Sep 22, 2009 (From the CalCars-News archive)
You'll find more items here than in any previous posting to CalCars-News. It's no longer possible to follow everything, but we hope to help spotlight developments you may have missed. Meanwhile, we're catching up as we prepare to go to Washington DC for meetings this Thursday and Friday to advocate for a new industry converting internal combustion vehicles to plug in. This time we want to build a coalition from the start! We've posted "The Big Fix: 16 Founding Points for the Campaign to Upgrade Gas Guzzlers" plus a preliminary individual and institutional endorsement form at http://www.calcars.org/calcars-bigfix-points.pdf . Please send us your comments and endorsements! We're also getting ready for a trip to Mumbai, India in late October, where we hope to meet with automakers -- we would appreciate any contacts or mutual introductions!
Here's what you'll find below:
- Fisker gets $528 million federal loan, has first test-drive of Karma
- Toyota releases spec on Prius PHEV for 500 unit test fleet; explains its hesitations
- Audi's president backtracks on "Volt is For Idiots" comment
- BYD pushes for Chinese government to increase subsidies
- Frankfurt Auto Show roundup: Mercedes, Opel, Vauxhall, Volvo, Hyundai
- A123Systems expected to go public within days
- US Army's TARDEC R&D lab
- How different carmakers are getting to their projected MPG numbers
- McKinsey analysts says European carmakers need plug-ins to meet carbon standards
- Studies show no lithium supply shortage
- Ann Marie Sastry profiled for academic and battery company work
- Two bills pass House: HR 3246 $2.9B for multiple purposes, and HR 445 for heavy duty hybrids, both including conversions
- Clarifications on DOE incentives for plug-ins
- Clean Cities awards continue DOE pattern
- California Energy Commission recalibrates strategy, releases names of applicants
- Ohio study sees 10,500 jobs from plug-ins
- Iceland continues evolution toward electricity
- Calculate your total cost of ownership with Project Get Ready's calculator
- Survey: 48% want PHEVs and will pay more for them
- Market penetration studies confirm need for gas-guzzler conversions
- Autoblog Green and Bright Automotive on gas-guzzler conversions
- Colorado's $6,000 tax credit for conversions
- CalCars' presentation, "Accelerating Vehicle Electrification" is online
- Building management companies in NY get ready with charging stations
- US Energy Department's building retrofit program could be model for conversions
- Volt rates high in US News & World Report consumer perspective
- Follow PHEV news with Google's FastFlip service
- "Fuel" movie promotes biofuel PHEVs, includes algae/electric Prius.
- Fortune calls Zipcar "Best New Idea;" company brings Ford & Toyota along
- Electric Examiner website tracks plug-in news
- Cute electric car video
- Joe Romm's Climate Progress blog turns three
- Wall Street Journal analyses the decline of the biofuel industry
- Thomas Friedman reinforces call for gasoline tax
- Rocky Mountain Institute's annual symposium, San Francisco Oct 1-3 includes plug-ins
- Motor City's first conference on plug-in cars Oct 19-21
- One more thing...
1. AUTOMOTIVE AND SUPPLIER INDUSTRIES
FISKER GETS $528M FEDERAL LOAN: These funds, from the Federal $25 billion Advanced Technologies Vehicle Manufacturing Loan Program, until now have gone mostly to large carmakers and Tesla. The loan will principally fund "Project NINA," to design, engineer and assemble Fisker's second-generation, $39,000 sedan, for sale starting in 2012 in volumes over 100,000/year. The company estimates it will create or save 5,000 supplier jobs and thousands more for manufacturing. CEO Henrik Fisker has said he's seeking a shut-down assembly plant. Is is it too late for the Fremont GM-Toyota NUMMI plant? http://www.businessinsider.com/fisker-looking-for-a-factory-in-the-us-to-build-new-plug-in-hybrid-2009-9. Meanwhile, the first-generation Karma $88,000 luxury PHEV, 19 months after being announced, currently with 1,500 pre-orders and 45 dealers, had its first public test drive http://gas2.org/2009/08/17/fisker-karma-phev-makes-world-driving-debut/ . Fisker has taken a different approach than GM on mileage claims, saying its first vehicle will get 67MPG, based on criteria from the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) instead of US government measures.
