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Auto Industry and Utilities Urge President Obama to Create to National Electric Fuel Task Force to Accelerate Plug-in Adoption

Organizations representing auto manufacturers, electric utilities and the electric drive industry are calling on President Obama to establish a new National Electric Fuel Task Force to help accelerate the adoption of plug-in electric vehicles and the necessary infrastructure.

A letter was signed and delivered to the White House by the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers (AAM), the Association of International Automobile Manufacturers (AIAM), the Electric Drive Transportation Association (EDTA) and the Edison Electric Institute (EEI). The organizations said the task force is needed to provide a forum for public and private sector coordination, address challenges for large scale deployment of plug-in electric vehicles and develop consumer awareness and education efforts to accelerate the adoption of these vehicles in the US.

Led by the Department of Energy, the task force would include federal and state regulators, standards organizations, utilities, environmental groups, consumer groups and electric drive industry stakeholders.

The organizations also called on the administration to form an Interagency Electric Drive Working Group to help streamline federal programs, expenditures and regulations related to electric drive.

Under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, $2.4 billion in grants have been given to battery and charging infrastructure companies to speed up deployment and the growth of the US electric drive industry.

AAM is a trade association of eleven car and light truck manufacturers including BMW Group, Chrysler, Ford Motor Company, General Motors, Jaguar Land Rover, Mazda, Mercedes-Benz, Mitsubishi Motors, Porsche, Toyota and Volkswagen.

AIAM is a trade association representing 15 international motor vehicle manufacturers who account for 40% of all passenger cars and light trucks sold annually in the United States.

EDTA is the trade association representing battery, hybrid, plug-in hybrid and fuel cell electric drive technologies and infrastructure.

EEI is the association of US shareholder-owned electric companies. Its members serve 95% of the ultimate customers in the shareholder-owned segment of the industry, and represent approximately 70% of the US electric power industry.



Very logical.

But I wonder if such an organization, based on free enterprise principles like the US Chamber of Commerce, would not be viewed as competition or even the enemy.


The enemy is everyone who makes a dime from fossil fuel, that's about 80% of the economy. I'm surprised electric vehicles have gotten this far. Luckily the Japanese are pushing it, because they have no big stake in fossil fuel.


Oh so NOW they want this? After 20 years of "free enterprise" whining about the government forcing them to bring zero emission cars to market now they want a National Electric Fuel Task Force to help accelerate the adoption of plug-in electric vehicles and the necessary infrastructure?


Better late than never, for 30 years it has been send war ships to the Gulf and drill baby drill. Having a plan is better than none. The private sector has had MORE than enough time to make everything right and they have NOT. It would be foolish to wait another 30 years for them to do what needs to be done when they will do what it takes for their own sake. The good of the macro does not come from an aggregate of the micro.


Yes, after 20 to 30 years, our glorious (going broke) Big-3, the 6 sisters oil firms and e-energy producers/distributors are ganging up to draw more $$B from our pockets to do what they should have done 20+ years ago. Where is free enterprise and free trade going?

With China now in first place as the largest energy user, one can wonder what it will do to transition to electrified vehicles.

Well designed (micro, Mini, Mid size, large) PHEVs with micro or mini gensets could do a better job for the next 10+ years or until such time as batteries have evolved to 600+ Wh/Kg.


China may show us how it is done. They decide to do something and then they do it. No waiting for someone to come along and maybe help out. Both China and India have the opportunity to get it right the first time around and we will all benefit from that.


This is like the meatpacking industry in 1904, when Upton Sinclair exposed the unsanitary conditions, slave wage child labor, and corruption, in his book "The Jungle." Exports of American meat dropped by 50%. After that the industry lobbied the government to pay for meat inspection, which was of course paid for by taxpayers and still is. Once you get an industry in the corner, they are forced to cooperate and produce something with the public good in mind.

Electric cars have been a future threat to auto companies. Fortunately congress hammered them on alternative vehicle design in exchange for bailing them out. Obama in particular has been pushing them into an electified mode. So the mechanical engineers who design intake manifolds, superchargers, fuel injectors, automatic transmissions, and electrical engineers who design engine controllers, drive by wire systems, engine analyzers, etc. will have to find new jobs. ICE parts makers and distributers will have to do the same. Electric cars will end up being a lot simpler and more reliable, not to forget that they will break the conspiracy between oil and car companies. The charging infrastructure will make this possible.


