Tuesday, November 28, 2006

October '06 - CARB Takes Testimony on Electrics; LA Takes Action on RAV4 EVs

Evidence for Electrics Piles Up at ZEVTech

Plug In America and the Electric Auto Association were well represented and well received at the California Air Resources Board Zero Emission Vehicle Technical Review in Sacramento. This three day event was convened to present information to CARB staff as it considers options for the ZEV mandate in 2007.

Presenters included automakers; battery, hydrogen and fuel cell companies; electric utilities; and energy and emissions analysts. What seems indisputable after three days is that hydrogen and fuel cells remain far from ready for prime time.

Chelsea Sexton and Paul Scott presented for Plug In America, making the case that plug-in cars are reliable and ready. Ron Freund revealed the results of the RAV4 EV Driver Survey, and Tim Hastrup gave a portrait of one family’s decade with electric cars.

Toyota made clear they want out from under the requirement to start producing FCVs in large numbers. Dave Hermance said producing more than 30 FCVs per generation is a waste of money and resources. Because he also dusted off Toyota’s disingenuous presentation about the effort made to sell RAV4 EVs from the infamous ZEV Meeting in 2003, he seems to be suggesting Toyota wants to take neither path offered by CARB to meet true Zero Emission Vehicle requirements.

Honda’s Ben Knight said the Japanese carmaker will enter the market with its FCV in 2015, long after current project managers are gone. GM announced its intention to “place” 100 FCVs with fleets and consumers over the next few years. They forsee no market until well into the next decade. Ford didn’t even show up.

Lithium batteries and the possibilities of Vehicle-to-Grid technology provided the real buzz at ZEVTech. Utilities were well-represented with presentations touting the benefits grid-connected cars offer in reduced emissions, lower cost and load leveling.

Check out these presentations, and many others, at the CARB website: http://www.arb.ca.gov/msprog/zevprog/symposium/presentations/presentations.htm

LADWP RAV4 EVs Win Reprieve

In Los Angeles, the Department of Water and Power, one of the nation’s largest public power agencies, is reconsidering its decision to return its fleet of RAV4 EVs. As was the case with the unsuccessful attempt to save Pasadena’s Nissan HyperMinis, resident EV advocates have joined with DWP staff supportive of the electric vehicles to bring the issue to the attention of the Board. The return to Toyota of the EV fleet is on hold for the moment.

Holiday EVangelism - Book and Movie Stocking-Stuffers

November will see the publication of “Plug-in Hybrids: The Cars That Will Recharge America” by San Francisco Electric Vehicle Association president Sherry Boschert. She will be traveling to promote the book beginning in November. If your chapter can arrange an event with Sherry, you’ll have a very informative meeting. Advance orders and contact information at www.sherryboschert.com.

The DVD of “Who Killed the Electric Car?” will also become available in November, in time for holiday gift-giving.

Plug In America and the EAA will have both products available shortly. Check our websites, www.pluginamerica.com and www.eaaev.org, for details.