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The Ultimate Posting on Plug-In Hybrid Developments: Clip & Save

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  • Felix Kramer
    You ll find more items here than in any previous posting to CalCars-News. It s no longer possible to follow everything, but we hope to help spotlight
    Message 1 of 1 , Sep 22 4:22 PM
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      You'll find more items here than in any previous
      posting to CalCars-News. It's no longer possible
      to follow everything, but we hope to help
      spotlight developments you may have missed.
      Meanwhile, we're catching up as we prepare to go
      to Washington DC for meetings this Thursday and
      Fridayl to advocate for a new industry converting
      internal combustion vehicles to plug in. This
      time we want to build a coalition from the start!
      We've posted "The Big Fix: 16 Founding Points for
      the Campaign to Upgrade Gas Guzzlers" plus a
      preliminary individual and institutional
      endorsement form at
      http://www.calcars.org/calcars-bigfix-points.pdf
      . Please send us your comments and endorsements!
      We're also getting ready for a trip to Mumbai,
      India in late October, where we hope to meet with
      automakers -- we would appreciate any contacts or mutual introductions!

      (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.)

      Here's what you'll find below:

      1. AUTOMOTIVE AND SUPPLIER INDUSTRIES
      * Fisker gets $528 million federal loan, has first test-drive of Karma
      * Toyota releases spec on Prius PHEV for 500 unit
      test fleet; explains its hesitations
      * Audi's president backtracks on "Volt is For Idiots" comment
      * BYD pushes for Chinese government to increase subsidies
      * Frankfurt Auto Show roundup: Mercedes, Opel, Vauxhall, Volvo, Hyundai
      * A123Systems expected to go public within days
      * US Army's TARDEC R&D lab
      * How different carmakers are getting to their projected MPG numbers
      * McKinsey analysts says European carmakers need
      plug-ins to meet carbon standards
      * Studies show no lithium supply shortage
      * Ann Marie Sastry profiled for academic and battery company work

      2. GOVERNMENT POLICY AND FUNDING
      * Two bills pass House: HR 3246 $2.9B for
      multiple purposes, and HR 445 for heavy duty
      hybrids, both including conversions
      * Clarifications on DOE incentives for plug-ins
      * Clean Cities awards continue DOE pattern
      * California Energy Commission recalibrates
      strategy, releases names of applicants
      * Ohio study sees 10,500 jobs from plug-ins
      * Iceland continues evolution toward electricity

      3. MARKETS, CONSUMERS, CONVERSIONS
      * Calculate your total cost of ownership with Project Get Ready's calculator
      * Survey: 48% want PHEVs and will pay more for them
      * Market penetration studies confirm need for gas-guzzler conversions
      * Autoblog Green and Bright Automotive on gas-guzzler conversions
      * Colorado's $6,000 tax credit for conversions
      * CalCars' presentation, "Accelerating Vehicle Electrification" is online
      * Building management companies in NY get ready with charging stations
      * US Energy Department's building retrofit
      program could be model for conversions

      4. MEDIA:
      * Volt rates high in US News & World Report consumer perspective
      * Follow PHEV news with Google's FastFlip service
      * "Fuel" movie promotes biofuel PHEVs, includes algae/electric Prius.
      * Fortune calls Zipcar "Best New Idea;" company brings Ford & Toyota along
      * Electric Examiner website tracks plug-in news
      * Cute electric car video
      * Joe Romm's Climate Progress blog turns three
      * Wall Street Journal analyses the decline of the biofuel industry
      * Thomas Friedman reinforces call for gasoline tax

      5. EVENTS
      * Rocky Mountain Institute's annual symposium,
      San Francisco Oct 1-3 includes plug-ins
      * Motor City's first conference on plug-in cars Oct 19-21
      * One more thing...

