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A powerful case for allowing electric-vehicle charging at BSA camps

Updated July 2 to clarify that EV charging can be done with a simple, existing outlet — an expensive charging station isn’t necessary.


If you believe the sci-fi novels, by the time our Scouts are ready to buy their first car, an all-electric vehicle may be their only option.

These vehicles don’t pollute, and they’re cheaper to drive than their gas or gas-electric hybrid counterparts.

But you don’t have to wait for the future to own one. Most major carmakers either have an all-electric model for sale now, or they’re developing one to put on the market soon.

The increasing prevalence of electric vehicles, or EVs, led two Scouters to make a case for adding EV charging capabilities at BSA camps and national high-adventure bases.

Bob Bruninga and Gary Wilson lay out their cases below.

I sent their arguments to Eric Hiser, the BSA volunteer who serves as National Standards Chair for the National Camp Accreditation Program. His response:

“I am intrigued by it, and we will certainly give it some consideration during the next standards revision or possibly as a stand-alone recommended practice revision.”

See the arguments for EV charging at camps below, and share your thoughts in the comments.

From Gary Wilson, assistant district commissioner in the Bucks County Council:

As leaders cars at Scout camps are typically parked for a few days, a simple, conventional 110 VAC outlet is all that is needed to recharge an electric vehicle. Not only would this support the recent BSA emphasis on sustainability, it could also become a very positive and inexpensive public relations project, much like the sustainability initiative at the Summit.

From Bob Bruninga, Eagle Scout:

Every car MFR now makes electric vehicles. They are coming.

The BSA has a great opportunity to further emissions-free renewable energy transportation by making sure (at practically NO COST) that Scout camps are EV-friendly. This simply means they understand that an EV (of any make or model) draws no more from any standard 120v outlet than a toaster or coffeepot (12 amps). And the cost to charge is under 20 cents an hour, or under $2/day to replenish a 40 mile EV trip to camp.

Therefore scout camps with readily available outlets adjacent to a parking spot, should place EV CHARGING signs over these existing outlets and have a procedure for accepting about $2/day for an EV to plug in. This can be paid at the Trading Post or camp office and receive a placard to set on the rear-view mirror, showing that the car has paid and is authorized to plug in.

We must educate scouts that EVs are coming and they do not need special charging stations, especially when they are parked for hours and can equally well charge up on any standard outlet. Every Scout needs to see these signs and make this realization for their future of clean renewable transportation.

48 Comments on A powerful case for allowing electric-vehicle charging at BSA camps

  1. Electricity is not emissions free, nor are the cars non-polluting. Electricity must be created. Most of the country uses coal to create electricity. There is loss over the lines, so that makes it inefficient. Also, the batteries are horribly toxic and create pollution in their manufacture and in their disposal.

    If you want to offer charging stations, that’s fine. It just bugs me when people talk about electric cars as if they are pollution free miracles. The carbon footprint of an electric car is equal to a gas model that’s been driven over 100 miles.

    • I’m hardly the expert on this, but at least with electric cars you have the option of recharging them using nonpolluting energy sources, like wind. That’d not an option for powering gas cars.

    • Carey Snyder // June 19, 2014 at 8:38 am // Reply

      And the “carbon footprint” is a hoax that has made some former vice presidents hundreds of millions of dollars.

    • The title and picture of this topic is completely misleading everyone and drawing out a huge anti-EV sentiment. But read the proposal. It says nothing about “charging stations”, simply using any 120v outlets that might exist:

      We did not suggest “charging stations” AT ALL. We agree, They make NO economical sense at camp. What we did suggest was a simple sign over any existing outlet, safely adjacent to a parking space, noting that the outlet can be used for charging an EV by paying $2 a day at the camp office.

      This is no cost to the camp, no cost to scouting, no cost to tax payers, and no cost to install. Yet it allows those scouters who drive EV’s to bring kids to camp to plugin overnight and gain at least 40 miles charge from a standard outlet for the return trip home.

      The simplistic argument that EV’s simply move emissions to the coal plant is 93% balderdash. What these exaggerations overlook are 3 simple facts:

      1) only 40% of grid electricity comes from coal
      2) the EV is at least 3 times more energy efficient than gasoline cars
      3) About 50% of all EV buyers also have solar on their homes, or purchase their utility power from 100% solar/wind sources.

