Tuesday, November 28, 2006

June '06 - The Film Opens, CARB Ducks, PHEV Debut in DC

Who Killed the Electric Car Opens Across the Nation

Who Killed the Electric Car?, director Chris Paine’s long-awaited documentary, begins a nationwide theatrical release on June 28 in Los Angeles and New York. In July it will open in every major American market. Plug In America and other Electric Auto Association chapters have been actively promoting the film with a guerilla marketing campaign aimed at raising awareness. PIA created a webad and bumperstickers connecting rising gas prices and the electric car. $3...$4...$5.../gallon. Who Killed the Electric Car? (Webad available for free download at www.pluginamerica.com/downloads.html. Bumpersticker available for purchase at www.cafepress.com/pluginamerica).

Global warming is taking center stage with the release of Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth, which is preceded by a trailer for the electric car documentary. (See the trailer at www.whokilledtheelectriccar.com) Gore compellingly describes the problem. Paine’s movie offers up a solution.

EAA chapters are organizing to ensure large audiences for the movie. Mill Valley and San Francisco are planning electric car parades, EV shuttles and parties surrounding the movie’s release, and to bring it to the attention of elected officials. It is critical that we generate interest in the film, one of the best opportunities afforded us in a long time to promote electric cars.

CARB Ducks H2 Controversy

For over six months, Plug In America has been in communication with The California Air Resources Board to obtain a response to Alec Brook’s analysis of Hydrogen vs Electricity for cars. Brooks shows that the use of renewable electricity to generate the hydrogen for fuel cell vehicles is four times less efficient than using that same electricity to power a battery Electric Vehicle. Brooks presented an earlier version of this paper in a December 2002 CARB workshop on the Zero Emission Vehicle Mandate which was ignored. Subsequent to that hearing, CARB pulled the plug on battery EVs and put its effort behind hydrogen fuel cell vehicles.

Now, three years later, after over 4,000 EVs have been destroyed by the carmakers, less than 100 fuel cell vehicles have been built and the infrastructure to refuel them is virtually non-existent. In light of this lack of progress, PIA feels CARB cannot justify its move toward hydrogen technology and away from EVs. CARB has repeatedly promised PIA a written response to Brooks' paper, yet they continue to stonewall. PIA will continue to pressure CARB for its official response to Alec Brooks’ analysis. (see http://www.evworld.com/view.cfm?section=article&storyid=750)

Plug-in Prius Makes Capitol Debut

Plug In America is an active participant in many efforts to promote plug-in hybrids. We work closely with Calcars, the non-profit organization responsible for the first Plug-in Prius. We worked on the Maker Faire plug-in project, and supported the effort that brought the CalCars Edrive Lithium Plug-in Prius to Washington DC in May. Dozens of Senators and Congressional representatives from both parties had the opportunity to drive the car. Photos of smiling Senators waving the infrastructure requirement for PHEVs, an extension cord, can be seen at: http://www.setamericafree.org/plugdcmay06.htm. Legislation moving ahead in congress, HR. 4409 the Fuel Choices for American Security Act, which will include funding for plug-ins, is garnering support, and was much aided by the presence of the car.

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