TOYOTA RELEASES PROTOTYPE PHEV SPEC; EXPLAINS WHY IT'S GOING SLOW ON PHEVS: The Prius PHEV shown at Frankfurt, with 500 destined for fleets, and no production commitment, has an all-electric range of 12.4 miles at up to 62MPG, using a lithium-ion battery for the first time for Toyota. Toyota cited studies showing that 55% of French and 80% of United kingdom drives are under 10km. See two extended interviews/analyses at http://www.hybridcars.com/news/exclusive-toyota-explains-position-electric-cars-26031.html and http://www.nytimes.com/2009/08/20/business/energy-environment/20electric.html?_r=1 .
AUDI'S PRESIDENT BACKTRACKS ON "VOLT IS FOR IDIOTS" COMMENT: Audi President Johan de Nysschen regrets and attempts to clarify his statement (original at http://editorial.autos.msn.com/blogs/autosblogpost.aspx?post=1247701 ) -- adding comments that perpetuate inaccuracies and mis-perceptions about plug-in cars: http://gm-volt.com/2009/09/03/audi-president-issues-statement-qualifying-his-claim-the-chevy-volt-is-a-car-for-idiots/ . GM responded briefly: http://green.autoblog.com/2009/09/04/gm-responds-to-audis-volt-is-for-idiots-remark/ Audi is largely diesel-focused, though it did show an "e-tron" concept car (with wheel motors) at the Frankfort Auto Show.
NEWS FROM CHINESE BATTERYMAKER AND PHEV MANUFACTURER BYD: Recent headlines said BYD sales of its F3DM PHEVs (the first to be sold in the world) were disappointing: under 100 to fleet customers. The company cites this to make the case that the Chinese government will need to provide charging facilities and substantial consumer subsidies for the $22,000 car (expensive in China) when it's sold to the public http://online.wsj.com/article/SB125224741297789219.html . Other stories noted that the company's stock rose 648% in a year (since Warren Buffet's company bought a 10% share) http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601087&sid=abs36l8uOOE4. BYD now expects to bring its cars to the U.S. in 2011.
FRANKFURT AUTO SHOW ROUNDUP: Mercedes showed the Vision S500 PHEV gasoline PHEV concept vehicle with a 19 mile all-electric range and CO2 emissions of 74 grams/km in the New European Driving Cycle and an E300 BlueTEC diesel PHEV. Opel/Vauxhall (to be owned by Canada's Magna and Russia's Sherbank) showed the Ampera version of the Volt, and will build the Antara blended PHEV. Volvo said it will launch a diesel PHEV in 2012 in Europe and a gasoline version in Japan I 2013, but provided few details, and said it could not find a business case for bringing the vehicle to the U.S. http://www.autonews.com/article/20090921/ANA03/309219983/1257 . Hyundai showed the Blue-Will, a PHEV concept car. Citroen showed an aptly-named "Revolte" series PHEV. BMW showed the Vision EfficientDynamics concept diesel PHEV supercar with electric motors on both axles; media went out of their way to say no one expects will be built. See a NY Times industry roundup/analysis "To Hopeful Makers, the Electric Car's Time Is Here" http://www.nytimes.com/2009/09/14/automobiles/14electric.html and a Detroit News analyses that quotes many industry figures "Europe plugs in after years of touting diesel" http://www.detroitnews.com/article/20090914/AUTO04/909140400/1148 .
