Senate Democrats

Democratic Senators, Energy Expert Showcase New Technology That Can Help Reduce Dependence On Oil And Combat Global Warming

Washington, DC—Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, Senators Debbie Stabenow, Amy Klobuchar and David Sandalow, an energy expert from the Brookings Institute, held a press conference today to showcase new automotive technologies that can help reduce our dependence on oil.  With oil and gas prices expected to remain at record highs in the near future, rapid technological innovations in the transportation sector are critically important to help reduce energy costs, end our nation’s addiction to oil and reduce global warming pollution.  

“We need a clean energy revolution to unleash our brightest and most creative scientists, engineers and corporate leaders because we cannot afford the status quo any longer,” Reid said.  “These cars are a great start.  They represent the kind of innovation that America desperately needs to cure our addiction to oil and reduce the risks of global warming.”

Said Stabenow: “We are on the verge of a revolution in transportation, where the right investments today can free us from our dependence on foreign oil, reduce carbon emissions, and create quality, good-paying jobs here at home.  Without these critical investments we are in serious danger of moving from a dependence on foreign oil, to a dependence on foreign technology.”

“New hybrid and electric technologies are vital in helping families cope with skyrocketing gas prices,” Klobuchar said. “It is exciting to see the next generation technologies that will transport America into a bold new energy future.  This is the type of innovation that will spur new industries and jobs to strengthen our economy and reduce our dependence on foreign oil.”

Said Sandalow: “Driving on electricity costs the equivalent of 75 cents per gallon.  These plug-in electric cars are a game-changing technology.  They cut driving costs, break our oil addiction and reduce pollution.” 

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VEHICLE DETAILS

1.                  Tesla Roadster (http://www.teslamotors.com/)

Tesla Motors designs and sells high-performance, highly efficient electric sports cars — with no compromises.  Tesla Motors cars combine style, acceleration, and handling with advanced technologies that make them among the quickest and the most energy-efficient cars on the road. 

The battery pack of the Tesla Roadster electric vehicle is one of the largest and technically most advanced Li-ion battery packs in the world.  It is capable of delivering enough power to accelerate the Tesla Roadster from 0 to 60 mph in about 4 seconds.  Meanwhile, the battery stores enough energy for the vehicle to travel more than 200 miles (based on EPA city/highway cycle) without recharging, something no production electric vehicle in history can claim.

2.                  GM Chevy Equinox Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle (http://www.chevrolet.com/fuelcell/)

The Chevrolet Equinox Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle is a zero-gas, zero-emissions vehicle that makes no compromises, achieving 0 to 60 mph in 12 seconds and a top speed of about 100 miles per hour.  It seats four, sports 32 cubic feet of cargo volume, and has a range of approximately 160 miles per fill-up based on the new 2008 EPA adjusted measurement.  The Equinox Fuel Cell also features many safety systems such as OnStar, four-wheel ABS, traction control, dual airbags and head curtain airbags.  The fuel cell system fits within the space of the conventional engine compartment.  The nickel-metal hydride battery pack, which stores energy from the regenerative braking system to increase operating efficiency and boost acceleration when needed, sits under the floor in the middle of the vehicle.

The Chevrolet Equinox Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle is a part of “Project Driveway” the world’s largest market test of fuel cell vehicles  in 3 cities, New York, Los Angeles, Washington DC. 

3.                  University of Delaware (with vehicle to grid display) (www.udel.edu/v2g)

The Mid-Atlantic Grid Interactive Cars Consortium is a research and development group composed of academic and industrial partners to further advance Vehicle-to-Grid technology and demonstration projects.  Vehicle-to-Grid (V2G) technology allows for the bidirectional flow of electricity between cars and the electric grid.  Grid operators (RTOs or ISOs) are able to communicate with V2G vehicles and use them to control and stabilize constant electricity supply and demand fluctuations.  These energy services maintain grid reliability and thus are highly valued by grid operators, who will in turn provide a revenue stream for the owner of the vehicle.

4.                  Miles EV ZX40S- Advanced Design (www.milesev.com)

Based in Santa Monica, California, Miles Electric Vehicles is a manufacturer of all electric cars and trucks.  Their mission is changing the world one car at a time.  All MILES vehicles conform to U.S. NHTSA standards and are built with safety and reliability as prime considerations.  MILES boasts a prestigious fleet customer base that includes NASA, CalPoly, Stanford University, the U.S. Navy, the National Park Service, and others.  Building on its low speed production expertise, MILES plans to launch an all electric, highway speed sedan in late 2009. 

5.                  Commuter Tango

The revolutionary commuter vehicle that combines the speed and agility of a motorcycle with the security and comfort of a sports car.  The average commute uses just 4 kWh.  That’s the same amount of electricity used to power a 1,500-watt portable heater for 2 hours and 40 minutes.  Thus, at $.10 per kWh and gasoline at $3.00 per gallon, the equivalent fuel efficiency of the Tango exceeds 150 mpg, or $.02 per mile. Battery replacement is the largest recurring cost for an electric car.  With lead-acid batteries, however, it is similar to the expense of keeping a gasoline-powered car serviced, costing only pennies per mile.

6.                  Zero X (Dirt Bike)

The Zero X is a silent, all-electric dirt bike that runs on lithium-ion batteries instead of gas. The California-based Zero Motorcycles has started selling these bikes for $6900. Google co-founder Larry Page bought one.  The company also has a street-legal commuter bike in the works, which should be released in the coming months.  This bike will be slightly larger and more powerful than the Zero X.

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