      1. AUTOMOTIVE AND SUPPLIER INDUSTRIES

      FISKER GETS $528M FEDERAL LOAN: These funds, from
      the Federal $25 billion Advanced Technologies
      Vehicle Manufacturing Loan Program, until now
      have gone mostly to large carmakers and Tesla.
      The loan will principally fund "Project NINA," to
      design, engineer and assemble Fisker's
      second-generation, $39,000 sedan, for sale
      starting in 2012 in volumes over 100,000/year.
      The company estimates it will create or save
      5,000 supplier jobs and thousands more for
      manufacturing. CEO Henrik Fisker has said he's
      seeking a shut-down assembly plant. Is is it too
      late for the Fremont GM-Toyota NUMMI plant?
      http://www.businessinsider.com/fisker-looking-for-a-factory-in-the-us-to-build-new-plug-in-hybrid-2009-9.
      Meanwhile, the first-generation Karma $88,000
      luxury PHEV, 19 months after being announced,
      currently with 1,500 pre-orders and 45 dealers,
      had its first public test drive
      http://gas2.org/2009/08/17/fisker-karma-phev-makes-world-driving-debut/
      . Fisker has taken a different approach than GM
      on mileage claims, saying its first vehicle will
      get 67MPG, based on criteria from the Society of
      Automotive Engineers (SAE) instead of US government measures.

      TOYOTA RELEASES PROTOTYPE PHEV SPEC; EXPLAINS WHY
      IT'S GOING SLOW ON PHEVS: The Prius PHEV shown at
      Frankfurt, with 500 destined for fleets, and no
      production commitment, has an all-electric range
      of 12.4 miles at up to 62MPG, using a lithium-ion
      battery for the first time for Toyota. Toyota
      cited studies showing that 55% of French and 80%
      of United kingdom drives are under 10km. See two
      extended interviews/analyses at
      http://www.hybridcars.com/news/exclusive-toyota-explains-position-electric-cars-26031.html
      and
      http://www.nytimes.com/2009/08/20/business/energy-environment/20electric.html?_r=1
      .

      AUDI'S PRESIDENT BACKTRACKS ON "VOLT IS FOR
      IDIOTS" COMMENT: Audi President Johan de Nysschen
      regrets and attempts to clarify his statement
      (original at
      http://editorial.autos.msn.com/blogs/autosblogpost.aspx?post=1247701
      ) -- adding comments that perpetuate inaccuracies
      and mis-perceptions about plug-in cars:
      http://gm-volt.com/2009/09/03/audi-president-issues-statement-qualifying-his-claim-the-chevy-volt-is-a-car-for-idiots/
      . GM responded briefly:
      http://green.autoblog.com/2009/09/04/gm-responds-to-audis-volt-is-for-idiots-remark/
      Audi is largely diesel-focused, though it did
      show an "e-tron" concept car (with wheel motors) at the Frankfort Auto Show.

      NEWS FROM CHINESE BATTERYMAKER AND PHEV
      MANUFACTURER BYD: Recent headlines said BYD sales
      of its F3DM PHEVs (the first to be sold in the
      world) were disappointing: under 100 to fleet
      customers. The company cities this to make the
      case that the Chinese government will need to
      provide charging facilities and substantial
      consumer subsidies for the $22,000 car (expensive
      in China) when it's sold to the public
      http://online.wsj.com/article/SB125224741297789219.html
      . Other stories noted that the company's stock
      rose 648% in a year (since Warren Buffet's
      company bought a 10% share)
      http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601087&sid=abs36l8uOOE4.
      BYD now expects to bring its cars to the U.S. in 2011.

      FRANKFURT AUTO SHOW ROUNDUP: Mercedes showed the
      Vision S500 PHEV gasoline PHEV concept vehicle
      with a 19 mile all-electric range and CO2
      emissions of 74 grams/km in the New European
      Driving Cycle and an E300 BlueTEC diesel PHEV.
      Opel/Vauxhall (to be owned by Canada's Magna and
      Russia's Sherbank) showed the Ampera version of
      the Volt, and will build the Antara blended PHEV.
      Volvo said it will launch a diesel PHEV in 2012
      in Europe and a gasoline version in Japan I 2013,
      but provided few details, and said it could not
      find a business case for bringing the vehicle to
      the U.S.
      http://www.autonews.com/article/20090921/ANA03/309219983/1257
      . Hyundai showed the Blue-Will, a PHEV concept
      car. Citroen showed an aptly-named "Revolte"
      series PHEV. BMW showed the Vision
      EfficientDynamics concept diesel PHEV supercar
      with electric motors on both axles; media went
      out of their way to say no one expects will be
      built. See a NY Times industry roundup/analysis
      "To Hopeful Makers, the Electric Car's Time Is
      Here"
      http://www.nytimes.com/2009/09/14/automobiles/14electric.html
      and a Detroit News analyses that quotes many
      industry figures "Europe plugs in after years of
      touting diesel"
      http://www.detroitnews.com/article/20090914/AUTO04/909140400/1148 .