A123SYSTEMS IPO AWAITED: Be on the lookout for the initial public offering of A123Systems, the Watertown, Massachusetts-based batterymaker providing cells and packs for many carmakers. The company started out of MIT; got a name for itself by supplying batteries for hand tools, acquired Hymotion, the Ontario hybrid conversion company, gained GE and other big players as investors and contended for the contract to supply the Chevy Volt. Its automotive customers include BMW, Chrysler, GM, and Shanghai Automotive Industry Corp. It's received a US Energy Department grant of $249 million (which it has to match) plus funds from the State of Michigan, and has applied for a $235 million DOE manufacturing loan. It registered for an IPO more than a year ago but ran into the bank crisis. The company, trading under the ticker name AONE, raised its per-share price this week, and is expected to raise over $200 million, which could give it a total market capitalization (stock value) near $1 billion. The IPO is expected to further validate the business prospects of existing public and private companies and new entrants. (We would never offer advice to anyone on whether to invest!)
TARDEC: MILITARY PHEVS: Often expensive low-volume solutions developed for the armed forces end up paving the way for mass-produced consumer products. See the website of the Warren, Michigan-based R&D lab, RDECOM/TARDEC: Research, Development and Engineering Command U.S Army Tank Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Center and its Fuel Efficiency Ground Vehicle Demonstrator (FED) program http://www.peogcs.army.mil/fed/default.aspx for news of military efforts at fuel efficiency. See a 6-mile all-electric range PHEV Humvee at the Department of Defense Energy Blog http://dodenergy.blogspot.com/2008/09/hybrid-humvee.html .
MPG CLAIMS: For a broad explanation of the issue (two different federal agencies are involved, the Environmental Protection Agency for consumer stickers, and the National Transportation Safety Administration for CAFÉ standards), the blog by the National Journal http://energytopic.nationaljournal.com/2009/09/electric-cars-advance-sticker.php includes comments by us, Roland Hwang of NRDC and others, and mentions an important new development: "for the first time ever, the EPA is tasked with setting federal standards for greenhouse gas emissions in a 'grams per mile of carbon dioxide' measurement so consumers will know how their new ride affects the environment." (We're catching up to the Europeans' requiring automakers to meet "grams per kilometer" of CO2 levels in recent regulations.) For more on mileage calculations, including a new calculator tool and discussion of "miles per gallon equivalent" (MPGE) from the Progressive Automotive X Prize see http://green.autoblog.com/2009/08/21/auto-x-prize-throws-water-on-gms-230-mpg-claim-offers-mpge-cal/
MCKINSEY ANALYST ON EUROPEAN CO2 VEHICLE CHALLENGE: As Europe's requirements for its vehicle fleets head toward a goal of 98 grams of CO2 per kilometer by 2020, Christian Maloney of the German office of consulting group McKinsey & Co. says the only way the automakers can get there and make money is with plug-in vehicles. http://evworld.com/news.cfm?newsid=21688
NO LITHIUM SHORTAGE FOR BATTERIES: Two reports: from the Institute for the Analysis of Global Security (the group that created Set America Free coalition http://www.ensec.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=213:the-future-of-electric-vehicles-setting-the-record-straight-on-lithium-availability&catid=98:issuecontent0809&Itemid=349 and from Gas2org http://gas2.org/2009/09/10/the-world-has-enough-lithium-for-electric-cars-its-the-other-bits-were-short-on/ And an informative roundup on future battery trends at http://www.greentechmedia.com/articles/read/whats-next-in-lithium-batteries .
ANN MARIE SASTRY: UP & COMING AUTO EXEC: Crains Detroit Business http://www.crainsdetroit.com/article/20090906/AWARDS/309069984/1168# profiles Sastry, who wears two hats: leading the University of Michigan's Energy Systems Engineering Master's Degree program, including an Advanced Battery Coalition for Drivetrains, a lithium-ion battery R&D partnership among GM and UM and the Michigan Economic Development Corp., Oak Ridge National Laboratories and others. Sastry is at the same time CEO of Sakti3, a lithium-ion battery startup, funded with investments from the State of Michian and from Khosla Ventures (hedging its large bets on biofuels). She'll be speaking at the Detroit conference Oct. 19-21, "The Business of Plugging IN."
