SMUD sponsors solar model car competition

Electric vehicles (EVs) hold a lot of promise for greening the transportation sector, and could do even more if the electricity that powers them comes from the sun. To encourage the next generation of consumers to think about automotive innovation, SMUD You are leaving WAPA.gov. sponsors an annual Solar Car Race for high school students.

Students competing in the Solar Car Race all start with the same kit and then add custom touches.

Students competing in the Solar Car Race all start with the same kit and then add custom touches. (Photo by SMUD)

More than 300 high school students competed in this year’s event, held at Cosumnes River College You are leaving WAPA.gov. on April 19, as part of Earth Week. The competition is open to any high school in SMUD’s service territory.

Community comes together
The race took place in the college’s quad, and the construction department designed and built the wooden race track used by the racers. The event also gives students an excellent opportunity to visit a community college campus and experience what it has to offer.

The Sacramento Electric Vehicle Association You are leaving WAPA.gov. and EV owners were also on hand to exhibit many models of available EVs and to discuss the technology and benefits of driving a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle.

Tools for students, teachers
SMUD provides each school registered with up to six solar car kits, which contain a 12-watt solar module from PITSCO You are leaving WAPA.gov. and car accessories from Solar MadeYou are leaving WAPA.gov. Using the same solar panels, motors and gear sets as a jumping-off point, the students choose their own materials and design the car they are going to race. The entries compete for not only the fastest car, but also for best design, most sustainable, best engineering and most creative design. Each participating student receives an event t-shirt, also provided by SMUD.

In addition to the kits, SMUD also offers professional development workshops for teachers interested in using the solar-powered cars in their science or physics curriculums. A variety of workshops and training, exhibits and online resources are available to both teachers and students through SMUD’s Energy Education & Technology Center.

Racing toward future
Participation in the solar car race has doubled since it began 13 years ago, which is not surprising in a territory that has around 8,000 electric vehicles. The Solar Car Race is loosely based on the Department of Energy’s Junior Solar Sprint, a classroom-based national competition of solar-powered model cars for students, grades six through eight.

As a community-owned, not-for-profit utility, SMUD is focused on balancing its commitment to low rates with the goal of supporting regional vitality, and education is central to that effort. Through events like the race, the Solar Regatta and an Energy Fair, SMUD gives back to its community, while helping to develop the professionals who will create the energy solutions of the future.

Source: SMUD, 4/24/17

WAPA congratulates SMUD for efficiency award

SMUD has two charging stations that can recharge most fast-charging electric vehicles in 30 minutes.

SMUD has two charging stations that can recharge most fast-charging electric vehicles in 30 minutes. (Photo by Sacramento Municipal Utility District)

Sacramento Municipal Utility District You are leaving WAPA.gov. (SMUD) is among the agencies and individuals to be honored by the Alliance to Save Energy You are leaving WAPA.gov. at its Evening with the Stars of Energy Efficiency awards dinner on Sept. 22 in Washington, D.C.

The annual awards celebrate individuals, companies, organizations, government programs and educational institutions that have made notable contributions to advance energy efficiency in their respective fields. SMUD is receiving the transportation award for 25 years of leadership and large-scale deployment of electric drive vehicles.

Whether a customer owns an electric vehicle or is thinking about buying one, the municipal utility offers information and resources to help make the decision easier. On SMUD’s website, customers can learn about charging options and links for finding public charging stations. You are leaving WAPA.gov.

SMUD introduced a special time-of-use rate in January 2016 that credits plug-in electric vehicle owners an additional 1.5¢ per kilowatt-hour (kWh) for charging their vehicles between midnight and 6 a.m. every day, all year long. During those hours, participating households pay only 7.17¢ per kWh for their electricity. As part of the efforts to promote electric vehicles in its territory, SMUD also began offering a $300 rebate this year to customers who purchase or lease a plug-in electric vehicle.

“SMUD is honored to receive the Transportation award in recognition of our wide-ranging commitment to energy efficiency,” said Arlen Orchard, SMUD CEO and general manager. “We began supporting electric transportation solutions in the 1990s as a way to improve the Sacramento region’s air quality. From developing the first solar-powered charging station on the West Coast to launching an innovative rate program that rewards customers who charge their electric vehicles during off-peak hours, SMUD’s actions and leadership have helped drive the technology forward. We look forward to continuing these efforts as more of our customers turn to electric vehicles to save money and benefit the environment.”

As the utility industry continues to look for ways to adapt to changing technology and expectations, SMUD offers yet another example of programs and products that benefit the customer, community and power provider. WAPA is proud of our innovative customers and congratulates SMUD on its well-deserved recognition.

Source: Alliance to Save Energy, 6/27/16