Green Cars Get Boost from Copenhagen Climate Conference

Efforts to mitigate global warming will include reducing CO2 emissions and that will impact the auto industry.

Published: 11-Dec-2009

WASHINGTON - U.S. drivers fond of their gas guzzlers will have to learn to love greener cars, which are expected to get a big boost from the on-going international climate talks in Copenhagen.

The aim of the Dec. 7-18 global conference is reducing environmentally damaging greenhouse gases, and key to that goal, industry officials say, is reducing emissions from carbon-belching automobiles.

"It's very well understood by the automobile companies, energy companies [and] petroleum companies that the automobile must change and the fuel for the automobile must change," says Scott Samuelsen, a University of California-Irvine professor. "The manufacturers of vehicles and the fuel providers have been working since the late 1980s for that transition, and we're now at the threshold of making that transition," says Samuelsen, who is also the director of the U.S. National Fuel Cell Research Center.


TREV two-place electric car

Student-built vehicle can do 0-60 in 10 seconds with top speed of 75 mph. Photo courtesy of University of South Australia.

Better Place prototype charger on San Francisco street.

Electric car companies are finding a friendly reception as they push West Coast states and cities for incentives and infrastructure investments.

Cape Town-based Optimal Energy developed the six-place, all-electric Joule.

2010 has been set as the target date for many electric vehicles to enter large-scale production worldwide.


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