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A lot of interesting conversation takes place annually at the SAE World Congress. The conference brings together heads of companies, scientists, engineers and people from many other walks of life. With so much diversity present at a single event, it's only a matter of time before some off-the-wall idea got bounced around for adamant attendees to duke it out.

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As much as we like plug-in electric vehicles (PEVs), the fact is there just aren't that many of them on the roads, yet. Well the IRC, a group of power grid operators from the United States and Canada, are predicting that 1,000,000 new PEVs could be on North American roads by the end of the decade. The group has released the results of a study they conducted on what the future effect of that many electric vehicles sucking on the nations' electric teets might look like.

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Plug-in hybrids are a hot topic right now. But there are many who question if our electric grid will be able to support a massive influx of EVs and plug-in hybrids? Those who know often say "yes," "yes" and "yes" again. We can now add Stephen Whitley, president of the New York Independent System Operator, to the list of those who say plug ins are a good idea. Whitley has published a report saying that the grids are ready for cars with cords as long as they're recharged overnight. The report focu

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Madrid City Hall, Spain, has decided to go big for electric cars and install EV recharging points at all public parking facilities in the city. This means that the city's 36 parking installations will have up to 58 recharging points where EVs can be charged for free. What's more, City Hall has announced that all new parking lots will include these charging stations and the system will also be brought to municipal facilities that are used by residents. This isn't the last EV step for Madrid: City

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2011 Chevy Volt - Click above for a high res image gallery

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Not long ago, several important companies with interests in the utility and energy businesses created the GridWise Alliance. The group, which recently added fifteen new members (still no CA Edison), announced a meeting next week in Washington D.C. to discuss smart grids, how they can help us reduce our carbon footprint and how they are affected by the Energy Act of 2007.

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