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huntinman
08-20-2011, 03:33 PM
Citing a Lack of Usage, Costco Removes E.V. Chargers

By JIM MOTAVALLI


Costco, the membership warehouse-club chain, was an early leader in offering electric-vehicle charging to its customers, setting an example followed by other retailers, including Best Buy and Walgreen. By 2006, Costco had installed 90 chargers at 64 stores, mostly in California but also some in Arizona, New York and Georgia. Even after General Motors crushed its EV1 battery cars, the Costco chargers stayed in place.

Yet just as plug-in cars like the Nissan Leaf and Chevrolet Volt enter the market, Costco is reversing course and pulling its chargers out of the ground, explaining that customers do not use them.

Courtesy of Plug In AmericaPhotographed last week, a charger installed at a Costco location in Rohnert Park, Calif. “Please be advised that this electric charger will be removed on August 15th, 2011. Sorry for the inconvenience,” the note says.

“We were early supporters of electric cars, going back as far as 15 years. But nobody ever uses them,” said Dennis Hoover, the general manager for Costco in northern California, in a telephone interview. “At our Folsom store, the manager said he hadn’t seen anybody using the E.V. charging in a full year. At our store in Vacaville, where we had six chargers, one person plugged in once a week.”

Mr. Hoover said that E.V. charging was “very inefficient and not productive” for the retailer. “The bottom line is that there are a lot of other ways to be green,” he said. “We have five million members in the region, and just a handful of people are using these devices.”

Plug In America, the California-based E.V. advocacy group, contends that the stations do get used, and is conducting a rigorous grassroots campaign to save them. The group asserts that some of the units have been delivering free electricity to loyal E.V. owners for a decade or more, and that people regularly plug in.


The group says that the Costco chargers are invaluable for owners of Toyota’s older RAV4 electrics, many of which are still on the road in California. But the actor Ed Begley Jr., a longtime environmentalist and RAV4 owner, said in an e-mail that some of the Costco chargers around Los Angeles stopped working years ago.

The Costco outlets are also outdated by current standards, but a state-supported program stands ready to upgrade them at no cost to Costco.

That was one impetus for a $2.3 million program supported by the California Energy Commission and overseen by the charging companies Clipper Creek and EV Connect, which would have 600 to 650 so-called legacy E.V. chargers upgraded. According to Will Barrett, a Clipper Creek program manager, 30 new chargers have been installed since the program began operations in July. Mr. Barrett said that Costco decided not to participate in the state program last March.

Jim BradyFinanced by a $2.3 million California Energy Commission program, an electrician working for Phil Haupt Electric in Roseville, Calif., replaces a so-called legacy charger with a new unit.

Mr. Hoover said the company was aware of the state-funded upgrade program, but did not see a compelling reason to take advantage of it.

“Why should we have anybody spend money on a program that nobody’s thought through?” he said.

“We know for a fact that many of the Costco chargers are used on a regular basis,” said Tom Saxton, a computer programmer from Washington State, who drives a RAV4 E.V. and serves on the board of Plug In America. “And because thousands of new electric vehicles are hitting the road, the chargers are going to be even more in demand. And people are charging while they shop.”

Plug In America said that more than 900 people had sent e-mails to James D. Sinegal, the co-founder and chief executive of Costco, urging him to reconsider. The group said it had worked to persuade at least one California store, located in Rohnert Park in Sonoma County, to keep its chargers. But Mr. Hoover said that the situation there had been “reviewed.” The bottom line: “We will be taking them out there, too,” he said.

subroc
08-21-2011, 09:48 AM
Ahhh...

That bizarre concept "market driven" wins out over left wing radical extremist utopian policy.

TPhillips
08-21-2011, 10:59 AM
Ahhh, I wont be able to plug my diesel in and get front row parking anymore! Damn

Blackstone
08-21-2011, 12:53 PM
It appears Cosco was ahead of their time. I’m surprised they installed them 15 years ago. There couldn’t have been many electric vehicles on the road. I’m sure their charging stations were obsolete, and wouldn’t work with new electric vehicle technology very well. On the other side, Cracker Barrel is installing charging stations at their restaurants. They are starting to roll them out at 24 locations in TN. I guess time will tell if that is successful.

caryalsobrook
08-21-2011, 01:51 PM
It appears Cosco was ahead of their time. I’m surprised they installed them 15 years ago. There couldn’t have been many electric vehicles on the road. I’m sure their charging stations were obsolete, and wouldn’t work with new electric vehicle technology very well. On the other side, Cracker Barrel is installing charging stations at their restaurants. They are starting to roll them out at 24 locations in TN. I guess time will tell if that is successful.
You think they will charge them enough to make it to the next Cracker Barrel????????

