36 Collaborate to Advance Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles

The Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) announced on July 22 a research and development collaboration with General Motors and 34 top utilities to facilitate integration of plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) into the grid, a key step in providing the nation's drivers an alternative to petroleum fuels.

"The EPRI-GM-utility effort is the result of many years of work by EPRI and its members to advance plug-in hybrids and related infrastructure technology to a point of feasible implementation and eventual commercialization," said Arshad Mansoor, EPRI's vice president of Power Delivery and Utilization. "Seamless integration of PHEVs into the electric grid will require close collaboration between the automobile and electric sectors."

PHEVs use domestically produced electricity delivered through the grid, with a lower cost to fuel the vehicles than that of petroleum fuels. Additionally, research released last year by EPRI and the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) pointed to the potential of PHEVs to lower greenhouse gas emissions. The entire PHEV environmental assessment is available on the EPRI Web site.

"This research program will help link a low-carbon generation portfolio and a smart grid, which in turn will facilitate widespread adoption of electricity as an alternative transportation fuel," Mansoor said. "PHEVs have the potential of creating tremendous value for society by use of lesser emitting and lower cost electricity."

The collaborative will address issues that ensure safe and convenient vehicle charging, public education, and public policies requirements to enable a smooth introduction of PHEVs as a transportation alternative to conventional vehicles.

Participants in the collaboration include Alabama Power, American Electric Power, Austin Energy, BC Hydro, CenterPoint Energy, Consolidated Edison of New York, Dominion, DTE Energy, Duke Energy, FirstEnergy Corp., Georgia Power, Great River Energy, Hydro-Qu├ębec, Manitoba Hydro, Nebraska Public Power District, New York Power Authority, Pacific Gas & Electric Company, Progress Energy, Public Service Electric & Gas Co., Sacramento Municipal Util. Dist., San Diego Gas & Electric, Southern California Edison Co. and Southern Company.

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