What I found that made this conference unique, in addition to being the first such convergence dedicated to plug-in hybrid technology, was the bridging of the tech community in Silicon Valley with the plug-in hybrid industry. On Tuesday, Andy Grove (Former Chairman & CEO of Intel Corporation) gave a luncheon speech that drew parallels between the eary days of the microprocessor industry and the current experiences of the plug-in hybrid field. He called for a grand vision - a commitment from those in the policy realm, industry, and research community to facilitate the production 10 million plug-in hybrid cars by 2012.
Dr. Andy Frank (U.C. Davis) provided a counterpoint in perspective during Wednesday's luncheon speech. Dr. Frank has spent the last forty years of his research endeavors dedicated to the development of plug-in hybrid technology. While he mentioned that the field has made considerable progress during this time, he sadly lamented that there are only about 200 plug-in hybrid vehicles in existence globally today (five of which are his). Dr. Frank remained optimistic, however, and stressed the need for faster progress in the field.