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Thursday, August 03, 2006

New York State Plans to Convert 600 State Vehicles to Plug-in Hybrids

New York Governor George E. Pataki and Senate Majority Leader Joseph L. Bruno announced plans for a new $10-million State program to convert vehicles in the State fleet to plug-in hybrids and for the construction of a state-of-the-art alternative fuel research laboratory at the Saratoga Technology + Energy Park (STEP).

Under the $10 million plug-in hybrids program, the 600 hybrid vehicles in the State fleet will be retrofitted to be plug-in hybrids. Once the State’s hybrid vehicles have been converted to plug-in hybrids, the program will be made available to private vehicle owners through a competitive process.

The New York State Alternative Fuel Vehicle Research Laboratory will conduct testing for advanced and emerging technologies such as fuel cell propulsion systems, alternative fuels, and greenhouse gas reduction technologies. Special focus will be on test systems to quantify all emissions from diesel buses and trucks, which will help to develop advanced control and retrofit technologies for these vehicles.

The laboratory also will promote public-private partnership projects and educational programs, including research grants, technology development, and technician training applicable to emerging technologies such as alternative fuel concepts.

Governor Pataki:

This year, New York State has taken significant steps to reduce our dependence on imported energy, and we will continue to promote cutting-edge research and technology that will build a brighter energy future here in the Empire State. This new vehicle testing laboratory and our investments in plug-in hybrids are critical to this effort, and will help spur the innovation necessary to transition away from a petroleum-based transportation sector.
The Governor also announced that Electrovaya, a Canadian high-tech battery manufacturing firm, plans to expand Canadian operations into 5,000 square feet of manufacturing space at STEP, with additional expansion planned. The company’s lithium-ion batteries can be used in a variety of products and applications, including electric vehicles [see this Green Car Congress post for more]

Bravo to New York for this action. This will help provide a market for plug-in conversion kits and hopefully convince one or more big car companies (Toyota and DCX, I'm looking at you) to get at least one plug-in hybrid model to market (for fleet sales, at least).

Along with the Plug-in Partners Coaltion and it's member cities, a sizable fleet-sales market is just sitting out there waiting for the first mass-market PHEV to be released. If I were somebody like Toyota, with their large hybrid components supply chain, or DCX with their work with EPRI on PHEVs (their Sprinter PHEV vans are in field testing right now, see previous post), I'd be rushing to corner that market. Hopefully somebody in their organizations thinks like me...

[A hat tip to Green Car Congress - again]

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

WOW! I hope this is a trend with other states. We need to get everyone on plug-in hybrids. Now all they need are solar or wind powered charging stations. Then they will rarely need gas.