Electric Atmosphere at Electric Vehicle Symposium

Plug-in hybrid cars definitely on the way, but what about vehicle-to-grid technology.

Published: 28-Dec-2007

When a U.S. congressman speaks from the floor of the House and a representative from a global auto-maker gets hissed at during an electric-vehicle (EV) conference, you know something’s up. The International Electric Vehicle Symposium and Exposition, held here in early December, brought home how much has changed in the world of electric cars since the previous electric-vehicle symposium (EVS) in Yokohama, Japan, just 14 months ago.

The congressman was U.S. Representative Jay Inslee (D-Washington), who spoke about a bill in the House that would eliminate oil-industry tax benefits as one way to encourage the development of electric vehicles. (He was also touting the new book he coauthored with Bracken Hendricks, Apollo’s Fire: Igniting America’s Clean Energy Economy.)

The offending comment came from Dan Bonawitz, vice president of corporate planning and logistics at American Honda, who said, “We do not believe that [lithium-ion batteries] are ready for real-world deployment in high-discharge applications” during a well-attended plenary session. The statement drew actual—though muted—hissing.

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