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Local News / Automotive

Thursday, 22 October, 2009 5:27 PM

'Plugging In' conference charges up on different levels

PHOTO BY JASON RZUCIDLO / ©AMERICAJR.com

Electric motorcycles were available for test drives on the top floor of the MotorCity Hotel parking deck.

by Pete Bublitz
petblitz@yahoo.com

 

(Quicktime Video)

DETROIT -- In just three days, downtown Detroit's MotorCity Casino-Hotel managed to charge its Sound Board venue and Conference Center with the agenda of future fuel alternatives for transporation. From October 19 through the 21, the venue hosted a conference entitled The Business of Plugging In.

The conference’s main focus dealt with the endorsement of battery-powered electric vehicles in the future, signifying its political support through appearances by Governor Jennifer Granholm and Growth Energy chairman and former NATO Supreme Allied Commander Wesley Clark.

As motivation behind the agenda of endorsing battery-powered transportation, Clark addressed that a dependency on foreign oil must be reduced over time. “Twelve billion barrels are coming into this country a day,” he said.

During his luncheon address, Clark also mentioned that recent pushes for an alternative are related to a low amount of economic output in idea consideration. “You have to scratch your head because we haven’t got there yet,” the former NATO commander said. “What it became was collaborated mortgage obligation.”

As his address came to a close, Clark added that transportation should best be accepted as a leisure especially on battery-run power. “If you can’t sell a car on fun, you can’t make it in this [economy].”

Just outside the Sound Board doors, there was a center conference room set aside for exhibition booths that displayed battery systems and other essential devices in electric-powered automobile operation.

In addition to a model of the Chevrolet Volt and a solar-powered garage roof, one of the most common technology features on display was the recharging station and its parts in different formats.

Among the groups displaying a variety in such recharging stations was the AeroVironment Corporation, which displayed regular recharging booths for vehicles with either A/C or D/C batteries as well as a more compact, affordable version.

According to AV’s Senior Business Development Manager Adam Szczepanek, such a variety meant that “within a year, there is a plan to [have] 12,000 stations.”

Just down the exhibition row, a more portable charging station known as ChargePoint enables roadside recharging by accessing the booth with a payment card.

While attendees were able to get a glimpse of future models and the batteries and stations that would keep them powered, Plugging In was able to go one step further by providing concrete interaction with such models.

On the top level of the parking garage adjacent to MotorCity Hotel, a driving track was roped off to provide guests the opportunity of test driving several vehicles that run on battery power. Among such easy access transportation on display were Think City, a Saturn Vue, and a pair of bikes provided by Current Motor Company.

With a fainter hum and just as easy maneuverability, such a display of future motor vehicles at Plugging In gives a new perspective on transportation without altering the model image of the automobile.

 

PHOTO BY JASON RZUCIDLO / ©AMERICAJR.com

Hybrid and electric vehicles were available to the media for test drives.

 

PHOTO BY JASON RZUCIDLO / ©AMERICAJR.com

Myers Motors NMG one seat electric car. The current price is around $25,000.

 

PHOTO BY JASON RZUCIDLO / ©AMERICAJR.com

The new Think City electric vehicle is priced at around $20,000.

 

PHOTO BY JASON RZUCIDLO / ©AMERICAJR.com

The Myers Motors vehicle has two wheels in the front and one in the back.

 

PHOTO BY JASON RZUCIDLO / ©AMERICAJR.com

The Think City is coming to the U.S. at the end of 2010.

 

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