GOVERNMENT POLICY AND FUNDING
ANOTHER LARGE PLUG-IN BILL PASSES THE HOUSE: By a strong margin of 312-114, the House passed H.R. 3246, the Advanced Vehicle Technology Act of 2009 http://www.govtrack.us/congress/bill.xpd?bill=h111-3246 , $2.85 billion from 2010-2014, 39% for medium- and heavy-duty commercial vehicles. We're pleased that "retrofitting advanced vehicle technologies to existing vehicles" and to "existing truck fleets: are included in funded areas. http://www.greencarcongress.com/2009/09/hr3246-20090917.html . We'll see what happens in the Senate.
HOUSE APPROVES HEAVY DUTY HYBRID BILL: By a voice vote (!), the House approved H.R. 445, the Heavy Duty Hybrid Vehicle Research, Development, and Demonstration Act of 2009 http://www.govtrack.us/congress/bill.xpd?bill=h111-445 , authored by Wisconsin Republican Rep. James Sensenbrenner, Jr., from Wisconsin, where custom truck-maker Dueco http://www.dueco.com/ (which acquired Odyne earlier this year) is located. Sponsors estimate heavy trucks use 1/4 of the nation's fuel. The program provides 3-7 grants of $3 million a year for program including PHEVs. The bill also passed the House last year; this time, Sensenbrenner hopes Senator Kohl will move the bill through the Senate.
CLARIFICATION OF DOE INCENTIVES FOR PLUG-INS:
Some people are getting wrong how the federal $7,500 tax credit for up to 200,000 vehicles/manufacturer credit works. For example, at the Atlantic Magazine website, "Could Plug-In Tax Credits Be Clunkers All Over Again?" http://business.theatlantic.com/2009/08/could_plug-in_tax_credits_be_clunkers_all_over_again.php asserts that the credit begins to phase out 6 months after each manufacturer puts vehicles on the market. In fact, this "Phaseout Period" to 50% levels, then 25%, then zero begins two quarters after the quarter in which the 200,000 vehicle sales level is met. To check it this for yourself, see the Recovery Act (HR1) final version, Section 1141, subsection (e)(2), numbered page 54 via http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/z?c111:H.R.1.enr:
CLEAN CITIES AWARDS CONTINUE DOE PATTERN: Some weeks ago, we wrote about the US Department of Energy ARRA (stimulus program) grants for batteries and for vehicle electrification. You'll recall we said both that many worthy programs received grants and that we were very disappointed at the geographical skews and that so many innovative small companies, technology developers, leading regional plug-in coalitions, and advocacy groups were overlooked. (See CalCars-News and a summary story at http://www.hybridcars.com/incentives-laws/critics-24-billion-electric-car-grants-were-biased-25962.html .) In late August, DOE announced the last in a series of awards, the $300M Clean Cities Awards, http://www.greencarcongress.com/2009/08/clean-cities-300m-20090826.html. While it includes a scattering of funding for electrification and charging stations, most of it is for carbon-based liquid fuels or non-pluggable hybrids.
CALIFORNIA ENERGY COMMISION RECALIBRATES: With the results of the three federal programs announced, officials at the California Energy Commission now say that their much-applauded strategy, (to allocate the first two years of AB 118 funds to provide local matches to award winners) didn't work out as expected. CEC has released its complete list of the companies that applied for a total of $231 million in matching funds but did not receive federal awards http://www.energy.ca.gov/contracts/PON-08-010_NOPA.PDF . With California almost entirely frozen out of the awards, CEC matched awards with $15 million. It has gone back to the drawing board, and will soon announce new short-term solicitations for the allocation of the remaining tens of millions of dollars.
