Plug-in Vehicle Parade Sends Message to Leaders

Fifty-five plug-in vehicles will parade through Santa Monica, Calif., on Jan. 17 to jumpstart the nation's presidential inaugural festivities with a message for Congress, Detroit, and Barack Obama: America wants plug-in vehicles, the most fuel-efficient cars ever made.

Plug In America (PIA), the nonprofit organization leading the nation's plug-in vehicle movement, will hold a press conference followed by "Inaugural Parade West: Plug In, America!" at the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium. Calif. Sen. Fran Pavley and others will send their message standing beside the Civic's solar carport to signal that clean, renewable energy must replace oil to fuel the vehicles that will drive a sustainable and prosperous future.

"Today we congratulate President Barack Obama, who has called for one million plug-in cars by 2015," says Paul Scott, one of the group's co-founders. "But, with the audacity of hope—and the confidence born of years driving these cars—we're asking Obama to accelerate his plan and make it happen three years sooner, then to boost that number to 10 million plug-ins by 2016."

The clean-car parade, coming as gas prices begin their inevitable rise again, represents the largest assembly of its kind. It demonstrates the number and breadth of new plug-ins coming onto the market and the continued viability of those that have been on the road since 2002.

"The number of drivers who have signed up for this parade exceeded even our own high expectations," said Pavley. "It sends a clear signal that Americans are serious about combating climate change and will vote with their dollars by purchasing clean, efficient cars."

The event's all-electric vehicles, all of them freeway-capable, include more than two dozen Toyota RAV4 EVs—with tens of thousands of oil-free miles on each—three Tesla Roadsters, two Vectrix motor scooters, one Zero Motorcycle, two Phoenix SUTs, and a prototype Mitsubishi iMiEV. The latter is undergoing testing at Southern California Edison, which also will provide a prototype Ford Escape plug-in hybrid electric vehicle.

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