The following is ripped directly from the pages of the latest Rocky Mountain Institute newsletter. I wrote about some recent news stories covering the creation of electrical recharging infrastructure in Israel, Germany, San Francisco, and Boston a few weeks ago. I also saw something recently about a similar effort taking place in Australia by the same Better Place company working in Israel. Perhaps the centralization of power (pun intended) will shift from petroleum to electricity generation. Maybe Better Place realizes that people are really buying mobility services, not automobiles.
Imagine driving a car that can be plugged in and connect to the grid while you shop for groceries, while it sits in your office parking lot, or even in your own driveway!
RMI's Mobility and Vehicle Efficiency Team (MOVE) is working to bring together electrified vehicles, energy-positive buildings, and a smarter, cleaner electricity grid. According to Michael Brylawski, VP of MOVE, these are essential new developments that will generate jobs and wealth, while decreasing our dependence on oil and greenhouse gas emissions.RMI's Smart Garage Summit was held on October 8-10, 2008 and united experts across several industries for three days in Portland, OR in order to identify both barriers and breakthroughs needed to develop a fleet of electric vehicles in the US, and do so in a manner that reaps environmental benefits and opens up new business opportunities. The Smart Garage concept has become RMI's means to describe the integration of the grid and the electric vehicle. Attendees included leaders from the utility and auto industries, innovators of clean energy solutions, IT systems providers, consumer products, metering, advanced battery technology and even retailers. Among the companies represented were names you may hear everyday: auto manufacturers like Nissan and GM, utilities such as PG&E and Duke Energy, IBM, P&G, Wal-Mart and Google, among many others.Important DevelopmentsThe collaboration and discussion at the Smart Garage Summit allowed industry leaders to identify essential elements that are needed to move forward. It is promising to see that consumer demand, industry preparedness and government leadership are coming together, setting the stage for a great leap forward in the next five years. According to Laura Schewel, MOVE team consultant and manager of the project, "what proved most surprising was the concept of the Smart Garage is a lot closer to realization than we previously thought. We found there were many misconceptions, including that technology to make all this possible was not available -- when in fact the opposite is true."We are all excited to see Smart Garage move forward at an amazing pace, but we can't do it without your help! Please click here to make a secure, online donation to the Smart Garage Initiative. RMI looks forward to keeping you updated as the MOVE team continues to pursue their follow up initiatives and this concept gains momentum with the media. You can take a look at some of the coverage that the Smart Garage Summit has received here.