Monday, August 18, 2008

Plug in Hybrid Implementation Plan

There is a plug in hybrid electric vehicle car conference in town today. It was put together by some academic types from the University of Texas and Texas A&M. They had participants from the Electric Power Research Institute, from the various National Labs, from Amory Lovin's Rocky Mountain Institute, and from the Electric Reliability Council of Texas. In fact, the meeting was held in the totally tony offices at ERCOT. If you are an electric geek, check out their site.

It's truly amazing how this technology has gone from virtual nonexistence just 5 years ago, to an highly exciting new transportation concept that is now the subject of study and planning by all kinds of folks from the University and Research communities. Sure, they smell grant money, but based on what I saw today, a whole lot of them genuinely believe that plug-in hybrids are an important addition to the energy tool box. They see the potential to store wind power, reduce foreign imports of oil, reduce pollution in the cities, even use these vehicles to help support the grid itself when the utility needs extra power on these hot summer afternoons.

And being professors, they see enormous opportunities to understand and model how it's all going to work. How will we control the cars so that they don't charge at peak, and how do we incent owners to charge only at night? How much water will they consume vs the standard gasoline vehicle? How will the batteries be recycled?

They are already worrying about all kinds of things that might happen once millions of them have been deployed into the transportation infrastructure. And they don't even exist yet.

Not quite three years ago, when we held our first press conference in Washington announcing the Plug In Partners campaign, after initiating a local plug in campaign a year or so before that, only the most positive of us would have imagined where we would be today.

Today, almost every major car manufacturer is planning some kind of plug in vehicle. And most of them are going to be available in the next few years, perhaps by 2010. In the industrial world of manufacturing, this is light speed. It's been reported that GM already has 33,000 letters of intent for its new Volt.

Tomorrow will be the day that I address the group.

I'm supposed to speak about implementation plans.

Somehow, it feels like we just did that.

My plug in hybrid implementation plan is to buy one and drive it.

That may not be academic enough for this bunch.

But at least I'll finish on time.



Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Ozzie, Watched an "Inconvenient Truth" again last night, in 2006 Al Gore understated the problem when he mentioned in passing that US car manufactturers "were in trouble" and were suing California so they did not have to meet China's mileage standards......boy, was he right about that one!

2:59 PM  
Blogger TeckTrek said...

"Opportunities multiply as they are seized".
Sun Tzu

7:10 AM  

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