Electric Vehicles (EV’s)
EV’s have many advantages. With an EV you don’t have to deal with going to the gas station to get gas. If you have a garage or carport, you can plug in to your household electricity to charge your EV and public charging is growing in availability. EV maintenance is lower. They have far fewer parts than their internal combustion counterparts, no more oil changes are needed, there is no exhaust system to rust out, and your brakes will last longer because most of the stopping is done by regenerative braking. EV’s are quieter so there is less noise pollution too. If you have solar panels, you can make your own transportation energy.
There are some worries about the EV battery. Many people worry about what will happen to the battery when it reaches its end of life, and where all the raw materials will come from to make it. There are some things being done to address these worries. The federal government requires manufacturers to offer an eight-year/100,000-mile warranty on all EV batteries. Fortunately, there are robust battery recycling solutions coming to the market like Redwood Materials | Circular Supply Chain for Lithium-ion Batteries that are creating a circular or closed loop process for obtaining the raw materials for new batteries from end-of-life batteries. This will reduce or eliminate the need to mine raw materials used to make the batteries.
EV’s are popular at WSI. Some employees have owned EV’s since 2016 and will never go back to internal combustion vehicles. This change started off gradually with the first employee-owned hybrid vehicle in 2007, then the first fully electric Tesla in 2016, with more Tesla's to follow. None of the EV owning employees at WSI have had to do a battery replacement yet.
This is the WSI parking area at our Ames, Iowa office. You can see the 2016 Tesla Model S is still looking and running great on the left. On the right is a 2022 Tesla Model 3 all-wheel drive, long range with auto pilot.
There are a lot of reasons to have solar power. Solar panels generate electricity without emitting carbon dioxide and other pollutants. They have no moving parts, so maintenance is low. The panels can last for twenty-five years or more. After end-of-life, solar panels can be recycled. See Solar Panel Recycling | US EPA. They are resistant to damage from high winds and hail. Because the power from solar panels is consumed where the panels are located, there is no need for additional power lines up and down the street. And there are the financial savings you will see on your electric bill.
WSI owns and operates an on-site ground mount solar array at its Muscatine, Iowa location which powers the office and a plugin hybrid vehicle. We also have an employee who has a solar array at their residence.
To discover what is possible with solar in your community, take advantage of a personalized solar savings estimator such as Project Sunroof.
Social and Corporate Governance
WSI is a United States Government Service Agency (GSA) Contract holder. WSI does business with multiple large corporations and government agencies. These entities have robust Social and Corporate Governance requirements. WSI has contractually agreed to meet these requirements and is legally bound to do so by being a Government Contractor.