Darlene Baskerville, a driver with the City Center Partnership's shuttle service, describes the Nissan Leaf as "a really nice car. It's very smooth." In this video, Roger Davis explains why his group is working with the co-ops.
Columbia residents who catch a ride with the city’s downtown courtesy shuttle this fall are helping South Carolina’s electric cooperatives study the potential of electric cars.
As part of an experiment to test the reliability and cost savings of electric vehicles, Central Electric Power Cooperative—the wholesale power supplier to your local co‑op—loaned its all-electric Nissan Leaf to the nonprofit City Center Partnership. The partnership, which operates a free shuttle service covering a 36-square-block area of the capital city, is considering the purchase of an electric vehicle in order to reduce its $1,200 monthly fuel bill. Shuttle vehicles typically cover 80 miles a day, and the partnership was thrilled to get hands-on experience with the plug-in Leaf, says Roger Davis, director of operations.
“We’re testing its durability and how much gas we’re saving,” he says. “We want to ‘go green,’ but at the same time we have to be sure there is a cost savings.”
Michael Smith, manager of energy programs at Central Electric, says the data collected will also help co‑ops evaluate the pros and cons of electric vehicles.
“This is a good, rigorous test, and it allows us to help someone else out, too,” he says.