      Multiply 40% by 33% by 50% and the CORRECT answer is that the average EV in the USA only generates about 7% of the carbon emissions from the coal plant as a gasoline car does from the tail pipe. And that figure only goes DOWN as the grid gets cleaner every year. There has been a 20% reduction in coal generation just in the last 6 years, and 400% per year growth in solar and wind generation in the USA.

      It is no coincidence that most of those that buy EV’s also buy clean power because they want to be part of the solution and not continue to contribute to the problem (fossil fuel burning like there is no tomorrow). Remember, those 50% are using 100% emissions free electricity, and the other 50% are using 14% coal (thats why the average is 7%)

      To see how most of what status-quo people think they know about EV’s is wrong, please see http://aprs.org/EV-misinformation.html

      Even the state of Maryland has determined that more that 97% of ALL EV charging while cars are parked at home, at work, (or at camp) can be met by simply plugging into a standard 120v outlet. Cars are typically parked over 21 hours a day. During that time, they can easily maintain more than 80 miles of daily charge from a standard 120v outlet and always be full at the start of every trip, going to work, doing noon errands, and coming home.

      The smart EV owner no more needs an expensive public charging station than a gas car owner needs to carry a spare gas can. Why bother ever going to a charging station when you can fill up in your garage or anywhere there is an outlet for only about 20 cents an hour or $2 a day for a complete fill up (of say the VOLT).

      Hope that helps explain all the misunderstandings that have been written.
      Bob Bruninga

    • Electricity is cleaner than gasoline, even using coal, but electricity is getting cleaner all the time, thanks to my Agency, the US EPA.
      And almost all the electricity in the USA, except some hydro from Canada, is MADE IN THE USA, which I can not say about my gasoline burning car. I have solar panels on the roof of my house to charge my electric car, and friends’ cars. We should be doing everything we can to encourage electric vehicles. Otherwise, we will continue our addiction to oil and send nearly a billion US dollars overseas every day, some of which goes to OPEC and a hunk of that gets siphoned off to terrorists who are trying to kill our guys. As a US Marine, Sergeant E-5, Vietnam era, I don’t want to aid the enemy, and I hope you join me.

  2. Carey Snyder // June 19, 2014 at 8:29 am // Reply

    Please don’t buy in to “no pollution” – it is mearly displaced to the point that the energy was generated…now if you want no pollution, then put in a solar-or wind-powered station, – or how about where each scout on a trek walks the first 5 miles of his trek on a treadmill.

    While this may be a good idea, let’s not fall into the “sustainability” trap, which is used in Washington to support not only conservation, but a number of hair-brained schemes aimed at taking away our freedoms.

    • Chip Gribben // June 27, 2014 at 1:51 pm // Reply

      I have solar on my house and an EV and can say for a fact that the EV is getting 100 percent of it’s electricity from the sun when I charge it during the system’s peak solar production period. My system also puts the excess produced electricity back into the grid so my skeptical Conservative neighbors can use it and they don’t even know it.

      I don’t see how solar or EVs have anything to do with “taking away freedoms.” There is no better “Freedom” then driving by a gas station then charging up at home on solar.

      Conservatives need to stop the nonsense about Solar, Wind and EVs. I’m surprised that as scouters they don’t care about God’s creation as they claim. I tell you what. Which car would you rather have “on” if you were locked in a garage. Your gas engine car or my EV?

      • Chip Gribben // June 28, 2014 at 3:19 pm // Reply

        BTW. I’m an Eagle Scout and my Dad was an Eagle Scout and Scoutmaster. I actually became interested in solar because at our Council’s EXPOs, our troop did solar energy exhibits. We did both hot water solar and solar electric exhibits. This was back in the 70s when the only way to have solar on your house was to install it yourself.

        Because of that interest I now have solar on my house. A 5.8 kW system. Last month’s electric bill was $7.00.

        I have charged my friend’s Tesla from my Solar array and not only had enough to charge his car but power the house as well. We save money by running the dishwasher and dryer during peak sun times so we are getting energy from the sun to run those power hungry appliances.

        To those who say EVs are just “elsewhere emission vehicles,” they are wrong. My EV is actually charging right now from my solar array and not using coal produced electricity to charge it.

        Since we are grid connected we also switched our electricity provider to one that uses wind so we are using even more sustainable energy instead of coal.

        I personally know Bob Bruninga. He’s an engineer and an expert at Level One charging which is just using an extension cord to plug into an existing wall outlet. Back in the early days, that’s how we all charged our EVs. So really, no expensive hardware is needed.

