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PHEVs Gain Momenum since January
Mar 13, 2006 (From the CalCars-News archive)
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Most people noticed when the President started talking about PHEVs. That's only one of many major recent developments. In the past two months, much has happened to confirm the still-growing momentum for PHEVs. Here are some key milestones:

  • Jan-Feb: Major media endorsements: NYTimes editorial board, influential NYT columnists Thomas Friedman and Nicholas Kristof, coverage in Wall St. Journal, The Economist, Good Morning America, NPR All Things Considered, the Charlie Rose Show, the Colbert Report, etc.
  • Jan 24: Plug-In Partners launches national campaign (evolved out of Plug-In Austin) at all-star Washington, DC press conference, gaining commitments by the Mayors of Baltimore, Boston, Dallas, Denver, Fort Worth, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Salt Lake City, San Francisco, Seattle and others.
  • Jan 31: President at State of the Union announces Advanced Energy Initiative, including PHEVs
  • Feb. 7: Leading global warming expert James Hansen calls PHEVs "best bet" for controlling vehicle CO2 emissions in short-term.
  • Feb. 16 Ford Exec VP-Europe Louis Booth endorses research on PHEVs.
  • Feb. 16: Japanese Auto Research Institute holds workshop on PHEVs including presentations by Toyota, Japanese, French and US government officials.
  • Feb. 16: US Army and Marines PHEV development programs described in USA Today.
  • Feb 21: President tours Wisconsin battery factory, sees Escape Hybrid, describes plug-in hybrids as "an amazing technological breakthrough."
  • Feb. 21: Hymotion, an Ontario company, becomes second firm to announce after-market PHEV conversions. In addition to Toyota Prius, they will offer the Ford Escape Hybrid as vehicles to which they will add additional batteries and grid-charging. Hymotion's focus will be fleet sales.
  • March 4: Senate Republican and Democratic leaders introduce legislation to give PHEVs the same levels of business tax writeoffs as large SUVs.
  • March 9: X-PRIZE announces it will follow its space flight prize with a clean cars competition. OEMs.

Looking ahead:

  • April 22: CalCars will conduct a public conversion of a Prius at the O'Reilly Media Maker Faire in San Mateo CA on Earth Day weekend. This will be fully documented and may enable advanced do-it-yourselfers around the country to then do their own conversions of Priuses.
  • We're anticipating a new round of media coverage for PHEVs
  • We'll have other important announcements later this month.

1. For more on any of these, see our summaries at http://www.calcars.org/­news-index.html. 2. For computer-viewable versions of the TV and radio reports, see http://www.calcars.org/­audio-video.html. 3. Post your comments at blog, http://www.hybridcars.org/­blogs/­power/­phev-momentum.

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