Bring on the Hybrids: HIGH HOPES FOR HYBRIDS:

Discussion in 'Other Manufacturers' started by tigerhonaker, Sep 29, 2006.

  1. tigerhonaker

    tigerhonaker Platinum Contributor

    [FONT=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]Bring on the hybrids[/FONT]

    [​IMG][​IMG]Jonna Clark, staff writerSeptember 28, 2006[​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]


    [FONT=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif][SIZE=-2]HIGH HOPES FOR HYBRIDS – Greg Hoffmann and Casey Lemke, both with Oconomowoc Utilities, recently attended the annual meeting for Wisconsin Public Power Inc. and got the chance to check out an electric car, a Neighborhood Electric Vehicle.[/SIZE][/FONT]

    [FONT=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]City of Oconomowoc - Hybrid cars are all the talk among Wisconsin energy providers, and that has some city officials seeing green.[/FONT]

    [FONT=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]Greg Hoffmann, energy services representative for the city, said he doesn't know how soon we will see plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) tooling around the city, but in his mind it can't be soon enough.[/FONT]

    [FONT=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]"They are the wave of the future and, over time, as the cost of the cars and the technology drops, we will see them everywhere," he said.[/FONT]

    [FONT=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]Hoffmann joined City Administrator Diane Gard, Utility Electrical Engineer Casey Lemke and officials from other utilities around the state that are members of Wisconsin Public Power Inc. (WPPI) who have joined the Plug-In Partners national campaign to convince automakers that a market exists for specialized hybrids.[/FONT]

    [FONT=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]The campaign has gained significant ground in recent months since Toyota Motor North America recently announced plans to pursue PHEVs. [/FONT]

    [FONT=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]On exhibit was the Neighborhood Electric Vehicle (NEV), an all-electric car manufactured by Columbia ParCar of Reedsburg, and a Toyota Prius converted to a PHEV. [/FONT]

    [FONT=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]NEVs are compact, one- to four-passenger vehicles powered by rechargeable batteries and electric motors. The vehicles are designed to travel short distances on roads with speed limits of 35 miles per hour or less. [/FONT]

    [FONT=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]According to the U.S. Department of Energy's Information Center on Energy Efficiency and Renewable, the NEV is a cost-effective solution for pollution concerns because it is a zero-emission vehicle producing no tailpipe or evaporative emissions. [/FONT]

    [FONT=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]According to the Reedsburg Utility Commission, which uses an NEV as its principal transportation for meter reading, the cost to recharge the vehicle is about 51 cents, or two-tenths of a cent per mile. [/FONT]

    [FONT=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]By comparison, at $3 per gallon for gas, the fuel cost for the traditional gasoline-engine pickup truck previously used for meter reading was 20 cents per mile. The Reedsburg Utility Commission NEV travels an average of 24 miles per day.[/FONT]

    [FONT=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]A number of Wisconsin communities, including Reedsburg, have passed ordinances allowing NEVs on local roads. [/FONT]

    [FONT=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]PHEVs combine today's gas-electric hybrid technology with larger batteries that provide an all-electric operating range of 25 to 35 miles or more. The vehicles are then recharged by plugging into a standard wall socket. [/FONT]

    [FONT=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]PHEVs can get up to 100 miles per gallon. [/FONT]

    [FONT=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]There currently are no commercially produced PHEVs on the market; however, prototypes and after-market modifications of existing hybrid vehicles, such as the Prius that was displayed at the meeting, already have proven their practicality. [/FONT]

    [FONT=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]Attendees had the opportunity to test-drive NEVs and the PHEV and to ask questions of vendors of both of these energy-saving transportation technologies, Hoffmann said. [/FONT]

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