Friday, August 01, 2008

Plug In 2008


The Plug in 2008 National PHEV Conference in San Jose by most accounts was a big success. Here's one of the announcements that came out of the conference:

EPRI, GM, 34 Utilities Collaborate to Advance
Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles

PALO ALTO, Calif. – July 22, 2008; The Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) announced today a research and development collaboration with General Motors and 34 top utilities to facilitate integration of plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) into the grid, a key step in providing the nation’s drivers an alternative to petroleum fuels.

“The EPRI-GM-utility effort is the result of many years of work by EPRI and its members to advance plug-in hybrids and related infrastructure technology to a point of feasible implementation and eventual commercialization,” said Arshad Mansoor, EPRI’s vice president of Power Delivery and Utilization. “Seamless integration of PHEVs into the electric grid will require close collaboration between the automobile and electric sectors.”

PHEVs use domestically produced electricity delivered through the grid, with a lower cost to fuel the vehicles than that of petroleum fuels. Additionally, research released last year by EPRI and the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) pointed to the potential of PHEVs to lower greenhouse gas emissions. The entire PHEV environmental assessment is available on the EPRI website .

“Electrically powered vehicles are going to provide tremendous benefit and excitement for the customer, while also hastening the move to a more diverse choice of energy alternatives,” said Jon Lauckner, GM vice president of Global Programs. “But we know that there are some key elements that need to be understood and put in place so customers can enjoy those benefits and get maximum use of these vehicles when we bring them to market. That’s why this relationship with EPRI and the utility partners is so important.” (clip)

“This research program will help link a low-carbon generation portfolio and a smart grid, which in turn will facilitate widespread adoption of electricity as an alternative transportation fuel,” Mansoor said. “PHEVs have the potential of creating tremendous value for society by use of lesser emitting and lower cost electricity.”

The collaborative will also address issues that ensure safe and convenient vehicle charging, public education, and public policies requirements to enable a smooth introduction of PHEVs as a transportation alternative to conventional vehicles.

Participants in the collaboration include Alabama Power, American Electric Power, Austin Energy, BC Hydro, CenterPoint Energy, Consolidated Edison of New York, Dominion, DTE Energy, Duke Energy, FirstEnergy Corp., Georgia Power, Great River Energy, Hydro-Québec, Manitoba Hydro, Nebraska Public Power District, New York Power Authority, Pacific Gas & Electric Company, Progress Energy, Public Service Electric & Gas Co., Sacramento Municipal Util. Dist., San Diego Gas & Electric, Southern California Edison Co. and Southern Company.

In another announcement at the convention, Google announced two more recipients of their "Recharge It" largesse. Here's part of the story from CNET:

Google.org is investing $2.75 million into electric-vehicle maker Aptera and battery start-up ActaCell. The announcement, which follows Google's request for proposals from companies with electric car technologies, came Tuesday during the Plug-In 2008 conference in San Jose, Calif.
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Aptera, of Carlsbad, Calif., makes street-legal three-wheelers with a unique, aerodynamic design.

The company aims to sell its Typ-1 model for less than $30,000 by the end of year. It's marketing a pure electric as well as a gas electric plug-in hybrid achieving more than 200 miles per gallon. The vehicles are supposed to accelerate to 60 miles per hour within 10 seconds, drive 120 miles on a full charge, and recharge from a 110-volt outlet.

ActaCell of Austin, Tex., aims to develop long-lasting lithium-ion batteries. On Wednesday it announced $5.8 million in series A financing led by Draper Fisher Jurvetson and including Google.org, Applied Ventures, and Good Energies. " And the technology may be groundbreaking.
If you missed Plug in 2008, you can still make another exciting conference, and you get to come to Austin in the beautiful fall of the year.






editors note:
Check out the links, they include a wide variety of PHEV stories since our last post.


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