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Help CalCars Get PHEVs on the Road in 2007
Dec 20, 2006 (From the CalCars-News archive)
CalCars-News
This posting originally appeared at CalCars-News, our newsletter of breaking CalCars and plug-in hybrid news. View the original posting here.
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This letter is addressed to the 4,122 subscribers to CalCars-News -- and to the hundreds of you who have contributed to the non-profit CalCars.org. It's an end-of-the-year appeal, followed by an outline of our 2007 goals. You can find our 2007 goals (not the initial letter) plus our review of what happened in 2006 at http://www.calcars.org/­2007.html, and you can view everything in more readable form at http://www.calcars.org/­calcars-2006-2007-package.pdf. One way or another, we hope it will inspire you to make a tax-deductible contribution to CalCars.org by credit card/check/PayPal at http://www.calcars.org/­sponsor.html.

Thank You for Being a CalCars Supporter or Fan!

Your past help has helped make possible all we've accomplished. I'm also personally appreciative. The CalCars.org project has been the most exciting challenge of my life. I've been trying to make a difference in the world for over 40 years -- and this is the best work I've done.

I think this year we can get PHEVs on the road -- and demonstrate new ways to create change.

We can be very satisfied about at least three things. First, victory is in sight! Now we can consolidate and build on what we've done. Second, I often hear that our success gives others a rare sense of hope and empowerment. This is so valuable we search for solutions to global warming and as the geo-political, health and economic damages from petroleum dependency sometimes seem unstoppable. Third, our approach may offer models for action that can be extended beyond cars.

Toyota and GM have finally said they'll build PHEVs -- someday. Yet if we try to coast in, relaxing our efforts, years from now we might see only a few hundred PHEVs. Instead we can get car-makers to stop saying "not yet" and instead cooperate with those who so urgently want PHEVs, finding ways to remove the remaining obstacles to demonstration fleets, then facilitating mass production.

We're ready to set in motion our most ambitious and creative campaigns. We've identified key points of leverage. We now have access to the people and groups who together can influence organizational, governmental and corporate decisions.

We benefit from dozens of dedicated advisors, many active supporters and thousands of fans. But we remain frustrated. Only Felix and Ron are full-time, mostly as volunteers, on a shoe-string budget. We need more people and resources to accomplish far more. We're close to gaining support for some of our 2007 goals on page 2. We want to move forward on them all.

We can use your help. Are you in a position to make a tax-deductible contribution? If you've never given before, this is a great time to start. If you have, and if you can spare an amount equal to what you've given in the past, you know we'll use it well! It's easy with a credit card or a check at http://www.calcars.org/­sponsor/­html or with the form included in http://www.calcars.org/­calcars-2006-2007-package.pdf.

Best wishes for a hopeful holiday season -- and thank you for all that you do!

Sincerely, Felix Kramer, Founder

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CALCARS GOALS FOR 2007

We're now at CalCars 3.0 Here's our "version history:"

1.0 was "What's a plug-in hybrid?" (2002-04) 2.0 was "How can I get one?" (2005-06) 3.0 is "Let's get PHEVs from car-makers!" (2007-??)

We've come an incredibly long way in 2006. Plug-in hybrids are now a solution endorsed by leaders in business, government at every level, environmentalists, citizens groups, policy analysts, academics -- and car-makers. Some days the news has been so amazing it seems unreal. Also see our year-end review of the highlights of 2006.

Meanwhile, we're advancing a range of projects to achieve our paramount goal: getting car-makers to mass-produce plug-in hybrids. We list the most ambitious items first:

1. Emphasize PHEVs' value as "carbon killers" -- get emerging grass-roots/community/ business coalitions to adopt them as a leading climate crisis solution we can begin to build with no new technology. Continue promoting PHEVs' energy security and economic benefits, reducing dependence on oil with no new infrastructure.

2. Refine and implement our "No-Worry" plan to eliminate batteries as an impediment for car-makers, speeding creation of a demonstration fleet of thousands of "good-enough" PHEVs from car-makers and integrators -- and building a pathway to mass production.

3. Find ways to accelerate the frustratingly slow pace of conversion deliveries; this may involve spinning off a for-profit company, while continuing CalCars.org -- it's taking a while to put the many pieces in place.

4. Work to enact the bi-partisan, bi-cameral Vehicle and Fuel Choices for American Security Act from Set America Free http://www.setamericafree.org; advance other steps to significantly expand state and federal government programs (including the "No Worry" plan) incentivizing and supporting PHEVs.

5. Launch targeted efforts specifically directed at individual automakers, combining public advocacy campaigns and private cooperative business proposals.

6. Pursue technology projects to demonstrate new batteries, enable do-it-yourself conversions and convert hybrids other than Prius.

7. Working with Plug-In Partners http://www.pluginpartners.org, Plug In America http://www.pluginamerica.com and others, evangelize for PHEVs; bring our converted cars to events that engage, educate and activate new constituencies and support the growing number of distributed cars and advocates worldwide.

8. Respond to media, now including books as well as print and broadcast stories.

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