        There is nothing needed except access to 110 and permission. We always are willing to pay and often pay more than we use.

        Now, we have no control over where the electricity is generated from in those locations but an EV charging from coal plant electricity is still cleaner per mile than a gas engine car.

        Just remember, EVs can charge from solar. 1/3 of the Leaf owners in San Diego charge their cars from their solar homes. Many EV owners are also going solar. It’s a natural progression. And there is no plan to take people’s rights away and none of the other nonsense I see written about alternative energy. Many of us do this for the tech and geek interest as well as for the environment. To me going solar and owning an EV is pure freedom. I converted a car to run on batteries and gets its energy from the sun. It’s self sustainable freedom. I have no clue how that can possibly be a threat to anyone’s freedoms.

    • Mindy Kimball // July 6, 2014 at 5:45 pm // Reply

      There is no “sustainability” trap. While it may be used as a “buzz word” by a lot of people, it is a legitimate way of thinking… It is the overlap of Society, the Economy, and the Environment.

      How do I know this? I led several Boy Scouts as they earned their Sustainability badge this spring. It is now part of the Eagle requirement (either Environmental Science or Sustainability). Oh, yeah, and I have a PhD in Sustainability (full disclosure, I have driven an electric car for almost 4 years now).

      I agree that electric vehicles are not “zero emissions” but no matter how you slice it, they are much more efficient (unit-for-unit of heat/energy used) than burning fossil fuel to move a car forward.

  3. David McIntyre // June 19, 2014 at 8:30 am // Reply

    I do not believe the science is clear on whether or not electric cars are better or worse for the environment. I have seen recent peer-reviewed articles that disputed any carbon emissions reductions from electric vehicles.

    More concerning to me is that the source for the rare minerals used in electric cars comes from miners who have no human rights. A large part of misery on earth remains in areas with these mines.

    If people want electric cars I support them, and I know that there is a possibility that they might be reducing carbon emissions, but it’s not so clear.

  4. An item not covered here (completely) is the cost of building and maintaining EV Recharging Stations. It’s just not as simple as having a home-style exterior outlet. And, there is a lot more cost than simply $2/day in electric bills to cover the costs of EV Charging Stations that would be used on a seasonal (as opposed to continuous) basis.

    For Example, the Rocky Mountain Institute estimates the cost of a curbside EV Charging Station to be around $6,000. (http://cleantechnica.com/2014/05/03/ev-charging-station-infrastructure-costs/)

    Add the additional insurance, cost of electricity (which is rising rapidly), lack of heavy duty electrical infrastructure supplying BSA Camps, etc., along with the cost of overcapacity, (stations sitting idle during camp season), and ongoing repair/replacement costs…

    This could be a terrific idea for those driving EVs that simply doesn’t make economic sense for the BSA to provide.

    • Please reread the ordinal post.

      We’re just talking about adding a parking spot and sign next to a simple, conventional 110VAC exterior outlet that may already exist on some camp building. Cost would be under $100 to implement and the electricity used would be paid by the vehicle owner at the trading post.

      • Jeff Traviss // June 26, 2014 at 4:21 pm // Reply

        Our council spent hundreds of dollars on signs stating “FOR HYBRID VEHICLES ONLY” Many scouters took offence to these signs because they drive larger SUV’s and trucks . When queried a bout these signs they stated it was to get a special designation as a eco friendly building . It is ridiculous. What is gained? You just wasted money on signs EVERYONE ignores and alienated good scouters. But Al Gore is made to feel better?

  5. As long as the majority of vehicles are gas, this us not cost effective for your local council camp to make an effort to install. Perhaps the EV owners are willing to finance this and have it attached to wind it solar power to show just how much sustainability there truly us?

    • Folks need to read the full proposal from Bob Brunniga, an Eagle Scout, EE Professor at USNA, and expert on electric vehicles.

      As the leaders’ cars will be parked for a week, all that’s needed is a parking spot near a simple, common 110 VAC 15 amp outlet, not the the expensive overnight charging stations some commenters here have incorrectly assumed the proposal involves. Thus all a camp needs is a designated parking spot with a simple water resistant 110 VAC outlet nearby, just like the one you already have on the deck at your home.

  6. James Hylemon // June 19, 2014 at 10:02 am // Reply

    I think this is a great idea and I plan to bring it up to my council’s Camping committee and see if we can install these in our camp!

