Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Stamp of Approval

EPRI and the National Resource Defense Council have recently released a new study which shows the environmental as well as the economic benefits of plug-ins.

Plug-in hybrids seen as vehicles for change
A study projects lower emissions and sufficient power grid capacity.

LA Times

By Martin Zimmerman,

The widespread use of plug-in hybrid vehicles — which could be driven up to 40 miles on electric power alone — would significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the United States without overloading the nation's power grid, according to a new study.

The upbeat news for plug-ins, seen by many as the next big step in environmentally friendly automotive technology, came with two caveats. Achieving the maximum air quality improvements would require a significant cut in the pollution produced by electric utilities. It's also dependent on large-scale adoption of plug-in hybrids, which may not be in new-car showrooms for several years.

Even so, backers of plug-in technology were heartened by the latest findings, which could help defuse the claim that the vehicles simply would transfer the source of air pollution from vehicle tailpipes to power station smokestacks.

The study "finally gives an environmental stamp of approval" to plug-in hybrids, said Felix Kramer, founder of, an advocacy group in Palo Alto. "It shows that even with today's power grid, plug-in hybrids are a great idea."


The study released Thursday was conducted by two nonprofit groups, the Electric Power Research Institute and the Natural Resources Defense Council. It measured how the nation's air quality would be affected under varying levels of plug-in hybrid use and pollution control at power plants.

According to the study, a marginal improvement in power plant emissions, coupled with ownership of plug-ins by 20% of U.S. drivers by 2050 — the report's worst-case scenario — would cut annual greenhouse gas emissions by 163 million tons.

Under a "middle case" scenario, which assumes plug-ins make up 62% of U.S. passenger vehicles by 2050 and utilities adopt more stringent pollution-control measures, emissions would be cut by 468 million tons a year.

That would be equal to removing 82.5 million vehicles, about a third of the light vehicles on the road today."The study clearly shows that the benefits from pluggable hybrids are greater if the power sector is cleaner," said Dan Lashof, science director of the Natural Resources Defense Council's Climate Center.

The study estimated that a 60% market share for plug-in hybrids would tap only 7% to 8% of the electricity available nationwide in 2050. That finding jibes with a study released late last year by the Department of Energy that concluded that "the existing electric power system could generate most of the electricity consumed" by plug-ins. (more)

Join Plug In Partners today.

What's New

Sign the On Line Petition

News Summary I


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

Join Plug In Partners today.

What's New

Sign the On Line Petition

News Summary I


Labels: ,