Global environmental challenges
Don’t rain on my electric car parade
Electric car organization Plug In America revved up the inaugural festivities this past weekend with a parade of 74 plug-in vehicles in Santa Monica, California, dubbing it the “greenest procession of its kind.”
The non-profit group first applied to ride in the Presidential inaugural parade in Washington, but was not chosen. Undeterred, it took the parade west, said spokeswoman Zan Dubin Scott.
“Today we congratulate President Barack Obama, who has called for one million plug-in cars by 2015,” Paul Scott, one of the group’s co-founders, said at the parade on Saturday, taking the moment to make a “plug” for more plug-ins by 2016. “With the audacity of hope and the confidence born of years driving these cars, we’re asking Obama to accelerate his plan and make it happen three years sooner, then to boost that number to ten million plug-ins by 2016.”
The procession featured a colorful array of electric vehicles including Toyota RAV4 EVs, Tesla Roadsters, Zero Motorcycles, Chevy 2-10s, a Solectria, a school bus, and even a converted battery-powered Hummer bearing an Obama poster on its side.
“This is an R&D test mule, we’re not really making Hummers,” said Michael Biron, R&D shop foreman for Malibu-based Vision Motor Corp, which outfitted the Hummer and manufactures electric big rig trucks.
For the parade, Biron said the Hummer H2 was powered on batteries alone, fueling the vehicle with up to 30 miles per charge. It can also be fitted with a hydrogen fuel cell that could provide it with another 250 miles of range.
“We’re giving people a chance to see there are alternatives for different electric vehicle platforms. If we can do this with a gas-guzzling Hummer, it shows there are many possibilities and opportunities out there,” Biron said.
California state Senator Fran Pavley, the author of California’s landmark legislation to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from automobiles, said the number of drivers who signed up for the parade exceeded expectations.
“It sends a clear signal that Americans are serious about combating climate change and will vote with their dollars by purchasing clean, efficient cars,” Pavley said.
For of Reuters’ recent coverage of electric cars, click here.