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“Insane” GHG Savings From Workplace EV Charging, According To NASA

The folks over at NASA are reporting “insane” results for a trial run of an electric vehicle charging program designed to cut greenhouse gas emissions for its Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The program points to an effective way to achieve significant cuts without incurring significant costs, which would apply to just about any kind of large facility with employees who commute by car.

NASA EV charging project

NASA EV charging project courtesy of NASA

The NASA Workplace EV Charging Project

The new workplace EV charging project dovetails with the Obama Administration’s Workplace Charging Challenge, which encourages employers to make free EV charging available to their employees. That program is part of the ambitious EV Everywhere initiative, which is aimed at making EV ownership just as affordable and convenient as owning a conventional vehicle.

The motivator behind workplace charging, and the NASA EV charging project, is that a facility gets credit for reducing greenhouse gas emissions related to commuting. That offsets the expense of installing workplace EV chargers and paying for the electricity.

As reported by Steven Siceloff of the Kennedy Space Center, the NASA EV charging project enlisted ten employees who commute daily by EV (full plug-in EV, not hybrids). They received free EV charging in exchange for documenting their miles of driving and other details about their commute.

Here is the payoff cited by project manager Frank Kline:

The numbers are really insane. The program’s first three months only cost $148, and we eliminated over 15,000 pounds of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. Over a whole year, we’ll save over 60,000 pounds and that’s just with 10 drivers.

Of course, the GHG emissions savings apply locally, to the facility. The real tell in terms of regional and global GHG reduction is the source of the electricity for the EV chargers.

In the US, the grid mix still leans heavily on coal, with a long record of environmental consequences recently highlighted by the West Virginia chemical spill on January 9 and yesterday’s North Carolina coal ash spill.

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Tina specializes in military and corporate sustainability, advanced technology, emerging materials, biofuels, and water and wastewater issues. Views expressed are her own. Follow her on Twitter @TinaMCasey and Google+.


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