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PHEVs Highlight 2nd Hybridfest in Madison Wisconsin July 22
Jul 3, 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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Hybridfest is a gathering that expresses the intense energy of hybrid owners who became organized in the tens of thousands through online venues like Yahoo Groups, PriusChat, and EVWorld. These communities are where the famous "EV Button" was first discussed, and where future Hypermilers first compared notes about "pulse and glide" techniques.

Last year, the first Hybridfest showed that drivers were willing to drive across the country to come and talk about their passion. Those who came to the event were able to see a PHEV for the first time -- a car from Hymotion.

In the second annual Hybridfest, coming up in three weeks, PHEVs and their owners will be center stage. It will be one of the largest gatherings of PHEVs to date. And it may include an on-the-spot conversion. It's a great opportunity for Midwesterners who haven't gotten to our events to experience PHEVs!

We wish we could be there -- but many of those we work with will be, including Sherry Boschert, talking about her book both days, and Ted Bohn from Argonne National Lab. A representative from A123Systems, which acquired Hymotion, will be there, as will Nick Rothman, a key player in our Maker Faire and other conversions, and Pat Cadam, of Pat's Garage in San Francisco. (Nick and Pat have been involved in many West Coast Hymotion installations.)

Here's the list of PHEVs expected to be there, followed by details and a local newspaper story. We hope top sponsors Toyota, GM and Ford will be paying attention!

1. Prius PHEV - Todd Dore and Fox Valley Electric Auto Association, "GrayPearl," EAA-PHEV/Manzanita Micro-style (#21 on our list­where-phevs-are.html)

2. Prius PHEV - Horacio Calvento, "Dual-PWR," EAA-PHEV/Manzanita Micro-style, Long Island Prius Owners Group. (#26 on our list)

3. Prius PHEV - Wisconsin Public Power Inc. (WPPI) by Hymotion (#43 on our list)

4. Saturn VUE Green Line PHEV - Argonne Labs. Through The Road Parallel Hybrid. Research platform.

5. G-Volt PHEV - Argonne Labs. Series hybrid with 10w hour battery . Chevy Volt hybrid specs on Geo research platform. Vehicle to Grid capable.

6. In addition, WPPI is scheduled to have another one of its stock Priuses converted to a PHEV by Hymotion on-site on Sunday afternoon.

Learn more at It's at the Dane County Fair at the Alliant Energy Center in Madison, WI Saturday, July 21 - Sunday, July 22, 2007. Admission to the Dane County Fair also gets you admission to Hybridfest: Free for children 5 and under, $3 for age 6-11, and $6 for everyone 12+. Parking is free!

Hybridfest 2007 will include: *Hybrid Owners Car Showcase - This year's goal: 200 Hybrids on site! *Hybrid car test drives. *Exciting and interesting exhibitors. *Door prizes. *Hybrid and environmental speakers. *Hybridfest All-Hybrid Car Display Awards. *Hybridfest People's Choice Awards. *Hybridfest MPG Challenge (for Members). *Lots of time for hybrid car owner camaraderie

A fuel savers' dream: Hybridfest plugged in with county fair Madison County Times, Jeff Richgels - 6/28/2007­tct/­business/­199294

Plug-in electric hybrid vehicles will be the focus of the second annual Hybridfest, which again is being held in conjunction with the Dane County Fair.

Thanks to their extra batteries, plug-ins can travel up to about 40 miles per day solely on electric power, enabling those who don't drive much to all but forget filling up their gas tank. (Non plug-in hybrids charge while the car is decelerating and at a stop.)

Plug-ins do draw power from power plants, but that results in less greenhouse gas emissions than from direct burning of gasoline. And since the charging typically is done at night when power demand is well below day-time peaks, a big jump in plug-in use wouldn't mean a need for new power plants.

Eric Powers, founder of the Madison Hybrid Group and an organizer of Hybridfest, sees plug-in hybrids as a bridge to the future of all electric or hydrogen vehicles.

"I think it really is the next progression" in vehicle technology, Powers said. "In my opinion, people will think, Gosh, I'm driving so much on the electric, why am I also lugging around this gasoline engine?' "

Companies sell conversion kits to turn regular hybrids into plug-ins, and Toyota and General Motors are embracing the technology. However, conversions are costly, and automakers need to improve the technology before it can come close to being mainstream.

Hybridfest, which will be two days (July 21-22) this year after just one day last year, is expected to feature the largest gathering of plug-in hybrids ever, Powers said.

He said he has received tentative confirmation that Wisconsin Public Power Inc. will convert one of its Priuses into a plug-in at Hybridfest on July 22.

Located last year outside the fairgrounds in the south parking lot by the Rusk Street entrance, Hybridfest this year is moving into the Alliant Energy Center Exhibition Hall on the fairgrounds.

That means it no longer will be free -- admission is $6 for adults -- but there are added benefits.

"It makes a lot of sense," Powers said. "Where we were located last year, although it was nice, we still were kind of off the beaten path. There may have been people going to the fair who walked right by it not realizing what was going on. And the reality is, sponsors want to bring in big items and they want power. We couldn't get power out there last year."

In addition to more hybrids, Hybridfest also will feature biodiesel vehicles, electric bikes and neighborhood electric vehicles, as well as free hybrid test drives, Powers said.

All seminars are open to the public and there will be larger displays. Details are available at

And Toyota will be sending its "Highway to the Future," which Powers calls a "semi that's really a traveling museum" of hybrid technology, alternative fuels and the environment. For details, go to

With the move to the fairgrounds and increased interest in hybrids as gasoline costs remain high, Powers expects Hybridfest attendance to dwarf last year's.

"I think hybrid interest has only grown," he said, "and we still year after year answer the same questions: Do you have to plug-in regular hybrids? Are they underpowered? Can I go 55 in them? How often do you have to replace the battery? And that's really the point of the show: Come and learn more about it so that we can get rid of those myths."

People who pay $30 to become Hybridfest members -- there is a link on the Hybridfest Web site -- can attend a half-day of activities just for members.

And there will be a "Hot Rods and Hybrids" event open to the public on July 20 from 5-9 p.m. at Quaker Steak and Lube in Middleton.

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