Thursday, May 18, 2006

Coming Together

With the announcement of Bill Ford that Ford is working on a plug in car, the momentum for a true multifuel transportation device is coming together.

Here is an AP story from yesterday's testimony in DC.

Scientists Back Plug-In Hybrids
May 18, 2006
Ken Thomas,

WASHINGTON — A group of scientists urged Congress on Wednesday to fund research for plug-in hybrid vehicles, touting the technology as another way to reduce the nation's dependence on oil through the help of a simple electrical socket.

With high gas prices straining some Americans' budgets, advocates of the alternative vehicles told a House committee that plug-in hybrids could reduce gasoline consumption and reduce air emissions. And while ethanol-fueled vehicles will require a better network of fueling pumps, a plug-in hybrid car could recharge at home.

"To think that you could pull into your garage at the end of the day and 'fill 'er up' just by plugging your car into a regular, 110-volt socket in the garage is very appealing," said Rep. Judy Biggert, R-Ill., chairwoman of the House Science subcommittee on energy.

Plug-in hybrids combine hybrid technology which uses both gasoline and electric power with large batteries that can be plugged into a standard wall socket.


Dr. Andrew Frank, a mechanical and aeronautical engineering professor at the University of California, Davis, said researchers have developed preproduction vehicles but need funding to create a fleet of about 100 plug-ins that could be tested around the nation.


John German of American Honda Motor Co. told lawmakers the technology offered potential, but the larger battery pack "adds thousands of dollars to the initial price of the vehicle and detracts from the performance and interior space."

Others have worried that thousands of plug-in hybrids could overwhelm the electric grid. Paul Williamsen, a product education manager with Toyota, told reporters Tuesday that the automaker found from experience with electric vehicles that consumers often plugged in their vehicles during the day, leading to "increased total consumption on the electrical grid during those peak daylight hours."

But Roger Duncan, deputy general manager of Austin Energy in Texas, said the obstacles involving the batteries could be addressed. The main obstacle, he said, is "automotive industry inertia based on a perception that there is not a commercially viable market."

The Plug In Partner Campaign from Austin Energy has accomplished a lot since its inception last January.

It's an example of how communities and local governments can help shape policy at the national and international level.

Earthfamilies could do the same.

They could boycott Exxon for its funding of lies on Climate Change.

They could boycott big box stores.

They could buy local.

They could buy from the communications provider

that protects your rights,

and follows the law.

They could band together to buy clean energy,

They could band together to buy health insurance,

They could band together for shared housing and car pools.

They could band together and create new inventions of

social contract.

We have the power,

When we come together.


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Earthfamily Principles

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*Coming Together art courtesy of Carla Farsi


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