  7. I agree with some of the above posters. We struggle to maintain critical infrastructure at our camps as it is. We even have a licensed electrician that donates hundreds of hours a year to maintain our camp electrical systems. The last thing I would do is suggest we use him or the money to put in charging stations when that money and time is severely needed to repair or maintain things that actually affect the youth attending our camps.

    Now, if someone wanted to donate the funds, and they couldn’t be persuaded to allocate them to something more important, I don’t have a problem with them being installed. Assuming the electricity could be paid for.

    • Jeff Traviss // June 19, 2014 at 1:20 pm // Reply

      I am sorry Bryan but this just looks like another stupid national idea that the base has NO interest in . Stick with worrying about increasing our membership. Put more money in staffing the Summit properly so the next Jamboree isn’t a big letdown. I can think of a lot better things we should be concentrating on than this issue.

      • I’m not defending the way they managed their resources and lots of lessons were learned that I hope are employed in the next Jambo….

        I’m just clarifying that the bulk of the overworked under appreciated staff wasn’t receiving money, we were paying it to be there.

  8. I agree with the comments about electric cars not being pollution-free. All you’re doing is shifting the pollution from vehicles to power plants, and in Michigan most energy comes from coal-belching power plants. Increased nuclear power is not a solution, either. Michigan has a couple of nuclear plants, but they’re de facto waste dumps because there’s no place to send used nuclear fuel. The federal government dropped the ball on that one. Instead, “spent fuel” is stored on plant sites in so-called dry casks — concrete tubs weighing hundreds of tons — that will have to be monitored and guarded for thousands of years. Vehicles powered by natural gas, which are available today, and hydrogen (their costs need to come down) are both better alternatives. Michigan even has natural gas “fueling stations” — with pumps conveniently located at gasoline stations. Of course, natural gas vehicles cost more than gasoline-powered cars, but there’s always a trade-off.

  9. Connie Knie // June 19, 2014 at 12:26 pm // Reply

    I don’t know about the camps in your areas but here in MI we are struggling mightily. Over half the camps here have been closed with no real plan they ever reopen in the near future. I would rather see money spent on program and not to recharge cars that can’t even pull a troop trailer (I don’t know that for sure…..do they make trucks?) ;)

    • james hylemon // June 19, 2014 at 1:09 pm // Reply

      They do make some hybrid plug in trucks. Crysler is making RAM 1500′s that are of a hybrid plug in option. and there are several SUV’s on the market that have the capability to haul trailers and such. The Highlander, the Rav4 are 2 to name a few.

      • Connie Knie // June 20, 2014 at 12:26 pm // Reply

        Hi James,
        Thanks. I figured that there was. I was just trying for a moment of fun there. I believe that National doesn’t always make good decisions as far as prioritizing money spent but all of this is just throwing the ball around I would assume………

        By the way, warm showers at Jambo would be nice, but nicer would be a lowering of the price to volunteer…..although I will pay it again if I have to………

        And to whomever said the sinking ships/dancing shoes analogy……..love it!!

  10. Jeff Traviss // June 19, 2014 at 1:12 pm // Reply

    I am very certain that if you were to poll the scouting base that the vast majority would put this hair brained idea at the bottom of their list to prepare their sons for the future. Here is an idea put all the money for this stupid idea in manning the woefully understaffed zip lines at the last Jamboree!!!!!!!!

    • If the BSA doesn’t solve the cold-shower problem by the next jamboree, even fewer staffers will show up. I don’t think asking for a hot shower is an unreasonable request for someone spending $850 for the privilege of working at a jamboree.

      • jeff traviss // June 19, 2014 at 2:01 pm // Reply

        I am amazed how out of touch national can be. The ship is sinking and they are looking for dance shoes.

        • Wozzo the Wonder Dog // June 19, 2014 at 2:31 pm //

          Dance shoes made in China that can carry sponsors’ logos and sold for a huge markup?

  11. I drive a Volt and I can honestly say that it is the best vehicle I have ever owned. However, that being said, this is certainly not a vehicle for everyone at this point. As gas prices continue to rise I expect that EVs and hybrids will see sales increases. However, those debates are best left for forums other than this.

    In regards to the topic at hand: Even as an owner and proponent of EVs I would be against having stations at camps. I would hate to see resources spent on charging stations that will be underutilized at this point in time.