OHIO STUDY SEES 10,500 JOBS FROM EV TECH & MANUFACATURING: Establishing an " electric transportation innovation center" in Northern Ohio could lead to 10,500 jobs in vehicle and component production, The study commissioned by the Cleveland Foundation was conducted by the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) with FirstEnergy Corp. http://www.reuters.com/article/pressRelease/idUS121062+21-Sep-2009+BW20090921
ICELAND SEES PLUG-IN FUTURE Two years after CalCars and others made the case at the first Driving Sustainability conference, Iceland, which once saw hydrogen as the answer, is swiftly ramping up its commitment to plug-in cars and is hoping for a Nordic consortium. Our favorite line from Jim Motavalli's interview with Iceland's President: "With its ultra-cheap electricity (as low as 2.5 cents per kilowatt hour), Grímsson estimates that consumers will be able to drive their EVs for a year on what it now costs to fill their cars up once or twice with gasoline." http://www.thedailygreen.com/living-green/blogs/cars-transportation/iceland-president-clean-cars and http://industry.bnet.com/auto/10002420/icelands-president-pushes-for-evsand-a-100-percent-clean-energy-economy/
MARKETS, CONSUMERS, CONVERSIONS
PROJECT GET READY'S TOTAL COST OF OWNERSHIP CALCULATOR: This first iteration of a useful tool http://projectgetready.com/js/tco.html enables you to compare two vehicles, including a range of plug-in vehicles expected to hit the market in the next few years. It includes explanations of its assumptions and methodology, a FAQ, plus, most importantly, an "advanced" mode that enables you to fine-tune many of the key assumptions, including driving profiles and electricity costs. PGR is very eager to get feedback to evolve the tool. http://www.greentechmedia.com/articles/read/a-calculator-for-comparing-electrics-hybrids-and-regular-cars/
48% IN U.S. WANT PHEVS: A survey from Pike Research shows 22% of 1,041 consumers extremely and 26% very interested in buying a 40-mile range PHEV (like the Volt), with 17% willing to pay 20-50% more than a standard vehicle and half willing to pay 5-10% more. Another 34% have some interest for a total of 82%. Pike projects 1.7 million PHEVs on the world's roads by 2015 and half a million annual sales. http://www.pikeresearch.com/newsroom/48-of-consumers-interested-in-purchasing-a-plug-in-hybrid-electric-vehicle and http://www.greencarcongress.com/2009/09/pike-phev40-20090908.html . This survey is also re-labeled "Electric Vehicle Consumer Survey" by Report Buyer, a British online business intelligence source http://www.reportbuyer.com/automotive/cars/hybrid_electric_vehicles/electric_vehicle_consumer_survey.html
MARKET PENETRATION STUDY CONFIRMS NEED FOR CONVERSIONS: a University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute study shows potential annual PHEV sales of 4-5% by 2020, with fleet penetration of 2%, and sales of 20% with fleet penetration of 16% by 2030, are possible only if current incentives remain in place, and additional subsidies are added http://deepblue.lib.umich.edu/handle/2027.42/63507 and http://www.greencarcongress.com/2009/08/umtri-20090807.html . This confirms CalCars' projections that show that if we are to have any significant reduction in petroleum dependency or greenhouse gases in the next two decades, new plug-in vehicles will need to be supplemented by conversion of large internal combustion vehicles.
