By relying largely on foreign oil to power our vehicles, the U.S. is - as former CIA director James Woolsey has said - essentially funding both sides of the war on terrorism. This cannot continue. The surest and most-environmentally sound way to move beyond oil in transportation is to use clean electricity to power vehicles. With its clean, hydro-powered electricity, the Northwest is uniquely positioned to lead in the adoption of plug-in hybrid electric vehicles. PHEVs will help achieve greater energy independence, cut greenhouse gases and help reduce our balance-of-trade deficit, one-third of which is caused by oil imports. Successful adoption of PHEVs by large commercial and government fleets - and eventually, consumers - in the Northwest can set a compelling national example demonstrating the need for clean electricity to help replace oil in transportation.
This year, Cascadia Center will again organize a joint conference with Microsoft to highlight the latest in PHEV technology. (See below for link to speaker presentations at last year's event.) We also have assisted with a presidential executive order that would require federal agencies to purchase PHEVs when commercially available, and have worked toward creating pilot projects and incentives for PHEVs. In collaboration with top experts, researchers, and automakers, we continue exploring how best to integrate plug-in hybrid electric vehicles into the electric power grid; and how to help accelerate the production of PHEVs.
In addition, we are working with the Washington and U.S. transportation departments on proposals that would test how to recharge PHEVs at park and ride lots. We are also collaborating to encourage transit use and to introduce congestion pricing to replace lost gas tax revenues when gas consumption declines with the move to alternative fuels and electricity.
Our 2007 Cascadia-Microsoft PHEV conference page
includes links to speaker presentations and a compelling video on energy independence, featuring former CIA director James Woolsey.
Cascadia Center has published numerous op-eds on PHEVs, and been featured in newspaper articles and editorials on PHEVs, as well. Some key links follow.
"Washington Should Be A Leader In Push For All-Electric Cars
," Steve Marshall, Bill Gaines, Tacoma News Tribune, 2/24/08.
"Watch for Plug-in Cars In Tacoma
," David Seago, Inside The Editorial Page blog, Tacoma News Tribune, 12/12/07.
"Regional Transport: Much Can Be Done Right Now
," Bruce Agnew, Puget Sound Business Journal, 11/30/07.
"Fast Forward To A Time When Innovation Moves The Region
," Steve Marshall, Bruce Agnew, Seattle Times, 11/16/07.
"Northwest Businesses Starting To Sense The Gold In Going Green
," Sally Bagshaw, Crosscut, 11/6/07.
"City, County, Port To Run Year-Long Test Of PHEVs
," Cascadia Center, 10/25/07.
"Roads, Fuel And Funding
," Bruce Agnew, Steve Marshall, Tacoma News Tribune, 10/21/07.
"Go Green, Go Fast
," Bruce Agnew, Steve Marshall, Cascadia Center For Regional Development, Seattle Times, 7/1/07.
"Green Wheels Spinning For Venture Backers
," Bruce Agnew, Steve Marshall, Cascadia Center For Regional Development, Puget Sound Business Journal, 5/28/07.
"Plug-in Cars Show Promise; Let's Address Obstacles
," Bob Bolerjack, Everett Herald editorial,5/13/07.
"Will Plug-in Cars End The Age Of Oil?
," David Brewster, Crosscut, 5/10/07.
," Gary Crooks, Spokane Spokesman-Review editorial, 5/9/07.
"Fans Of Plug-in Cars Build Their Power Base
," Hal Bernton & Mike Lindblom, Seattle Times, 5/8/07.
"Visions Of A Northwest Hybrid Car Future Abound,
" Seattle Post-Intelligencer, 5/8/07.
"Beyond The Prius: Plugging In To Green Transportation
," Brier Dudley, Seattle Times, 4/30/07.
"Recharging The Nation's Energy Policy
," Bruce Agnew, Steve Marshall, Cascadia Center For Regional Development, Seattle Times, 1/23/07.
"How Does Hundreds Of Miles Per Gallon Sound?
, editorial, Everett Herald, 1/14/07.
Cascadia Senior Fellow Steve Marshall authored the following paper (8/07): "Replacing Oil With Electricity And Biofuels In Transportation: The Convergence Of Technology And Public Policy."
Cascadia also produced a discussion brief on implementing clean vehicle technologies on major highway corridors, "Greening The Highway From Baja to British Columbia"
For additional Cascadia news and views on PHEVs and other clean vehicle initiatives, visit our archive of PHEV blog posts