: The U.S. used to be at about 37% on the above chart as recently as 2007. The last 4 years have not been pretty here (it's projected to hit 67% by the end of 2010).


By Penti on 8/12/2010 3:55:23 AM , Rating: 2
Making money isn't a bad thing, you have to factor in a continuous trade deficit of the US for the last 34 years since 76.

Welfare states such as Sweden, Denmark and Finland rank lower then the US, in regard to public debt. We generally has a good trade balance and so on. And just because our neighbor Norway has high loans doesn't by any means mean that they have lived beyond their means or don't have any money or business.

Norway has more in their sovereign wealth fund then Saudi Arabia.

Neither is Germany a weak country.

Everybody can't live on the petrodollar, we have to pay for your overvaluation too.


By knutjb on 8/12/2010 4:11:22 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Welfare states such as Sweden, Denmark and Finland rank lower then the US, in regard to public debt.
But Sweden is having to severely limit immigration in order to keep their very delicate balance between massive social services and those who support it. The recent influx of service consumers who are not paying in will push them into debt. As to Germany they are moving from the unsustainable left social welfare policy to a more fiscally conservative view. Merkel has a clue, unlike our leadership.


By Solandri on 8/12/2010 5:21:20 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Making money isn't a bad thing, you have to factor in a continuous trade deficit of the US for the last 34 years since 76.

I was trying to avoid bringing that up (since I actually agree with a lot of Europe's policies), but since you did... Here are the countries by foreign debt (i.e. public and private debt owed to foreigners). The EU fares far worse than the U.S. by that measure than by public debt.
http://www.nationmaster.com/graph/eco_deb_ext_perg...

quote:
Welfare states such as Sweden, Denmark and Finland rank lower then the US, in regard to public debt.

As I said, prior to 2007 the U.S. had less public debt than all but Sweden.

quote:
just because our neighbor Norway has high loans doesn't by any means mean that they have lived beyond their means or don't have any money or business. Norway has more in their sovereign wealth fund then Saudi Arabia.

Per capita, Norway is one of the biggest oil producers and exporters in the world. At current prices, they produce more than $16,000 worth of oil per citizen per year, over 90% of which is exported. It's rather astounding they've managed to rack up 60% public debt despite that influx of essentially free money.
http://www.nationmaster.com/graph/ene_oil_pro_perc...

quote:
Neither is Germany a weak country.

Agreed. I'm not trying to villainize the EU here. I think you guys also do a lot of things right. I'm just trying to refute the previous poster who was trying to villainize the U.S. This is not a matter of everything the EU does is right and everything the U.S. does is wrong, nor is it everything the EU does is wrong and everything the U.S. does is right. Both do some things right and some things wrong. And a lot of the things they do differently are just because of culture, and probably wouldn't work if implemented in the other.

quote:
Everybody can't live on the petrodollar, we have to pay for your overvaluation too.

Blame the Chinese. A large part of the USD being overvalued is due to deliberate policy decisions by the Fed to try to get China to stop pegging the Yuan to the USD, and switch it to a true free-floating currency. It was a contributing factor to the Fed's decision to keep interest rates low, causing a moderate housing bubble to explode into a monster, which caused the current financial crisis when it popped.


"So, I think the same thing of the music industry. They can't say that they're losing money, you know what I'm saying. They just probably don't have the same surplus that they had." -- Wu-Tang Clan founder RZA














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