    That being said, I see no issue if a pack/troop used their own time and resources to educate scouts on the advantages and disadvantages of these vehicles. Education is always a good thing.

  12. Wozzo the Wonder Dog // June 19, 2014 at 2:37 pm // Reply

    Put one in at the Summit. If there’s enough use there in 2015 then roll it out to Philmont. If there’s enough use there in 2016 then roll it out to Northern Tier. If there’s enough use there in 2017 then roll it out to Sea Base. Oh, and put one in at the National Office in Irving for the many professionals that are using electric cars. Do that right away.

    • Jeff Traviss // June 20, 2014 at 11:08 am // Reply

      Thank You for another voice of reason.

  13. Spencer Morasch // June 19, 2014 at 3:51 pm // Reply

    As both my council’s Properties (Camping) Committee Chair, and one who has personally lead the effort on engineering and rewiring out camp in a project now in it’s 10th year, this article caught my attention!

    Many camps, including ours, needed serious attention in the electric infrastructure to make sure it both kept up with program needs, as well of course being safe. Between rewiring buildings, upgrading electric services, etc., it has required the efforts of many (qualified) volunteers, donated materials and money to get where we are today.

    I’ll be honest in saying that a project to add electric vehicle charging stations at camp would end up on the bottom of our long list of “to do’s” at camp. Our priorities are driven by program & safety. Putting efforts into a project that only serves a tiny need by a few adult visitors to camp, while neither benefiting program or safety would only happen if someone was to donate both the labor & materials to make such a project happen.

    At this time, we have not had a single inquiry about the ability to charge a car at camp. We do have a few buildings next to our parking lots where the car owner could run a short extension cord over to an outside 120 volt outlet and slow charge their car that way. But building dedicated 240 volt high amperage charging stations is indeed a major project where we would have to both see a need for it, as well as receiving donations to build.

    • Gary Wilson // June 27, 2014 at 7:27 am // Reply

      Spencer: I’m sure your camp already has at least one exterior 110 VAC outlet on some camp building that someone could park next to. Thus all that’s need is a sign ( it could even be hand written) stating that an EV could be plugged into it and where at the camp they could pay for its use.

  14. Jeff Traviss // June 19, 2014 at 5:21 pm // Reply

    Well Bryan as I count it you have an overwhelming vote of no to this stupid idea. Looks like most scouters have their priorities elsewhere.

    • Pierre Landry // June 19, 2014 at 7:20 pm // Reply

      Hmmm…Jeff, “stupid idea” doesn’t seem very friendly, courteous or kind. Let’s encourage discussion without the denigration. Just because you don’t see the value, or the time isn’t right for action, doesn’t mean that the idea is “stupid.”
      Arthur C. Clarke wrote: “New ideas pass through three periods: 1) It can’t be done; 2) It probably can be done, but it’s not worth doing; 3) I knew it was a good idea all along!” It seem that we’re at Period 2 for this idea.

      • I call not listening to your base not very courteous. I call the act of writing articles that preach how we should make expenditures on VERY questionable technologies that can’t deliver our scouts to real world distances STUPID. I call them as I see them and you sir seem to be in the minority in this.

        • Pierre Landry // June 20, 2014 at 1:40 am //

          “…we should [not] make expenditures on VERY questionable technologies that can’t deliver our scouts to real world distances” One hundred ten years ago, you might be writing the same comments about automobiles using gasoline-powered internal combustion engines. I reiterate: it seems that we’re at Clarke’s Period 2— it probably can be done, but it’s not worth doing….right now. I happen to be in what you call the majority, in that I don’t think the time is right for these kinds of expenditures. Not “stupid,” just too early in the development of the technology to dedicate scare resources. One hundred ten years ago, I might have been suggesting that we wait until we see whether steam-powered autos would prevail before we spent money on a gasoline pump at the camp maintenance barn. That doesn’t make the idea of a gasoline-powered auto “stupid.”

  15. jeff traviss // June 20, 2014 at 10:10 am // Reply

    I would also call installing space port landing strips stupid if national brought it up. I am just pointing out the fact that the base of scouting lately does not agree with the direction or priorities of some very questionable decisions national seems to be making.Do you expect all of us to just follow like lemmings ? My God man think. We are an organization in trouble.
    Do you really believe installing electric recharging stations at camps should be a priority?

