Plug-In Electric Vehicles: Where Are We Today?

This panel discussion at the Brookings/ Plug-In Vehicles 2008 conference on Wednesday, June 11, 2008 focused on the real-world barriers facing the mass adoption of plug-in electric vehicles.

While Felix Kramer of CalCars is highly optimistic, as he stated “we will see an explosion of plug-in cars between 2010 and 2012,” Alan Madian of LECG painted a picture far less rosy ….

“Unless substantial efficiency gains are realized simultaneously through the use of other technological improvements or liquid fuel alternatives or plug in hybrid penetration that vastly exceeds the optimistic assumptions that I have utilized, we may be using more liquid fuel and possibly even more petroleum in 2036 then we are now.”

“If we are to curtail our petroleum use, we will have to wage the battle broadly on multiple fronts. Plug-in hybrids can make a significant contribution. It’s a wonderful technology. But they can only gradually provide a small part of the solution.”

Felix Kramer – Founder, CalCars
Tom Kuhn – President, Edison Electric Institute
Alan Madian – Director, LECG
Bill Reinert – National Manager, Advanced Technology Group, Toyota
Mary Ann Wright – CEO, Johnson Controls-Saft Advanced Power Solutions

Moderated by Juliet Eilperin of the Washington Post.

1 thought on “Plug-In Electric Vehicles: Where Are We Today?”

  1. Supplies are already tight at the rate the world is using oil right now. It is a finite resource and has a maximum rate at which it can be discovered and produced. We are at that maximum now. Do some reasearch on peak oil. We won’t be able to pump more oil out of the ground in 2010 much less in 2036. This is true now and even more so when developing countries like China put even more pressure on the few countries that have remaining oil reserves. The US is tapped out…we peaked in 1970 and are in decline. The North Sea is in decline. Mexico is in decline. Russia is near decline. Saudi Arabia oil production capability is flat. Where is this oil going to come from? Another Jurassic era? Some magic wand? Where? If we don’t get off our asses and start doing something about transportation we are going to be in a world of hurt when diesel fuel supplies start to run short. Or, if transportation companies go bankrupt from high diesel prices and food can’t get to the shelves. We need to make a mad rush to all things alternative. Every nickel and dime we can cut out of our oil consumption adds up. If you add wind, solar, geothermal, biofuels and ocean energy together with conservation we can put a real dent in our demand for oil. It is just a win-win for the US economy and our national security.

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