BonMallari
08-21-2011, 02:21 PM
You think they will charge them enough to make it to the next Cracker Barrel????????


don't be ragging on Cracker Barrel , that is a mainstay of my diet when I am on the road...I have all the locations between home and Idaho bookmarked and also many in the Texas area...if nothing else I can recharge my laptop while I eat the chicken fried steak and cobbler ala mode:D

M&K's Retrievers
08-21-2011, 03:39 PM
don't be ragging on Cracker Barrel , that is a mainstay of my diet when I am on the road...I have all the locations between home and Idaho bookmarked and also many in the Texas area...if nothing else I can recharge my laptop while I eat the chicken fried steak and cobbler ala mode:D

Bon, you have been gone from here too long.

caryalsobrook
08-21-2011, 03:47 PM
don't be ragging on Cracker Barrel , that is a mainstay of my diet when I am on the road...I have all the locations between home and Idaho bookmarked and also many in the Texas area...if nothing else I can recharge my laptop while I eat the chicken fried steak and cobbler ala mode:D
Make sure the next Cracker Barrel is within 40 miles so you can make it to the next one in a $7,000.00 subsity by the taxpayers.;)

kActually I wasn't making fun of Cracker Barrel. It was started here in Middle Tenn. Been to one many times but haven't ever seen anything about charging electric cars but always see plenty of advertising of their store goods.:razz:

Buzz
08-21-2011, 05:27 PM
Ahhh...

That bizarre concept "market driven" wins out over left wing radical extremist utopian policy.

Someone should tell the folks at Remy.

Blackstone
08-21-2011, 09:04 PM
You think they will charge them enough to make it to the next Cracker Barrel????????

LOL Cracker Barrel says you get about an 80% charge. I bet that's just about enough to get you to the next Cracker Barrel.

dback
08-21-2011, 09:18 PM
Buzz......tell us what's coming in battery technology that makes you confident these things will become feasible and provide them with a market niche. 40-60 mile range won't cut it in Phoenix where batteries last a year or two and it takes an hour and a half to drive across town. Golf Carts already have that market sewed up here in the Swingin Senior Sect :-)

Blackstone
08-21-2011, 09:47 PM
Make sure the next Cracker Barrel is within 40 miles so you can make it to the next one in a $7,000.00 subsity by the taxpayers.;)

Why do you think it's a subsidy? It's a tax credit, just like the tax credit you get on the mortgage interest you pay. Are the tax payers subsidizing our mortgages too?

TN_LAB
08-22-2011, 07:17 AM
Why do you think it's a subsidy? It's a tax credit, just like the tax credit you get on the mortgage interest you pay. Are the tax payers subsidizing our mortgages too?

There is a difference in a tax credit and a tax deduction. BIG difference.

It all costs US taxpayers and most of it should stop. Its' ridiculous how many folks work for the government. Cut a bunch of that stuff out the budget and let folks (entrepreneurs) provide the service or not. Kind of like toll roads. You decide if you want to pay to use it.

Blackstone
08-22-2011, 10:09 AM
There is a difference in a tax credit and a tax deduction. BIG difference.

It all costs US taxpayers and most of it should stop. Its' ridiculous how many folks work for the government. Cut a bunch of that stuff out the budget and let folks (entrepreneurs) provide the service or not. Kind of like toll roads. You decide if you want to pay to use it.

You are correct, there is a difference between the two. However, my point was that neither tax credits or tax deductions are subsidies. Tax payers do not subsidize either, so how do they cost taxpayers money?

charly_t
08-22-2011, 11:49 AM
You are correct, there is a difference between the two. However, my point was that neither tax credits or tax deductions are subsidies. Tax payers do not subsidize either, so how do they cost taxpayers money?

Blackstone, I do not understand a lot of things anymore so I have a few questions. Maybe you could answer them for me ( thanks in advance ).
Where does this $7000. come from and who is it paid to ? Or are the buyers of the cars given a $7000. credit so they don't have to pay the $7000. that they would owe in taxes otherwise ?

