Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Overflow Crowd in Lodi (!) for Electric Car Film

Lodi News-Sentinel Reports Over 400 people turned out for a free viewing of Who Killed the Electric Car? in Lodi, CA last night. Lodi is not hippie or Hollywood. It's an agricultural town of less than 60,000 in reliably Republican San Joaquin County. The event was sponsored by the Lodi Municipal Electric utility, which leases five all electric RAV4 EVs from Toyota.

Angela Daniel is concerned about America's reliance on foreign oil and would consider driving an electric car if the technology was more readily available....

...Many people in the audience said they were interested in buying an electric car but lacked the information. Gene Corriea said he was there to learn more about electric vehicles.

"It's an interesting subject," he said. "It's something we should have but they won't let us."

...Davey Drouin, a teacher from Lodi, got there early to avoid the crowd of people, some of whom waited 15 minutes to get into the theater. He said he was impressed with the turnout.

"I can see this crowd in Santa Cruz or Berkeley, but not Lodi," he said. "I was expecting to be the only one here."

SOTU: Will Bush Plug Plug-ins?

First hint from the NY Times says ethanol will be the big winner in Bush's State of the Union Address. Advocates of plug-in cars are hoping for a another good word and perhaps some funding for plug-in hybrids. We'll see.

Springtime for Ethanol (registration required) In his State of the Union address, President Bush is expected to call for a huge increase in the amount of ethanol that refiners mix with gasoline, probably double the current goal of 7.5 billion gallons by 2012.

While the details of the proposal are not known, 15 billion gallons of ethanol would work out to more than 10 percent of the country’s current gasoline consumption, and is far beyond the current capacity of about 5.4 billion gallons.

At least half of the new ethanol would come from corn, signaling the administration’s support to the Midwest farm states that have benefited the most from the recent ethanol boom.

For an industry once dominated by the will of a single powerful producer, Archer Daniels Midland, ethanol has come a long way, joining the oil industry and producers of major agricultural commodities as an entrenched political force in Washington. And it now enjoys a powerful role in presidential politics because of Iowa’s status as one of the first states to select delegates to the parties’ nominating conventions.