Friday, March 4, 2011

Two Bits Of Transportation News

Duke Energy has recently announced plans to create a $1.2 m PEV (Plug-in Electric Vehicles) pilot in the Carolinas. There are issues to be addressed as this technology goes forward, such as will transformers need to be upgraded, will peak power need to be upgraded, etc. Ideally, home users will be able to charge overnight, when peak demand is low, but those patterns need to be understood.

At least one downtown Condominium has approached Duke to become part of the pilot, noting that the potential for many users in a relatively small area can be addressed. Also, many of these condo residents tend to be early adapters, and would give Duke a pretty good read.

With the turmoil in the Middle East, and gasoline prices seemingly heading to $4 a gallon, I would expect to see much more interest in PEV's.

The second item is that Columbia, SC city leaders have come to Charlotte to discuss the initial concept of installing a commuter rail corridor running from Columbia to Charlotte. The implications of this are clear, Charlotte will be on the High Speed Rail Corridor between Washington and Atlanta, and the status as a Hub on that line will expand rail services in several directions. This is not something that will be happening in the near term, but now is a great time to begin exploring the possibilities.

Charlotte's Amtrak Terminal will be located in downtown Charlotte on Graham and Trade Streets.

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