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As I said earlier, the panels at the Austin Alt Car expo were heavily focused on plug-in vehicles. The last discussion on Friday continued the trend and was called "Future Prospects for Plug-in Hybrids" and the participants acknowledged that their presentations were treading over some of the same ground that earlier panelists had covered. Still, Mark Duvall of EPRI and Susan Zielinski of CARSS did add a few new tidbits to the discussion and if you're a PHEV fanatic, you'll find something in the

When was the last time you talked to your electric power company? I mean, really sat down and had a good chat about when they should send you power and when they shouldn't? Have you told them when you'd like to have the air conditioner shut off and let the home warm up because no one will be home? If you haven't had this talk with your utility, you're not alone. Not by a long shot. In fact, figuring out how to get customers to even start having this kind of communication is a huge challenge for

One of the more organized presences at the first Austin Alt Car expo this past weekend was from the Texas propane community. From propane-powered lawnmowers to a giant propane-powered school bus, you couldn't miss the vehicles. Three pro-propane groups - the Texas Propane Educational & Marketing Foundation, the Propane Education & Research Council, and the Alternative Fuels Research & Education Division of the Railroad Commission of Texas - came together to showcase ways to burn prop

Here in Austin, Texas, one of the big sellers of electric-powered two-wheeled vehicles is Alien Scooters. On the floor of the Austin Alt Car Expo, the shop has a large display area full of two-wheeled EVs. Oh, and inflatable aliens.

U.S. Congressman Lloyd Doggett (D-TX) was present at the Alt Car Expo in Austin, Texas yesterday. This is quite the reasonable place for him to be, not just because he's the Representative from this area but because he's been a long-time promoter of more government support for plug-in vehicles.

The AltCar crowd around the EV1 and the Chevy Volt. Photo to Amy Williams

Here's a tip for Terry Tamminen: retire the joke already. You know, the one about Arnold Schwarzenegger and whoever just introduced you as a speaker, how they were pumping iron together back in the day? We heard it about Ed Begley at the 2006 Alt Car Expo and then again at AFVI in 2007. When Tamminen told it again at this year's Alt Car Expo (listen to the audio clip below), I started to worry that he might not have anything new to say at all. But, while Tamminen is still a strong supporter of h

Dr. Andy Frank, the "godfather" of the plug-in hybrid

Three new and radical bus concepts were unveiled in Santa Monica this morning as part of the third annual AltCar Expo. The bus of the future contest is an exercise in what's possible down the road, but it's also very timely: public transportation ridership in Santa Monica is up seven percent compared to last year.

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