      A123SYSTEMS IPO AWAITED: Be on the lookout for
      the initial public offering of A123Systems, the
      Watertown, Massachusetts-based batterymaker
      providing cells and packs for many carmakers. The
      company started out of MIT; got a name for itself
      by supplying batteries for hand tools, acquired
      Hymotion, the Ontario hybrid conversion company,
      gained GE and other big players as investors and
      contended for the contract to supply the Chevy
      Volt. Its automotive customers include BMW,
      Chrysler, GM, and Shanghai Automotive Industry
      Corp. It's received a US Energy Department grant
      of $249 million (which it has to match) plus
      funds from the State of Michigan, and has applied
      for a $235 million DOE manufacturing loan. It
      registered for an IPO more than a year ago but
      ran into the bank crisis. The company, trading
      under the ticker name AONE, raised its per-share
      price this week, and is expected to raise over
      $200 million, which could give it a total market
      capitalization (stock value) near $1 billion. The
      IPO is expected to further validate the business
      prospects of existing public and private
      companies and new entrants. (We would never offer
      advice to anyone on whether to invest!)

      TARDEC: MILITARY PHEVS: Often expensive
      low-volume solutions developed for the armed
      forces end up paving the way for mass-produced
      consumer products. See the website of the Warren,
      Michigan-based R&D lab, RDECOM/TARDEC: Research,
      Development and Engineering Command U.S Army Tank
      Automotive Research, Development and Engineering
      Center and its Fuel Efficiency Ground Vehicle
      Demonstrator (FED) program
      http://www.peogcs.army.mil/fed/default.aspx for
      news of military efforts at fuel efficiency. See
      a 6-mile all-electric range PHEV Humvee at the
      Department of Defense Energy Blog
      http://dodenergy.blogspot.com/2008/09/hybrid-humvee.html .

      MPG CLAIMS: For a broad explanation of the
      issue (two different federal agencies are
      involved, the Environmental Protection Agency for
      consumer stickers, and the National
      Transportation Safety Administration for CAFÉ
      standards), the blog by the National Journal
      http://energytopic.nationaljournal.com/2009/09/electric-cars-advance-sticker.php
      includes comments by us, Roland Hwang of NRDC and
      others, and mentions an important new
      development: "for the first time ever, the EPA is
      tasked with setting federal standards for
      greenhouse gas emissions in a 'grams per mile of
      carbon dioxide' measurement so consumers will
      know how their new ride affects the environment."
      (We're catching up to the Europeans' requiring
      automakers to meet "grams per kilometer" of CO2
      levels in recent regulations.) For more on
      mileage calculations, including a new calculator
      tool and discussion of "miles per gallon
      equivalent" (MPGE) from the Progressive
      Automotive X Prize see
      http://green.autoblog.com/2009/08/21/auto-x-prize-throws-water-on-gms-230-mpg-claim-offers-mpge-cal/

      MCKINSEY ANALYST ON EUROPEAN CO2 VEHICLE
      CHALLENGE: As Europe's requirements for its
      vehicle fleets head toward a goal of 98 grams of
      CO2 per kilometer by 2020, Christian Maloney of
      the German office of consulting group McKinsey &
      Co. says the only way the automakers can get
      there and make money is with plug-in vehicles.
      http://evworld.com/news.cfm?newsid=21688

      NO LITHIUM SHORTAGE FOR BATTERIES: Two reports:
      from the Institute for the Analysis of Global
      Security (the group that created Set America Free
      coalition
      http://www.ensec.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=213:the-future-of-electric-vehicles-setting-the-record-straight-on-lithium-availability&catid=98:issuecontent0809&Itemid=349
      and from Gas2org
      http://gas2.org/2009/09/10/the-world-has-enough-lithium-for-electric-cars-its-the-other-bits-were-short-on/
      And an informative roundup on future battery
      trends at
      http://www.greentechmedia.com/articles/read/whats-next-in-lithium-batteries .

