|Plug In America July Newsletter
A message from Dan Davids, President
We are particularly pleased to announce two key developments this month. First of all, if you haven't already noticed, Plug In America has produced and published the most comprehensive electric vehicle tracker.
Second, if you find yourself in the Northern California area on or around August 9th please consider joining us for Plug-ins, Pinots and Progress...our 2nd annual benefit party. It will take place up in the hills, just north of Palo Alto at a prestigious winery, and we promise to have a half dozen or so rarely seen electric vehicles, an enticing auction (both silent and live), and delicious organic fare. Please read on for details.
Plug In America Tracks New Vehicle Progress
"Wow!" That's what U.S.A. Today's Open Road blogger Chris Woodyard has to say about Plug In America's new Plug-In Vehicle Tracker, which has also gotten raves from supporters and auto companies alike.
It's a "fantastic tool," said David Bentley Busch, VP of Design for Bright Automotive.
You'll find the tracker, likely the world's most comprehensive list of its kind, through a link on our homepage - www.pluginamerica.org. It includes highway-capable cars and trucks, 2- and 3-wheeled vehicles and commercial vehicles available today or in development. All of its data, to be updated monthly, is sourced from auto companies or media.
The tracker also features each vehicle's targeted delivery date, and you can bet we'll be using that info to keep the auto companies honest.
The list generally does not include converted vehicles unless they have been emissions and crash tested. This is because Plug In America advocates for safe, clean-running vehicles that have been crash tested and certified as meeting national emissions standards, or better. The list also does not include Neighborhood Electric Vehicles (NEVs) because, while they reduce miles traveled on petroleum, many consumers want a plug-in that can replace their existing vehicle, namely, a highway-capable car. Moreover, many types of NEVs are already available today.
Plug In America owes a debt of gratitude and many thanks to one of our most dedicated volunteers, Ted Flittner, for creating our tracker. Thank you, Ted!
If you have any updates to the tracker, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Plug-ins, Pinots and Progress
We'll toast to accelerating the EV movement! - 2nd Annual Benefit Party for Plug In America
Sunday, August 9th (4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.) at Thomas Fogarty Winery in Woodside, CA
This is more than a great party! Rarely seen electric vehicles will be present including an Aptera. A live auction will feature an A123 Hymotion battery pack and a Coulomb Technologies charging station.
Plug In America is driving the clean vehicle movement towards widespread adoption of plug-in electric vehicles recharged by clean, domestic energy. Help us break our addiction to oil and fight climate change by supporting Plug In America (while drinking lovely Santa Cruz Mountain wines!) at our Northern California debut event. Sign up today --- space is limited.
Charging Ahead with Tom Dowling
Tom Dowling, creator of EV Charger News (www.evchargernews.com) first developed an interest in electric transportation at age nine when his SF Municipal Railroad father let him drive an electric street car a few feet. Years later, when Tom took an EV1 test drive for a few miles, he was hopelessly hooked.
As the Electric Auto Association and Plug In America consummate infrastructure and charging expert, Tom believes in developing standardized charging stations for EV drivers at home first, followed by the workplace, and then everywhere else.
Tom appreciates the fact that big challenges as well as high voltages will likely flow from the development of standardized charging stations. Among other things, Tom says, "We need to work with utilities to provide significant incentives for off-peak charging."
Thanks to a PG&E grant, Tesla charging stations are popping up all over Northern California, including in Davis, Dixon, Vacaville, Fairfield, Vallejo, San Ramon, and San Francisco. Over 500 Tesla Roadster drivers are chomping at the bit to charge anywhere, and "Tesla drivers love to travel... I hear from them every weekend," Tom says.
Buckle up your seatbelt, Tom, because if automakers fulfill their plug-in promises, the charging stations you help to envision tomorrow may become as busy as gas stations are today.
Lithium for EVs: Yes, Virginia, There Will Be Enough
by Paul Oppenheimer, US Naval Postgraduate School
The EV lithium-supply debate--whether there will be enough for EV proliferation--seems to have originated from a paper by William Tahil of Meridian International Research (MIR). For the average consumer or researcher the most cogent rebuttal comes from San Diego geologist Keith Evans, who argues that there is plenty of Li and Li-production capacity.
Tahil advises using caution in the use of Li as the primary EV battery chemistry because:
- The world's usable supplies are smaller than previously predicted
- Mining capacity will not be able to keep up with demand
- The current cheap-mining locations are all in one geographic area (Argentina, Bolivia, and Chile)
- Li reliance has the potential to create a new global resource conflict, Middle East style.
Plug in America conducted an independent data analysis, along with a review of information presented by Evans and Tahil. The upshot: there is enough Li for the next 75 years, even in a worst-case scenario of zero recycling, aggressive EV sales, no new mining methods or locations, and Li batteries, only, used in all EV types.
The only short term concern identified (or verified) was the ability to mine Li fast enough by 2020.
Recycling technology is at the edge of profitability, due to the small numbers of Li batteries currently being recycled. But this margin is likely to grow because EV batteries generally will have significant value in the recycling market and 95% of all U.S. vehicles are recycled.
True, roughly 52% of the known Li deposits are in South America, but this leaves 48% existing elsewhere, including in North America (24% of world deposits).
Clearly, there's no need for a Li-crisis scare. Indeed, one of the greatest advantages of EVs is that their motors operate independently of battery chemistry. Unlike an internal combustion engine, which requires petroleum-based fuel, EV batteries can be constructed with varying chemistries of Li, Nickel-Metal Hydride (NiMH), lead or a number of other elements and combinations. The same car that runs off of Li phosphorous batteries in Chile can run off NiMH batteries in Japan. This allows EVs a flexibility in technology-advancement lacking in current automotive manufacturing.
Li is the current state of the art in batteries and there is more than enough to kick start the EV revolution.
Plug-In 2009 Conference and Exposition
Plug In America will have a speaker, Legislative Director Jay Friedland, and a booth at the Plug-In 2009 Conference and Exposition in Long Beach, California on August 10-13. See http://www.plugin2009.com for event details. Plug-in 2009 will showcase the very latest in plug-in technology along with exciting new electrically-powered vehicles on the exposition floor. Attendees can choose from a smorgasbord of plenary sessions, pre-conference workshops, and multiple breakout sessions. New market research and policy initiatives as well as the future of plug-in technology are on the menu. For people who don't want to attend the full conference, a special Public Night is an option.
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