"I'm surprised electric vehicles have gotten this far. Luckily the Japanese are pushing it..."

Uh, no. Except for Nissan, Japanese have been heel dragging starting with Toyota's announcement to NOT build a PHEV due to fear of Li-ion safety issues. It is President Obama who gets full credit for driving the PHEV industry along with GM, Tesla and Silicon Valley entrepreneurs who proved you could build a hot EV from off shelf parts.

Zhukova, not only will this help quicken the pace of EV production - it meets many of the goals set by the climate and green campaigns. i.e. cutting use of fossil fuels, lowering demand for new fossil power plants, growing new jobs and improving overall health.

Electrification of transport taking hold primarily in the USA, will ultimately result in less global conflict as sustainable energy becomes far more accessible to billions and big energy consumers have less reason to occupy lands rich in fossil fuels.

One area to be wary of: EEI's tendency to co-opt electric production in "smart grids." Centralized power generation is outdated. "Smart grids" will become the new fossil fuel industry if allowed to monopolize energy distribution. We can and MUST diversify our energy production to small distributed energy systems such as home-based CHP residential power units. Jobs, security, safety and Energy Independence are the direct benefits of this.


Not only less global conflict, but less global pollution from disasters like the Bay of Campeche, Deep Explorer, Valdez, not to forget global warming (if solar can replace coal). Electification will produce jobs and some of those laid off electrical engineers may get hired back to design electric car electronics. I don't know about the mechanical engineers. They might be forced to convert from designing superchargers and stratified charge intake manifolds and design solar panel mounting hardware instead. Wouldn't they love that? The price of photovoltaics has been dropping fast and decentralization will soon be defined on the tops of consumer's homes. At least it will compete directly with public utilities and mitigate peak grid demand surge from EV charging.


if solar can replace coal

That would be the ideal yes, but even if it doesn't we'd still come out ahead:

"The idea that electric cars just move pollution over to the powerplant is called the "long tailpipe" theory, and it has been shown to be much less of a concern than many people imagine.

Electric cars create much less pollution due to their vastly superior efficiency, even taking powerplant emissions into account. Gasoline engines are extremely inefficient (less than 25%), and don't forget the energy costs associated with refining and transporting oil.

By contrast, electric motors, batteries, and power transmission systems all have efficiencies around 90%. Even the dreaded coal-fired powerplants are nearly 40% efficient.

All the facts and numbers are on this page:

To summarize, if you start with 1,000,000 BTUs of energy, you can travel 183 miles in a gas auto, or 530 miles in an electric vehicle. The vast improvement in energy efficiency means that even if you made ALL your energy with polluting sources, you would still come out way ahead with an EV.

But of course, all of our electricity isn't made that way. Much is made from hydro, solar, nuclear and wind. So the reduction in pollution is even greater."
[Text stolen from somebody called "apeweek"]


Another few bureaucrats feeding at the public trough should be just what is needed to get things moving.


That pollmyth article/analysis is really great. It's a bit dated, the equivalent milage of the EV-1 is listed as 69 mpg. That appears to be around ten years ago, when gas was about $1.30 per gal. Now it's $2.70 and the price of electricity hasn't changed. So now it would be about 150 mpg.

Of course it doesn't take much thought to realize that electric motors are very efficient and ICEs aren't, and therefor switching from tailpipe to smokestack actually uses less energy and produces less polution, which is easier to clean up because it's localized. Still the EVs will put a higher load on coal plants in the short term. Actually I get most of my power from a nuclear plant in central VA.

We also don't need more power plants to charge EVs because most charging will be done at night, when rates are lower and capacity is higher. But the EV charging infrastructure will include photovoltaic power mounted on rooftops. This will have a big impact on the EV industry. Solar panels cost only about $.80 per watt to make and sell for $1.80 retail. I guess wind is even cheaper.

We could supply all the USA's electric power demand (at least in the day) from a 100 by 100 mile square of desert, or the equivalent area on rooftops. The cost would be about the same as the cost of the IRAQ WAR, which most people think was really about oil. Fortunately, Obama not only provides great support for EVs, but also for photovoltaics, as he promised in his campaign. He will may be remembered as the EV President or the Energy President.


About 1% of the energy in gasoline goes to moving the driver down the road, the rest is moving the car and heat. If we can get more efficient at producing and consuming energy, we are ahead of the game.


