Dec 27, 2006 (From the CalCars-News archive)
This week, we are thrilled to be receiving a $204,800 contribution to begin a new program. We're announcing it before we can release all the details -- because it gives you a major opportunity to make a difference.
I get letters from people who are inspired by the prospect of getting car-makers to build PHEVs. They recognize one of the most effective concrete steps we can take to address our biggest challenges -- global warming, energy independence, creating jobs.
Your support with a tax-deductibles end-of-2006 or start-of-2007 contribution at http://www.calcars.org/sponsor.html can help turn CalCars from a news-maker into a market-changer.
Last week we announced eight goals for 2007 http://www.calcars.org/2007.html. With this new contribution -- and money we raise to match it -- we can significantly address four of our current goals:
- Accelerate the slow pace of conversions (and start getting real-life battery experience);
- Begin to implement our "No-Worry" plan for batteries;
- Start to launch targeted programs aimed at auto-makers; and
- Pursue technology projects for batteries and cars other than the Toyota Prius.
We hope to announce specifics of our plans next week. Meanwhile, here's the summary:
With these funds, we will begin a CalCars.org project to design and convert four cars with advanced lithium-ion batteries to PHEVs using two Priuses and two Ford Escapes. Following these proofs-of-concept, we will then launch a new company -- or partner with an existing one -- to produce and deliver 1,000 PHEVs as soon as possible.
We'll differ in three ways from the existing after-market conversion efforts (see http://www.calcars.org/howtoget.html for information on EnergyCS/EDrive, Hymotion, Hybrids-Plus and EAA-PHEV):
- WE EXPECT TO SPEED THINGS UP. To be frank, we still have no good answer when we're asked all the time, "How can I get a PHEV?" Three companies and one open-source project have produced excellent prototypes since May 2005 and have since shipped a small number of cars (see http://www.calcars.org/where-phevs-are.html). But for all those who want a PHEV like they've wanted no other car, the slow pace of deliveries (for many reasons) has frustrated many hundreds of fleet buyers from cities, utilities and other companies, and uncounted numbers of individual early adopters.
- WE MIGHT SECURE COOPERATION FROM FORD OR TOYOTA, though that remains a long shot.
- OUR BUSINESS APPROACH WILL DIFFER in several respects. The entrepreneurial spirit and start-up/venture environment that have always characterized CalCars can now be harnessed to a production goal. We currently are working cooperatively with existing aftermarketers, and we will continue to do so. We think we will complement, not undercut, their efforts.
To the extent we raise money to match this contribution, we can parallel this new project with sustained and strategic efforts for all our eight goals.
Global warming is our best example. At least two major public climate crisis campaigns will be getting started early in 2007. And California's government agency implementing the 2006 Global Warming Solutions Act is starting to pick "early action" strategies -- with the whole world watching. To make a difference, positioning PHEVs front-and-center in both, packaging the solutions to get tens of millions of PHEVs from car-makers worldwide in the coming decade, we need more full-time people. To get them, we need your help now.
We're not like public radio -- we can't keep pestering you daily until you give in. Our request for support a week ago, which went by mail to 200 large-ish donors and by email to over 4,000 CalCars-News readers, brought responses from well under 50 people.
HERE'S YOUR CHANCE TO HELP US HELP YOU. Make us your last 2006 tax-deductible contribution. Or start 2007 off with us. There's no number to call -- go to http://www.calcars.org/sponsor.html. We welcome your check, credit card or PayPal.
Thanks as always for spreading the word about PHEVs and supporting CalCars.