Pecan Street Inc. – A Volt of Efficiency
By: A Chevy Texan
July 24, 2012 12:33 pm CT
Innovation may bring change, but it still needs early adopters to catalyze everything. Residing three miles outside of downtown Austin is a select community, living on 700 acres of government owned property, hoping to be the volt the world needs. The old Miller Airport is now the host to a $10.4 million Department of Energy venture known as the Pecan Street Inc. Project.
Pecan Street Inc. is a testing ground for smart homes, energy management and consumer electronics. The community is the green vision for multiple major corporations. The smart grid project does not have any power lines above ground. Tailored energy readings for each household are updated every 15 seconds. Solar panels face west to maximize efficiency because they generate more power at the end of the day when air conditioners are cranked up and electronics are plugged in.
Initially launched at the University of Texas, the project began in February 2011 by enlisting a number of noteworthy private partnerships with companies including Best Buy, Check-It, Freescale, Intel, Landis+Gyr, Sony, SunEdison and Whirlpool. On top of making a greener future, these companies are attempting to prevent rolling blackouts like the one that hit the Atlantic coast in June.
Not one to skip the party, Chevrolet has teamed up with Pecan Street in a big way. The American auto company has made 100 Chevrolet Volts available for purchase on a priority basis to Pecan Street residents. The official partnership allows Pecan Street and GM researchers to study how the Volts interact with the smart grid and other sustainable technologies on a daily basis.
“[The Chevy Volt] is great. It’s the nicest car I’ve ever driven,” says Ashley Fisher, a Pecan Street resident. “I think more information is always going to make something more reliable, better able to be maintained as things change.”
For those of you wanting to know more about the actual details involved with the Chevy Volt, we have you covered.
Chevrolet has promised to replenish the number of Volts offered to Pecan Street residents once the original 100 are purchased. For those leasing the car, owners will receive a $3,000 rebate, versus the $7,500 for a purchase.
The cost per mile on gasoline in the Volt is $0.11. The cost per mile on electricity in the Volt is $0.04. Gasoline is thus 2.57 times more expensive than electricity per mile in the Volt.
On a standard electrical outlet, a Volt can be fully charged in 10 hours. However, a special 240V Charger can be installed in your garage. One charge would then drop to 3.5 hours.
Coming fully equipped in each Volt, OnStar has released a special mobile app for the Android and iPhone. Among the many features, the app showcases your battery life and the impending charge times.
According to Chevrolet Volt, “We aren’t here to condone unlawfully fast or reckless driving – but if you were driving a Volt and found yourself on a stretch of road where the speed limit, miraculously, was 100 miles per hour, rest assured that you’d be able to keep up with traffic.”
Pecan Street Inc. may be a glimpse into our future, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get a Chevy Volt today! Contact your local Chevrolet dealership today to start making the world a better place.