Aiken company hoping to rev use of electric cars

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An Aiken-based waste-removal business is urging the use of electric cars in the area by adding charging stations at businesses.

There are about 100 electric cars across the metro area, and Dumpster Depot founder Norman Dunagan said he hopes the new infrastructure will encourage ownership of 100 more this year.

“What we’re trying to do is educate human resource managers that this can be a great employee benefit for them to install a charging station at work,” he said.

By the end of September, there will be nine businesses equipped with chargers that will give vehicles an 80-percent battery charge in two hours. The charge lasts for 80 to 100 miles, Dunagan said.

Within the next year, Dunagan said, he’d like to have 28 stations in Augusta and Aiken. Six more locations are in the works, he said.

“After we get these first nine put in, you’re never more than 10 miles from a charger in Aiken or Augusta,” Dunagan said. “Our second goal is to make it to where you’re never more than five miles away from an electric charger.”

Dunagan will pay $3,500 to $4,000 for each charger, which is compatible with every electric vehicle model. The participating businesses will pay for the installation and electric service price, Dunagan said.

“What I’m trying to do is make sure that we’re creating a free network in the Aiken/Augusta market, which I think will move our whole movement forward a lot faster,” he said, “because people are not going to want to pay $3 every time that they charge their car.”

Dumpster Depot was formed a decade ago in Aiken to provide waste-removal services for commercial and construction businesses. The company diverts more than 50 percent of collected waste from landfills.

In 2012, Dumpster Depot launched a mulching project, called Greenworks, that targets food waste from school cafeterias, restaurants and grocery stores. The program is designed to teach students in schools and youth groups.


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• USC Aiken Convocation Center

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OJP 08/15/14 - 02:43 pm

Just waiting on the affordable model scheduled to come out in the next few years.

historylover 08/15/14 - 07:22 pm
Mr. Dunagan

I don't even need a dumpster but your decision makes me want to call Dumpster Depot and get one! Good for you! It is so nice to read an article about such a forward thinking man who is putting his money to such a good use.

I too, OJP would love to own a Tesla!

oldredneckman96 08/16/14 - 12:25 pm
I want to spend two hours at a station to recharge?

The ability to swap a discharged battery for one fully charged and ready at a station is the only way an electric car will ever work. The convenience of filling up at a gas station as fast as you can walk in and buy a Coke is ingrained in the motoring public. Any system that will allow you to leave with a fully charged battery in the same amount of time it now takes to gas up will make electric cars a reality.
I feel that a standardized size, shape and voltage battery, just as we now have “A” “AA” “C” and “D” sizes, leased not bought, can make electrics affordable and offer longevity to the vehicle. The cost of an electric has to be in line with the cost of a gas-powered car. Just as with the small batteries I mention, many different companies compete in the market with products that improve each year, yet still fit our old flashlight.
When you buy a gas powered car you do not pay for all the gas you will use in the life of the car, you should not buy the battery you will use for the life of the car either. You should lease a battery and swap it just like you swap propane cylinders for your grill at the convenience store. You would pay only for the time you keep the battery and the amount you discharged it. This method would also allow a way to collect road use taxes based on discharge or miles, something that must be considered if electrics are to be a major part of the mix on the highway.
As improved batteries arrive in the market you will be able to change to the latest and greatest batteries and keep your same car. Currently, with the battery cars we now have, if a better battery comes on the market you might have to change cars to use it. Just as we now have different grades of gasoline and you can choose from many different brands, I can see many different brands of batteries with many different grades available, all that will fit your car. By standardizing batteries so they can be swapped, you could drive coast to coast as quickly and conveniently as any gas car today.
I have been saying this since Jan., 1997 to Arthur D Little Enterprises, in Sept., 01 to the US Patent office and in Oct., 05 to the US Dept of Commerce, Office of Energy Related Inventions. I am sure that every kid that ever put fresh “D” cell batteries in his flashlight understands the concept. I say more power to you Mr. Elon Musk and I will be in line to buy a Tesla Car as soon as I can swap battery packs in it just like in my battery powered drill.

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