The Business of Plugging In
In just over 12 months, General Motors Company will introduce the Chevrolet Volt, a bold -- some would say risky -- bet to not only reinvent itself, but the automobile as well. Around the same time, Ford will offer an electric version of its Transit Connect deliver van, followed by an all-electric version of its Focus compact car. Other OEMs also will be launching their own electric drive vehicles in North America: Nissan, Mitsubishi, Think, Fisker, BYD.
And while initial numbers are liable to be relatively small in the larger scheme of things -- a few tens of thousands a year -- all those vehicles and their creators have one thing in common: they all want accessible charging infrastructure from in the home garage to the apartment building parking lot to the workplace parking garage.
How to make that happen was the subject of a three-day conference in Detroit October 19-21, 2009. The speakers, exhibitors and attendees, including EV World (through the support of General Motors), gathered at the MotorCity Casino to discuss the "business of plugging in."
What has been, more or less, a theoretical debate has now become a pragmatic reality: the cars are coming, not a few hundred, but tens of thousands; and the question is, are we ready for them? And the answer is, for the moment, we're not as prepared as we need to be in terms of policy and financial incentives, public education and hardware on the wall and in the ground.
The above video and succeeding ones are of the opening Keynote Panel Discussion featuring former New York State Governor George Pataki, who introduces the panel; PG&E Chairman, President and CEO Peter Darbee, and General Motors VP for Global Product Development Jonathan Lauckner. Each makes short introductory remarks and then open the panel to audience Q&A.
On a technical note, during the panel discussion, our Sony HD video camera experience problems with its auto focus function, which is eventually corrected by switching to manual focus. We apologize for the quality of that portion of the video.
In order to archive the 32-minute-long panel on services like YouTube, it is broken into four segments, which you should be able to watch in sequence in the above window. Click on the OPEN BOOK icon and then select Episodes to see all the videos in this series.
Numerous other videos and audio files from the conference will be hosted on EV World in the coming days and weeks. If you enjoy having free access to these videos, I ask you to do two things: let GM know how much you appreciate their supporting EV World in this way, and please consider subscribing to EV World to help us continue to make this service available to you and others in our EV World.
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