November 20th 1999

Products Launched, Projects Announced at NAVEI'99

(When you're there, surf around. The NAVEI website has a brand new design, and all the latest breaking news from the show which just came to an end this afternoon. Remy C. ET Ed.)

EVAA kicked off Media Day at NAVEI'99 with a demonstration of its redesigned and improved World Wide Web site. EVAA is bringing additional resources and capabilities to a location on the Internet for people interested in obtaining information about electric transportation. The EVAA Web site can be found at

Georgia Power announced that it will be assisting the Georgia Department of Education as it establishes an electric vehicle educational curriculum. The curriculum will target high school students throughout Georgia. "About $100,000 already has been allocated to implement the electric vehicle training program, and more resources are coming in every day," said Mike Anderson, Georgia Power's electric transportation manager. "It's exciting to see a variety of organizations across Georgia become involved in the curriculum." Participating high schools in the pilot program include Westlake High School in Fulton County, Lovejoy High School in Clayton County, East Hall High School in Hall County, Jackson County High School in Jackson County and Habersham Central in Habersham County. The electric vehicle curriculum should be available statewide by the fall 2000.

Toyota Motor Sales USA has selected nine Atlanta area consumers to drive the new Toyota Prius gasoline/electric hybrid vehicle in a four-week consumer test, review and evaluation program. The nine test drivers are from Atlanta and Decatur. Other Prius demo sites include Seattle, WA, Sacramento, CA, Orange County, CA and Chicago. Atlanta is one of five urban areas targeted for the Prius demo program, a six city national tour in which a wide variety of individuals and families will conduct extended evaluations of the vehicle.

Ford Motor Company showed off its Th!nk City battery-powered electric vehicle that has been specially created for fleet and individual customers looking for urban transportation solutions. With its purchase of a majority interest in Oslo-based Th!nk Nordic AS, manufacturer of the Th!nk City, Ford believes that the Th!nk will provide quick access to the personal city commuter vehicle market, according to John Wallace, Ford's director of Environmental Vehicle programs.

AeroVironment introduced two new products: an AV-900 Volt Drive Train Development and Test System for heavy-duty hybrid electric vehicles, and the MT-30 Module Level Test Station. The new products represent a broadening of AeroVironment's Power Processing Systems product line. Capable of voltages up to 900 volts and power up to 250kW, the AV-900 is computer controlled to conduct rigorous testing, according to Ilker Bayrakter, AeroVironment's Vice President of Sales and New Business. The AV-900 was developed under a DARPA/AVP grant, a public-private partnership intended to create cleaner, quieter, and more fuel-efficient vehicles.

U.S. Electricar announced that the company has selected Enova Systems as its new corporate identity. "We have created an entirely new company with new visions and new products," said Carl D. Perry, President and CEO. "We felt it important to reshape our identity to reflect the new direction and spirit of the company. Our new name symbolizes our commitment to the creation of new technologies which will have a major impact on electric transportation." The company's stock trading symbol shall remain "ECAR."

The Southern Coalition for Advanced Transportation (SCAT) study revealed that one of the most promising markets for electric modes of transportation is in the area of off-road vehicles. "Market's currently exist, are growing and the technology is ideal for a variety of applications," SCAT's President John Wilson said.

Advanced Vehicle Systems (AVS Chairman and CEO Joe Ferguson discussed the company's recent delivery of the largest order for electric-powered buses ever placed in the United States. The order calls for delivery by AVS of 31 hybrid-electric buses before February 2001 to the City of Tempe, Arizona.

Electric Vehicle Infrastructure (EVI) announced that it has developed an on-board EV charger concept that will allow High Power AC conductive charge stations to achieve a cost close to that of a typical Level II (4 to 6 hour charge) Power Control Station, the company said. "Once the major automakers announce that the technology will be incorporated in their vehicles, EVI will make the product available to the general market for easily under $5,000, compared to about $40,000 for a comparable off-board product," said Mickey Oros EVI's President.

General Motors provided a peek at its new concept electric vehicle, the Chevrolet Triax, to the American press corps for the first time ever. General Motors Brand Manager Ken Stewart said the car is unique because the driver can select one of three propulsion options including four-wheel drive hybrid electric, four-wheel drive electric or two-wheel drive internal combustion. "The beauty of the Triax is its flexibility," said Stewart. "It's a clean sleek design approach intended to meet the demands of customers while demonstrating General Motors' resolve to address environmental issues."

PowerDesigners promoted a new form of charge equalization technology -- PowerCheq. For the first time, an easy, yet effective and efficient solution is available for charge equalization," said Joe Kremer, chief operating officer of PowerDesigners. "The PowerCheq units can be retrofitted into existing systems, which allows our customers to keep their current configuration, saving time and money. Furthermore, the units were designed to be non-dissipative, which conserves energy. An efficient and affordable equalizer means longer battery life and increased productivity for the end user."

The Mid-Del Technology Center described its electric vehicle training program located in Del City, Oklahoma. Sandra Stephens, Mid-Del Business and Industry Services Director, discussed the advantages of training employees to allow them to safely and competently perform maintenance on electric vehicles.

Toxco Inc., a recycler of lithium batteries, announced that it has formed an alliance with Kinsbursky Brothers Inc., a battery management firm located in the U.S. The teaming effort is primarily focused on meeting the future requirements for the management of electric and hybrid-electric vehicle batteries. According to David Miller, Toxco Inc.'s Vice President of Marketing and Sales, "by joining forces, the two companies can offer a single source for a comprehensive and efficient battery management program."

The Electric Vehicle Conductive Charging Coalition (EVC3) showcased a new technology that will reduce the cost of conductive charging for electric vehicles. Members of EVC3 displayed recent developments in conductive charging systems, components, and demonstrated new concepts in conductive charging technology for electric vehicles. Members of EVC3 include American Honda Motor Company, DaimlerChrysler, Ford Motor Company, Mazda Motor Corporation, Solectria, Volkswagen of America and other organizations