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Roundup: More Automakers on PHEV Bandwagon, Events, etc.
May 17, 2010 (From the CalCars-News archive)
This posting originally appeared at CalCars-News, our newsletter of breaking CalCars and plug-in hybrid news. View the original posting here.
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Over 20 more carmakers are falling into line with plans for PHEVs -- and those that aren't are doing EVs. Below our list, you'll also find info on this weekend's Maker Faire, two big plug-in conferences, PHEVs in airplanes, Joe Romm's new book, and other media items, including our updated home page.

We'll soon update our list at our Automakers Page­carmakers.html . See also information roundups at­plugins/ and­vehicles/ . Some of these are showcased in a slide show at The New York Times website­slideshow/­2010/­05/­09/­automobiles/­20100509-plugin.html complete with links to additional information on the vehicles. Here are our updates, alphabetically:

  • AUDI: A1 Sportback or e-tron concept vehicles may be introduced first in Europe.
  • BMW: Vision PHEV concept of 2009 now headed for production in 2013.
  • BYD: F3DM may be introduced in US in 2011.
  • CHRYSLER: Following its integration with Fiat, proceeding with its Department of Energy-sponsored demonstration project with 140 Ram pickup truck PHEVs.
  • CITROEN: Revolte (concept).
  • DAIMLER: Mercedes Benz Blue Zero and S500 (concepts).
  • FISKER: Karma now scheduled for 2011.
  • FORD: Escape SUV now set for 2012; C-MAX compact multi-activity vehicle in Europe by 2013.
  • GM: Chevy Volt MPV5 (crossover concept).
  • HYUNDAI: Blue Will concept car aimed at 2012.
  • JAGUAR LAND ROVER: Range_e four-wheel drive diesel in 2013-2015 and a possible XJ PHEV (Tata owns JLR).
  • KIA: The Ray concept is part of its EcoDynamics project.
  • MITSUBISHI: The PX-MiEV aims for production in 2013, electrically-driven rear wheels giving four-wheel drive capability.
  • PEUGEOT: plug-in diesel hybrid in 2012.
  • PORSCHE: The 918Spyder (concept) adds a 16-mile all-electric range to a powerful sports car.
  • PROTON: Malaysian manufacturer shows multiple series PHEV concepts, with its subsidiary, Lotus.
  • SUZUKI: Swift concept now going to Japanese dealers for testing in fall 2010.
  • TOYOTA: Prius Plug-in around 2012.
  • VOLKSWAGEN: The Golf Blue-E-Motion moved from concept to a 2013 date for sale in the U.S; TwinDrive (concept).
  • VOLVO: plans diesel series PHEVs in 2012.

Heaven for do-it-yourselfers, benign hackers, and open-source acolytes, May 22-23 in San Mateo, CA . The entire Maker Faire event is unique, indescribable and inspiring. You and your family will have no trouble spending a few hours or a whole day or two! For the fifth time, CalCars presents live hybrid conversions (since 2006 in California, plus 2007 in Houston). This year, Berkeley's again runs the show: see­pub/­e/­3457 . If you're a plug-in advocate, you can help educate the interested throngs, and see other plug-in projects at the Faire.

PLUG-IN CONFERENCES: Sign up to exhibit at or attend the main North American events on plug-in vehicles:

  • PLUG IN 2010 July 26-29 in San Jose, CA, the third annual industry conference and expo, organized by The Electric Power Research Institute and Silicon Valley Leadership Group: See the preliminary agenda and register at
  • EV 2010 VE September 13-16 in Vancouver, British Columbia, organized by Electric Mobility Canada/Mobilite electrique Canada. See the preliminary agenda and register at­ev2010ve/­en/­program.html .

PROVOCATIVE, HARD-HITTING BOOK ON CLIMATE AND CLEAN ENERGY: "Straight Up: America's Fiercest Climate Blogger Takes on the Status Quo Media, Politicians, and Clean Energy Solutions" is by Joseph Romm, physicist and former US Department of Energy official. His <Climate Progress> is often described as the most influential blog on climate change policy. There he frequently cites transportation electrification, and this book includes almost 20 pages on what he calls a "core solution." Order it via­books.html .

PHEVS IN AIRPLANES? YES! Most people assume it's impractical with today's technology. It turns out, as was the case with cars a few years ago, "today's technologies are good enough to get started." Some far-sighted people are getting ready to design prototypes. CalCars' Ron Gremban is adding his engineering/flying/battery experience. (By the way, if you're going to the Advanced Automotive Battery Conference Orlando, Florida, May 17-21, you can find him there via the CalCars contacts page). A column by aviation entrepreneur George Bye calls on the Federal Aviation Agency and others to start getting ready now for the next evolution of planes. That's at Beyond The Edge­aerospace/­putting-hybrid-engines-in-planes . This new organization also features CalCars' perspective on ICE conversions:­automotive/­the-4-cent-mile/­.

DAN NEIL, OUR FAVORITE AUTOMOTIVE COLUMNIST, was at the LA Times 2003-2009. He wrote "Running on Empty," a cover magazine story about our Prius conversions in 2005­calcars-news/­85.html and­runningonempty-latimes.pdf , spoke about plug-in cars at several events, famously called on GM management to resign, and won a Pulitzer Prize. He recently moved his Rumble Seat column to the weekend edition of the Wall Street Journal, where his first reviews, ranging from a high-end Rolls Royce, to a small Ford, with stops at Jaguar and Porsche, are lively masterpieces of entertaining journalism, chock-full of funnys, gonzo-style, and serious insights. Later this year, we think he'll have a blast when he gets behind the new plug-ins! Find his columns at­public/­page/­news-autos-automotive.html .

CALCARS HOME PAGE UPDATE: We've modified the three paragraphs on our opening page to reflect our new focus on "The Big Fix" (while we continue to work on ensuring successful PHEV commercialization). These eight sentences are our "elevator pitch." Please forward it to anyone who wants to know about PHEVs and why they should spread the word or donate to CalCars at­sponsor.html : "Plug-In Hybrids Use Cleaner, Cheaper, Domestic Energy: CalCars is a non-profit startup of entrepreneurs, engineers, environmentalists and consumers. Since 2002, we've promoted plug-in hybrids (PHEVs) with large batteries. Local miles are powered partly or fully by electricity from standard plugs, and liquid fuel provides infinite range. PHEVs tackle energy security, jobs and global warming -- all at once. We built the world's first plug-in Prius using today's technologies and infrastructure. We helped spark a successful campaign to bring PHEVs to market and gain incentives. In 2009, we declared victory as mass production of PHEVs starts with the Chevy Volt. Now we promote safe, affordable, warrantied conversions of large gas-guzzlers to PHEVs and EVs. A new global industry can convert millions of vehicles long before we see large numbers of new plug-ins."

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