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Bring Plug-Ins to Your Community Soonest: Project Get Ready Tools

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  • Felix Kramer
    We ve brought you progress reports on the Rocky Mountain Institute s Smart Garage program to accelerate adoption of plug-in cars. Now RMI describes the
    Message 1 of 1 , Feb 26, 2009
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      We've brought you progress reports on the Rocky
      Mountain Institute's "Smart Garage" program to
      accelerate adoption of plug-in cars. Now RMI
      describes the just-launched Project Get Ready as
      "an initiative aimed at preparing communities for
      plug-in vehicles, including full battery
      electric, plug-in hybrid electric, and converted
      hybrid or internal combustion vehicles." We've
      been involved all along -- and again it's as if
      we've just received massive reinforcements.

      (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.)

      PGR's first partners (Portland, Indianapolis area
      and Raleigh/Triangle), the involvement of
      automakers (Ford, GM and Nissan)and
      consumer-focused companies (Procter & Gamble and
      Walmart), and its technical advisory group (see
      below), all confirm how broadly gathering around
      what RMI calls "xEVs" -- PHEVs and EVs. We
      encourage you to go to the website to learn more
      and to forward this message to active people around the country and the world.

      "STRETCH GOAL:" 2% BY 2015: Recall that the Obama
      Administration aims for ONE MILLION PLUG-IN
      VEHCLES BY 2015. This program's optimistic upside
      would bring us about SIX MILLION. It aims to
      enlist 20 cities/regions in the near-term to
      start creating the breakthrough actions,
      partnerships and incentives that we've seen the
      San Francisco Bay Area pioneering. (There will be
      NO LOSERS if we get a 20-player race!)

      BELOW YOU'LL FIND: brief description, list of
      advisors, launch press release, and Top 15
      Actions for Community Leaders -- in business,
      government, civic groups, education and beyond.

      TOOLS: http://www.projectgetready.com includes an
      innovative interface to its information: a
      quick-answer database where you click on a "pain
      point" (problem/obstacle), primary actor, or
      general strategy or action and get a list of
      "readiness activities" people are working on --
      "as well as some clever ideas that no one has yet
      implemented." You can also view or download the
      database of responses as a spreadsheet. IT'S ALL OPEN SOURCE.

      ACTIONS: Those who visit the site are invited to
      get involved: 1. Send ideas 2. Become a technical
      adviser 3. Become a sponsor -- and, of course, 4.Recruit a team in your city.

      ADVISOR LIST (RMI notes "Technical advisors have
      participated in the conversations that informed
      the Project Get Ready menu. They do not endorse
      RMI or the findings of the menu." Most of them
      attended the "design charrette" in Portland that
      we reported in on CalCars-News last October.

      A123 Systems * AeroVironment Inc. * Austin Energy
      * Bonneville Power Administration * Bright
      Automotive * Calcars * Coulomb Technologies *
      Duke Energy * EDS (an HP company) * Electric
      Power Research Institute * Ford * General Motors*
      Google * Gridpoint * Hymotion * Johnson Controls
      * Nissan * National Renewable Energy Lab *
      Procter & Gamble * Pacific Gas & Electric *
      Portland Gas & Electric * Plug in America *
      Portland State University * Progress Energy *
      Project Better Place * San Diego Gas & Electric *
      University of California at Berkeley * Walmart

      PRESS RELEASE: Rocky Mountain Institute’s Project
      Get Ready prepares the nation for the electric
      vehicle transition with 20 pioneering cities.

      Ready, Set, GO! RMI’s Mobility and Vehicle
      Efficiency Team (MOVE) to collaborate with cities
      and technical experts to create a prioritized
      menu of strategies that will encourage adoption
      of plug-in vehicles. Check out
      http://www.projectgetready.com for our menu and more information.

      Snowmass CO, February 24, 2009 -- Rocky Mountain
      Institute (RMI) today announced the launch of
      Project Get Ready, an initiative that emerged
      from October’s Smart Garage Summit (see
      http://move.rmi.org/smart-garage.html for more)
      and aims to help communities prepare for and
      welcome plug-in vehicles including full battery
      electric, plug-in hybrid electric, and converted
      hybrid or internal combustion vehicles. Today
      they launch the initiative, including the website
      http://www.projectgetready.com and a “menu”
      listing the actions that communities must take to
      be truly ready for the plug-in transition.

