Jun 23, 2006 (From the CalCars-News archive)
Plug-In Partners Update June 23, 2006
The Plug-In Partners National Campaign has now been underway for six months. We would like to take this opportunity to report on our efforts to demonstrate to automakers that a market for plug-in hybrid vehicles exists in the United States today.
We thank our partners for your wide range of support in this important endeavor and are grateful for everyone's efforts and dedication in making this campaign an overwhelming success to this point.
Below you will find an update on some of the accomplishments the Plug-in Partners campaign has achieved over the past six months.
The Plug-In Partners campaign has now surpassed 6,000 fleet orders. "Soft" fleet orders are a critical component of the Plug-In Partners goal of demonstrating to automakers that a market exists for flexible fuel plug-in hybrids. Recent orders include:
- Minnesota Department of Natural Resources - 1,800
- City of Chicago - 850 vehicles
- Shohomish County, WA - 300
- City of Seattle - 410
- Kansas City, MO - 120
- Capital Metro (Transit agency in Austin) - 165
- ABC Lawn and Pest Control (Austin) - 150
Cities continue to join the Plug-In Partners coalition. As fleet orders increase, city governments around the country also continue to join the coalition. New partners in recent months include: Denton, TX., Keene, N.H., Madison, Phoenix, Sacramento, Santa Ana, CA., Santa Barbara, CA., Corpus Christi, Edmond, OK., Fayetteville, AR., Irvine, CA., Kansas City, MO., Oakland, Sacramento, and Salt Lake City.
They join Founding Members from these cities: Arlington, TX, Baltimore, Boulder, Dallas, Denver, Fort Worth, Irvine, CA, Los Angeles, Memphis, Philadelphia, Seattle, San Francisco, and Wenatchee, WA.
Additionally, other local governments and state agencies are joining the coalition. These include: Minnesota Department of Natural Resources; California State Controller; Oklahoma Department of Commerce; Oklahoma Secretary of the Environment; Oklahoma County (which includes Oklahoma City); Miami-Dade County, Florida; Indian Nations Council of Governments (covering Tulsa and a surrounding five county area; Texas General Land Office; the Port of Chelan County; Sarasota County, Florida; Travis County, Texas; and Wenatchee Valley (Washington) Transportation Council.
The campaign began by focusing on the 50 largest cities in the U.S., but has grown far beyond this point. A coalition has formed around the issues of national security, combating climate change, saving on fuel costs and increasing business for American agriculture. As former CIA director James Woolsey said at the January Plug-In Partners kickoff: "We've got a coalition of tree huggers, do-gooders, sodbusters, hawks and evangelicals."
The vast range of support includes partners from these key areas:
- National security groups like Set America Free, Institute for Analysis of Global Security and the Center for American Progress;
- Renewable energy and clean air groups throughout the country;
- Agricultural institutions such as the American Corn Growers Association and the Soybean Producers of America; and
- More than 125 public power utilities, largely signed on through the American Public Power Association;
For a complete list of partners, please visit our web site at http://www.pluginpartners.org, and click on "list of supporters". The list of supporters/partners now includes links to the members' web sites along with a contact person. It would be very helpful to the campaign if you could also link to the Plug-In Partners website on your site.
We also encourage you to watch the Bettah video produced by CalCars, http://www.calcars.org/bettah/. This site also links directly to the Plug-In Partners petition.
Investor-owned utilities are starting to sign on as partners. These include Pacific Gas and Electric, Kansas City Power and Light and Edison Electric Institute, the trade association for IOUs (see quote below).
In calling on Congress to support funds for plug-in research and development, Rick Tempchin, EEI director of retail distribution policy said: "With support from the federal government, and continued collaboration between the electricity and transportation sectors and state and local government, consumers one day soon will be able to recharge their cars as easily as they recharge their cell phones and portable music players. The energy, economic and air quality gains could be dramatic, benefiting individual consumers and the entire U.S. economy."
Science Committee. On May 16, the Energy Subcommittee of the House Science Committee held a public hearing on Congressman Lamar Smith's proposed legislation. This would play a key role in advancing research, development and demonstration of plug-in hybrid vehicles. Along with other national leaders in the PHEV movement, including Dr. Andy Frank and Mark Duvall of EPRI, I spoke to the need to fund battery research and demonstration vehicles. Afterward several members of Congress went outside for test drives in a plug-in hybrid brought to Washington by CalCars.
On the state level, Minnesota became the first state in the Union to pass plug-in hybrid legislation. The bill, sponsored by Representative Frank Hornstein of Minneapolis, would require that the State of Minnesota begin buying PHEVs once they are commercially available and when the price is no more than 10% higher than similarly equipped vehicles. It also would:
- provide funds to Minnesota State University - Mankato to convert two conventional hybrids to plug-ins;
- establish a task force to assess barriers to plug-in hybrids and to consider possible financial incentives to encourage Ford Motor Company to produce flexible-fuel plug-in hybrid vehicles at its St. Paul plant.
- direct the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency to study the environmental impacts of purchasing PHEVs for the state-owned vehicle fleet and various other levels of penetration among the public.
In Austin, Mayor Will Wynn and the City Council, along with Austin Energy, are holding a press conference and speaking event with James Woolsey and Chelsea Sexton, formerly with GM and featured in the feature film, Who Killed the Electric Car? Mr. Woolsey and Ms. Sexton will address national security, environmental issues, and the importance of plug-in hybrid vehicles. Mayor Wynn will introduce the two speakers and give an update on the status of the campaign. The event is Thursday, June 29th at 7:00pm at Town Lake Center, 721 Barton Springs Road. The press conference will be at 3:00 pm at Austin City Hall.
For further information about the items featured in this update or for questions, please contact us a contact@...
Deputy General Manger, Austin Energy
Coordinator, Plug-In Partners Campaign
Lisa Braithwaite Lisa.Braithwaite@... Plug-in Partners National Campaign Austin Energy