CalCars

CalCars

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CalCars is a charitable, non-profit organization
Non-profit organization
Nonprofit organization is neither a legal nor technical definition but generally refers to an organization that uses surplus revenues to achieve its goals, rather than distributing them as profit or dividends...

 founded in 2002 to promote plug-in hybrid electric vehicle
Electric car
An electric car is an automobile which is propelled by electric motor, using electrical energy stored in batteries or another energy storage device. Electric cars were popular in the late-19th century and early 20th century, until advances in internal combustion engine technology and mass...

s (PHEVs) as a key to addressing oil dependence and global warming
Global warming
Global warming refers to the rising average temperature of Earth's atmosphere and oceans and its projected continuation. In the last 100 years, Earth's average surface temperature increased by about with about two thirds of the increase occurring over just the last three decades...

 both nationally and internationally. CalCars envisions millions of plug-in hybrid electric vehicles, charged by off-peak electricity from renewable energy
Renewable energy
Renewable energy is energy which comes from natural resources such as sunlight, wind, rain, tides, and geothermal heat, which are renewable . About 16% of global final energy consumption comes from renewables, with 10% coming from traditional biomass, which is mainly used for heating, and 3.4% from...

 sources, and with their internal combustion engine
Internal combustion engine
The internal combustion engine is an engine in which the combustion of a fuel occurs with an oxidizer in a combustion chamber. In an internal combustion engine, the expansion of the high-temperature and high -pressure gases produced by combustion apply direct force to some component of the engine...

s powered by low-carbon alternative fuel
Alternative fuel
Alternative fuels, known as non-conventional or advanced fuels, are any materials or substances that can be used as fuels, other than conventional fuels...

s, as a way to significantly reduce greenhouse gases that come from transportation.

CalCars works with allied organizations to build buyer demand for PHEVs in the United States and promote commercial production of plug-in hybrid vehicles by major automakers.

CalCars engages in public education through its web site calcars.org. It displays its +100 miles per US gallon (42.5 km/L) PHEVs at public and private events, shows promotional videos, and makes presentations to different audiences, including political leaders and opinion-makers.

CalCars also promotes technology development for PHEVs by building example plug-in hybrid vehicles, and maintaining open-source documentation of technological information about its prototypes. In its technology development, CalCars is closely linked with the work of Professor Andrew A. (Andy) Frank
Andrew A. Frank
Dr. Andrew Alfonso Frank is an American professor of mechanical and aeronautical engineering at UC Davis. He is recognized as the father of modern plug-in hybrids,, and coined the now-common term. He has a B.S. degree from the University of California, Berkeley, a M.S. , from the University of...

 and the Team Fate design group at the University of California, Davis
University of California, Davis
The University of California, Davis is a public teaching and research university established in 1905 and located in Davis, California, USA. Spanning over , the campus is the largest within the University of California system and third largest by enrollment...

.

History



CalCars built the first PRIUS+ conversion creating the first PHEV based on the 2004 Toyota Prius
Toyota Prius
The Toyota Prius is a full hybrid electric mid-size hatchback, formerly a compact sedan developed and manufactured by the Toyota Motor Corporation...

. This initial conversion was done with a lead-acid battery pack to prove the concept would work. The build team included Ron Gremban, Felix Kramer
Felix Kramer
Felix Kramer is a communications expert and serial entrepreneur, well-known for his most recent work as founder of the California Cars Initiative...

, Marc Geller, Kevin Lyons, Andrew Lawton. Others who helped included Tom Driscoll, Michael Geller, Richard Jesch, Les Montavon, Dan Putman, Michael Schwabe, Len Tramiel, Bob Westman, Doug Widney.

Prius+ and Kits


Prius+ (also written Prius Plus) has become the open-source
Open source
The term open source describes practices in production and development that promote access to the end product's source materials. Some consider open source a philosophy, others consider it a pragmatic methodology...

 standard where most plug-in hybrid kits are based. Plug-in hybrid kits manufacturers includes:
  • A123 Hymotion
  • Amberjac Systems, based on EDrive Systems  emerged from the original EnergyCS
    EnergyCS
    EnergyCS is a Monrovia, California based company specializing in integration and controls for high-energy, large format batteries. The company provides battery management systems for lithium-ion batteries and other advance energy storage technologies and is active in the electric vehicle and...

  • EETrex
  • Enginer
  • Hybrid Electric Vehicle Technologies
  • Plug-In Conversions Corp
  • Plug-In Supply

Prepayment Plan


CalCars has proposed a Prepayment Plan, where buyers would pay $1,000 to reserve a plug-in car and the federal government would match each payment with $9,000, all of which would go to carmakers.

Combustion vehicle mass conversions


CalCars states that compared to crushing old vehicles, converting millions of gas-guzzling
Gas-guzzler
Gas-guzzler commonly refers to a vehicle that consumes fuel inefficiently.The term originally came into use in the US when congress established Gas Guzzler Tax provisions in the Energy Tax Act of 1978 to discourage the production and purchase of fuel-inefficient vehicles...

, internal combustion engine vehicle
Internal combustion engine
The internal combustion engine is an engine in which the combustion of a fuel occurs with an oxidizer in a combustion chamber. In an internal combustion engine, the expansion of the high-temperature and high -pressure gases produced by combustion apply direct force to some component of the engine...

s (pickup trucks, SUVs, and full-size vans -PSV
Pickup truck
A pickup truck is a light motor vehicle with an open-top rear cargo area .-Definition:...

s-) is a winning energy-saving strategy.

In this way, Colorado is going to offer $6,000 credit for PHEV conversions
(in addition to a federal 10% credit up to $4,000 for qualifying vehicles) .

