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1043Senate Alert/GM Reaches Out/EDTA/Tracking Carmakers/TED/Wellinghoff

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  • Felix Kramer
    Feb 4, 2009
      We're posting several of the most urgent recent developments about
      PHEVs -- expecting that our readers will be checking the sources we
      cited recently at "Ways to Stay Informed" in
      http://www.calcars.org/calcars-news/1038.html for daily developments.
      Below are news about federal legislation involving PHEVs; GM's plans
      to partner broadly to launch the Volt; the Electric Drive trade
      association's policy roadmap; updated CalCars pages; reports on
      plug-ins, global warming and Al Gore from the TED conference; Jon
      Wellinghoff moves up in influence; and a few save the dates.

      (Shortly after it goes out on email, this posting will also be
      viewable at http://www.calcars.org/news-archive.html -- there you can
      add CalCars-News to your RSS feed.)

      SAVE TAX CREDITS FOR PHEVs: Plug In America is sponsoring a campaign
      to contact members of Congress to ensure that legislators don't remove
      plug-in car provisions from what's variously called the "stimulus" or
      the "recovery" legislation making its way through legislative process
      (passed the House; now before the Senate; then in Conference). The
      current proposal would double the number of new PHEVs eligible for
      incentives to 500,000, (Conversions not eligible, however.) For
      details see
      http://action.pluginamerica.org/p/dia/action/public/?action_KEY=512 .
      After one day, PIA's campaign has gotten more than 4,000 signatures.

      page of the Wall Street Journal shouted, "Detroit Reels as Auto Sales
      Skid/Monthly Figures Plummet Compared with Last January, Clouding U.S.
      Bailout Effort," General Motors bravely announced its plans to launch
      an unprecedented partnership, starting with San Francisco and then
      encompassing other major metro areas to lay the groundwork for the
      successful commercialization of the Chevy Volt and other plug-in cars.
      The "roadmap" for plug-in ready communities, made at the Washington DC
      Auto Show,

      GM'S LISTS CHALLENGES: consumer incentives to make this early
      technology more affordable; public and workplace charging
      infrastructure; consumer-friendly electricity rates and renewable
      electricity options; government and corporate vehicle purchases;
      supportive permitting and codes for vehicle charging; and other
      incentives such as high-occupancy-vehicle (HOV) lane access.

      GM IDENTIFIES KEY STAKEHOLDERS: Stakeholders that are key to
      establishing plug-in-ready metropolitan areas and regions include:
      State, city and county governments; Electric utilities;
      Regulators/public utility commissions; Permitting and code officials;
      Clean Cities coalitions; Local employers; Universities; Early electric
      vehicle adopters.

      RELATED EFFORTS: This aligns the first US carmaker expected to roll
      out mass-produced PHEVs with parallel efforts underway, including the
      plans by the Mayors of San Francisco, San Jose and Oakland to make the
      SF Bay Area the "plug-in capital of the world" and "Project Get
      Ready," created at the Rocky Mountain Institute's Smart Garage event
      last fall (with GM as a participant). That effort will soon launch its
      own website; for now see
      http://move.rmi.org/capabilities/smart-garage.html and its initial
      efforts; see
      . It also meshes with Texas Governor Rick Perry's proposal for a state
      $5,000 tax credit for PHEVs in "non-attainment" communities (ones
      where air quality is too low to allow expansion of industrial
      facilities). Perry said this would provide "a unique way to store wind
      energy" and "keep Texas competitive in an emerging technology and take
      advantage of an energy portfolio that grows deeper and more diverse
      every day. http://governor.state.tx.us/news/speech/11852/

      association that includes automakers, utilities and many other
      stakeholders just released its eight-page long specific proposals for
      the administration at
      . And in a press release, EDTA urged the Senate to called on the
      Senate to "add provisions to reach and exceed President Obama's goal
      of 1 million fuel-efficient plug-in electric drive vehicles by 2015"
      to at

      CALCARS PAGES UPDATED: We've just brought the much-appreciated CalCars
      page, "How Carmakers are Responding to the Plug-In Hybrid
      Opportunity," http://www.calcars.org/carmakers/ up to date, including
      the latest on the PHEV plans for 18+ automakers. The page now includes
      a link to and a screen shot from our downloadable 24-slide PDF
      presentation, "Commercializing PHEVs"
      http://www.calcars.org/calcars-photos.pdf which features photos of the
      PHEVs that are within sight. And at "Conversions to Electrify World's
      900+ Million Cars" http://www.calcars.org/ice-conversions to the
      photos from eight small companies and links to relevant CalCars-News
      postings on that topic, we've added references to three more fledgling
      startups. If you know of others, please send us pointers.

      REPORT FROM TED: We're posting this from the annual Technology,
      Entertainment and Design event that's relocated from Monterey, CA
      (where we spoke last year) to Long Beach. This year, Better Place's
      Shai Agassi is a featured presenter; the Aptera EV makes its first
      public appearance (the second generation will be a PHEV); and Mission
      Motors (a startup founded by ex-Tesla engineer Forrest North with
      Jawbone Bluetooth Headset inventor Yves Behar) showed its new high-end
      (0-100MPH in 5.9 seconds) electric motorcycle. Toyota was
      unimpressively represented by a parked Lexus 250H and ride-and-drives
      of the 2010 model year Lexus RX muscle hybrid -- demonstrated by
      non-Toyota employees unable to answer questions by the savvy conferees
      asking about Toyota's plans for plug-in vehicles.

      Also on Day 1 at TED were many presentations on climate change, with a
      focus especially on endangered oceans. Nandan Nilekani, co-founder of
      outsourcing giant Infosys, talked about India's future development
      path. In a preview of his forthcoming book, "Imagining India," he said
      that India's future development must be clean and based on a new
      energy model: the country "does not have the luxury of producing high
      emissions." Al Gore spoke soberly about the significant deterioration
      of ice in the Arctic and Antarctic, and pointed to the new initiatives
      he helped create: http://www.wecansolveit.org and
      http://www.repoweramerica.org (featuring plug-in cars). He described
      the coal industry as spending hundreds of millions to promote "clean
      coal" and highlighted the coalition counter-effort,
      http://www.thisisreality.org . He displayed a US map showing dozens of
      recently cancelled coal power plants, as well as many others still on

      PLUG-IN SUPPORTER PROMOTED Last week, President Obama named Federal
      Energy Regulatory Commissioner Jon Wellinghoff to be acting FERC
      Chairman http://www.ferc.gov/about/com-mem/wellinghoff.asp .
      Wellinghoff has been a long-time supporter of renewable energy and the
      smart grid, both in his home state of Arizona and in DC, and he is an
      enthusiastic proponent of vehicle-to-grid and vehicle-to-grid (V2B and
      V2G) integration. He coined the term "Cash-Back Hybrid" for PHEVs as a
      way to recognize the potential for limited numbers of parked vehicles
      to receive revenue streams for providing utilities with distributed
      energy storage and ancillary services.

      SAVE THE DATES: In Long Beach, CA August 10-13 is the second annual
      national Plug-In Conference -- see http://www.plugin2009.com/ for
      information. Finally, did you know that our nation's capitol is
      powered by a nearby coal plant? Al Gore has said in the past, "I can't
      understand why there aren't rings of young people blocking bulldozers
      and preventing them from constructing coal-fired power plants," but he
      has not endorsed the March 2 Climate Action
      http://www.capitolclimateaction.org/ planned in Washington DC, and
      preceded by Powershift09 http://www.powershift09.org , a national
      youth summit on climate change starting Feb. 27.

      -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- --
      Felix Kramer fkramer@...
      Founder California Cars Initiative
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