The EV Stars of LA
By EV World
With little planning and a much luck, our publisher managed to squeeze a lot into a two-day foray to Los Angeles for Phoenix Motorcars' "coming out" party March 1, 2007 at the world-famous Petersen Automotive Museum. Below are some of the photos he managed to take between dodging the metro's always notorious traffic, scraffing down fast food, and rubbing shoulders with the stars.
AC Propulsion Vice President Paul Carosa shows rear-mounted gasoline engine used to recharge the battery pack on what is likely the world's first grid-tied, electric plug-in hybrid. The car runs on electric power, but when needed, can be charged from the IC engine. Unlike the current crop of electric hybrids, this converted Volkswagen Jetta can share electric power with the grid, as well as be recharged from it, making it the first working model of a V2G (vehicle-to-grid) hybrid.
A Toyota Scion xB unceremoniously stripped to its barest essentials as part of the process of converting it to all electric drive at AC Propulsion's San Dimas, California facility. Not only does the company remove the internal combustion engine components, but also all of the interior so that a channel can be cut into the unibody frame to enable the installation of the lithium ion battery pack. This is another reason the conversion costs $55,000 plus the car.
Although nearly identical to the Scion xB in its chassis layout, this French-built Toyota Yaris looks nothing like its American cousin. A client in Paris sent the car to California to have it converted by AC Propulsion to all electric drive. Watch for a short video of EV World's publisher driving the car.
E-Drive's Greg Hanssen (right) and Electron Bank's Richard Zitola (wearing the Babylon Five tee shirt, what else?) enjoy a hamburger at local fast-food chain in San Dimas. They are collaborating on an electric (plug-in) Prius conversion kit that E-Drive hopes to offer in the near future. Richard is a CalTech graduate and helped design NASA's New Horizons spacecraft that is now, since its swing past Jupiter, the fastest manmade object in the solar system.
Although the gala night was about Phoenix Motorcars all-electric Sport Utility Truck or SUT, another electric car also put in an appearance, one of AC Propulsions handful of xB conversions known as the eBox. With the Phoenix SUT busy giving rides to the assembled guests, including "Who Killed the Electric Car?" director and writer, Chris Paine, EV World's publisher was able to take the eBox out for a spin and found the experience exhilarating. More to follow later.
Actor and green guru Ed Begley, Jr. (left) poses with Phoenix Motorcars president Dan Elliott in front of tricked-out SUT. Begley has become a spokesman for the company touting the car at the recent SEMA show in Las Vegas, as seen on his HGTV series, LIving with Ed. Begley announced that he would be buying one himself.
The co-star of "Living with Ed", Rachelle Carson-Begley (left), and 'Overhaulin' actress Andrienne Janic pose in front of "star" of the party, red-on-black, all-electric Phoenix truck.
A couple of very happy Phoenix Motorcar investors enjoying the limelight and the red wine during the premier at the Petersen Automotive Museum. They are counting on the company's strategy of banking California ZEV credits will pay nice dividends.
Actress Linda Gray made her name playing the wife of fictional Texas oil tycoon, "J.R. Ewing" in the long-running television series "Dallas". She was on-hand for the unveiling of a vehicle that uses no oil, clearly the wave of the future.
Another popular actress -- Ms. Daryl Hannah -- also attended and video taped the premier for a future program on electric cars. She is an active supporter of biodiesel and uses her fame and fortune to promote more sustainable lifestyles through her DHLoveLife.com web site. With her is our intrepid, if slightly ga-ga publisher.
What's a trip to Los Angeles without a "power breakfast" with yet another Hollywood celeb. Ms. Alexandra Paul poses in front of her Toyota RAV4 EV all-electric SUV outside the Coral Tree Cafe, just off trendy Wilshire Blvd. in West LA. Electric cars like hers get to park free. Our editor had to pay a $40 fine for not putting enough quarters in the meter for his Chevy Cobalt rental. We're going to dock his pay for that goof.
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