      ANN MARIE SASTRY: UP & COMING AUTO EXEC: Crains
      Detroit Business
      http://www.crainsdetroit.com/article/20090906/AWARDS/309069984/1168#
      profiles Sastry, who wears two hats: leading the
      University of Michigan's Energy Systems
      Engineering Master's Degree program, including an
      Advanced Battery Coalition for Drivetrains, a
      lithium-ion battery R&D partnership among GM and
      UM and the Michigan Economic Development Corp.,
      Oak Ridge National Laboratories and others.
      Sastry is at the same time CEO of Sakti3, a
      lithium-ion battery startup, funded with
      investments from the State of Michian and from
      Khosla Ventures (hedging its large bets on
      biofuels). She'll be speaking at the Detroit
      conference Oct. 19-21, "The Business of Plugging IN."

      GOVERNMENT POLICY AND FUNDING

      ANOTHER LARGE PLUG-IN BILL PASSES THE HOUSE: By a
      strong margin of 312-114, the House passed H.R.
      3246, the Advanced Vehicle Technology Act of 2009
      http://www.govtrack.us/congress/bill.xpd?bill=h111-3246
      , $2.85 billion from 2010-2014, 39% for medium-
      and heavy-duty commercial vehicles. We're pleased
      that "retrofitting advanced vehicle technologies
      to existing vehicles" and to "existing truck
      fleets: are included in funded areas.
      http://www.greencarcongress.com/2009/09/hr3246-20090917.html
      . We'll see what happens in the Senate.

      HOUSE APPROVES HEAVY DUTY HYBRID BILL: By a voice
      vote (!), the House approved H.R. 445, the Heavy
      Duty Hybrid Vehicle Research, Development, and
      Demonstration Act of 2009
      http://www.govtrack.us/congress/bill.xpd?bill=h111-445
      , authored by Wisconsin Republican Rep. James
      Sensenbrenner, Jr., from Wisconsin, where custom
      truck-maker Dueco http://www.dueco.com/ (which
      acquired Odyne earlier this year) is located.
      Sponsors estimate heavy trucks use 1/4 of the
      nation's fuel. The program provides 3-7 grants of
      $3 million a year for program including PHEVs.
      The bill also passed the House last year; this
      time, Sensenbrenner hopes Senator Kohl will move the bill through the Senate.

      CLARIFICATION OF DOE INCENTIVES FOR PLUG-INS:
      Some people are getting wrong how the federal
      $7,500 tax credit for up to 200,000
      vehicles/manufacturer credit works. For example,
      at the Atlantic Magazine website, "Could Plug-In
      Tax Credits Be Clunkers All Over Again?"
      http://business.theatlantic.com/2009/08/could_plug-in_tax_credits_be_clunkers_all_over_again.php
      asserts that the credit begins to phase out 6
      months after each manufacturer puts vehicles on
      the market. In fact, this "Phaseout Period" to
      50% levels, then 25%, then zero begins two
      quarters after the quarter in which the 200,000
      vehicle sales level is met. To check it this for
      yourself, see the Recovery Act (HR1) final
      version, Section 1141, subsection (e)(2),
      numbered page 54 via http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/z?c111:H.R.1.enr:

      CLEAN CITIES AWARDS CONTINUE DOE PATTERN: Some
      weeks ago, we wrote about the US Department of
      Energy ARRA (stimulus program) grants for
      batteries and for vehicle electrification. You'll
      recall we said both that many worthy programs
      received grants and that we were very
      disappointed at the geographical skews and that
      so many innovative small companies, technology
      developers, leading regional plug-in coalitions,
      and advocacy groups were overlooked. (See
      CalCars-News and a summary story at
      http://www.hybridcars.com/incentives-laws/critics-24-billion-electric-car-grants-were-biased-25962.html
      .) In late August, DOE announced the last in a
      series of awards, the $300M Clean Cities Awards,
      http://www.greencarcongress.com/2009/08/clean-cities-300m-20090826.html.
      While it includes a scattering of funding for
      electrification and charging stations, most of it
      is for carbon-based liquid fuels or non-pluggable hybrids.

      CALIFORNIA ENERGY COMMISION RECALIBRATES: With
      the results of the three federal programs
      announced, officials at the California Energy
      Commission now say that their much-applauded
      strategy, (to allocate the first two years of AB
      118 funds to provide local matches to award
      winners) didn't work out as expected. CEC has
      released its complete list of the companies that
      applied for a total of $231 million in matching
      funds but did not receive federal awards
      http://www.energy.ca.gov/contracts/PON-08-010_NOPA.PDF
      . With California almost entirely frozen out of
      the awards, CEC matched awards with $15 million.
      It has gone back to the drawing board, and will
      soon announce new short-term solicitations for
      the allocation of the remaining tens of millions of dollars.

