September plug-in sales: Hybrid, plug-in hybrid, and battery electric vehicles had a strong U.S. sales month in September over August and September 2016. BEVs had their highest month ever, beating out the previous leading month of December 2016. Tesla led the way with the Model S and Model X doing exceptionally well and the Chevy Bolt having its highest month ever. On the plug-in hybrid side, the Toyota Prius Prime led the category at 1,899 in September, versus 1,453 for the Chevy Volt. BEVs came in at 13,421 units sold in September, versus 7,719 for plug-in hybrid electric vehicles.
Solar leading renewable source: Solar photovoltaic (PV) capacity grew at a fast rate last year and is expected to be higher in capacity growth than any other renewable technology in the world by 2022. PV capacity grew by 50% last year, according to a market analysis and forecast report from the International Energy Agency (IEA). This year, solar power plant additions are higher than that of the other leading global energy power sources – wind, coal, natural gas, and nuclear. For those concerned about where energy comes from, solar is starting to catch up with the most polluting energy source out there, coal. “We see renewables growing by about 1,000 GW (gigawatts) by 2022, which equals about half of the current global capacity in coal power, which took 80 years to build,” Fatih Birol, the IEA’s executive director.
Green Commuter offering Model X shared rides: An electric vehicle carsharing service utilizing the Tesla Model X just opened in Los Angeles. Green Commuter has brought its service offering vanpoolers the opportunity to lease the electric SUV for daily commutes during typical hours, and to offer the EVs for carsharing by individuals or companies for fleet replacement the rest of the time. The startup company launched a 20-vehicle car-sharing program in Chattanooga last year, and implemented its vanpooling program in Los Angeles earlier this year. Users download the Green Commuter app, where they can rent a Model X by the hour or weekend. “Angelenos understand the impacts of congestion; L.A.’s bad traffic is an enormous waste of time and carries high human costs in terms of public health and the environment. Ridesharing and carsharing with electric vehicles brings tremendous benefits in terms of reduced traffic and improved air quality, while providing mobility and commuting savings to its users,” said Gustavo Occhiuzzo, CEO of Green Commuter.