CalCars (also known as The California Cars Initiative) is a charitable, non-profit organization founded in 2002 to promote
plug-in hybridelectric vehicles (PHEVs) as a key to addressing global warmingboth nationally and internationally. CalCars envisions millions of plug-in hybrid electric vehicles, charged by off-peak electricity from renewable energysources, and with their internal combustion engines powered by low-carbon alternative fuels, as a way to significantly reduce greenhouse gasesthat come from transportation.
CalCars works with allied organizations to build buyer demand for PHEVs in the United States and promote commercial production of plug-in hybrid vehicles by major automakers.
CalCars engages in public education through its web site [http://www.calcars.org calcars.org] . It displays its "100+ miles per gallon" PHEVs at public and private events, shows promotional videos, and makes presentations to different audiences, including political leaders and opinion-makers.
CalCars also promotes technology development for PHEVs by building example plug-in hybrid vehicles, and maintaining open-source documentation of technological information about its prototypes. In its technology development, CalCars is closely linked with the work of Professor Andrew A. (Andy) Frank and the Team Fate design group at the University of California, Davis. [Dr.
Andrew A. Frank, Director, http://www.team-fate.net advanced hybrid vehicle research center (which has built 9 plug-in hybrid proof-of-concept vehicles), Professor, University of California at Davis; see a 2003 interview in EVWorld, [http://www.evworld.com/databases/storybuilder.cfm?storyid=504 part 1] and [http://www.evworld.com/databases/storybuilder.cfm?storyid=505 part 2] and a 2006 [http://www.calcars.org/calcars-news/260.html Wall Street Journal profile] .]
CalCars built the first PRIUS+ [The PRIUS+ was CalCars first PHEV Prius, its homepage can be found at http://www.calcars.org/priusplus.html, [http://www.calcars.org/photos.html Photos] , [http://www.calcars.org/calcars-photos.pdf Commercializing Plug-In Hybrids presentation (2MB PDF)] ] conversion Sept 11-22, 2004, creating the first PHEV based on the
Toyota Prius. This initial conversion was done with a lead-acid battery pack to prove the concept would work. The build team included Ron Gremban, Felix Kramer, Marc Geller, Kevin Lyons, Andrew Lawton. Others who helped included Tom Driscoll, Michael Geller, Richard Jesch, Les Montavon, Dan Putman, Michael Schwabe, Len Tramiel, Bob Westman, Doug Widney.
Key CalCars personnel
Felix Kramer, Founder, is a marketing strategist and communicator with an entrepreneurial track record with startups; in the environmental realm, he has managed major events and run campaigns and organizations. After founding, running and selling a small Internet company, since 2001 he has volunteered his time to CalCars. [See [http://www.nlightning.com Kramer Communications] and [http://www.nlightning.com/resume.html Felix Kramer Bio] , his Feb. 14, 2005 OpEd on global warming, " [http://www.calcars.org/beyond-kyoto.html Kyoto and Beyond] ", and [http://www.hybridcars.com/blogs/power Power, Plugs and People] , his new blog>.]
Ron Gremban, Technology Development Lead for PRIUS+, moderator of the PRIUS+ Plug-In Hybrid Conversion Group, [ [http://groups.yahoo.com/group/priusplus/ PRIUS+ Plug-In Hybrid Conversion Group] ] and electrical and software engineer involved in sales of solar energy systems, has long experience with electric cars -- he helped design and drive the Caltech entry in the transcontinental 1968 Great Electric Car Race. [ See Ron Grembans out of date [http://www.ForSites.com/expertise.html bio] .]
Gail Slocum, Senior Advisor, former Mayor, Menlo Park and Regulatory Attorney at Pacific Gas and Electric Company.
Other supporting parties
CalCars is helped and advised by the entire EV community, including many members of the
Electric Auto Associationand the groups working to keep the remaining electric cars on the roads instead of being "recycled". Don't Crushsucceeded as is apparent by Toyota's welcome decision [Don't Crush [http://www.calcars.org/calcars-news/84.html saved] a number of electric vehicles from being "recycled".] to allow the cars to be purchased by their leaseholders; this group has now become Plug In America.
Compared to crushing old vehicles, converting millions of ICE PSVs is a winning energy-saving strategy . [http://www.calcars.org/calcars-news/1007.html]
Plug-in hybrids in California.
* [http://www.calcars.org/calcars-news/1007.html Should We Crush Gas-Guzzlers? Or Convert Them to Plug In? An Analysis by CalCars]
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