      OHIO STUDY SEES 10,500 JOBS FROM EV TECH &
      MANUFACATURING: Establishing an " electric
      transportation innovation center" in Northern
      Ohio could lead to 10,500 jobs in vehicle and
      component production, The study commissioned by
      the Cleveland Foundation was conducted by the
      Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) with
      FirstEnergy Corp.
      http://www.reuters.com/article/pressRelease/idUS121062+21-Sep-2009+BW20090921

      ICELAND SEES PLUG-IN FUTURE Two years after
      CalCars and others made the case at the first
      Driving Sustainability conference, Iceland, which
      once saw hydrogen as the answer, is swiftly
      ramping up its commitment to plug-in cars and is
      hoping for a Nordic consortium. Our favorite line
      from Jim Motavalli's interview with Iceland's
      President: "With its ultra-cheap electricity (as
      low as 2.5 cents per kilowatt hour), Grímsson
      estimates that consumers will be able to drive
      their EVs for a year on what it now costs to fill
      their cars up once or twice with gasoline."
      http://www.thedailygreen.com/living-green/blogs/cars-transportation/iceland-president-clean-cars
      and
      http://industry.bnet.com/auto/10002420/icelands-president-pushes-for-evsand-a-100-percent-clean-energy-economy/

      MARKETS, CONSUMERS, CONVERSIONS

      PROJECT GET READY'S TOTAL COST OF OWNERSHIP
      CALCULATOR: This first iteration of a useful tool
      http://projectgetready.com/js/tco.html enables
      you to compare two vehicles, including a range of
      plug-in vehicles expected to hit the market in
      the next few years. It includes explanations of
      its assumptions and methodology, a FAQ, plus,
      most importantly, an "advanced" mode that enables
      you to fine-tune many of the key assumptions,
      including driving profiles and electricity costs.
      PGR is very eager to get feedback to evolve the
      tool.
      http://www.greentechmedia.com/articles/read/a-calculator-for-comparing-electrics-hybrids-and-regular-cars/

      48% IN U.S. WANT PHEVS: A survey from Pike
      Research shows 22% of 1,041 consumers extremely
      and 26% very interested in buying a 40-mile range
      PHEV (like the Volt), with 17% willing to pay
      20-50% more than a standard vehicle and half
      willing to pay 5-10% more. Another 34% have some
      interest for a total of 82%. Pike projects 1.7
      million PHEVs on the world's roads by 2015 and
      half a million annual sales.
      http://www.pikeresearch.com/newsroom/48-of-consumers-interested-in-purchasing-a-plug-in-hybrid-electric-vehicle
      and
      http://www.greencarcongress.com/2009/09/pike-phev40-20090908.html
      . This survey is also re-labeled "Electric
      Vehicle Consumer Survey" by Report Buyer, a
      British online business intelligence source
      http://www.reportbuyer.com/automotive/cars/hybrid_electric_vehicles/electric_vehicle_consumer_survey.html

      MARKET PENETRATION STUDY CONFIRMS NEED FOR
      CONVERSIONS: a University of Michigan
      Transportation Research Institute study shows
      potential annual PHEV sales of 4-5% by 2020, with
      fleet penetration of 2%, and sales of 20% with
      fleet penetration of 16% by 2030, are possible
      only if current incentives remain in place, and
      additional subsidies are added
      http://deepblue.lib.umich.edu/handle/2027.42/63507
      and
      http://www.greencarcongress.com/2009/08/umtri-20090807.html
      . This confirms CalCars' projections that show
      that if we are to have any significant reduction
      in petroleum dependency or greenhouse gases in
      the next two decades, new plug-in vehicles will
      need to be supplemented by conversion of large internal combustion vehicles.