      Many communities are working to accelerate the
      adoption of plug-in vehicles. These pioneering
      communities do not yet have a way to share best
      practices and lessons learned. Moreover,
      automakers have no way to find all the places
      that are working to get ready for plug-in
      vehicles, and evaluate their progress and
      consumer interest. This missing connection has
      been cited by automakers as a critical barrier to
      committing to higher plug-in vehicle production.

      Project Get Ready will collaborate with targeted
      communities that have started convening local
      players to develop and implement plug-in adoption
      plans, utilizing RMI’s universally recognized
      convening power, as well as detailed technical analysis.

      Community members in Portland, Oregon;
      Indianapolis, Indiana; and Raleigh, North
      Carolina soon expanding to the Triangle region
      have already agreed to work with RMI’s Project
      Get Ready. Project manager and MOVE Consultant
      Laura Schewel says, “These pioneering communities
      represent widely different locations,
      demographics, economies and cultures, proving
      that plug-in vehicles will be an important transformation across the nation.”

      Schewel continued, “plug-in vehicles are a
      revolution for the consumer and will transform
      the way we move from place to place, and the way
      we think about using energy. But each community
      is unique--they have different commuting
      patterns, parking concerns, demographics, local
      businesses, and cultures. Instead of battling
      this diversity, Project Get Ready welcomes it,
      allowing communities to get ready in their own
      way. I think this approach will lead to a faster
      and better arrival for plug-in vehicles and I am
      thrilled to have Portland, Indianapolis, and
      Raleigh in the conversation. With this project,
      we can help get the nation to President Obama’s
      goal of 1 million plug-ins by 2015…and maybe even beat it.”

      Paul Mitchell, of the Central Indiana Corporate
      Partnership, highlighted the economic development
      opportunity xEV’s offer, saying, “We see the
      creation of an xEV ecosystem as an economic
      development opportunity. Not only can we deliver
      a more efficient transportation solution but our
      workforce can develop and manufacture the vehicle
      and smartgrid technologies needed to make the system work.”

      Pete Barkey of General Motors highlighted the
      need for public-private partnership to introduce
      and promote plug-in vehicles, saying, “cars don’t
      necessarily sell themselves, especially with new,
      unfamiliar and often expensive technology. Our
      best chance of successfully making the transition
      from gasoline-powered vehicles to
      electrically-driven vehicles is to work with
      communities to help them become plug-in vehicle
      friendly. Organizations like Rocky Mountain
      Institute are helping to create a roadmap for
      regions around the country to become “plug-in ready.”

      Mayor Charles Meeker of the City of Raleigh said
      that, “The Triangle area is proud to be the
      leader on the East Coast in preparing for the
      plug-in electric and hybrid-electric revolution.
      We are delighted to be partnering with Progress
      Energy, Advanced Energy and Rocky Mountain
      Institute to make Project Get Ready happen here.
      Project Get Ready is in harmony with the City of
      Raleigh’s mission statement. It focuses on 21st
      century environmental, cultural, and economic sustainability.”

      We think widespread adoption of electric vehicles
      can strengthen our industry, address climate
      change, and reduce our dependence on foreign
      oil,” said Joe Barra, director of customer energy
      resources for Portland General Electric. “PGE is
      teaming up with business customers, the state of
      Oregon, auto manufacturers, and local governments
      to help develop industry standards and install
      and test charging stations, and we’re
      enthusiastic about the work the Rocky Mountain
      Institute is doing to help utilities and cities
      around the country coordinate their efforts and
      learn from one another’s experience.”