GAS GUZZLER CONVERSIONS: Autoblog Green surveys some of the options at http://green.autoblog.com/2009/08/27/greenlings-can-i-convert-an-older-vehicle-to-something-more-env/2#c21319701. Bright Automotive tells more about its plans for truck conversions in an Analysis by Jim Motavalli and short video at http://industry.bnet.com/auto/10002341/brights-big-plug-in-hybrid-production-plans-conversions-too/
COLORADO'S LARGE $6,000 PHEV CONVERSIONS CREDIT
(in addition to a federal 10% credit up to $4,000 for qualifying vehicles) is explored by Gas2.0 http://gas2.org/2009/09/14/colorado-will-offer-6000-tax-credit-for-plug-in-hybrid-conversions/
CALCARS TESTIMONY ON GAS-GUZZLER CONVERSIONS: On September 9, Technology Lead Ron Gremban was invited to make a presentation at the opening session of the California Energy Commission's first Staff Workshop on the 2011-2012 Alternative Fuels Investment Plan (Electric Drive Vehicles) http://www.energy.ca.gov/2009-ALT-1/documents/ for its AB118 program ($120/million/year). See links to the 16-slide presentation "Accelerating Vehicle Electrification" and download the 20-minute audio at http://www.calcars.org/ice-conversions.html .
PLUG-IN CHARGING STATIONS IN NEW YORK CITY APARTMENTS: You know you've made progress when building management company executives are quoted in the NYTimes Sunday Real Estate section saying they want to be ready for the coming wave of customer demand to charge in their high-rise apartments: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/08/30/realestate/30posting.html
DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY SUPPORTS "RETROFIT BUILD-UP:" DOE has announced a $450 million program for community-scale energy savings programs focused on buildings. The program is described, with links, at http://apps1.eere.energy.gov/news/progress_alerts.cfm/pa_id=237 . Might the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant (EECBG) Program be a model for making gas-gulping vehicles into gas-sippers?
VOLT PREVIEW: CONSUMER'S PERSPECTIVE: The Chevy comes out looking very good in U.S. News & World Report's analysis http://www.usnews.com/money/blogs/flowchart/2009/08/21/how-your-car-compares-to-the-chevy-volt.html
GOOGLE'S NEW WAY OF FOLLOWING THE NEWS: Check out FastFlip by applying it to PHEVs: http://fastflip.googlelabs.com/search?q=plug-in+hybrid
NEW "FUEL" MOVIE PROMOTES BIOFUELED PHEVS: The new movie "Fuel" has opened around the country... see http://www.thefuelfilm.com/theaters.php . The launch http://www.huffingtonpost.com/josh-tickell/the-veggie-van-tour-rolls_b_289211.html included a cross-country trip with some biofuel vehicles, including the "Algaeus" from Sapphire Energy http://www.sapphireenergy.com/pdfs/Algaeus.pdf -- a Prius PHEV converted "working closely with engineers at Toyota" powered with o engine modifications from fuel derived from algae. We haven't seen the film yet; here's how it's described: Winner of the Best Documentary award at the 2008 Sundance Film Festival, FUEL is an amazing, in-depth, personal journey of oil use and abuse as it examines wide-ranging energy solutions other than oil, the faltering US auto and petroleum industries, and the latest stirrings of the American mindset toward alternative energy... .FUEL presents the solution. That's why it's also been called 'the most hopeful movie of the year."'This is an important movie, not because it sets out to scare you; but because it inspires audiences to action."
FORTUNE MAGAZINE SAYS ZIPCAR IS "THE BEST NEW IDEA IN BUSINESS" in a September cover story http://money.cnn.com/2009/08/26/news/companies/zipcar_car_rentals.fortune/ . We welcome this confirmation of one of the most effective ways to optimize the use of vehicles. And we were happy to see a mention on the second page of the print story that Toyota and Ford have already begun exploring ways to work with Zipcar, from using its members to test electric cars to designing vehicles specifically for the sharing market." The story quotes Bill Ford saying "Zipcar is the perfect application for electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids because you leave them at a certain location to be charged and then take them out again," and says, in a survey, 80% of members want plug-ins.
