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EVWorld reports on plug-in hybrids at Clean Cities Conference

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  • Felix Kramer
    This feature article is a parallel to our report on the conference at http://autos.groups.yahoo.com/group/calcars-news/message/42 Following are excerpts form
    Message 1 of 1 , May 10, 2005
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      This feature article is a parallel to our report on the conference at

      Following are excerpts form EVWorld's Premium-Member coverage of the event
      (we urge you subscribe at $29/year--it's well worth the cost, and we need
      to support the best coverage there is of advanced technology automobile


      Energy Urgency Pervades Clean Cities Conference

      EV World attends the 11th National Clean Cities Conference and discovers
      the way and the will to move beyond oil.
      May 09, 2005

      Debut of Electric Plug-In Hybrid

      Energy CS was on hand with the second iteration of their electric plug-in
      Toyota Prius. They, along with Clean Tech, a Southern California alt fuels
      conversion house, announced the creation of E-Drive Systems, a new joint
      venture to manufacture and market a retrofit kit to convert the newest
      generation of Priuses to run faster and further on electric power provided
      by $15,000 worth of Valence Saphion(tm) lithium ion batteries. (See our
      upcoming audio interview with the Energy CS founders as we drive around
      Palm Springs in electric-only mode).

      What is significant about Energy CS' efforts and those of CalCars.Org
      founder, Felix Kramer, who was also on-hand to help promote the concept, is
      that it may well be one of those technologies that's at the right place at
      the right moment in history. Four of the most vocal proponents within the
      national security community and utility industry made up one of the panels
      talking about ways to reduce America's dependence on imported oil.

      Gal Luft and Anne Korin are the co-founders of the Institute for the
      Council Foundation. All three are signatories to the Set America Free
      initiative, a significant focus of which is the call for flexible fuel,
      electric plug-in hybrids; the fusion of two distinct technologies on
      display during the conference. Bob Graham, who also spoke on the
      "Developing a Global Energy Security Strategy" panel has helped lead the
      electric hybrid efforts at the Electric Power Research Institute.

      However, not everyone is enamored by the notion of electric hybrids.
      American Honda's chief engineer, Ben Knight challenged Ms. Korin's views,
      arguing that since half of North America's electrical grid is powered by
      coal, any local environmental benefit offered by plug-in hybrids would be
      lost by the increased combustion of coal.

      EPRI's Bob Graham and SCE's Ed Kjaer countered by saying that it will take
      millions of plug-in hybrids on the road before we'd see any potential
      increase in pollution, largely because electric hybrids would be charged at
      night using spare electric utility generating capacity. And when we do need
      to add new capacity, it will likely come from far cleaner coal
      technologies, nuclear power and renewables like wind and solar, the two men

      Clearly the debate over the environmental merit of electric hybrids isn't
      over, but given that Energy CS's Prius got better than 160 mpg while
      driving around Palm Springs, it pretty well puts to rest any doubts about
      its national security benefits.
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