      ACTIONS: For Project Get Ready, RMI is specifically:
      * TODAY, launching a dynamic “menu” of strategic
      actions that city and regional leaders can enact
      to be a plug-in pioneer, based on input from
      technical advisers and cities already engaged in
      implementing plug-ins. In this menu, RMI will
      analyze the “business case” for each action from
      the perspective of several key stakeholders (city
      gov’t, employers, consumers, etc.). The top 15
      are listed at the end of this release.
      * TODAY, launching a web database of all national
      (and some international) plug-in readiness activities.
      * Work one-on-one with at least three cities on
      creating their readiness coalitions and charters.
      Portland, Indianapolis Area, and Raleigh/Triangle will be the first three.
      * Convene at least 20 cities as well as technical
      players regularly to discuss their lessons
      learned and best practices, and report these
      conversations on our website and materials. Some
      of our partner cities will have their own plans
      underway, others will be starting from the ground up.
      * Provide a benchmark that will allow
      cities/regions to “prove” that they are ready for
      mass adoption of PHEVs/EVs, and have taken
      meaningful steps to support this critical green
      technology (this may take the form of a seal of
      approval or certification like the LEED system that gauges readiness).
      * Document the progress made by participant
      cities in order to help quantify future demand
      and make it more transparent to industry (how
      much, where, and what type of support to expect) for PHEVs/EVs.

      RMI’s MOVE team is currently in the process of
      selecting more participant cities that seek to
      lead the charge toward the electric
      revolution. The project will be entirely open to
      the public, and can be followed by the
      initiative’s website at http://www.projectgetready.com

      ABOUT RMI: Rocky Mountain Institute is an
      independent, nonpartisan, entrepreneurial,
      nonprofit “think-and-do tank.” It fosters the
      efficient and restorative use of resources to
      make the world secure, just, profitable, and
      life-sustaining. For more information, visit
      http://www.move.rmi.org [(More about RMI: it's
      also known as the organization founded by
      visionary/physicist Amory Lovins. He and RMI
      originated and have broadly promulgated concepts
      like the soft energy path, elegant frugality,
      natural capitalism, the negawatt, tunneling
      through the cost barrier, abundance by design,
      and so many others.You may recall that RMI
      spinoff Hypercar co-sponsored the CalCars
      founding meeting in 2002 -- see photo at our "About" page).


      15 “Must Have” Actions* Suggested stretch
      target: 2% of registered vehicles by the end of 2015.

      Barrier: Not enough cars in the pipeline, OEMs
      need proof of future consumer demand
      1. Corporate/city/state fleets commit to buy a
      certain number of plug-ins (RFPs for major purchases or conversions).
      2. Stakeholder group provides a place for
      interested consumers/fleets to register early,
      and put cash down to reserve plug-ins (cash used for readiness where possible).

      Barrier: How can we manage this as a multi-sector, city-wide project?
      3. Create collaborative stakeholder group
      within the community to help regulatory,
      commercial, and community interests align. Sign
      on to a clear regional plan (based on this
      menu!). Plan should give equal consideration to conversions.
      4. Have one “champion” whose job it is to keep
      this group moving forward, who has authority

      Barrier: How can we bring down upfront costs for consumers?
      5. Work with banks and dealers to offer
      low-interest loans for plug-ins, based on
      projected lower operating costs from gas savings.
      6. Bundle all key incentives at vehicle point
      of purchase (home charger vouchers, rebates, etc.)

      Barrier: Consumer hesitation at diving into a new paradigm for mobility
      7. Perks: access to High Occupancy Vehicle
      (HOV) lanes, free tolls/downtown parking, reserved airport parking.
      8. Create consumer, city government, local
      business and utility education plans including
      test drives and “quick lease” options to
      individual and fleet consumers as well as high profile drivers.
      9. Reduced (or free) electricity rates for charging.

      Barrier: Red tape around infrastructure installation
      10. Fast-track permitting for charging stations.
      11. Ensure new and reconstruction/renovation
      building codes support the operation of plug-ins.

      Barrier: What if these cars exacerbate my peak load?
      12. Tie provisions of free home and public
      charge spots, as well as free or cheaper
      electricity, to either utility override power or “no charge” times.

      Barrier: Who will pay for infrastructure?
      13. Local employers/retailers provide some charge stations at parking decks.
      14. Install public charge spots in
      high-traffic zones and parking areas, either with
      public money (via utility or gov't for the first
      2% of vehicles) or private money that uses the stations to market.
      15. Provide affordable and available--or
      free--Level 2 home-charger/driveway circuit installation.

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