Blackstone
08-22-2011, 06:51 PM
Blackstone, I do not understand a lot of things anymore so I have a few questions. Maybe you could answer them for me ( thanks in advance ).
Where does this $7000. come from and who is it paid to ? Or are the buyers of the cars given a $7000. credit so they don't have to pay the $7000. that they would owe in taxes otherwise ?

No one pays it. You are correct. The tax credit reduces the amount of tax you would otherwise owe by $7,000. It is applied after you have calculated how much tax you owe, and is a dollar for dollar reduction to that amount.

A tax deduction, on the other hand, reduces your taxable income.

With either one, no taxpayer money is used to pay for it. The Fed. just collects less taxes.

sandyg
08-22-2011, 07:37 PM
So the government takes in $7000 less than it ordinarily would have, effectively subsidizing your buying an electric car. Semantics...

Kind of like saying they were going to spend 10% more, but due to spending cuts we're only going to spend 8% more.

LMAO through the tears for the future of our country...

TPhillips
08-22-2011, 08:17 PM
That's the same as saying we subsidize the owners of walmart because they don't pay a livable wage like costco, almost every person that works there qualifies for welfare, but not at costco. Don't bitch about the rich being rich, go be rich. And don't bitch about people getting out of paying more taxes, get out of them yourself.

charly_t
08-22-2011, 08:20 PM
Thank you, Blackstone. Interesting how these things work. So it does help someone buy a car that falls in the correct list of car models.

charly_t
08-22-2011, 08:25 PM
So the government takes in $7000 less than it ordinarily would have, effectively subsidizing your buying an electric car. Semantics...

Kind of like saying they were going to spend 10% more, but due to spending cuts we're only going to spend 8% more.

LMAO through the tears for the future of our country...

More twists and turn in logic ( ? or whatever one could call it ). Just doesn't seem right somehow..........people who can afford a new car get a "boost" which they probably don't need.

Blackstone
08-23-2011, 11:05 AM
Thank you, Blackstone. Interesting how these things work. So it does help someone buy a car that falls in the correct list of car models.

I'm sure some of the people buying an electric car would not be able to afford it otherwise, but there will be buyers that could afford to buy one without a tax credit. The Fed. has offered tax credits for years on purchases of energy efficient products (home appliances, windows, insulation, etc.). If you install a solar panel or geothermal heat pump in your home, you can get a tax credit of up to 30% of the purchase price. This tax credit just happens to be for electric cars. There was a similar credit for hybrid cars and vehicles that ran on CNG or LPG.

Energy efficient products usually do cost more than less efficient products. The idea of the tax credit is to give people incentive to purchase the more efficient product, which helps conserve resources down the road. In the long run, they save everyone money. I'm not saying the tax credit is right or wrong. I'm just pointing out how they work.

Blackstone
08-23-2011, 11:53 AM
So the government takes in $7000 less than it ordinarily would have, effectively subsidizing your buying an electric car. Semantics...

Kind of like saying they were going to spend 10% more, but due to spending cuts we're only going to spend 8% more.

LMAO through the tears for the future of our country...

It’s not just semantics. There is a very real difference between a tax credit and a tax subsidy. An example of a tax subsidy is a subsidized student loan where the Gov. pays the tax on a student loan the entire time the student is in school. Six months after they graduate, or are no longer eligible for the loan, they have to start paying the loan back. However, they do not pay any interest that was charged on the loan while they were in school. So, in effect, taxpayers pay the interest on those loans, and we are subsidizing that student’s education.

That is not how a tax credit or tax deduction works. The Gov. doesn’t pay $7,000 to the person that bought the car. They just do not collect as much in taxes from that person. If the person doesn’t owe $7,000 in taxes, the Gov. doesn’t give them the difference. So, there is no subsidy.

So, unless I misunderstand what you’re saying, your logic dictates that every tax deduction or tax credit becomes a subsidy because they cause the Gov. to take in less in taxes. So, as a taxpayer, I subsidize the buying of homes for everyone that claims mortgage interest or points they paid on the mortgage. I subsidize the purchases of people that install an energy efficient dishwasher, refrigerator, furnace or windows in their home, if they claim their tax credit. And, I also subsidize every family that has children and claims them on their taxes.

caryalsobrook
08-23-2011, 02:00 PM
It’s not just semantics. There is a very real difference between a tax credit and a tax subsidy. An example of a tax subsidy is a subsidized student loan where the Gov. pays the tax on a student loan the entire time the student is in school. Six months after they graduate, or are no longer eligible for the loan, they have to start paying the loan back. However, they do not pay any interest that was charged on the loan while they were in school. So, in effect, taxpayers pay the interest on those loans, and we are subsidizing that student’s education.

