Electric Cars, Biofuels Compete for Attention at Cascadia Conference

Electrification is not entirely incompatible with biofuels, since plug-in hybrids could run on a mix of biofuels and electricity.

Published: 10-Sep-2008

At a Cascadia Center conference last week on the future of transportation titled "Beyond Oil," the star was the electric car.

Electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids were lined up outside the Microsoft Executive Conference Center during the two-day conference: plug-in Priuses, converted SUVs, even a plug-in yellow school bus.

True believers on grid-powered vehicles happily exchanged factoids inside. In such a crowd, Rob Elam, founder of Propel Biofuels, stuck out like a sore thumb.


Powered by advanced lithium-ion batteries and two 67bhp (50kW) electric motors to drive the front and rear axles, the Mixim is a four-wheel-drive car with a theoretical top speed of 112mph and a potential maximum range of 156 miles.

Dodge ZEO is 2+2 electric muscle car for the 21st century powered by 200kW electric drive with 0-60 mph in less than 6 seconds and range of 250 miles.

The Air Car may do better than fuel-cell cars, but experts say that using grid power to charge a battery-powered electric vehicle is much more efficient than using electricity to compress and store the same amount of energy in a tank.


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