  16. Rockies Scouter // June 26, 2014 at 11:07 am // Reply

    Indeed, “non-polluting” is a falsehood. Loss of efficiency across power lines is mentioned above. What about the cost of converting the electricity from 120 VAC to the battery. There is a reason your cell phone heats up when you charge it, it is not efficient! Same with the EV car batteries. Love the comment about charging an EV for a 40 mile ride to camp. How many of you go 40 miles or less to camp? I have never, ever driven less than 40 miles to camp. Our fair city here in the Rockies bought a Ford hybrid car to use around town. After running it for 50,000 miles they evaluated the cost of ownership versus the same model that was not hybrid. The cost of the vehicle was never recouped in fuel savings and the trade-in was lower because you have to replace the EV cells. It becomes a liability. When was the last time you saw the cost to replace the EV cells in a car? Why is that never mentioned in the promotions for these vehicles? I agree with the folks posting above, focus on program, work on actually getting good staff at the camps (isn’t a growing trend that it is difficult to hire good staff?) and stop worrying about bling.

  17. Wow, I did not realize there was so much misunderstanding and misinformation about EV’s within scout leaders!

    We did not suggest “charging stations” AT ALL. We agree, They make NO economical sense at camp. What we did suggest was a simple sign over any existing outlet, safely adjacent to a parking space, noting that the outlet can be used for charging an EV by paying $2 a day at the camp office.

    This is no cost to the camp, no cost to scouting, no cost to tax payers, and no cost to install. Yet it allows those scouters who drive EV’s to bring kids to camp to plugin overnight and gain at least 40 miles charge from a standard outlet for the return trip home.

    The simplistic argument that EV’s simply move emissions to the coal plant is 93% balderdash. What these exaggerations overlook are 3 simple facts:

    1) only 40% of grid electricity comes from coal
    2) the EV is at least 3 times more energy efficient than gasoline cars
    3) About 50% of all EV buyers also have solar on their homes, or purchase their utility power from 100% solar/wind sources.

    Multiply 40% by 33% by 50% and the CORRECT answer is that the average EV in the USA only generates about 7% of the carbon emissions from the coal plant as a gasoline car does from the tail pipe. And that figure only goes DOWN as the grid gets cleaner every year. There has been a 20% reduction in coal generation just in the last 6 years, and 400% per year growth in solar and wind generation in the USA.

    It is no coincidence that most of those that buy EV’s also buy clean power because they want to be part of the solution and not continue to contribute to the problem (fossil fuel burning like there is no tomorrow). Remember, those 50% are using 100% emissions free electricity, and the other 50% are using 14% coal (thats why the average is 7%)

    To see how most of what status-quo people think they know about EV’s is wrong, please see http://aprs.org/EV-misinformation.html

    Even the state of Maryland has determined that more that 97% of ALL EV charging while cars are parked at home, at work, (or at camp) can be met by simply plugging into a standard 120v outlet. Cars are typically parked over 21 hours a day. During that time, they can easily maintain more than 80 miles of daily charge from a standard 120v outlet and always be full at the start of every trip, going to work, doing noon errands, and coming home.

    The smart EV owner no more needs an expensive public charging station than a gas car owner needs to carry a spare gas can. Why bother ever going to a charging station when you can fill up in your garage or anywhere there is an outlet for only about 20 cents an hour or $2 a day for a complete fill up (of say the VOLT).

    Hope that helps explain all the misunderstandings that have been written.
    Bob Bruninga

  18. Dave Davidson // June 27, 2014 at 6:56 am // Reply

    It appears that emotions run high on this issue and that many don’t understand the suggestion or electric vehicles. All that was suggested was placing a sign over an already existing outlet giving permission for someone to plug into it, while having them pay for the electricity they use and maybe a little extra. For a test basis, signs could be made with cardboard and a magic marker. No other cost is involved.

    While electric vehicles are not pollution free, they do pollute a lot less than gas or diesel vehicles. When looking at the fossil fuel vehicles, you not only have to look at tail pipe emissions, but also emissions in refining and transporting the fuel. Also, I would rather buy American produced electricity than buy oil from countries that hate us and will use our money against us.

    Batteries will be recycled, so waste isn’t an issue. They are simply too valuable to throw away. Also, unlike gas or diesel vehicles, electric vehicles will get cleaner as the grid gets cleaner. They’re not the solution for everyone, but many families can replace at least one car with an EV, either a totally electric vehicle or a plug in hybrid.