That is not how a tax credit or tax deduction works. The Gov. doesn’t pay $7,000 to the person that bought the car. They just do not collect as much in taxes from that person. If the person doesn’t owe $7,000 in taxes, the Gov. doesn’t give them the difference. So, there is no subsidy.

So, unless I misunderstand what you’re saying, your logic dictates that every tax deduction or tax credit becomes a subsidy because they cause the Gov. to take in less in taxes. So, as a taxpayer, I subsidize the buying of homes for everyone that claims mortgage interest or points they paid on the mortgage. I subsidize the purchases of people that install an energy efficient dishwasher, refrigerator, furnace or windows in their home, if they claim their tax credit. And, I also subsidize every family that has children and claims them on their taxes.
FINALLY. I wondered if you understood. If you understand your own last paragraph, then you do. Those who can't or choose not to take advantage of these deductions and credits MUST MAKE UP THE LOSS BY PAYING HIGHER TAXES. Those 70,000 pages of tax codes does exactly that. Oil depletion allowances, home mortages, child deductions, farm credits,deductions or subsities, ect. those you like you call deductions. those you don't like you call subsities or loopholes but in reality they are all the same.

Blackstone
08-23-2011, 04:14 PM
FINALLY. I wondered if you understood. If you understand your own last paragraph, then you do. Those who can't or choose not to take advantage of these deductions and credits MUST MAKE UP THE LOSS BY PAYING HIGHER TAXES. Those 70,000 pages of tax codes does exactly that. Oil depletion allowances, home mortages, child deductions, farm credits,deductions or subsities, ect. those you like you call deductions. those you don't like you call subsities or loopholes but in reality they are all the same.
The definitions of a deduction, tax credit, or subsidy does not change based on whether or not I like them. There are differences between them, and that is why their definitions differ. While I understand your hypothesis, I have never seen anything indicating that taxes are raised to compensate for tax deductions or tax credits. Perhaps there is a way to form a premise to support that, but I can almost guarantee there would be one that appeared to disprove it as well. But, that is a question for Economists to debate.

So, conversely, do you believe your taxes would be lowered if tax credits and deductions were eliminated? I remember the tax reform act of 1986. It eliminated the deduction for interest paid on credit cards, car loans, and other personal items. It also took away a lot of other middle-income tax deductions. All it did for me was take away deduction I previously qualified for. At that point in my life, those were the only kinds of deductions I qualified for, so all it did was increase my tax burden.

I am not arguing for or against tax credits or tax deductions. I am just pointing out they are being inaccurately portrayed as subsidies.

huntinman
08-23-2011, 04:20 PM
It's a moot point. They don't sell enough of them to worry about whether it is a subsidy, deduction, rebate or just a plain old waste of money.

Blackstone
08-23-2011, 05:02 PM
It's a moot point. They don't sell enough of them to worry about whether it is a subsidy, deduction, rebate or just a plain old waste of money.
Thank you for your input, ole great soothsayer!

caryalsobrook
08-23-2011, 05:12 PM
The definitions of a deduction, tax credit, or subsidy does not change based on whether or not I like them. There are differences between them, and that is why their definitions differ. While I understand your hypothesis, I have never seen anything indicating that taxes are raised to compensate for tax deductions or tax credits. Perhaps there is a way to form a premise to support that, but I can almost guarantee there would be one that appeared to disprove it as well. But, that is a question for Economists to debate.

So, conversely, do you believe your taxes would be lowered if tax credits and deductions were eliminated? I remember the tax reform act of 1986. It eliminated the deduction for interest paid on credit cards, car loans, and other personal items. It also took away a lot of other middle-income tax deductions. All it did for me was take away deduction I previously qualified for. At that point in my life, those were the only kinds of deductions I qualified for, so all it did was increase my tax burden.

I am not arguing for or against tax credits or tax deductions. I am just pointing out they are being inaccurately portrayed as subsidies.

OOps, I was wrong. You don't get it. I don't borrow to buy cars, never did. I don't ever owd on a credit card at the end of the month, never did. So your taxes went up and mine didn't. You think it didn't make a difference? Well then raising the income tax on the rich would not make a difference then would it?. So then why do the dems want to raise it on them????????