Key CalCars personnel


Felix Kramer, Founder, is a marketing strategist and communicator with an entrepreneurial track record with startup
Startup company
A startup company or startup is a company with a limited operating history. These companies, generally newly created, are in a phase of development and research for markets...

s; in the environmental realm, he has managed major events and run campaigns and organizations. After founding, running and selling a small Internet company, since 2001 he has volunteered his time to CalCars.

Ron Gremban, Technology Development Lead for PRIUS+, moderator of the PRIUS+ Plug-In Hybrid Conversion Group, and electrical and software engineer
Software engineer
A software engineer is an engineer who applies the principles of software engineering to the design, development, testing, and evaluation of the software and systems that make computers or anything containing software, such as computer chips, work.- Overview :...

 involved in sales of solar energy systems, has long experience with electric cars
Battery electric vehicle
A battery electric vehicle, or BEV, is a type of electric vehicle that uses chemical energy stored in rechargeable battery packs. BEVs use electric motors and motor controllers instead of, or in addition to, internal combustion engines for propulsion.A battery-only electric vehicle or...

 -- he helped design and drive the Caltech entry in the transcontinental 1968 Great Electric Car Race.

Gail Slocum, Senior Advisor, former Mayor, Menlo Park
Menlo Park, California
Menlo Park, California is a city at the eastern edge of San Mateo County, in the San Francisco Bay Area of California, in the United States. It is bordered by San Francisco Bay on the north and east; East Palo Alto, Palo Alto, and Stanford to the south; Atherton, North Fair Oaks, and Redwood City...

 and Regulatory Attorney at Pacific Gas and Electric Company
Pacific Gas and Electric Company
The Pacific Gas and Electric Company , commonly known as PG&E, is the utility that provides natural gas and electricity to most of the northern two-thirds of California, from Bakersfield almost to the Oregon border...

.

Other supporting parties


CalCars is helped and advised by the entire EV community, including many members of the Electric Auto Association
Electric Auto Association
The Electric Auto Association is a non-profit educational organization that promotes the advancement and widespread adoption of Battery electric vehicles. It was formed in 1967 in San Jose, California.-Members:...

, Project Get Ready and the groups working to keep the remaining electric cars on the roads instead of being "recycled". Don't Crush succeeded as is apparent by Toyota's welcome decision to allow the cars to be purchased by their leaseholders; this group has now become Plug In America
Plug In America
Plug In America is a 501 non-profit educational organization that promotes and advocates the use of plug-in cars, trucks and sports utlilty vehicles powered by domestic and renewable electricity which it claims will help reduce dependence on fossil fuels, improve the global environment and...

.

Plug-in Conference


CalCars participates in the Plug-in Conference, co-sponsored by California's utilities, the Electric Power Research Institute
Electric Power Research Institute
The Electric Power Research Institute conducts research on issues related to the electric power industry in USA. EPRI is a nonprofit organization funded by the electric utility industry. EPRI is primarily a US based organization, receives international participation...

, and Silicon Valley Leadership Group
Silicon Valley Leadership Group
The Silicon Valley Leadership Group, founded in 1978 by David Packard of Hewlett-Packard, represents more than 340 of Silicon Valley's most respected employers on issues, programs and campaigns that affect the economic health and quality of life in Silicon Valley, including energy, transportation,...

.

See also

  • Andrew A. Frank
    Andrew A. Frank
    Dr. Andrew Alfonso Frank is an American professor of mechanical and aeronautical engineering at UC Davis. He is recognized as the father of modern plug-in hybrids,, and coined the now-common term. He has a B.S. degree from the University of California, Berkeley, a M.S. , from the University of...

    , the creator of modern plug-in hybrids
  • Cash for clunkers
  • Electric Auto Association
    Electric Auto Association
    The Electric Auto Association is a non-profit educational organization that promotes the advancement and widespread adoption of Battery electric vehicles. It was formed in 1967 in San Jose, California.-Members:...

  • Government incentives for plug-in electric vehicles
    Government incentives for plug-in electric vehicles
    Government incentives for plug-in electric vehicles have been established by several national and local governments around the world as a financial incentive for consumers to purchase a plug-in electric vehicle....

  • RechargeIT
    RechargeIT
    RechargeIT is one of five initiatives within Google.org, the charitable arm of Google, created with the aim to reduce CO2 emissions, cut oil use, and stabilize the electrical grid by accelerating the adoption of plug-in electric vehicles.-History:...

     (Google.org)
  • Plug-in electric vehicle
    Plug-in electric vehicle
    A plug-in electric vehicle is any motor vehicle that can be recharged from any external source of electricity, such as wall sockets, and the electricity stored in the rechargeable battery packs drives or contributes to drive the wheels...

     (PEV)
  • PHEV Research Center
    PHEV Research Center
    The PHEV Research Center in the University of California, Davis, United States, provides technology and policy guidance to the state, and to help solve research questions and address commercialization issues for PHEVs.It was launched in 2007 with fundings from the California Air Resources Board ...

  • Plug-in garage
  • Plug-in hybrid vehicles
  • Plug-in hybrids in California
    Plug-in hybrids in California
    California is a main territory in the world promoting plug-in hybrids.- CalCars :CalCars is a charitable, non-profit organization founded in 2002 to promote plug-in hybrid electric vehicles as a key to addressing global warming both nationally and internationally...

  • Toyota Prius Plug-in Hybrid
    Toyota Prius Plug-in Hybrid
    The Toyota Prius Plug-in Hybrid is a mid-size plug-in hybrid electric vehicle to be produced by Toyota Motor Corporation and scheduled to be released to the market beginning in January 2012...

  • World Electric Vehicle Association
    World Electric Vehicle Association
    The World Electric Vehicle Association is an organization that promotes electric vehicles.It is based in Palo Alto, California.The chairman is Hisashi Ishitani.- Member associations :It is composed by :...


External links