This week's meeting of the Electric Drive Transportation Association in Washington was accompanied by some significant announcements.
Plug-In Hybrids Gain Traction
WASHINGTON—November 28, 2006—“If the momentum for plug-in hybrid vehicles continues to accelerate, Americans are likely to see more and more of these vehicles on American roads in the next few years,” said Roger Duncan, deputy general manager of Austin Energy and the head of the Plug-in Partners national grassroots campaign.
Launched earlier this year, Plug-in Partners already has attracted 485 entities such as cities and other government bodies, environmental and other nonprofit organizations and businesses calling for automakers to manufacture plug-in hybrid vehicles.
Additionally, the campaign has gained more than 8,000 “soft” fleet orders for these vehicles when they are available.
Plug-in vehicles would combine today’s new electric-flex fuel (gas and/or biofuels such as ethanol) hybrid technology with a larger battery that could be recharged by plugging it into a standard wall sockets.
Since these batteries would offer a range of 25 to 35 miles before requiring recharging or the use of gasoline Americans could significantly reduce their annual gasoline consumption. The U.S. imports about 60 percent of its oil—most of which is used in the transportation sector.
Speaking at the Electric Drive Transportation Association annual meeting here, Duncan noted a number of key developments in the drive for plug-in vehicles:
More than 95 cities, counties and state and federal agencies have joined Plug-in Partners, including Los Angeles, Dallas, Chicago, Boston, Phoenix and Philadelphia
AutoNation, the country’s largest auto retailer, is urging automakers to produce plug-in hybrids
In New York State, Governor George Pataki and Senate Majority Leader Joseph Bruno announced a new $10 million State program to convert 600 vehicles in the State fleet to plug-in hybrids
In September, Riverside California Mayor Ronald Loveridge, a member of the California Air Resources Board (CARB), called for a Plug-in California campaign and recommended that the State commit to purchase plug-ins, offer incentives for manufacturers and provide $5 million for plug-in vehicle research and development.
IC Corporation, the nation’s largest school bus manufacturer, will build 19 plug-in hybrid school buses to be used in 11 states as part of a consortium organized by Advanced Energy, a Raleigh, N.C.-based nonprofit corporation. The Austin Independent School District has agreed to purchase one of the buses.
Additional information about the campaign is available at www.pluginpartners.org.
Lisa Braithwaite, (512)322-6511
Join Plug In Partners today.
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