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Tom Friedman on plug-in hybrids on PBS Charlie Rose Show
May 24, 2006 (From the CalCars-News archive)
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Acclaimed NY Times columnist Thomas Friedman was interviewed last week by John Doerr, partner at venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caulfield & Byer, acting as guest host on The Charlie Rose show on PBS. At the inaugural meeting of the Greentech Innovation Network (which Friedman talks about in today's column, "A Millioni Manhattan Projects"­2006/­05/­24/­opinion/­24friedman.html), their dialogue ranged over energy policy, oil dependence, and geo-green technology.

Below is our transcription of the short section where Friedman talks about PHEVs. You can also watch the excerpt -- Quicktime video clip at­audio-video/­doerr-friedman-22may06.html. Or you can buy the hour for $0.99 at Google Video­videosearch?q=tvshow%3ACharlie_Rose&so=1. And see a discussion area at­board/­topic.asp?ti=15737.

Air Date Monday, May 22, 2006

Doerr: Joining me now is Tom Friedman. He's a columnist for The New York Times and a three time winner of the Pulitzer Prize. He argues that our dependence on oil not only has grave implications for the economy but for our national security, our environment and for democracy and free markets around the world.

[Excerpt about two-thirds of the way into the hour-long program.]

DOERR: Tom, imagine the world you want to see ten or fifteen years from now; describe that world to us.

FRIEDMAN: Wow. Well, it's a world where certainly every car in America will at worst be a flex-fuel hybrid car, a car that is flex-fuel...

DOERR: but many are now...

FRIEDMAN: it will be flex-fuel -- and, out of respect for my friend Felix Kramer -- plug-in, hybrid... that is, you will be able to plug it in at night and, ideally, take the first 100 miles on electricity -- electricity drawn from a clean grid, or a largely clean grid, not coal-fired or fossil-fuel-fired; and then, when you're out of electricity, you kick into the gasoline tank, and it's running on flex-fuel -- 85% ethanol and 15% gasoline.

So in effect, you are driving a car that will get 500 miles per gallon of gasoline you use. In fifteen years, that would be my dream for America. That will not only be a cleaner world, I guarantee you, John: it will be a safer world -- if everyone is driving a plug-in hybrid car that runs on flex-fuels.

DOERR: In that new world, what happens to "Big Oil?"

FRIEDMAN: I would suspect that Big Oil will become "Big Energy." They have the resources, they have the technological foundation; otherwise, Big Oil will become like Data General, to use a local ... it will become like Control Data -- this will be an inflection point and they won't make the leap.

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