SJC - In 1940 Robert Heinlein predicted a more efficient mode of transporting people in his science fiction story "The Roads Must Roll." Moving walkways, like we have now in airports, connecting cities hundreds of miles apart. The system is very efficient, no vehicle at all, just people standing on the conveyor, talking, reading, sipping drinks, while moving at 70 miles per hour. Like every story, the tension builds when a union strike results in sabotage of the conveyor between Chicago and St. Louis, resulting in a 10,000 body pileup.


PHEVs and BEVs make be around in great numbers much sooner than most of us think if the latest DOE's predictions come true.

By 2025:

1) Batteries price will be 1/11 of 2009.

2) Batteries energy density will be 6x the 2009 avg. model.

3) Batteries durability will 4x (2009) or average 14 years.

In other words the going price will be under $300/Kwh, the energy density will be over 800 Wh/Kg and durability will be over 14 years or at least 10,000 cycles.

This is in line or over my own best estimates.


Harvey you must remember that wont all happen in the same battery.


I'm sure a lot of progress will be made in the next few years. That assumption makes it possible to start putting thousands of quick-charge (50-100 kw) stations everywhere. No scientific breakthroughs required. That would give current batteries virtual unlimited range.

But DOE can't predict the state of battery technology in 15 years. Too many scientific breakthroughs are required. You can't predict those. Li-Air may never become practical. Silicon nanowire anodes may be possible now, but a matching cathode may never be found.



Yes, 12+ different battery packs may match or supersede most of DOE's predictions by 2020/2030. How many packs will meet all of them is a good question. By 2030 they will may all do and more.


HarveD is smoking something.

The cost of computer Lithium Ion batteries is $300/Kwh without any ancillary cooling system etc. as is needed for a vehicle. The only way the cost can be brought down is by savings in materials. This may require a whole new battery technology.

Henry Gibson

Big, expensive batteries in electric vehicles are bad engineering and a waste of money. If the average daily use of a car is 40 miles, a battery that allows 300 miles is a waste since the cost of making and operating a range extender generator for exceptional long trips is quite low and almost no fuel will be used on the average. Stationary cheap batteries at the home can store cheap night energy for a super quick charge during the day when needed. Quick charging from the grid will not be possible without very high demand charges now imposed on businesses. A natural gas powered generator is the cheapest superfast home charger installation.

The Price of $300 per kilowatt hour can only be assumed as a predicted future low price for lithium automobile batteries. Th!nk lithium batteries are so expensive that they have to be leased. It is the equivalent of having to pay for your share of the ship and the oil refinery and the oil company when you buy a car.

To get the electric automobile off the ground, so to speak, requires the cost engineering of TATA. Cheap electric cars with range extenders will be bought by many people. OPOC demonstrated a range extender that could be plugged in by a big driver. ..HG..


The cost of raw lithium is perhaps 5% of the total end user cost of the batteries, it is the cost of making the batteries that adds the most cost. With automation and economies of scale competition will bring the price of batteries down. How much remains to be seen. As far as raising energy and power in 10 years, that remains to be seen as well. It is consumer acceptance that will drive most of this and that will be seen soon enough as well.


A few things to note.

1 Alot of early bev users wont actualy be former ice owners but instead former mass transit riders.

2 Because bevs are best for light cars on short hops.. it cant effect mjuch of the gas used because that is used by heavy cars and longer trips.

3 You still have to factor in the effect of loosing all these massive tax breaks and credits.. as that WILL happen.

4 The higher capcity batteries in genewral are more expensive to make and have shorter lifespans... Not good.



Yes, it seems logical to go from HEV to PHEV for at least 1+ decade or until such time as e-energy storage units' performance is up 3x and cost down to 1/3 current level. Meanwhile we should have the choice between 20 or 40 or 60 or 80 Km PHEVs. Standardized modular (20 Km) batteries could do that. Owners could start with a single module and add more latter, if required.


The problem with modular batteries for bevs/phev is that the smallest pack has to POWER the entire car and that requires quite the w/kg. But high wh/kg batteries tend to be low w/kg.

I expect other then a few high end pricy cars we will see bevs grab the low end small car market while fuel cells grab the higher end larger car market and then both ooze toward the middle over the next few decades.


Henry's point about low cost ER_EV is valuable. Indeed in new markets a 8 kwh battery with a flexfuel generator could be low cost if built in volume. It is likely consumers would rather make a trip to the gas/ethanol station rather than fork over more $$ for more batteries. If the small battery provides a 20m AER - this may work.

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