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Marc Geller
co-founder and Member of the Board of Plug In America
Recent Activity
Shanghai is a mind blower. Exuberant, flashy skyscrapers dot the landscape soaring above the city's overhead freeways, many claiming their place in the skyline with decorative, synchronized light shows. Immense shopping malls with every major international brand represented are packed with locals out merely for a stroll, the newly rich dressed to the nines toting Cartier bags, and tourists alike. Down at street level, boulevards and alleys are stuffed to the gills. Cars, most of recent vintage (including BMWs and Mercedes) compete with busses (some electric) and trucks, as well as innumerable scooters, and bikes in crazy disrespect for both... Continue reading
Posted Jun 12, 2010 at In the Driver's Seat
This is a big deal. Biggest EV news since Carlos Ghosn got religion. I just watched the press conference where Tesla CEO Elon Musk and Toyota CEO Akio Toyoda announced an agreement. Toyota's investing in Tesla. Tesla's buying the NUMMI factory. The Model S and subsequent vehicles will be made at NUMMI. (Tesla won't oppose any union activity.) The New United Motor Manufacturing, Inc. (NUMMI) plant with Mission Peak behind it, Fremont, Calif. Photo by Ellen Levy Finch under Creative Commons license. This is obviously great for Tesla and advocates of electric cars. It's great for the San Francisco Bay... Continue reading
Posted May 20, 2010 at In the Driver's Seat
VW has released some more information on its electric plans. Look for an e-Golf to be launched in 2013. 93 mile range from a 26.5 kWh lithium battery pack. Similar to the LEAF or RAV4-EV, the car weighs about 3400 pounds, a few hundred pounds heavier than the gas/diesel versions. Around the same time, VW intends to have two other EVs on offer, a smaller e-UP, and a Jetta. One interesting side-note: Many of us RAV4-EV drivers have become used to and supportive of an option to "free-wheel" when letting off the accelerator. Although Tesla and LEAF don't incorporate such... Continue reading
Posted May 20, 2010 at In the Driver's Seat
In 2001 I began driving an electric car, obtaining the last of the ZEV mandate-required EVs. As I got turned on to the benefits and technological readiness of electric cars, the writing was on the wall and EVs began to disappear from California's roads. I got enthused just as the automakers, CARB, the feds, and major environmental organizations ended their various flirtations with EVs. The notion of the plug-in hybrid revived the hope of plugging in. I made my peace with the notion of a transition vehicle, with a plug and an engine. GM announced the Volt. Then a couple... Continue reading
Posted Mar 19, 2010 at In the Driver's Seat
So you've finally got your electric car. You're going out of town for a few days and recall a few spots at the airport parking lot that have a regular 110-volt electric outlet on the wall. Do you plug in your Tesla (or Nissan LEAF or Chevy Volt)? Are you "stealing" power? Solar Dave thinks you are. And he is taunting the authorities in Denver to fine the owner of the Tesla he found plugged in at the airport. He raises a question that should be settled quickly. And he points out one place where public charging solutions will be... Continue reading
Posted Feb 3, 2010 at In the Driver's Seat
Darryl Siry blogs over at Wired's Autopia. He's pretty plugged in, having worked at Tesla and consulted for CODA. He's a bit surprised, as are all of us, that Nissan has emerged as the first big automaker to manufacture a mass-produced electric car. In his recent post, "In Race to Market, Nissan’s Electric Car Takes Shortcuts," Siry makes the point that CEO Carlos Ghosn's enthusiasm and charisma alone couldn't be enough to get such a job done so quickly. He writes that the urgency of the project "appears to have driven the company to take some shortcuts." Sounds ominous. Ultimately,... Continue reading
Posted Jan 26, 2010 at In the Driver's Seat
It's official, the Cadillac Converj is to be the second extended-range electric vehicle after the Volt. I may be most interested affordable electric cars, but this makes sense to me. I only wish GM had the smarts back in the day to have rebranded the EV1 as a Caddy and continued limited run production. [Source: Detroit News] Volvo might be getting serious about EVs. They showed a prototype Electric C30. The car was described by EV Goddess Chelsea Sexton as "überpragmatic." An electric offering could be fit nicely into the historical perceptions of the benefits of the brand. [Source: Wired... Continue reading
Posted Jan 22, 2010 at In the Driver's Seat
BMW has recognized that they simply teed up GM and Nissan to benefit from the MINI E experience. Today they announced officially that MINI E "pioneers" will be able to extend their leases until 2011. At that point the ActiveE, an electric Series 1 Beemer, is projected to be available, however only as yet another "electric vehicle test program," as they put it in their wordy press release. Will MINI E drivers be so loyal to BMW they'll forgo the opportunity to actually purchase a plug-in car? Over at GM, Bob Lutz says an all-electric Volt would be "technologically trivial."... Continue reading
Posted Jan 11, 2010 at In the Driver's Seat
There has never been a shortage of stories in the press denigrating plug-in electric cars. Why? Because people naturally, logically believe electric cars are a good idea. Special interests who preferred to maintain the internal combustion status quo (read oil and auto companies) have long needed to plant seeds of doubt. Via paid consultants, close relationships with universities, a pliant press more apt to reprint a press release than analyze it, and print and television advertising, their negative message has been successfully imparted. We've seen it all in the press: electric cars are more polluting, less safe, require too much... Continue reading
Posted Dec 18, 2009 at In the Driver's Seat
The California Air Resources Board (CARB) met on Thursday to discuss the Zero Emission Vehicle regulation and the revisions staff was tasked with exploring for 2015 and beyond. Plug In America President Dan Davids offered testimony applauding CARB's achievements, but faulted the agency for skewed priorities and reliance on unreliable information and projections. Mr. Davids said CARB's resource allocation has favored fuel cells and hydrogen over plug-in electric by 75% to 25%, based on conversations with Legislative Director Jay Friedland. Chair Mary Nichols said that isn't true. CARB staffer Elise Keddie said Friedland had taken back his assertion regarding a... Continue reading
Posted Dec 11, 2009 at In the Driver's Seat
The Nissan LEAF has been on tour in California the past few weeks. CEO Carlos Ghosn appeared at the inaugural presentation in LA, attesting to the electric car's centrality to Nissan's vision of our automotive future. I saw the car, kept safely behind the velvet rope, in an upscale San Jose shopping center, Santana Row, this afternoon. The LEAF is distinctive enough to stand out, while remaining a mainstream Japanese sedan. The car on display showed off its dual charger inlets - one for the new standard plug which will be capable of 120 volt or 240 volt charging; the... Continue reading
Posted Dec 3, 2009 at In the Driver's Seat
You've made Thanksgiving an even tastier treat this year. Thanks for the reflections.
Toggle Commented Nov 24, 2009 on Charged with Thanks at In the Driver's Seat