Alternative Vehicles Evolve, Infrastructure Still Lags

A group of industry and policy leaders discuss the current state of the technology and infrastructure that will drive change for the auto industry.

The article features excerpts from a panel at the recent Governors' Climate Summit: The Road to Copenhagen, which was held in Los Angles in October. The panel, "Emerging Technologies: Getting Low Carbon Vehicles on the Road," was moderated by California Air Resources Board Chair Mary Nichols and included executives from the auto industry.

"On the one hand, the energy providers and the oil companies have a natural impulse and fiduciary responsibility to protect business. So too do the auto manufactures have the responsibility to their customers to provide the safest possible vehicle, even beyond regulatory aspects. At the end of the day, it is going to be the consumers who decide what works for them." -Diarmuid O'Connell, Vice President of Business Development, Tesla Motors

"The European automobile industry has given the supplies and infrastructure for keeping their cars connected...I am a bit worried that in the United States you are going to have a very primitive EV connector. If you have one plan for the coming years, you need to have a standardized connection and you need to have a smart interface between the connection, the user, and the grid." -Bharat Balasubramanian, Vice President, Product Innovations and Process Technologies, Daimler AG

"...one of the things I have to applaud California for is being willing to try things despite how damn frustrating that is. You've tried ethanol. You've tried CNG. You tried EV1s. You tried hydrogen. I think the message is that each of these solutions is extremely complicated. It's not just the technology or the vehicle, it is also the infrastructure, the supply team, the consumer, and the value proposition." -Christopher Reynolds, Group Vice President and General Counsel of Toyota Motor Sales, Inc.

Thanks to James Brasuell

Full Story: Governors’ Climate Summit: Future of the Automobile Examined

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