Blackstone
08-24-2011, 12:59 AM
OOps, I was wrong. You don't get it. I don't borrow to buy cars, never did. I don't ever owd on a credit card at the end of the month, never did. So your taxes went up and mine didn't. You think it didn't make a difference? Well then raising the income tax on the rich would not make a difference then would it?. So then why do the dems want to raise it on them????????

Actually, I do get it. You want the opportunity to rant about what you perceive as unfair tax deductions and credits that cost you money. In order to do that, you try to portray them as subsidies that affect you as a tax payer. If you want to continue believing that, it’s okay with me. The last line of my post that you quoted said it all for me. I pointed out the inaccuracies, and I’m done with it.

caryalsobrook
08-25-2011, 06:52 PM
Actually, I do get it. You want the opportunity to rant about what you perceive as unfair tax deductions and credits that cost you money. In order to do that, you try to portray them as subsidies that affect you as a tax payer. If you want to continue believing that, it’s okay with me. The last line of my post that you quoted said it all for me. I pointed out the inaccuracies, and I’m done with it.

No, my "RANTING" was that if one liked the tax benefits, they were called tax credits or deductions. If one doesn't like the tax benefits, then they are called subsities or tax loopholes. Like progressives, liberals, socialists, and Marxists, Subsities, loopholes, tax deductions, and tax credits are different breeds but the same species.

I will just rant a little more. As my father used to say, "you can't fix stupid".

krmont22
10-12-2011, 01:35 AM
It appears Cosco was ahead of their time. I’m surprised they installed them 15 years ago. There couldn’t have been many electric vehicles on the road. I’m sure their charging stations were obsolete, and wouldn’t work with new electric vehicle technology very well. On the other side, Cracker Barrel is installing charging stations at their restaurants. They are starting to roll them out at 24 locations in TN. I guess time will tell if that is successful.

no matter what time these vehicles or charger were institutionalized, the problem Getting the power on the road itself is a problem. To date, no one has created a lightweight, compact battery capable of covering average driving distances without recharging from a stationary source. In plainer words an electric car can do the job but it won't get you far...!

Blackstone
10-12-2011, 02:00 PM
no matter what time these vehicles or charger were institutionalized, the problem Getting the power on the road itself is a problem. To date, no one has created a lightweight, compact battery capable of covering average driving distances without recharging from a stationary source. In plainer words an electric car can do the job but it won't get you far...!

That is true with electric cars that have no onboard generator. However, vehicles like the Volt, with an internal combustion engine used as a generator, have an indefinite range, much like a diesel locomotive. All of this technology is in its infancy. The current batteries are smaller, lighter, and provide a charge longer than batteries of just a few years ago. At some point, there may well be a battery capable of supplying a charge over a much longer distance.

Buzz
10-12-2011, 02:12 PM
That is true with electric cars that have no onboard generator. However, vehicles like the Volt, with an internal combustion engine used as a generator, have an indefinite range, much like a diesel locomotive. All of this technology is in its infancy. The current batteries are smaller, lighter, and provide a charge longer than batteries of just a few years ago. At some point, there may well be a battery capable of supplying a charge over a much longer distance.


This may be of interest. Still has those pesky engineering issues to overcome...

New battery design could give electric vehicles a jolt

http://web.mit.edu/newsoffice/2011/flow-batteries-0606.html

bbmclain
10-12-2011, 02:12 PM
You are holding the Volt up as a success story?!?!?!?!? I sure hope not....

Blackstone
10-12-2011, 02:31 PM
You are holding the Volt up as a success story?!?!?!?!? I sure hope not....

I was not holding it ups a a success story, only an example of technology, and how it works. The verdict is still out on Volt. Volt is just now being rolled out for sale to the entire country. The market and customer demand will determine whether or not it is a success.

Blackstone
10-12-2011, 02:38 PM
This may be of interest. Still has those pesky engineering issues to overcome...

New battery design could give electric vehicles a jolt

http://web.mit.edu/newsoffice/2011/flow-batteries-0606.html

That is certainly an interesting new way of looking at battery design. Hopefully they can overcome the engineering issues and make it a reality. It would certainly have a lot of applications.

huntinman
10-12-2011, 02:54 PM
It was announced today that Solyndra is making a comeback... they are buying the Volt from Government Motors. They are going to power them with solar panels. The Obama administration has agreed to give them 500 Billion for this exciting new opportunity. There is even talk of a wind powered model, with sails in various colors...