will hold a telephone press conference to announce its latest victory to keep Toyota’s zero-emission, battery-electric SUVs on the road

Media Advisory: Press Conference This Thursday; Announces Victory with Toyota and Plans to Launch Plug In America will hold a telephone press conference to announce its latest victory to keep Toyota’s zero-emission, battery-electric SUVs on the road and its plans to launch Plug In America, a new national advocacy group to promote plug-in cars, trucks and SUVs.

WHO - James Woolsey, former CIA director and member of Set America Free ( - Ed Kjaer, director, Electric Transportation Department, Southern California Edison - Chelsea Sexton, alternative fuel vehicle consultant, former General Motors EV1 specialist - Paul Scott, founding member of and Plug In America - Wally Rippel, lead engineer, General Motors EV1 - Linda Nicholes, owner, Toyota RAV4 EV - Dave Raboy, owner, Ford Ranger EV - Marc Geller, former lessee, Ford TH!NK City EV and current owner, Toyota RAV4 EV

WHAT Toyota victory announcement Plug In America launch announcement

BACKGROUND Since 2004, has worked to keep all-electric vehicles on the road in America, organizing three successful efforts that saved the Ford TH!NK City EV, Ford Ranger EV and Toyota RAV4 EV from the crusher. Long dismissed by automakers as “fanatics” and “hobbyists,” is launching a new broad-based advocacy organization to revive plug-in auto production and give Americans the freedom to choose cars, trucks and SUVs that are powered by cleaner, cheaper, domestic sources of energy.

As volatile oil prices skyrocket to record high levels, major automakers continue to suppress an existing road-ready technology that would offer American drivers a long-overdue choice - an immediate alternative to polluting and inefficient gas guzzling internal combustion engines. Without compromising body style preferences or performance, automakers could integrate plug-in technology to all existing models, exponentially increasing U.S. fuel economy to the equivalent of hundreds of miles per gallon.

Pulling away from the pump and plugging into our nation’s extensive electric infrastructure would mean that Americans could immediately make the switch to cheaper, cleaner, domestic energy sources to power our cars, trucks and SUVs. The cost of plugging in to the grid and charging up at home is the equivalent of pennies per gallon on the average electric bill as compared to $3-plus a gallon at the pump today. With a plug-in hybrid, which uses a battery-powered electric motor for the first 30 to 50 miles, most American commuters would rarely if ever need to fill up or even top off with gasoline unless making a long trip. Since 50 percent of Americans do not drive more than 20 miles per day, the electric range of a plug-in hybrid would power most nearly all of our daily driving.

From laptops to cell phones, battery technology is ubiquitous and continues to improve. The widespread use of renewable energy like solar and wind power is on the rise across America and offers drivers the opportunity to plug in to fossil fuel-free energy. Unlike placing false hope in over-hyped hydrogen fuel cells - a technology that is decades away from being road ready - plug-in and flex-fuel technologies exist now and are already on the road as commuter cars, pick-up trucks and SUVs.

US national security depends on making a transition to safe, secure, sustainable and domestic sources of energy. We consume a quarter of the world’s oil but only have 3 percent of global oil reserves, forcing us to import over 60 percent of the oil we need to power our economy. Most of the world’s remaining oil is controlled by terrorist-friendly, non-democratic regimes or lies beneath critically endangered forest and marine ecosystems. Nearly no oil is used to produce electricity in the US; over 70 percent of our oil is consumed for transportation and most of that in cars, trucks and SUVs.

U.S. automakers are in the junkyard. S&P and Moody’s have downgraded Ford and General Motors stock to junk bond status and both automakers have announced major layoffs in response. Meanwhile, Toyota and Honda - the two automakers producing the most fuel-efficient vehicles - are posting record and profits. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, both Ford and GM are at the bottom of the barrel on fleet-wide fuel efficiency and off the charts with global warming-causing greenhouse gas emissions. American automakers have long blamed lack of consumer demand for their irresponsible mass production and marketing of gas-guzzlers, yet there have been long waiting lists for every make and model of battery-electric and hybrid vehicle.

Americans spent $150 billion last year on foreign oil. Plug-in, flex-fuel hybrid and battery-electric cars would save American drivers hundreds of billions of dollars at the pump, reduce global warming greenhouse gas emissions and end U.S. dependence on declining global oil reserves. received public support from the California Assembly Member Fran Pavley, California Assembly Member Mark Leno, California Environmental Protection Agency Secretary Alan Lloyd, California State Senator Sheila Kuehl, Electric Auto Association, Environment Now, Global Exchange, Greenpeace, Jumpstart Ford Coalition, Natural Resources Defense Council, Orange County Interfaith Coalition for the Environment, Rainforest Action Network, Set America Free, Sierra Club, City of Santa Monica, South Coast Air Quality Management District and the Union of Concerned Scientists.

September 12th, 2005 - Posted in Other Alternative Energy | |

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