The Southern Joule departs for Salt Lake City
Article was added on Thursday, May 03, 2018
Mike Smith, vice president of business and technology strategy
at state association of electric cooperatives and his son, Colin,
embarked this morning on the journey in an all-electric Chevy Bolt,
nicknamed the Southern Joule, as they test the practicality of
cross-country electric vehicle travel in 2018. They will follow a
carefully planned route that will help them make the best use of
their battery power to ensure they reach essential charging
stations for a boost along the way.
Although co-ops have been embracing this technology for years,
electric vehicles (EVs) are growing in popularity. As more electric
cooperative members purchase EVs, co-ops are committed to
understanding the full spectrum of this technology. Large numbers
of EVs would have an impact on electricity demand, and some
chargers require special electrical connections at homes and
The Southern Joule, named after a unit of energy, joins five
other teams participating in the "Drive to CONNECT EVent," as the
teams travel to a national conference of electric cooperative
marketing and communications employees and gain hands-on experience
in EVs beyond their cooperatives' service territories.
During their journey to Salt Lake City, the Smiths will collect
data for research purposes, set a baseline for the future and
obtain essential knowledge that will help South Carolina's electric
co-ops serve as a trusted source for EV information. They will also
share real time updates across social media. The public can join
the journey by following the hashtag
#SouthernJoule on Twitter.
Upon their arrival, Mike and Colin will take part in Touchstone
Energy's EV pre-conference workshop, where they will share their
stories from the road, as well as provide thoughts on electric
transportation and infrastructure with attendees.
"The idea for the EVent came from one of our members," said Mike
Smith. "It is a bold endeavor that can focus more attention on the
growing EV sector."
"We will not be the first to make long distance trips in
electric vehicles - Oliver Fritchle drove his EV from Nebraska to
New York in 1908," said Smith. "What is so interesting is
that 110 years later, EV drivers will still face challenges, but
the information we gather will help us plan for the benefit of
those who follow."
How long will it take? Will there be enough charging stations?
Be the first to find out by following their adventure on Twitter @SCcooperatives.
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