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Toyota + French Utility | Bali-Australia: A PHEV at Climate Crisis Event?

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  • Felix Kramer
    As the awareness and support for PHEVs in the US has grown, we re taking that message internationally. (Our foreign language translations of our Home,
    Message 1 of 1 , Sep 2, 2007
      As the awareness and support for PHEVs in the US
      has grown, we're taking that message
      internationally. (Our foreign language
      translations of our Home, Carmakers and Vehicles"
      pages are getting attention -- you can get to
      them by clicking on the Japanese, German and
      Swedish, Spanish French flags on the home page.)

      Below is a "leak" about a Toyota/Electricite de
      France announcement expected next week, and a
      description of our ambitious hope to get a PHEV
      converted in Australia to gain center stage at a
      key global warming event in Bali in December.


      This early story arrived early this weekend. It's
      of great significance in Europe, and it confirms
      our sense that Toyota is looking at PHEVs as a
      global strategy. (In the US, we've seen estimates
      that up to 75% of drivers have access to a plug.)

      Toyota and EDF unite for hybrid power plan
      By John Reed in London and Peggy Hollinger in Paris
      Financial Times Updated: 9:40 p.m. PT Aug 31, 2007

      Toyota and EDF are teaming up to develop
      recharging points for plug-in hybrid electric
      cars in a key step forward for the emerging vehicle technology.

      The Japanese carmaker and French utility are due
      next week to announce an agreement to develop
      electricity infrastructure to serve the plug-in
      cars Toyota plans to roll out in a few years'
      time. Only a few cities, London among them, have recharging points.

      The step is important as the future commercial
      viability of plug-ins will depend in large part
      on wide availability of recharging points.

      EDF's deal with Toyota is expected to cover
      France initially but could be extended to other
      countries. The group also owns utility companies
      in Germany, Italy and the UK. Having adequate
      electricity infrastructure for the cars is
      important in Europe, where more motorists park on
      city streets overnight than in the US.

      We'll see the full announcement means next week.
      EDF is already a global leader in electric vehiclesÂ…you can comment at


      We faced some skepticism when we announced we
      would fly a PHEV to Washington DC in May 2006 to
      show to Senators and Representatives. But with
      the help of Set America Free, with costs of under
      $25,000 (raised in large part from small
      contributions from CalCars-News subscribers), our
      quick trip significantly advanced our goals of
      putting PHEVs on government agendas. (See
      http://www.calcars.org/phevs-in-dc.html for the photos.)

      We have a similar opportunity this December, when
      representatives of 180 nations plus many NGOs
      (non-governmental organizations) hold the
      ten-year followup event to the Kyoto Conference
      to charts future strategies for addressing the
      climate crisis. The official event is the
      "Conference of Parties COP-13 UN Framework on
      Climate Change Summit" Dec. 3-14 Nusa Dua, Bali,
      Indonesia. (The second week is the conference of ministers.) Here's the URL:
      For an indication of the media impact of the event:

      We think the value of having a low-carbon (under
      110 gram/kilometer) PHEV at the conference could
      be substantial: we could gain enormous interest
      from the media throngs, officials and NGOs. This
      could help to definitively establish the PHEV as
      a leading solution to CO2 reduction in
      transportation. (This awareness is currently not
      nearly as widespread as the understanding of its
      energy independence benefits, in the U.S.
      However, leading climate scientists like James
      Hansen are fans, the EPRI-NRDC study quantified
      the benefits, and climate activists and advocates
      are increasingly acknowledging the strategy.)

      At a time when there are over 60 PHEV Priuses in
      North America and a scattering in Europe, we
      don't need to bring a car from the U.S. Since
      Priuses are scarce in Indonesia, our game-plan is
      to complete a high-visibility Prius conversion in
      Australia or perhaps New Zealand. (The growing
      awareness in both places about climate crisis
      provides an ideal environment to promote PHEVs.)
      If we can get this project going, we will decide
      closer to December if the conversion will be done
      by an after-market company or our EAA-PHEV Open
      Source project. We will then ship the car to
      Bali, displaying it at the conference. Then the
      car will return to AU/NZ to help promote PHEVs.

      If you like the idea and live in AU/NZ, please
      don't write us to say you want it to be your car!
      Over time, we have received many emails from
      individuals there who want PHEVs -- finding an
      individual or institutional car owner will be easy.

      The first step is to get local coordinators. We
      know we have many AU and NZ subscribers to
      CalCars-News and our website gets substantial
      traffic from these countries. If one or two
      people step forward to organize an effort, we can
      provide an umbrella for a working group of
      individuals, organizations, companies,
      foundations, government agencies, etc. to make
      this happen -- including raising about $50,000
      from local or non-local sources -- to do the event right.

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