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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 Solandri on 8/12/2010 5:21:20 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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

"This is from the It's a science website." -- Rush Limbaugh

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