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Stunning Roster at June PHEV Conference in DC Shows Broad Support
May 23, 2008 (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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Top bipartisan elected officials are speaking -- along with advocates, officials and automakers from Michigan, California, Japan and elsewhere.....

Below is the long-awaited full program for the June-11-12 Brookings/Google conference on federal policy on PHEVs. Sign up now to make sure you get a spot! You can scroll down to see the presenters and learn how to register, or first catch some short items that set the scene.

Two years after we first and our partners brought two PHEVs to Capital Hill (photos at­phevs-in-dc.html ), carmakers say they'll sell them -- but not fast enough. As you can see at "Presidential Candidates Endorse PHEVs"­phev-presidents.html (a preliminary page we'll be building out), all three candidates for President have seen PHEVs and praised them. We expect that the next months will convince the world's automakers that their "business as usual" business models for the world's largest auto market have to change. They'll have take into account the commitment of the next President (whoever it is) to accelerate and incentivize plug-in cars far beyond what we've seen to date.

We also make the point in our new 90-second video, "CalCars Plug-In Hybrid Action Plan," which you can see at­watch?v=HRVmJJ1BSCA . We shot this in front of the Oakland-Bay Bridge last week with the help of Shoulder High Productions as our entry for RechargeIt's contest. As part of the build-up to the conference, is asking for 90-second videos and commentaries via YouTube to be submitted before June 4 about PHEVs. It's your chance to tell the world why you want them, why the world needs them, and perhaps how you like driving them. To learn more or enter, see­recharge/­dcpluginsconference/­videos.html

Here's how the main conference organizer, David B. Sandalow (author of "Freedom from Oil," which contains a roadmap for the next president and which you can order at­books.html ), testified yesterday to the House Committee on Foreign Affairs:­testimony/­2008/­0522_oil_sandalow.aspx EXCERPT: To reduce oil dependence, nothing would do more good more quickly than making cars that connect to the electric grid. Plug-in electric vehicles are a game-changing technology. They can break our oil addiction, cut driving costs and reduce pollution. To help end the United States' oil dependence, there is no higher priority than putting millions of plug-in electric vehicles on the road soon. And here's the good news - these cars are on the way, soon. Yet Congress needs to act, to pick up the pace of this transition. Tax incentives for the purchase of these vehicles would quickly build the market. The federal government should use its enormous purchasing power to help bring these cars to market as well. See also a UPI story on the hearing at­International_Security/­Emerging_Threats/­Analysis/­2008/­05/­22/

Also watch's Dan Reicher (formerly US Department of Energy Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy) talk about plug-in cars for seven minutes with Fortune Magazine's Mark Gunther at's blog­2008/­05/­dan-reicher-on-plug-ins.html or at GMnext­?p=153


Plug-In Electric Vehicles 2008: What Role for Washington? The Brookings Institution and host a conference to examine electric vehicles, their potential to reduce oil dependence and the role of federal policy in promoting them. Info and sign up at:­events/­2008/­0611_plugin_vehicle.aspx

June 11, 2008- Thursday, June 12, 2008 Where: Hyatt Regency Capitol Hill 400 New Jersey Ave., NW Washington, DC

DRAFT AGENDA 5/23/08: All speakers confirmed

BUFFET LUNCH - Noon-1:00pm
Pl/Video Displays Q&A Sessions

OPENING SESSION -- 1:00pm-2:00pm Welcome: David Sandalow -- Senior Fellow, Brookings Welcome: Dan Reicher - Director, Climate Change & Energy Initiatives,


  • Jim Woolsey -- Partner, Vantage Point Venture Partners
  • Peter Darbee -- Chair & CEO, PG&E Corporation

PANEL ONE -- 2:00pm-3:00pm "Imagining the Plug-In Future" What if tens of millions of cars and trucks could connect to the electric grid? What impact would that have on geopolitics, the natural environment, the electric grid and family pocketbooks? How would the world be different if cars and trucks could run on electricity in addition to oil?

Moderator: Vijay Vaitheeswaran -- Energy & Environment Correspondent, The Economist; panelists:

  • Shai Agassi -- Founder and CEO, Project Better Place
  • Dan Kammen -- Class of 1935 Distinguished Chair in Energy, UC Berkeley
  • Deron Lovaas -- Vehicles Campaign Director, Natural Resources Defense Council
  • Chelsea Sexton -- Executive Director, Plug-In America


PANEL TWO -- 3:30pm-5:00pm "Plug-In Electric Vehicles: Where Are We Today?" What are the main barriers to putting millions of plug-in electric vehicles on the road soon? Can batteries be mass-produced at an affordable price? How long will these batteries last? Do we have sufficient electric generating capacity? Are business models in the utility and transport sectors adequate? How will consumers respond?

Opening: Mark Fields -- President, Ford-North America Moderator: Juliet Eilperin - Correspondent, Washington Post; panelists:

  • Mark Duvall -- Program Manager, ElectricTransportation, Electric Power Research Institute
  • Felix Kramer -- Founder, CalCars
  • Tom Kuhn -- President, Edison Electric Institute
  • Bill Reinert -- National Manager, Advanced Technology Group, Toyota
  • Mary Ann Wright -- CEO, Johnson Controls-Saft Advanced Power Solutions

RECEPTION -- 6:00pm-7:00pm

Peter Horton -- Producer & Director, Grey's Anatomy

BANQUET DINNER -- 7:00pm-9:00pm

  • Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN)
  • Rep. John Dingell (D-MI)


  • Frederick W. Smith -- CEO and Founder, FedEx and Co-Chair, Energy Security Leadership Council

BREAKFAST SESSION -- 8:30am-9:30am

  • Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT)
  • Senator John Kerry (D-MA)

PANEL THREE -- 9:45am-11:00am "Federal Policy Toward Plug-In Vehicles" What is the federal role in supporting plug-in vehicles? Should the federal government offer tax incentives, loan guarantees or other incentives to help jump start the market? Should federal procurement authority or research and develop funds be used for that purpose? What lessons if any can be learned from prior federal programs to support alternative energy technologies?

Moderator: Tom Friedman -- Foreign Affairs Columnist, New York Times; panelists:

  • Andy Karsner -- Assistant Secretary, U.S. Department of Energy
  • Rep. Jay Inslee (D-WA)
  • John Podesta -- President, Center for American Progress
  • Jon Wellinghoff - Commissioner, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission

CLOSING SESSION -- 11:00am-Noon

  • John Bryson - Chairman & CEO, Edison International and Chairman, Southern California Edison
  • Troy Clarke -- President, GM-North America

  • David Sandalow -- Senior Fellow, Brookings
  • Dan Reicher -- Director, Climate Change & Energy Initiatives,

Noon-3:00pm U.S. Capitol Grounds (corner of Constitution & Delaware Ave, NW)

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