    I suggest that troops contact a local EV club and arrange for someone to give a presentation at a meeting. Many boys love cars and technology, and would find them interesting. I drive an electric car and find that I use it much more than I had anticipated when I bought it. I normally just charge at home, and have solar panels to provide clean and inexpensive electricity.

    One more advantage: I can drive 100 miles on $3.00 of electricity (rate before I installed solar panels). How far can you drive on $3.00 of gas or diesel?

    • Jeff Traviss // June 27, 2014 at 11:00 am // Reply

      Answer me this how far can you pull a troop trailer full of cast iron dutch ovens tents and gear ? How many scouts can you take with ? Answer NONE of the above. I wishe the focus of this discussion was on the boys Not the benefits of electric vehicles. Once again we are looking for dance shoes as the ship lists into the sea.

      • Not all Souting transport has to be ginormous. My Toyota Prius Plug-in Hybrid can haul five persons and gear in the rear, and it can run for hundreds of miles, as it has a gas motor to back up the electric motor/battery. And it can pull a trailer. That’s a plus for the environment, which we are pledged to protect.

  19. Reading the fine article I see it about the cost of a ‘Sign’ next to an EXISTING 110V outlet. The picture for the article sadly is a bit misleading as it shows high power charging stations and exclusive spots. Understandable as blogs always look better with a picture.

    The sign politely tells the Electric Vehicle (EV) owner where to PAY if they plug in for 110V trickle charging. The proposal is $2 a day which more then covers the cost and even the sign ( which could be made or donated ). So unlike others plugging in coffee pots and other devices to the outlet, this proposal is asking the EV owner to contribute. It doesn’t have to be an exclusive spot depending on the camp’s needs.

    I can’t see where this is not a win. My son in scouting who works summers to pay for his 2 seater electric car would probably be happy to pay $2. The future is already here.

  20. Reading the fine article I see it about the cost of a ‘Sign’ next to an EXISTING 110V outlet. The picture for the article sadly is a bit misleading as it shows high power charging stations and exclusive spots. Understandable as blogs always look better with a picture.

    The sign politely tells the Electric Vehicle (EV) owner where to PAY if they plug in for 110V trickle charging. The proposal is $2 a day which more then covers the cost and even the sign ( which could be made or donated ). So unlike others plugging in coffee pots and other devices to the outlet, this proposal is asking the EV owner to contribute. It doesn’t have to be an exclusive spot depending on the camp’s needs.

    I can’t see where this is not a win. My son in scouting who works summers to pay for his 2 seater electric car would probably be happy to pay $2. The future is already here.

  21. Charlie Garlow, Eagle Scout.
    I own an EV, a Toyota Prius plug-in hybrid. I plug into a 120 volt outlet which cost me [or the Scouts] nothing. I already had the 120 volt outlet on the outside of my house. I don’t need a 240 volt charging station and neither do the Scouts.
    I routinely get over 70 miles per gallon. Good for the environment. I also have solar panels on my roof, so zero pollution from the electricity.
    Is global warming a fact? The Supreme Court just [June 2014] reaffirmed, 7 – 2, the unanimous 2012 decision of the DC Circuit Court of Appeals on this topic. Greenhouse gases endanger the environment and human welfare. Case dismissed !

    • Case not dismissed. Less emphasis on global warming more on making us a relative organization that is more interested in keeping boys in a great organization than on priuses

  22. jeff traviss // June 27, 2014 at 3:01 pm // Reply

    I did not join this organization to be preached to . I like most other scouters are concerned that national and many in a position of leadership have lost what it was once ALL about .THE BOYS. Now the emphasis seems to be more about the environment. LNT out of control . This whole commentary is better of on the Sierra Club website than on one that is supposed to be about scouting. I like MANY others don’t like the track this once great organization is taking. This is but one more case of loosing focus on things that don’t help scouting one bit.

  23. Non-polluting is true for more than half of all EV owners who charge 100% from solar and wind. The other half use the grid and emissions are only 14% what they are for a gas car. The cellophone charger is inefficient because it only needs 1W and the MFR of the charger could care less if it is efficient or not. EV chargers on the other hand are over 95% efficient.

    If you drive more than 40 mi to camp or have to haul a trailer, then an EV is not for you. But get out of the way of those that can use their pollution free cars to come to -their- camps. Cost of replacing an EV battery is about the cost of a new transmission. Many Prius are past 250,000 miles still on the original battery. To learn about EV’s see http://aprs.org/EV-misinformation.html

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