CalCars '08 Successes Can Bring Cars in '09
- Dear Friends, Fans, and Colleagues
As we enter into the holiday season, I am
grateful for all that the support of community
members like you has made possible. Your efforts
in spreading the word, and the cooperation of
many partners, have given uncounted numbers of
citizens hope that an energetic, creative,
grassroots campaign can succeed and make a difference.
Thanks to your support, we've had a lot to be
grateful for over the past seven years. I would
especially like to thank you for the
accomplishments you've helped us to achieve in 2008:
* Your commitment helped CalCars address the
challenges of climate change and energy security
by FINALLY CONVINCING KEY DECISIONMAKERS to
support using 100+MPG PHEVs to replace gasoline
with cleaner, cheaper, domestic electricity.
* You helped us DEMONSTRATE WORKABLE SOLUTIONS to
encourage public policies and consumer demand
that have led to automaker announcements they'll put plug-ins on the road.
* Your generosity enabled us to BROADLY SPREAD
NEW CONCEPTS such as using vehicle batteries to
open up new ways to store renewable energy and
help us attain low-carbon electricity.
* Finally, you've helped us broadcast the message
that plug-in vehicles can SAVE THE DOMESTIC AUTO
INDUSTRY AND RETAIN AND CREATE MANY GREEN JOBS in
auto manufacturing facilities and other places
within the transportation sector.
I see the coming year as one of enormous
opportunity. Your continued support will have an
even more significant impact on the economy and our environment.
I understand these are lean and uncertain times.
Great challenges lie ahead. Yet we cannot delay
actions on important issues. We can seize the
wealth of opportunities that exist, and leverage
the transition in Washington along with new ways
of thinking about the future of the auto industry.
For CalCars, this is an exceptionally exciting
time. As you know, the entire U.S. auto industry
is at a critical crossroads. This moment rivals
other turning points: the replacement of electric
vehicles with gasoline cars in the 1900s, Ford's
introduction of mass production, the
lightning-fast switch from manufacturing cars and
trucks to planes and tanks after the attack on
Pearl Harbor, and, in recent decades, the decline
of Detroit as it lost half of its market to imports.
In the coming months, Detroit has the chance to
end "business as usual" by working together with
the U.S. government and with strong voices like
CalCars to chart a new green path.
Persisting since 2001, CalCars is uniquely
positioned for what we do best: demonstrate
workable technology and business solutions to
rally grassroots, industry, and government
support. Effective policy solutions and actions
can preserve and create new jobs, offer a clear
path for automakers, and make our world cleaner,
safer and economically stronger.
I urge you to please send a special year-end gift
of $60, $100 or more to help CalCars seize these
historic opportunities in the year ahead.
I'd like to take this opportunity to share with
you the innovative and potentially
transformational messages and campaigns we'll focus on this next year:
* Work strategically to encourage the NEW OBAMA
TEAM TO POSITION PLUG-INS CENTRALLY in its Clean
Energy and Economic Turnaround programs.
* Establish PHEVs and EVs as the MOST AVAILABLE,
PRACTICAL AND BENEFICIAL SOLUTION for transportation.
* Motivate the auto industry to START TO BUILD
MILLIONS OF PHEVs in a few years -- not the few
thousands they're currently planning to deliver within five years.
* EXPAND FEDERAL COMMITMENTS to fleet orders, to
extend current $7,500 tax credits for 250,000
vehicles to cover millions more, and to make
safe, affordable retrofits eligible for credits.
* Work at STATE AND LOCAL LEVELS AND WITH
CORPORATIONS to create incentives and other
programs to accelerate the arrival of plug-in cars.
* Prove the viability of retrofits to PARTIALLY
ELECTRIFY MILLIONS OF LARGE INTERNAL COMBUSTION
VEHICLES that will otherwise guzzle gas for
decades, educate about the advantage of
converting not crushing, and HELP ESTABLISH LOCAL
BUSINESSES across the U.S. to install them.
* Work with advocacy organizations to promote a
grassroots strategy, "Prepay For Plug-Ins to Save
& Transform the Auto Industry," to GIVE VOICE TO
MILLIONS OF AMERICANS WHO WANT THEIR NEXT CAR TO
PLUG IN. We will use CalCars' proposal as the
starting point: a customer who commits $1,000 now
would get a 10X match from the federal government
to ensure that carmakers build these cars.
We need your help to make move these programs
forward. That's why I'm writing to you this
December with this important request.
As President-Elect Obama has said, "Change
doesn't come FROM Washington, it comes TO
Washington." Please help us to realize the great promise of the 2008 election.
You may appreciate these additional three quotes,
among many others in recent months that have lauded our efforts as worthwhile:
* "I personally believe that the U.S. auto fleet
should make a transition as quickly as possible
toward plug-in hybrid electric vehicles." Al Gore, Newsweek, December 5, 2008
* "Chevy Volt's value is as dawn of era the
first step toward a new kind of car for
everyone." Mark Phelan, Detroit Free Press columnist, Sept. 28. 2008.
* "Felix Kramer has made plug-in electric cars
not only his passion but an imminent American
reality." NYTimes columnist Thomas Friedman, in
#1 bestseller "Hot, Flat & Crowded, published Sept 2008.
To help CalCars continue to lead this campaign,
please play an active role by spreading the word
and supporting our organization with whatever you
can afford. Please take a moment to visit
http://www.calcars.org/sponsor.html to make a
credit card or PayPal donation today, or simply
mail a check payable to IHC/CalCars to:
International Humanities Center, 860 Via de la
Pas, Suite B-1, Pacific Palisades CA 90272.
We remain grateful for your continued belief in
our vision. Warmest wishes for the holidays.
Felix Kramer, Ron Gremban, Carol DiBenedetto and the CalCars Team
P.S. We will keep you informed about our exciting
plans for 2009, and all the ways that you can
become involved in the New Year! Your dedication
is a key to our success, and I hope I can count
on your continued commitment in 2009. Please help
CalCars seize the historic opportunities ahead by
sending your most generous possible year-end gift
today at http://www.calcars.org/sponsor.html . Thank you!
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Felix Kramer fkramer@...
Founder California Cars Initiative
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