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Obama on Smart Grids and Plug-in Hybrids

Democratic presidential candidate shows grasp of cutting edge electric car technology

By EV World

MSNBC's rising star, Rachel Maddow, interviewed Senator Barack Obama today in Sarasota, Florida, the day after the rally in Kissimmee, Florida with former-President Bill Clinton.

YouTube videos of Interview

The Democratic Party nominee talked about the national deficit that the Bush Administration has run up over the last eight years and how little, in his view, the nation has to show for it. He compared America's aging infrastructure with that of China which, in contrast, has invested heavily in its own from new port facilities to the equivalent of a national interstate highway system.

He explained to Ms. Maddow, who hosts her own hour-long show, as well as a radio program on Air America, that if he is elected President, he wants to focus on rebuilding the nation's infrastructure, including the construction of a "smart grid" to get wind power from places like North Dakota to metropolitan areas like Chicago.

Demonstrating his grasp of state-of-the-art electric vehicle technology, he explained that if America is going to make greater use of renewable energy like wind power, it will need a "smart" power grid that will enable owners of plug-in hybrids to sell the power in their car's battery pack back to their local utility. Such a grid will make it more difficult for groups like al-Qaeda to attack America economically.

The concept of electric car owners selling power back to their utility is called vehicle-to-grid (V2G) where cars that are charged at off-peak times during the night can share any excess power stored in their batteries with the grid, in effect creating a vast, mobile energy storage system that can help stabilize power quality and shave peak loads during the afternoon. Research has shown that such a system would enable the U.S. power grid to shift as much as 50% of its energy to non-dispatchable and intermittent sources like wind and solar power.

Power companies from California to Texas to Delaware have been investigating the feasibility of V2G technology, which could someday turn electric cars into capital assets for their owners.

Times Article Viewed: 14174
Published: 30-Oct-2008

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