Smith's opens fuel station in Salt Lake City with electric car charger

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  • Baron Scarpia Logan, UT
    Feb. 5, 2011 6:14 a.m.

    @ Johnny Triumph -- yes, you're right, it is old technology. But we have to look at the available infrastructure as we contemplate moves away from oil. A few years ago, everyone was excited about fuel cells, but the problem is that none of that hydrogen fuel is readily available.

    What's interesting about the fuel cell was that it was really a hybrid -- like the Prius, so electricity was at its heart.

    Almost everyone has access to electrical outlets in their garages (true, apartment dwellers may not, so that is still a problem). Thus, from a practical marketing perspective, the "new" technology to replace gasoline must be convenient enough for people to juice up.

    Natural gas and electricity are the two most promising alternatives. An infrastructure is available for both fuels, but both need rapid expansion of they are to be as convenient as gasoline is today.

    I believe the plug-in hybrid is the likely transitional technology that can have the best of both worlds -- you can charge up for practically nothing ($1.60 for 100 miles on electricity is the estimate I've seen), but for far distances, you can use gasoline and still get 40-50 MPG.

  • Corn Dog New York, NY
    Feb. 5, 2011 1:44 a.m.

    To compare costs of electric vs gasoline cars, you have to include the increased costs of the electric cars and chargers. When you do that, even with gas at $4 a gallon and Utah's cheap electricity, electric cars are more expensive to own and operate. Since almost all of Utah's electricity comes from fossil fues, driving an electric car isn't helping the environment, either.

  • tabuno Clearfield, UT
    Feb. 4, 2011 9:48 p.m.

    Considering that Europe is way ahead of the United States, for Smith's to at least embrace change for environmentally friendly transportation and that its private industry, not government, I applaud commercial, for-profit enterprise to think about catching up with the rest of the developed world.

  • Johnny Triumph American Fork, UT
    Feb. 4, 2011 11:33 a.m.

    Electric cars are OLD technology, why are we embracing them? It's time to put some thought into newer technologies and get them to the masses. Where has the innovation gone in America? We're falling behind the rest of the world.

  • Brave Sir Robin San Diego, CA
    Feb. 4, 2011 8:36 a.m.

    I wonder what price gas will have to be before you naysayers start realizing that charging your car for an hour essentially for free, outweighs fueling your car for 10 minutes at some exorbitant price? Is it $5/gal? $10/gal? Because I guarantee you'll see those kind of prices in the next 5 years.

  • Baron Scarpia Logan, UT
    Feb. 4, 2011 6:28 a.m.

    @PP -- free fuel that I can charge up while I shop for groceries, sounds convenient to me!

    By the way, you don't HAVE to stay there for an hour -- this is just the limit for your parking there. This is merely a convenient "pit stop" to charge up -- they're increasingly common in CA and if often allows plug-in car owners to get a spot near the front entrance of stores.

    I saw a high school last month in Silicon Valley where all the parking lot was covered with solar panels so that students will be able to park their cars in the shade and charge up their cars while at school. The future without oil is starting to shape up.

    Hey, with gas destined for $4 a gallon this summer, and electricity being only a fraction of that from home, juicing up from my garage overnight will be far more convenient than running to the gas station once or twice a week.

    Don't laugh at the technology -- extended range plug-in hybrid cars like the Volt allow you to get to St. George no problem. If you juice up on electricity, it cuts travel costs significantly!

  • PP Eagle Mountain, UT
    Feb. 3, 2011 6:04 p.m.

    Man electric cars are awesome!!!! Only an hour to "top off" your battery. Hopefully you don't have to drive to St. George or you will double your travel time. Sometimes the line can get bad at the pumps where the average time it takes to fill up is 3 minutes.