One of America's most vocal plug-in vehicle advocacy groups, Plug In America, wants to march for Obama. According to PIA's Paul Scott, the group has applied for a space in the Presidential Inaugural Parade this coming January in Washington, DC. PIA won't just be walking behind a RAV4 EV and tossing out candy. No, the plan is to participate with "the world's speediest and most sophisticated electric vehicles before the millions who will be watching coverage of this momentous event. Imagine a phalanx of Tesla Roadsters, eBoxes from AC Propulsion, Vectrix and Zero motorcycles, a converted Prius, Volt and PHEV Ford Escape and a Toyota RAV4 EV to show longevity - all led by a float consisting of an electric truck covered with solar PV and a windmill." Take that, Macy's. According to PIA's application letter (available after the break), Ford, General Motors, Tesla and other companies have already given firm commitments to participate.

[Source: Plug In America, Paul Scott]

This is the PIA application:

14 November 2008

TO: President-elect Obama's Inaugural Committee

FROM: Plug In America – coordinating a team comprised of Ford, General Motors, Tesla, AC Propulsion, Southern California Edison, the American Wind Energy Assn, the American Solar Industries Assn, and Greener World Media

RE: Application for Electric Vehicle formation in 2009 Inaugural Parade

Plug In America has assembled a dynamic national team to participate as an Electric Vehicle Formation and Float for the historic January 20th Presidential Inaugural Parade. The formation will be led by a group of 5 - 7 electric motorcycles/scooters, followed by 5 – 7 autos and a float. Key to this contingent of all-electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids will be a float conveying the tie-in with solar, wind and renewable power resources. Consumers often have an "ah ha" moment after realizing that electric autos are the only kind of alternative-fuel cars that can utilize renewable power.

The companies named above are confirmed and committed. We also expect to have a Toyota Plug-in Prius. Finally, we have invited participation from specialized batteries and charging companies, such as Hymotion, GridPoint and Coulomb Technologies.

What's Unique: We expect our electric vehicle formation to be a real stand-out. Some of the vehicles in our contingent are on the market now. Others are in prototype stage and will be released to the public in the 2009/2010 timeframe. The public is eager to see these cars. The burgeoning plug-in electric car industry creates jobs in the emerging green sector that is the hallmark of President-elect Obama's vision for a reinvigorated economy. Plug In America's formation will meet the new leader's expectations.

Audio: Our narrative opens and closes with quotes from President-elect Obama describing his vision for cleaner energy and plug-in cars. The narrator describes our vehicle/float formation as others might experience it. To hear it, please go to www.pluginamerica.org/inaugural. Username: pia, password: obama. The audio is also uploaded.

Video: The video clip that we have submitted includes footage of the variety of plug-in electric vehicles on the road in the past, present and future. We also include a brief tie-in to renewable energy. To see it, please go to www.pluginamerica.org/inaugural. Username: pia, password: obama. The video is also uploaded.

Photos: We have no photos of this group as a marching entity but we are attaching a preliminary sketch of how the formation would be assembled.

More about us: Plug In America drives change. Our mission is to accelerate the shift to plug-in vehicles powered by clean, affordable, domestic electricity to reduce our nation's dependence on petroleum and improve the global environment.

Plug in America has become the country's "go to" nonprofit organization for information and advocacy about electric vehicles. Automobile Magazine in its October 2008 issue called us one of the top nonprofit groups influencing the auto industry. We are a national, non-partisan 501c3 organization with more than 10,000 people on our member and supporter base and growing by about 500 people per month. Many of our board members (and their cars) are featured in the film Who Killed the Electric Car?

We are aware of a separate application being submitted for parade participation by the Electric Vehicle Association of D.C., a chapter of the national Electric Auto Association. While we are applying independently, we support their application, as well. Plug-in vehicles are a key part of President-elect Obama's transportation policies and deserve a prominent role in the Inaugural Parade.

Plug in America members and their vehicles have participated as individual entries in countless community parades and county fairs over the past few years. Invariably the parade audience is delighted and inspired. In a visual way, our vehicle/float formation raises the questions – Can we create clean energy? Can we drive without gasoline? Our presentation provides the answer right there in the parade. Yes, we can!


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