Monday, September 21, 2009

Plug In 2009

Plug In 2009

August 11 to 13, I went to the Plug In 2009 conference at the Long Beach Convention Center, south of Los Angeles. Much of the time I was helping out with Plug In America's booth.

Bright Automotive was there. Unfortunatey, they didn't bring their new vehicle with them. :( I really wanted to see it. Next year.

On the public night, was a panel discussion with the hosts:
Bill Nye, the Science Guy. Chris Paine, the director of Who Killed The Electric Car. And Chelsea Sexton, the former GM employee, who was featured prominently in the documentary.

A lot of the heavy hitters in the electric vehicle space were there. The big topic of discussion seemed to be intelligent grids, connecting utilities and electric vehicles. The idea of the smart grid is, charge the electric vehicles at night, when wind energy is strongest. During the day, you drive your car to work, and plug in at work also. Then, when the demand for electricity is strongest, around noon, the power company would draw on the stored energy in the many thousands of car batteries.

The benefits: more use of renewable energy. Smoothing of energy demand on the power plants, since the utility will be drawing peak power from the car batteries, not from burning coal. Fewer power plants need to be built. There still are a number of issues to work out. One being that batteries at this point, are still not designed or warrantied for this kind of use.

I didn't get to see as much, or meet as many people as I would have liked to. The trade show floor closed in the early afternoon the day before the conference ended. I hadn't expected that.

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