This message can be found online at
We are boosters of the State of California. We couldn't have gotten as far
as we have without support from people across the state. And CA is the
birthplace of the modern plug-in hybrid (though of course, what we're doing
is applicable nationally and world-wide.) Then in the past year, we became
Texas fans, inspired by the growing support there, especially the
enthusiasm generated by Austin Energy.
When we accepted an invitation to drive the PRIUS+ to Washington, we didn't
know what to expect. We found an extraordinarily high level of support,
enthusiasm, and excitement about the possibilities that flex-fuel plug-in
hybrids open up. So Washington joins Calilfornia and Texas in taking
leadership in promoting flex-fuel plug-in hybrids! (As I head up for a
brief trip to Vancouver, I'm looking forward to meeting many people who are
already involved in renewable automotive and energy technologies.
I had hoped to produce a more detailed trip report, but I've run out of
time....so I'll hit the highlights and the main facts. I hope that as
future alliances and projects unfold, you'll hear more specifics about
organizations and programs relating to PHEVs in the Pacific Northwest.
You can see a sampling of photos from the trip at
(Viewing photos at Flickr is a bit complicated. Click on the first photo,
then click on + and you can see the captions; if you view them as a
slideshow, you don't get the captions. And see if you can watch them in
chronological rather than reverse order.)
After reading this, see media reports in the message that follows:
Just before leaving, we got new signs for the PRIUS+ (dark green, should
have been yellow). Near the "GAS OPT" license plate is a small logo;
World's first plug-in Prius
Your local commute for under $1/gallon.
100 MPG hybrids!
The front doors have larger logos plus 100+ MPG hybrids
Ron Gremban and I made 4 stops on our trip.
Passing through Oregon on Nov. 13, we we got an enthusiastic reception from
members of the Portland Electric Vehicle
In Seattle on Nov. 14, we were welcomed by Stephen Lough of the Seattle
Electric Vehicle Association
We then attended a press conference in front of City Hall. Speaking about
* City Councilmember Jean Godden, Chair, Energy & Environment Committee and
Vice-Chair, Transportation Committee
* Seattle Deputy Mayor Tim Ceis (We were told Mayor Nickels, who has
spearheaded the national Mayor's Climate Protection Agreement
> signed so far by over 190
cities) would have been there but had to be out of town)
* Superintendent of Seattle's City Light Jorge Carrasco
* Richard Feldman, Washington State Coordinator for the Apollo Alliance and
member of the Seattle Mayor's Green Ribbon Commission on Climate
Protection.Thanks to Rich for helping to put together the event, together
with Alec Fisken, Greg Nickels and others in the Mayor's' office.
Their comments and links to media coverage are in a following posting,
We are looking forward to the results of the expected hearing and vote on
Friday, Dec. 9, at Transportation Committee on Resolution 30825 to promote
and encourage the manufacture and use of PHEVs, endorsing the Plug-In
We then travelled to the West Seattle Campus of South Seattle Community
>, where we were welcomed by College
President Jill Wakefield. We met in the automotive program's vast garage
with students and faculty interested in learning more about advanced
technology vehicles and getting a glimpse of what they might be working on
in the future. Thanks to Michael Porter for helping to make this happen!
We spent the next day in Wenatchee (across the Cascade Range on the mighty
Columbia River), at the Advanced Vehicle Initiative Action Summit
>. Before the event, the Commissioners of
the Port of Chelan County passed a resolution in support of plug-in hybrids
and economic development programs around them
The program was sponsored by the Port of Chelan County, Wenatchee Valley
College, Washington Public Utility Districts Association, Washington State
University Center for Sustaining Agricultural and Natural Resources, and
the Institute for Environment Research and Education (IERE). (See the event
URL for the agenda and links to the sponsors' websites.)
Austin Energy spoke by video; UC Davis Prof. Andy Frank discussed the
technology, and we gave the keynote address. Our PRIUS+ occupied the
position of honor under the canopy outside the Confluence Technology Center
where the event was held.
Leading the strategic discussions were Ron Johnston Rodriguez, from the
Port of Chelan County and Jim White, founder of the Chelan County Public
Utility District's Sustainable Natural Alternative Power (SNAP) Program,
with notable participation from Rita Schenck from IERE and Patrick Mazza
from Climate Solutions <http://www.climatesolutions.org
>, which works
throughout the Pacific Northwest and British Columbia on "practical and
profitable solutions to global warming."
With the resources provided by low-cost hydropower and the focus of the
Seattle and Wenatchee colleges on automotive technology and economic
development, it became clear that a large number of energetic people and
important institutions are planning to use PHEVs as the starting point for
innovative programs ranging from hybrid conversion businesses to pilot
vehicle-to-grid programs. CalCars and the UC Davis Hybrid Center could be
working closely with them. This is all very promising! We're continuing
discussions with the event's sponsors and other groups.
On our return from a 1900-mile trip, we got to take a few of the kind of
"great outdoors" pictures familiar to us all in car ads (two are in the
photos--URL above)....it occurred to us that this is a way to "sell" PHEVs:
they give you not only the freedom of the open road (with the performance
and range of any gasoline car), but freedom from oil dependence and from
the greenhouse gas emissions of petroleum.
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Felix Kramer fkramer@...
Founder California Cars Initiative
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