      GAS GUZZLER CONVERSIONS: Autoblog Green surveys
      some of the options at
      http://green.autoblog.com/2009/08/27/greenlings-can-i-convert-an-older-vehicle-to-something-more-env/2#c21319701
      . Bright Automotive tells more about its plans
      for truck conversions in an Analysis by Jim
      Motavalli and short video at
      http://industry.bnet.com/auto/10002341/brights-big-plug-in-hybrid-production-plans-conversions-too/

      COLORADO'S LARGE $6,000 PHEV CONVERSIONS CREDIT
      (in addition to a federal 10% credit up to $4,000
      for qualifying vehicles) is explored by Gas2.0
      http://www.greencarcongress.com/2009/09/pike-phev40-20090908.html

      CALCARS TESTIMONY ON GAS-GUZZLER CONVERSIONS: On
      September 9, Technology Lead Ron Gremban was
      invited to make a presentation at the opening
      session of the California Energy Commission's
      first Staff Workshop on the 2011-2012 Alternative
      Fuels Investment Plan (Electric Drive Vehicles)
      http://www.energy.ca.gov/2009-ALT-1/documents/
      for its AB118 program ($120/million/year). See
      links to the 16-slide presentation "Accelerating
      Vehicle Electrification" and download the
      20-minute audio at http://www.calcars.org/ice-conversions.html .

      PLUG-IN CHARGING STATIONS IN NEW YORK CITY
      APARTMENTS: You know you've made progress when
      building management company executives are quoted
      in the NYTimes Sunday Real Estate section saying
      they want to be ready for the coming wave of
      customer demand to charge in their high-rise
      apartments: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/08/30/realestate/30posting.html

      DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY SUPPORTS "RETROFIT
      BUILD-UP:" DOE has announced a $450 million
      program for community-scale energy savings
      programs focused on buildings. The program is
      described, with links, at
      http://apps1.eere.energy.gov/news/progress_alerts.cfm/pa_id=237
      . Might the Energy Efficiency and Conservation
      Block Grant (EECBG) Program be a model for making
      gas-gulping vehicles into gas-sippers?

      MEDIA

      VOLT PREVIEW: CONSUMER'S PERSPECTIVE: The Chevy
      comes out looking very good in U.S. News & World
      Report's analysis
      http://www.usnews.com/money/blogs/flowchart/2009/08/21/how-your-car-compares-to-the-chevy-volt.html


      GOOGLE'S NEW WAY OF FOLLOWING THE NEWS: Check out
      FastFlip by applying it to PHEVs:
      http://fastflip.googlelabs.com/search?q=plug-in+hybrid

      NEW "FUEL" MOVIE PROMOTES BIOFUELED PHEVS: The
      new movie "Fuel" has opened around the
      country…see
      http://www.thefuelfilm.com/theaters.php . The
      launch
      http://www.huffingtonpost.com/josh-tickell/the-veggie-van-tour-rolls_b_289211.html
      included a cross-country trip with some biofuel
      vehicles, including the "Algaeus" from Sapphire
      Energy
      http://www.sapphireenergy.com/pdfs/Algaeus.pdf --
      a Prius PHEV converted "working closely with
      engineers at Toyota" powered with o engine
      modifications from fuel derived from algae. We
      haven't seen the film yet; here's how it's
      described: Winner of the Best Documentary award
      at the 2008 Sundance Film Festival, FUEL is an
      amazing, in-depth, personal journey of oil use
      and abuse as it examines wide-ranging energy
      solutions other than oil, the faltering US auto
      and petroleum industries, and the latest
      stirrings of the American mindset toward
      alternative energy….FUEL presents the solution.
      That's why it's also been called 'the most
      hopeful movie of the year."'This is an important
      movie, not because it sets out to scare you; but
      because it inspires audiences to action."

      FORTUNE MAGAZINE SAYS ZIPCAR IS "THE BEST NEW
      IDEA IN BUSINESS" in a September cover story
      http://money.cnn.com/2009/08/26/news/companies/zipcar_car_rentals.fortune/
      . We welcome this confirmation of one of the most
      effective ways to optimize the use of vehicles.
      And we were happy to see a mention on the second
      page of the print story that Toyota and Ford have
      already begun exploring ways to work with Zipcar,
      from using its members to test electric cars to
      designing vehicles specifically for the sharing
      market." The story quotes Bill Ford saying
      "Zipcar is the perfect application for electric
      vehicles and plug-in hybrids because you leave
      them at a certain location to be charged and then
      take them out again," and says, in a survey, 80% of members want plug-ins.

