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September Events: Vancouver - Houston - Michigan
Aug 27, 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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We've had an entertaining visit to memory lane at­events.html . Looking back at the list of 169 "Past Events" helps us appreciate how far we've come, beginning with policy programs, conversion demonstrations, new alliances, the rise of cleantech, and the eventual embrace of plug-in cars by government and the auto industry. Recently, the interest in seeing our hybrid conversions has waned. It will be superceded at the end of the year by showcase events with the new plug-in cars so many advocates will be happily driving. We'll also see more demonstrations of conversions of pickup trucks and other large gas-guzzlers, helping to deliver the message that those solutions are coming too! Here are the events we'll be at or tracking from September-October.

As we look ahead to the fall, we thought back on the (other-than-plug-in) events of the past months -- well summarized in Politico's Morning Energy brief­morningenergy: "CRUEL SUMMER - The [Obama administration's Supreme Court brief siding with electric utilities on coal plant emissions] comes at the end of a summer environmentalists would like to forget. To review: the BP oil spill dumped 4.9 million barrels of oil in the Gulf of Mexico. The cap-and-trade bill fell apart. The Gulf spill bill still may not happen. The GOP and climate skeptics appear set to make electoral inroads. NOAA says 2010 has set the warmest year-to-date global temps on record. And there are major fires in Russia and floods in Pakistan."

All this means we have our work cut out for us as we try, at least in the transportation sector, to change the game so we can dial back on fossil fuels. Here's where we'll be. Adding to the summaries (also found at our events page, URL above), below we've included some comments on their significance, followed by a few CalCars-related items.

EV 2010 VE CONFERENCE AND TRADE SHOW­ev2010ve/­en/­program.html September 13-16 (Vancouver, BC, Canada): At Canada's premier electric mobility event, organized by Electric Mobility Canada - Mobilite electrique Canada, CalCars' Ron Gremban will present on the business and technical aspects of conversions of internal combustion engine gas-guzzlers to full or partial electric power. See website for preliminary agenda; registration now open.

NOTE: CalCars has not had the resources to engage globally on vehicle electrification; other than two productive trips to conferences in Iceland and Belgium, we've stayed in North America. Canada at the moment continues to surpass the U.S. in some ways on plug-in vehicle incentives and broad policies, and we continue to work to cross-fertilize the discussions.

CLIMATE POLICY AND WEST COAST TRANSPORTATION­ev2010ve/­en/­program.html September 16-17 (Stanford/Palo Alto, CA): A conference focused on challenges and opportunities from Federal and West Coast state policies to transform transportation (cars/trucks/ports) and create a green West Coast Corridor. For government officials, industry executives, and advocates. See the Agenda for the impressive list of presenters; see vehicles including the Chevy Volt and an ALTe converted truck. Felix Kramer will speak on "Next Steps in Moving Beyond Oil in Cars and Light Trucks."

NOTE: Here's how conference organizer Steve Marshall describes the event: West Coast Corridor Coalition members are the state departments of transportation, metropolitan planning organizations, ports, other transportation officials and professionals from the four West Coast states. Last February, the three West Coast governors and the premier of British Columbia signed the Pacific Coast Collaborative, which focused on how to make the West Coast more emissions-free. One of the purposes of the conference is to pull together an action plan to implement that agreement with the input from automakers, utility regulators, utilities, environmental groups and the West Coast Corridor Collaborative members.

SOLFEST XIV­ev2010ve/­en/­program.html SEPTEMBER 25-26 (Ukiah, CA): Ron Gremban will speak and show his Prius PHEV conversion at the annual event of the Solar Living Institute, which draws about 10,000 attendees annually and this year features Keynoters Robert F. Kennedy Jr. and Arianna Huffington.

NOTE: The benefits of plug-in vehicles soar when they are powered by renewable fuel; many home-owning plug-in drivers find themselves installing rooftop solar panels just before or after they get their vehicles -- it's a logical and increasingly affordable no-brainer.

ENERGY MARKET CONSEQUENCES OF AN EMERGING U.S. CARBON MANAGEMENT POLICY­ev2010ve/­en/­program.html September 27-28 (Houston, TX): The Baker Institute Energy Forum, directed by well-known energy policy expert Amy Myers Jaffee, presents a by-invitation international conference on issues and trends in U.S. energy and climate policy. Felix Kramer will be one of five keynote speakers,along with Diezani Alison-Madueke, Minister of Petroleum Resources, Nigeria; James Mulva, Chairman and CEO, ConocoPhillips; Edward Morse, Managing Director, Head of Global Commodities Research, Credit Suisse; and Robert Stavins, Director, Harvard University Environmental Economics Program. A major new study will be announced at the conference.

NOTE: We're pleased to have been invited to oil country to deliver to a high-level audience our scenarios for how oil can be increasingly replaced with electricity and renewable, sustainable, low-carbon biofuels. We hope to glimpse the Houston Ship Canal -- the 50-mile long waterway lined with over 300 facilities and refineries, and our greatest domestic point of vulnerability for accidents or attacks that could interrupt almost half of the nation's oil and petrochemicals­coms2/­gi_0199-3549034/­Attack-here-along-the-fifty.html .

HTUF (HYBRID TRUCK USERS FORUM) NATIONAL CONFERENCE­events/­calstart-events/­09-09-01/­HTUF_National_Conference_2010.aspx?Events=EventItem September 28-30 (Dearborn, MI): At this annual event by CALSTART, conversion companies including Michigan-based ALTe will exhibit and present.

NOTE: HTUF­projects/­hybrid-truck-users-forum.aspx has been focusing on heavy-duty vehicles for a decade. We won't be attending, but here's the place to meet the entire industry and see the latest solutions.

BUSINESS OF PLUGGING In October 12-14 (Detroit, MI): The Center for Automotive Research's second annual conference: see the Agenda and Speakers.

NOTE: We attended the first event last year, and found it to be one of the most well-focused events we'd seen. Though we won't be back, this year the agenda shows how far electrification has penetrated into the mainstream of the auto industry.

LONGTIME PLUG-IN ALLY MOVES ON: A key player at Friends of the Earth, one of our longest and best allies in promoting PHEVs, is changing jobs. We note with pride and regret the departure of Danielle Fugere, attorney and advocate, and co-strategist. Danielle is FOE's West Coast Regional Program Director has also been in charge of its climate change litigation.) Danielle managed litigation at Bluewater Network (before it merged with FOE in 2005), building on the work of Russell Long and Elisa Lynch who helped to develop AB1493 (the Pavley Bill), the first legislation regulating automotive greenhouse gas emissions. We worked together to try to get Ford to take the lead in PHEVs and to lay the groundwork for legislation and departmental initiatives promoting PHEVs in Sacramento. Thanks to Danielle and Sara Schedler, since 2006, FOE has hosted the regular call for PHEV advocates. You can hear Danielle speak at the September 16 conference at Stanford (above). We wish her luck as Executive Director of the Environmental Law Foundation in Oakland.

GRAPHICS HELP NEEDED: If you can help turn presentations into large-format posters for Ron's Vancouver conference, please contact us (Bay Area best but remote OK too).

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