May 16, 2006 (From the CalCars-News archive)
Whether our car would fly was up in the air all day today. Though we thought everything had been settled last week, we ran into objections from the local partnering companies of our freight transporter. But with help from everyone from the customer services people up to the CEO of the aptly named Kitty Hawk Cargo http://www.khcargo.com, everything got resolved. The car went on a plane at 7:30PM Monday. After a stop at Kitty Hawk's hub in Fort Wayne, Indiana, the car will fly into Baltimore Int'l Airport tomorrow morning.
Pleasant surprise #1: The car CalCars Tech Lead Ron Gremban has been working on since October in Danbury, CT with Electro Energy http://www.electroenergyinc.com using their unique bi-polar design technology is now working smoothly enough to join our Wednesday event. This car incorporates significant refinements in the control systems we developed for our Maker Faire conversion. So we'll have two 100+MPG hybrid prototypes, both of which can drive their initial miles each day using half electricity/half gasoline at mixed speeds:
- EnergyCS: 50-60 miles/day using advanced lithium-ion batteries
- Electro Energy: 40 miles/day using the proven nickel-metal hydride batteries found in all current hybrids. For background about the cars, see the CalCars "How To Get" page at http://www.calcars.org/howtoget.html and for technical details see the Conversions Fact Sheet http://www.calcars.org/conversions-factsheet.pdf.
Half-full/half empty surprise #2: Tthe Big 3 Automaker summit with Pres. Bush has been pushed back two-and-a-half weeks to June 2. But the auto-makers will still be in town Thursday (see news story below), and will probably be meeting with people that day who will have seen our car the day before.
Here's my take on how this re-defines the meaning of our events: "Washingtonians who see and drive CalCars' plug-in hybrids for the first time this week will know in a real way what's possible now. Now they have some time to consider how to speed their adoption. The postponement of the automotive summit will give everyone --- the auto-makers, legislators, the Energy Department and the President -- more time to think about how to accelerate development and begin mass production of plug-in hybrids."
http://www.detnews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20060515/UPDATE/605150410 Monday, May 15, 2006 President postpones visit with Big 3 executives
David Shepardson / Detroit News Washington Bureau
WASHINGTON -- President Bush's meeting with the CEOs of the Big 3 automakers has been postponed until June 2, because of a presidential scheduling conflict, officials said Monday.
General Motors Corp. chairman and CEO Rick Wagoner, Ford Motor Co. chairman and CEO Bill Ford and Chrysler Group president and CEO Tom Lasorda will still be in Washington Thursday for a series of at meetings on Capitol Hill with the Senate and House leadership, officials said Monday.
A general reception for the automaker chiefs will be held Thursday night on Capitol Hill.
The automakers have a series of issues to raise, including pension reforms, mounting health care costs, foreign currency concerns, alternative fuels and environmental regulations.
The visit would have coincided a planned vote Wednesday to raise corporate average fuel economy standards in the U.S. House. However, that vote is likely to be delayed because of questions about whether Republicans can muster enough support to pass the bill, which would grant the Bush Administration broad authority to rewrite and raise fuel economy standards for passenger cars. An increase wouldn't take effect until the 2010 model year at the earliest.
You can reach David Shepardson at (202) 662-8735 or dshepardson@....