      EXAMINER ONLINE RESOURCE: San Francisco's
      Examiner newspaper, once a mighty Hearst
      publication, is now a free daily. Its online
      department has launched "Electric Examiner" and
      it's ably tracking plug-in news:
      http://www.examiner.com/x-7226-Electric-Car-Examiner

      CUTE ELECTRIC CAR VIDEO: Watch it at
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jAv6M1Bai0c at and
      read the lyrics by They Might Be Giants at
      http://www.popular-lyrics.com/lyrics/they-might-be-giants/electric-car-20867.html

      NEW RESOURCE: CARS21.COM: Cars21
      http://www.cars21.com/about.php , a new British
      website that is working to bring together
      industry players, has a useful news feed and has
      added a writeup and links to us at
      http://www.cars21.com/content/articles/2009-09-11-california-cars-initiative-joins-cars21com.php

      JOE ROMM'S BLOG TURNS THREE: Our favorite source
      on global warming, analyzing trends, tracking
      media shortcomings and debunking disinformation
      response to science and policy issues, is three
      years old. Joseph Romm former DOE official, takes
      the occasion to step back and explain why he does
      what he does and why George Orwell has been so
      important to him
      http://climateprogress.org/2009/08/27/climate-progress-at-three-years-why-i-blog-george-orwell/
      . From back in July, read why advocates need to
      match deniers and opponents in advocating for
      their views and letting Congress know how
      important action is.
      http://climateprogress.org/2009/07/16/memo-to-enviromentalists-progressives-the-deniers-and-polluters-climate-bill-phone-calls/
      and his reprinting of a message from the recently
      ousted Van Jones
      http://climateprogress.org/2009/09/17/a-message-from-van-jone/ .

      WALL STREET JOURNAL'S "US BIOFUEL BOOM RUNNING ON
      EMPTY" is a comprehensive survey of the status of
      the industry http://online.wsj.com/article/SB125133578177462487.html

      AGAIN MAKING THE CASE FOR A GAS TAX: Thomas
      Friedman has made another impassioned argument
      for a gas or carbon tax,
      http://www.nytimes.com/2009/09/20/opinion/20friedman.html
      . Taxing gasoline/diesel would raise $140
      billion/year (he would rebate 10% of that to
      low-income drivers, allocate 45% to pay down the
      debt and 45% to health care). He concludes his
      column, "Real Men Tax Gas:" "There is something
      wrong when our country is willing to consider
      spending more lives and treasure in Afghanistan,
      where winning is highly uncertain, but can't even
      talk about a gasoline tax, which is win, win,
      win, win, win -- with no uncertainty at all. So,
      I ask yet again: Who are the real cheese-eating
      surrender monkeys in this picture?" Maybe there's
      hope: the same day the column ran, he played 18
      holes of golf with Pres. Obama and Transportation Secretary LaHood

      EVENTS

      ROCKY MOUNTAIN INSTITUTE SYMPOSIUM OCT 1-3 IN SAN
      FRANCISCO: Project Get Ready was started out of
      RMI's Smart Garage program; RMI's annual
      Symposium http://www.rmi2009.org/ includes a
      session on the "Smart Garage"
      http://www.rmi2009.org/?page_id=33 about vehicle
      electrification featuring RMI's Matt Mattila and
      Laura Schewel, A123's David Vieau, plug-in
      advocate Chelsea Sexton, Federal Energy
      Regulatory Commission chair Jon Wellinghoff,
      moderated by Michael Brylawski from Bright
      Automotive (and formerly from RMI and Hypercar).
      See
      http://www.forbes.com/2009/07/24/energy-effeciency-biofuels-business-energy-lovins.html
      for a recent article by RMI Founder Amory Lovins
      aimed at Forbes Magazine's business audience.

      FIRST MAJOR PLUG-IN CONFERENCE Oct 19-21 IN
      DETROIT: The Business of Plugging In
      ttp://www.pev2009.com/program has been organized
      by the influential Center for Automotive Research
      with support from the Michigan Public Service
      Commission and sponsorship by GM and DTE Energy.
      A strong list of presenters and topics, with
      possible last-minute additions. We'll present at
      a panel, "The Consumer: Who, When and Why?"
      talking about the campaign that brought us this far and what comes next.

      THANKS AND CONGRATULATIONS TO THOSE OF YOU WHO
      GOT THIS FAR. Here's one way we can know how many
      read all the way through. In the spirit of NPRG
      pledge drives: if you benefit from reading this
      please don't imagine someone else will support
      CalCars. It's up to you! Why not send a
      tax-deductible contribution at
      http://www.calcars.org/sponsor.html . Thanks in advance!

      -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- --
      Felix Kramer fkramer@...
      Founder California Cars Initiative
      http://www.calcars.org
      http://www.calcars.org/news-archive.html
      -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- --
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