Thursday, July 12, 2007

Ford and Edison

Henry Ford and Thomas Edison
Momentum for Plug-ins continues to build as two of the biggest names in transportation and energy meet.

It is a good example of how electric utilities and car makers can begin to work together.

Ford, utility join to promote plug-in vehicles
Reuters India
Sat Jul 7, 2007

DETROIT (Reuters) - Ford Motor Co and power utility Southern California Edison will announce an unusual alliance on Monday aimed at clearing the way for a new generation of rechargeable electric cars, the companies said.

Ford Chief Executive Alan Mulally and Edison International Chief Executive John Bryson are scheduled to meet with reporters at Edison's headquarters in Rosemead, California, the companies said.

The two chief executives will announce a "joint initiative" that represents a first-of-its-kind tie-up between a major automaker and a major utility in the area of "plug-in" hybrid vehicle technology, representatives of both companies said.

Further details were not immediately available, but environmental advocates said the tie-up showed the momentum building for developing rechargeable hybrid vehicles as a way to reduce oil consumption and greenhouse gas emissions.

Environmental advocates, particularly in California, have been pressing automakers to roll out such plug-in vehicles that would be capable of running on electricity for short distances and recharging at a standard electric outlet.

"I think they're all realizing that the handwriting is on the wall," said Sherry Boschert, a plug-in vehicle advocate and author.

Southern California Edison, which supplies power to some 13 million people in the area around Los Angeles, has been a vocal advocate for the development of electric vehicles and proposed tax incentives and rebates to speed their development.

SCE has said that its existing power-generation facilities would be capable of supplying millions of vehicles if they were recharged at night when demand is low. (clip)

The U.S. Senate last month approved sharp increases in fuel economy standards and is considering a package of tax credits for consumers who purchase plug-in vehicles and the companies that make them. Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama is one of the sponsors of that legislation. " more

"We see electricity as itself an alternative fuel in support of transportation," said John Bryson, chairman of Edison International, parent company of Southern California Edison.

Bryson said the collaboration will allow Ford and the utility to better see how technology that has been tested in the laboratory works in the real world. He said plug-in hybrids have the potential put the power grid to better use, for example, by charging vehicles in overnight hours when electricity demand is lower." more

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