Plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEV) and Battery Electric Vehicles (BEV) among other hybrid technologies are being portrayed as the “product du jour” for solving the high-priced gasoline problem internationally and now nationally with our current energy crisis situation at large. Already Toyota, GM, Ford and VW have announced their intent to release PHEVs in the near future. And why not? According to claims, they “just plug into your home outlet.” And, "they can go 40 miles on a charge so they’re terrific for running around town.” Sounds good, but can it be true??  Yes, these vehicles are coming but they will not arrive without assurances of safe battery chemistry and practical infrastructure solutions. There are lots of challenges —where to CHARGE ER UP!!

Will it be easy to plug- in when you get home from work? How will people living in apartments, condominiums, and townhouses plug- in? Will I be able to plug- in when I get to my parking garage? What will it cost me–more during the day to CHARGE ER UP than at night? What are the rules? Who will decide how I plug into the “grid?” The success of the PHEV/BEV is dependent on having the right answers to these and other electrical system questions. With PHEVs and BEVs, the average American has a real chance to climb out of his/her personal economic crisis caused by outrageous gas prices and the nation as a whole has the opportunity to reduce its dependence on fossil fuels. But, we must write the standards that define PHEVs/ BEVs as products that rely on practical and safe integration with our electrical infrastructure. Its really time to get started!


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