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Best Opportunity Yet: Help Send CalCars' Car to Washington
May 9, 2006 (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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This is your chance as Plug-In Hybrid Supporters and CalCars Fans to help make history, and have the biggest impact in the shortest time. We've decided to bring my PHEV Prius to Washington on Wednesday-Thursday, May 17-18. Imagine the impact this car will have, with its signs proclaiming, "This Plug-In Hybrid Gets 100+MPG," (see photos at­photos.html.

THURSDAY NIGHT, MAY 11. Please donate (tax-deductible) at least $25 with your credit card or PayPal at­phevtodc.html.

The details follow, plus our news advisory at the end of this message.

DC is uncharted territory: No plug-in hybrid has been on public display on the streets of our nation's capitol. My 30-mile range lithium battery Prius could help create the tipping point in awareness among legislators and the media.

Managing the Weds.-Thurs. ride-and-drives and the press coverage are Anne Korin and Gal Luft of Set America Free, the influential coalition that has pulled in so many people to support PHEVs. They're best positioned to invite key Senators, Representatives, generals, government officials, journalists and advocates. Our goals: to build awareness and buzz, get people asking, "Why can't we get these cars?" and "What can we do to help?"

On Thursday, May 18, the Big Three auto-makers (GM-Ford-DaimlerChrysler) will meet with the President in the White House to talk about what they think is possible and what they need. (Energy leads the agenda, which also includes health costs and foreign exchange rates.) Perhaps our appearances on Wednesday can help motivate auto-makers to depart from predictable excuses.

What if auto-makers had to answer direct questions -- from the Administration or the media: "Why aren't you building America's most forward-looking cars?" "Why does CalCars' 2004 PHEV conversion show up on page 4 of the President's 15-page glossy brochure about the Advanced Energy Initiative?" "Why are after-market converters EnergyCS/EDrive, Hymotion and the Electric Auto Association leading the charge?" "Despite your doubts, will you start at least to build prototypes -- as DaimlerChrysler has done on a 15-passenger van, of passenger vehicle PHEVs -- so we can see what's possible?" We hope one of the car-makers will step up at that point.

Help us get there! Please respond by Thursday at­phevtodc.html.

Why are we flying? We can't drive the car round-trip or ship it by truck because we have many other commitments to show the car around that time. We haven't done the calculations on relative energy used, but we expect our actions will help save far more energy in the long run. And we'll pay for carbon credits to offset the flight's greenhouse gases.

It's going to cost $25,000 to fly the car and the people and make the event happen.

We don't have those funds yet. But we have 3,000 people on CalCars-News. If you think PHEVs must happen as soon as possible, we need your help now. $25 from enough of you will make it happen. So whether or not you've ever given before, please pull out your credit card or PayPal number and go to­phevtodc.html.

  • $5,000 gets you and your friends a ride.
  • $1,000 gets you a call from Felix Kramer or Ron Gremban to answer your questions;
  • $95 makes you a Charter Sponsor;
  • $25 gets you a bumper sticker;
  • $10 means you're doing your part.
  • We hope to get a match for every dollar you give to help get us there faster! (If you want to write a check, get info at­sponsor.html. We appreciate your doing your part to put the kind of car you want into the fast lane -- to DC and beyond.

    Post your comments at our blog,­blogs/­power/­help-send-calcars-to-dc.


    MEDIA ADVISORY: When Cars Fly: Join Congress to See Plug-In Hybrids for the First Time Next Week

    A 100+MPG plug-in hybrid (PHEV) car will be shown publicly for the first time in Washington next week, Wednesday-Thursday, May 17-18.

    Responding to numerous requests, The California Cars Initiative ( has cleared a few days from a heavy schedule of local demonstrations in order to fly one of its prototype PHEVs from California to Capitol Hill.

    In Wednesday and Thursday events co-sponsored by the Set America Free coalition, members of Congress, government officials and the media will see, ride and drive CalCars founder Felix Kramer's Toyota Prius, converted to a plug-in by an engineering integration company, EnergyCS. Further details and press material will follow.

    CalCars: Felix Kramer fkramer@... 650.520.555 or John Davi jdavi@... 650.380.4913 (based in California) Set America Free: Anne Korin anne@... 866.713.7527 (based in Washington)

    PLUG-IN HYBRIDS (PHEVs) use cheaper, cleaner, domestic electricity in addition to gasoline. They're captivating drivers, fleet buyers, elected officials and the media because they offer a way using existing technology and no new infrastructure to reduce dependency on imported oil and emit far fewer greenhouse gases. By adding batteries and the ability to recharge the car from an ordinary 120-volt household circuit, the car substitutes under $1/gallon equivalent electricity for local miles. (Less than 3% of U.S. electricity is generated from oil.) The car retains the standard hybrid's extended gasoline range. President Bush made PHEVs the centerpiece of his Advanced Energy Initiative.

    CALCARS is a Palo Alto, CA-based non-profit startup. This group of entrepreneurs, engineers, environmentalists and consumers promotes high-efficiency, low-emission cars and harnessing buyer demand to help commercialize plug-in hybrids. Somewhat uniquely, CalCars focuses both on public policy and technology development. Its goal is for major auto-makers to build and sell PHEVs.

    SET AMERICA FREE is a coalition that brings together prominent individuals and non-profit organizations concerned about the security and economic implications of America's growing dependence on foreign oil. The coalition promotes a blueprint for energy security that spells out practical ways real progress toward energy security can be made over the next several years. Pathbreaking bipartisan oil savings legislation based on the Set America Free Coalition's energy security blueprint was recently introduced in the House (HR.4409--Fuel Choices for American Security) and Senate (S.2025 --Vehicle and Fuel Choices for American Security Act).

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