May 16-18, 2006
Plug in hybrids make the rounds on Capitol Hill
On May 18, CEOs of the Big Three automakers came to Washington DC to meet with Congressional leaders and discuss the industry's woes. We saw an opportunity to introduce Congress to a solution using existing technology that can make a big dent in our oil dependence and also help Detroit back to prosperity, should it choose to take the opportunity. After a whirlwind fundraising campaign CalCars flew in one of its plug-in Priuses from California, and the journey began. This was the first time plug-in hybrids were seen in public in our nation's capitol.
Set America Free and CalCars partnered on a three day series of events in and around Capitol Hilll, joined by co-sponsor, the Plug-In Hybrid Consortium. CalCars' white Prius (built by EnergyCS with lithium-ion batteries) was joined by Connecticut battery maker Electro Energy's silver bullet (built by EEEI and CalCars with nickel-metal hydride batteries). The two vehicles caused quite a stir on the Hill, as everyone including Senators, Representatives, staff, reporters, builders, tourists and, unforgettably, the Capitol police, took interest in what could be America's route to energy security.
The surprise star of the show was the "dongle" -- the short cable that plug into the car's rear bumper outlet and connects to an extension cord for 120-volt power and comprises the car's entire "required infrastructure."
Also appearing: Set America Free's Anne Korin and Gal Luft, CalCars' Felix Kramer, Ron Gremban, John Davi and Electro Energy's Chris Jaeger. (Media can use high-resolution photos with credit: CalCars/Set America Free.)
100+MPG at the Capitol.
Former CIA Director Jim Woolsey, John, Anne, Congressmen Jack Kingston (GA) and John Carter (TX).
Senator Sam Brownback (KS), accompanied by Frank Gaffney, president of the Center for Security Policy, and Felix, tries out some new wheels.
New York State Governor Pataki flanked by John, Anne, Gal, and Felix.
As the first Senator to own a hybrid, Senator Bennett (UT) particularly appreciated the ride.
Senator Robert Bennett (UT). No worries, there's plenty of legroom.
Senator Orrin Hatch (UT) behind the wheel.
Senator Orrin Hatch (UT) and John: yes, it really does get 100+mpg.
Felix explains the finer points of plugging in to Senator Richard Lugar (IN).
Senator Joe Lieberman (CT), John, and Gal: so this car can run for 30 miles on a charge?
Senator Craig Thomas (WY). Really? I can drive it?
Senator Craig Thomas (WY). Getting in for a test drive.
Senator Jeff Bingaman (NM), Ranking Member of the Senate Energy Committee, with Felix and Gal.
Senator Jeff Bingaman (NM) buckles in.
Senator Hillary Clinton (NY) and John.
Senator Ben Nelson (NE) with Gal and Felix.
Former Majority Leader Senator Daschle gets in to take a spin.
Lead sponsors of The Fuel Choices for American Security Act, Congressmen Jack Kingston (GA) and Eliot Engel (NY), take a ride.
Congressmen Lamar Smith (TX), Bob Inglis (SC), Jack Kingston (GA), Eliot Engel (NY), and Randy Neugebauer (TX).
Congressman Brad Sherman (CA), Senator Sam Brownback (KS), Congressman Eliot Engel (NY), and Congresswoman Judy Biggert (IL).
Congressmen Lamar Smith (TX), Eliot Engel (NY), and Randy Neugebauer (TX).
Science Committee Chairman Sherwood Boehlert (NY).
Congressman John Carter (TX).
Congressman Roscoe Bartlett (MD).
Congressman Phil Gingrey (GA).
Congressman Chris Chocola (IN).
Congressman Gil Gutknecht (MN) holding the infrastructure.
Congressmen Jack Kingston (GA) and John Carter (TX): Daytona here we come.
Jim Woolsey with Congressman John Carter (TX): This car has a remarkably quiet ride.
Congressman Dan Lipinski (IL), who owns a hybrid Escape, and Electro Energy's Chris Jaeger.
House Science Committee Energy Subcommittee Chair Rep. Biggert holds the required infrastructure: a plug.
Prof. Andy Frank, inventor of the modern plug-in hybrid, Roger Duncan, founder of Plug In Partners, Mark Duvall of the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI), Honda's John German, Prof. Cliff Ricketts of Middle Tennessee State University, and Dr. Danilo Santini of the Argonne National Lab preparing to testify in front of the House Science Committee Energy Subcommittee. Rep. Biggert introduced CalCars at the meeting and encouraged members to see the cars after the hearing.
Meanwhile, after the Big Three meeting, GM's Rick Wagoner, Ford's Bill Ford, Rep. John Dingell (MI), DaimlerChrysler's Tom Lasorda....(sorry we don't have a picture of the silver bullet driving behind them, but believe us, it did.)
The team and the cars: 100+mpg in front of the Capitol.
If you're sorry you missed us, don't worry, we'll be back!
Set America Free Coalition
Open Letter to the American People
Blueprint for Energy Security
Copyright © 2006