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TV News Star Revisits PHEVs: Chuck Scarborough, WNBC-NY Adds EVs This Time
Feb 28, 2007 (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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In August 2006, Chuck Scarborough, Emmy Award-winning host of the NBC NewsChannel4 Evening News in New York, broadcast a 6-minute story on PHEVs, with interviews and high production values. We've highlighted that as our favorite news video (see the link at­audio-video.html). Now Scarborough has equaled or exceeded this report in a must-see "Cars of the Future" series streaming online

This senior newsman in the nation's media capitol recently returned to the Bay Area for a follow-up. The result was a 4.5-minute report broadcast at 11PM in NY Feb 26. He updated the 2005 story, returning to national security expert Frank Gaffney talking about the insanity of paying for oil that funds terrorists. And he proved his expertise at getting to the main point, zeroing in on our biggest theme these days: Batteries are "good enough" for carmakers to start getting PHEVs on the road.

After hearing that, he went around getting reactions. He showed Ford's spokesman Bill Collins saying "we want to deliver the car of the future...but we have to solve the battery problem first." Mike Reed, CEO of Electro Energy (our partner in a nickel-metal hydride conversion) confirmed that batteries are good enough and may be five times better in five years. He ended up asking Tesla founder Martin Eberhard if batteries are a problem, getting the response, "battery technology is enabling for us." This led into a second 3.5-minute segment, broadcast Feb. 26, entirely on the Tesla Roadster EV (Electric Vehicle), and, on the website, an 18-minute interview with Eberhard.

The starting point for these segments is:­news/­11126830/­detail.html?dl_trayclick

VIDEO: Part 1: New Cars Of The Future­player/­?id=65601 VIDEO: Part 2: Tesla's New Electric Sports Car­player/­?id=70922 VIDEO: Uncut Interview With Tesla CEO Martin Eberhard­player/­?id=70885 Below is Scarborough's text introduction to the story:

Electric Cars Help Ween America's Oil Dependence From NewsChannel 4 Anchor Chuck Scarborough

NEW YORK -- This was my assignment: find out what's happened in the year and a half since I first broadcast a fascinating story about fighting terrorism and global warming with a new kind of car - a plug-in hybrid.

The national security angle went like this: currently we're funding both sides in the war on terror, taxing ourselves to pay for the military and, at the same time, because of a rapacious appetite for oil, sending petro-dollars to regimes that fund our enemies.

Since most of the oil we import is used to fuel transportation, a car that uses little or no gasoline would be a potent weapon in the global struggle with militant Islamists. And, of course, that car wouldn't be spewing greenhouse gases, which brings us to the plug-in hybrid electric car.

By adding batteries to existing hybrids and charging those batteries on house current, prototypes on the road today are already able to cover twenty-five miles before they ever start their gasoline engines. That means a lot of drivers who primarily run errands with their cars, like taking the children to school and grocery shopping, would never have to include a stop at the gas station - zero gasoline consumption. Even those who travel longer distances would see their average fuel economy top 100 miles per gallon in a plug-in hybrid.

Impressive. But in my reporting, I discovered a new car that will cover 250 miles for the price of one gallon of gasoline, without burning a drop of the stuff, and will do it on a single battery charge while leaving most of the hottest cars on the planet in its dust. It's the Tesla - the only product so far of Tesla Motors, a Silicon Valley company founded by Martin Eberhard. He is a very interesting man, so interesting that I thought you might like to see my entire, unedited interview with him.

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