EXAMINER ONLINE RESOURCE: San Francisco's Examiner newspaper, once a mighty Hearst publication, is now a free daily. Its online department has launched "Electric Examiner" and it's ably tracking plug-in news: http://www.examiner.com/x-7226-Electric-Car-Examiner
CUTE ELECTRIC CAR VIDEO: Watch it at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jAv6M1Bai0c at and read the lyrics by They Might Be Giants at http://www.popular-lyrics.com/lyrics/they-might-be-giants/electric-car-20867.html
NEW RESOURCE: CARS21.COM: Cars21 http://www.cars21.com/about.php , a new British website that is working to bring together industry players, has a useful news feed and has added a writeup and links to us at http://www.cars21.com/content/articles/2009-09-11-california-cars-initiative-joins-cars21com.php
JOE ROMM'S BLOG TURNS THREE: Our favorite source on global warming, analyzing trends, tracking media shortcomings and debunking disinformation response to science and policy issues, is three years old. Joseph Romm former DOE official, takes the occasion to step back and explain why he does what he does and why George Orwell has been so important to him http://climateprogress.org/2009/08/27/climate-progress-at-three-years-why-i-blog-george-orwell/ . From back in July, read why advocates need to match deniers and opponents in advocating for their views and letting Congress know how important action is. http://climateprogress.org/2009/07/16/memo-to-enviromentalists-progressives-the-deniers-and-polluters-climate-bill-phone-calls/ and his reprinting of a message from the recently ousted Van Jones http://climateprogress.org/2009/09/17/a-message-from-van-jone/ .
WALL STREET JOURNAL'S "US BIOFUEL BOOM RUNNING ON EMPTY" is a comprehensive survey of the status of the industry http://online.wsj.com/article/SB125133578177462487.html
AGAIN MAKING THE CASE FOR A GAS TAX: Thomas Friedman has made another impassioned argument for a gas or carbon tax, http://www.nytimes.com/2009/09/20/opinion/20friedman.html . Taxing gasoline/diesel would raise $140 billion/year (he would rebate 10% of that to low-income drivers, allocate 45% to pay down the debt and 45% to health care). He concludes his column, "Real Men Tax Gas:" "There is something wrong when our country is willing to consider spending more lives and treasure in Afghanistan, where winning is highly uncertain, but can't even talk about a gasoline tax, which is win, win, win, win, win -- with no uncertainty at all. So, I ask yet again: Who are the real cheese-eating surrender monkeys in this picture?" Maybe there's hope: the same day the column ran, he played 18 holes of golf with Pres. Obama and Transportation Secretary LaHood
ROCKY MOUNTAIN INSTITUTE SYMPOSIUM OCT 1-3 IN SAN FRANCISCO: Project Get Ready was started out of RMI's Smart Garage program; RMI's annual Symposium http://www.rmi2009.org/ includes a session on the "Smart Garage" http://www.rmi2009.org/?page_id=33 about vehicle electrification featuring RMI's Matt Mattila and Laura Schewel, A123's David Vieau, plug-in advocate Chelsea Sexton, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission chair Jon Wellinghoff, moderated by Michael Brylawski from Bright Automotive (and formerly from RMI and Hypercar). See http://www.forbes.com/2009/07/24/energy-effeciency-biofuels-business-energy-lovins.html for a recent article by RMI Founder Amory Lovins aimed at Forbes Magazine's business audience.
FIRST MAJOR PLUG-IN CONFERENCE Oct 19-21 IN DETROIT: The Business of Plugging In http://www.pev2009.com/program has been organized by the influential Center for Automotive Research with support from the Michigan Public Service Commission and sponsorship by GM and DTE Energy. A strong list of presenters and topics, with possible last-minute additions. We'll present at a panel, "The Consumer: Who, When and Why?" talking about the campaign that brought us this far and what comes next.
THANKS AND CONGRATULATIONS TO THOSE OF YOU WHO GOT THIS FAR. Here's one way we can know how many read all the way through. In the spirit of NPR pledge drives: if you benefit from reading this please don't imagine someone else will support CalCars. It's up to you! Why not send a tax-deductible contribution at http://www.calcars.org/sponsor.html . Thanks in advance!