The Advanced Electric Drive Vehicle Education Program recently was featured in a segment on the long-running television show “MotorWeek,” which is seen on 240 PBS stations, the American Forces Network worldwide and Discovery HD Theater.
The clip titled “Charging Toward the Future” is available for viewing on the YouTube channel for “MotorWeek” by clicking here. Funded by a grant from the U.S. Department of Energy, the Advanced Electric Drive Vehicle Education Program promotes the use of advanced electric drive vehicles and encourages consumers to adopt them as their form of personal transportation.
The “MotorWeek” segment was produced by Dave Scrivener, the show’s senior producer and head writer. Scrivener is responsible for producing the show’s coverage on environmental issues, alternative fuels and advanced clean power technologies. With “MotorWeek,” Scrivener drives and evaluates more than 130 new cars and trucks each year.
“Electric cars are nothing new, of course, since many of the earliest cars were electric,” Scrivener noted. “But, in modern times, they have been perceived as a novelty rather than a practical alternative to gas or diesel cars. The first mainstream hybrids went on sale here just over 10 years ago, and since then there has been a remarkable increase in the public’s awareness and acceptance of advanced electric drive vehicles. Plug-in hybrids are a natural evolution, and ? several are planned for near future production. Pure electric vehicles are finally reaching the point where the operating range and recharge times are within acceptable limits to make them commercially viable.”
Scrivener added that driving range and recharging times are the two key points in gaining consumer acceptance.
“Most people are willing to make the environmentally friendly choice in meeting their transportation needs as long as they don’t have to pay extra for it, wait for it to recharge or worry about being stranded with dead batteries,” he continued. “The sheer volume of electric drive vehicles that we’ve seen in our test fleet recently is testament enough that the technology is ‘ready for prime time.’ I’ve personally driven more than a dozen new battery electric, fuel cell electric or plug-in hybrids in the past six months, and many of those (are) from new players in the market.”
In fact, Mark Cooper, blogger for “The Hill’s Congress Blog,” recently argued in his entry, “Fuel-efficient vehicles are the way to go,” that a “whole new approach to cars and trucks” is emerging with the increased development and sales of electric vehicles.
“When electric vehicles got all the buzz at the L.A. Auto Show, that was no surprise, since the biggest California auto show has long been known as the ‘green’ auto show,” Cooper wrote in his blog. “However, when electric vehicles replaced muscle cars as the central theme of the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, that is news. It signals the end of the most remarkable and perhaps important (certainly the most tumultuous) decade in the history of the automobile industry. With two automakers coming out of bankruptcy and a whole new approach to cars and trucks emerging, it also signals a new beginning for the U.S. automakers.”
Click here to read Cooper’s entire blog.
According to Scrivener, the next big hurdle for electric vehicles is installing public infrastructure for recharging at downtown business districts, airports, shopping malls and other locations where people congregate for long periods of time.
“There are also smaller issues having to do with curbside charging in urban residential districts (and) how to handle payment at public charge stations, but if we, as a nation, can commit ourselves to making the switch to environmentally sustainable transportation, then these problems will get sorted out,” he noted. “I believe that the Advanced Electric Drive Vehicle Education Program will succeed in raising public awareness, acceptance and demand of these types of vehicles because it has targeted key demographic groups that will lead by example, now and in the future. By diversifying the ways in which people are engaged by electric drive vehicles with video, internet content, seminars and community events, the AEDVEP is ensuring the maximum impact for this important outreach opportunity.”