In January's State of the Union address, President Bush called for a 20 percent reduction in American gasoline consumption by 2017. In the city of Oakland, California, they're thinking bigger: oil independence by 2020.

The road to this future is paved with coal, nuclear or some other electricity-generating power source, because Professor CC Chan, a member of Altair Nanotechnologies' Scientific Advisory Board and founder of the International Research Centre for Electric Vehicles at the University of Hong Kong, and Steve Schneider, CEO for Bay Area's ZAP!, say that pure electric cars are the way to reach the goal.

The two attended the inaugural meeting for the Oil Independent Oakland by 2020 Task Force last week at Oakland City Hall and the coolest catch phrase to come out of the meeting is "green collar jobs," and the big idea it to make electric cars in the Bay Area.

Chan listed six specific ways to eliminate oil from the city's diet. As Telematics Journal writes:

First, every second car in multi-car families should be a 100% battery powered electric car. Second, every first car in multi-car families should be a plug-in hybrid. Third, residential and commercial buildings should integrate renewable energy technologies, like solar, wind and underground heat pumps. Fourth, optimizing energy storage, usage and co-generation between homes, cars and work can achieve greater levels of success. Fifth, incentives need to be implemented, like free parking for electric vehicles or rebates to incorporate photovoltaic power to homes and businesses. Finally, the creation of green industry including manufacturing of electric vehicles and their components, flexible and universal energy packages including batteries and recycling of batteries will help expand the infrastructure.

We'll check back with Oakland in thirteen years and see where they're at.

[Source: Telematics Journal]

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