Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Plug In Auto Nation

Mike Jackson
Here's another important milestone for the Campaign. The Nation's largest retail car dealer sees the importance of the PHEV and its CEO is calling on his manufacturers to get with the program.

Here's the story from Auto Service World

AutoNation Joins Hybrid Cause
Auto Service World
Oct. 12, 2006

AutoNation, Inc. a U.S. automotive retailer, has joined the Plug-In Partners campaign calling on automakers to manufacture plug-in hybrid electric vehicles.

"The development of plug-in hybrids could reduce America's addiction to oil," said AutoNation CEO Mike Jackson. "These new hybrids would offer consumers a 50-mile all-electric range, get the equivalent of 100 miles per gallon, be fully recharged at night and deliver all the performance and comfort of traditional gasoline-powered vehicles without the damaging emissions.

We believe Americans will buy these vehicles, which is why we want to sell them.

"The Plug-In Partners campaign, launched in January 2006 by the City of Austin and Austin Energy, has attracted nearly 60 cities and counties, including Los Angeles, Dallas, Boston, Philadelphia, Chicago, San Francisco, Baltimore and Phoenix, as well as dozens of environmental, national security organizations, business and utility partners. The coalition is working with its partners to generate "soft" fleet orders to demonstrate the potential market for plug-in hybrid vehicles. It also has begun a nationwide petition drive for individual consumers to express their support and interest in buying a plug-in hybrid vehicle.

Austin Mayor Will Wynn said: "AutoNation's support of the Plug-In Partners campaign demonstrates the growing momentum for the manufacturing of plug-in hybrids. Mike Jackson certainly knows what type of vehicles that Americans will buy. We salute his commitment to help us reduce this country's dependence on foreign oil and decrease greenhouse gas emission while also lowering fuel costs for consumers."

Contrasting plug-in hybrids to the limited range of earlier electric vehicles, Jackson added, "Next-generation batteries are significantly more powerful and can tolerate discharging and charging much more forgivingly than earlier versions.

That opens up the possibility of creating a vehicle that will deliver genuine benefits to consumers and society."

AutoNation has approximately 27,000 full-time employees and owns and operates 333 new vehicle franchises in 16 states.

Become a Partner today.

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Tuesday, October 10, 2006

New York Turn On

The N Y Times ran a guest editorial on Sunday that effectively conveys the vast potential of the Plug In in both our transportation and stationary electric sectors.

Turn on the Electric Road

Published: October 8, 2006

LAST summer, New York State took a page from California’s playbook, using state policy to jump-start a 21st century automobile industry. Albany started a $10 million program to convert its fleet of 600 hybrid vehicles to plug-in electric vehicles and pledged to spend another $10 million to encourage gas stations to install ethanol pumps. Because companies bidding for New York’s conversion business must promise to build their facilities in the state, the plan may help move New York to the vanguard of a small industry with big potential.

New York’s commitment, combined with Google’s recent announcement that its new investment company will focus on commercializing an electric/alcohol vehicle, gives increased momentum to a technological concept that is rapidly winning supporters.

In less than three years, a coalition of environmentalists, entrepreneurs and tinkerers has developed a viable strategy to reduce our dependence on oil and relieve pollution in densely populated areas like metropolitan New York.

Today, hundreds of thousands of hybrid vehicles and millions of flexible-fueled vehicles able to run on ethanol or gas are on the road. They lay the foundation for an oil-free transportation system; yet each technology suffers a key limitation.

The current hybrid is an entirely gasoline-powered vehicle with an electric motor assist. Though that saves fuel, it isn’t a long-term solution because the savings are too modest. With a plug-in hybrid, however, electricity becomes the primary fuel, which not only saves oil, it saves money. In New York, driving on electricity would cost about 2.5 cents per mile compared to 10 cents per mile on gasoline.

To overcome the limited driving range allowed by electric batteries, the plug-in hybrid relies on a backup gasoline engine. With electricity as the primary driver, the amount of fuel required for the backup engine can fall by as much as 85 percent.

A plug-in hybrid also overcomes the chief limitation of flexible-fueled vehicles: an insufficient supply of biomass derived from corn or other natural sources to power them. We can grow enough biomass to fuel an entire nation of backup engines.


Because of its density and the unique configuration of its electrical network, New York City generates 80 percent of its peak electricity internally. Owners of plug-in hybrids could use off-peak electricity at night to charge their cars’ batteries. At peak times, the local utility could contract to draw electricity from those same batteries. Toyota has already unveiled a prototype Prius that both imports and exports electricity.


Imagine a transportation system that reduces oil consumption by 50 percent or even 100 percent. Imagine upstate cellulose and hydroelectricity fueling cars and trucks throughout the state.

Imagine New York factories producing the high-tech vehicles of the future.

All of this would have been pie in the sky just a short time ago.

The recent announcements by New York State and Google, however, show the possibilities are real.

Their actions should embolden policymakers everywhere to embrace this promising new technology.

David Morris,the vice president of the Institute for Local Self-Reliance, is the author of “Driving Our Way to Energy Independence.”

Become a Partner today.

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News Summary I

The Plug In Partners Blog celebrates its first year of publishing this month.

Here are the years most important stories that we have either highlighted or linked.

Turn on the Electric Road
October 8, 2006

Riverside Mayor Proposes Plug-In California Initiative
Oct 04, 2006

New York State Aims to Convert its Hybrid Fleet to Plug-Ins
August 16, 2006

Mitsubishi Working up Electric Car for US Market
October 9, 2006

Menino pledges to buy hybrid cars for city
October 6, 2006

Nissan to end Toyota hybrid tie-up
September 23, 2006

A reality check on plug-in hybrids
September 25, 2006

Breakfast With Al Gore Persuades Branson
September 22, 2006

British mogul pledges $3 billion to tackle global warming
September 20, 2006

Marin County First in Bay Area to Order Plug-In Hybrids
September 22, 2006

Philanthropy the Google way
September 14, 2006

PG&E plugs campaign for hybrid electric cars
September 5, 2006

Buses may dump the pump
September 4, 2006

August 29, 2006

Mitsubishi Motors to drive forward development of next-generation EVs
May 11, 2005

August 17, 2006

New York to Convert 600 Hybrids to PHEVs
August 03, 2006

Toyota moves to corner the 'plug-in' market
July 20, 2006

The road to independence
July 2, 2006

GM reportedly working on producing plug-in hybrids
June 24, 2006

Toyota to Explore Plug-In Hybrids
June 14, 2006

Plug-in hybrid flexible-fueled cars on the way
June 8, 2006

The Greening of Chicago
May 12, 2006

Ford May Build a Plug-In Hybrid
May 11, 2006

Barack Obama on energy independence
February 28 2006

The Plug In Hybrid Vehicle: Beyond Gasoline
February 22, 2006

HyMotion Introduces Plug-In Hybrid Technology
February 20, 2006

U.S. must not be 'hostage' to foreign oil
February 20, 2006

MIT researchers invent new hybrid car battery
February 7, 2006

Re-thinking the world's economic future
February 7, 2006

100-M.P.G. Cars: It's a Start
February 5, 2006

Cities to seek plug-in hybrids
Janurary 24, 2006

Coalition Turns On to 'Plug-In Hybrids'
January 26, 2006

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