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PLANNING AND DESIGN COMPETITION FOR ELECTRIC VEHICLE INFRASTRUCTURE KICKS OFF TODAY

 WASHINGTON, D.C., Nov. 18 ~PRNewswire~ -- Now that advances in technology are making the electric vehicle a reality, designing an infrastructure to meet charging and service needs and other operational issues presents significant challenges.
 A national planning and design competition, unveiled today at Union Station in Washington, will address those challenges.
 The Electric Vehicle and the American Community: A Planning and Design Competition invites teams of professionals from various disciplines to design changes in their communities' infrastructures to make them "user friendly" to electric vehicles. Professionals such as architects, urban planners and engineers will design convenient recharging methods, link energy and transportation policies and demonstrate how land and energy use can be shaped to meet the needs of electric-vehicle users.
 General Motors, Hughes Power Control Systems, Electronic Data Systems, the Edison Electric Institute and the United States Department of Energy are sponsors of the competition.
 Co-sponsors include The Detroit Edison Company, Pacific Gas and Electric Company and Southern California Edison Company. Additional co-sponsors include Arizona Public Service Company, Boston Edison Company, Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, Sacramento Municipal Utility District and Salt River Project.
 Each team will submit its plan to a panel of experts who will judge the creativity and practicality of the solutions. Teams will compete for $100,000 in prize money that will be divided among winning teams in several categories. The winners will be announced on May 11, 1993.
 "Professionals from various disciplines will bring a unique contribution to the planning process," said Competition Chair John Dabels, director of market development for GM Electric Vehicles. "By linking these groups in the planning phase well in advance, our cities can develop practical solutions to support electric vehicles."
 According to Competition Manager Steven Cecil, this competition is a prime example of how the private and public sectors can work together to achieve a common goal and make the United States competitive.
 "The planning and design of the new infrastructure cuts across the traditional boundaries between public agencies, private companies and professional disciplines," Cecil said. "It presents a unique opportunity for these groups to creatively expand an American technology, create jobs in emerging businesses and help make our communities better places to live."
 The Department of Energy (DOE) has funded research and development on electric vehicles since the mid-1970s. Efforts have focused primarily on battery research, which led in 1991 to DOE's involvement with the U.S. automotive industry in forming the U.S. Advanced Battery Consortium (USABC).
 DOE has also provided support for the single shaft alternating current (AC) propulsion system, which will be employed as an electric- vehicle demonstration fleet beginning in 1993.
 The Energy Policy Act of 1992 authorized expansion of the DOE electric-vehicle program by authorizing programs in:
 -- commercial demonstration of electric-vehicle fleets;
 -- electric-vehicle infrastructure and support-system development;
 -- expanded research and development in electric and hybrid powertrains;
 -- fuel-cell development; and
 -- photovoltaic systems for recharge.
 Electric vehicles present a viable method of meeting zero-emissions standards required in some states. In California, for example, 2 percent of all vehicles sold must be emission free by 1998, putting nearly 10,000 electric vehicles on California's highways in just one year. The competition is designed to help cities prepare to support this new form of transportation.
 Individuals interested in participating in the competition can contact:
 The Electric Vehicle and the American Community
 432 North Saginaw St.
 Suite 801
 Flint, MI 48502
 QUOTES FROM PRIMARY SPONSORS
 "Hughes is proud to be one of the sponsors of this competition. Here in Southern California, we are especially aware of the importance of the automobile to the culture and of the effect of emissions on the environment. The teams working in this competition have a chance to make a real contribution to the environment by helping develop the infrastructure changes that will make it easier for motorists to switch to electric vehicles." -- Gerald K. Slocum, president, Hughes Transportation Sector.
 "We have the technology to make a dependable, practical, environmentally sound electric vehicle. The challenge now is to prepare our infrastructure to support it. This competition will help bring government and industry together to develop an infrastructure that is as exciting and elegant as electric vehicles themselves." -- Kenneth R. Baker, manager, GM Electric Vehicles.
 "The automobile has truly left its impact on the quality of life in our cities. And, just as introducing the first horseless carriages of a hundred years ago meant change, introducing electric vehicles in the near future will now also mean dramatic change. Both public and private interests must collaborate to ensure that this change is positive.
 "As providers of electric power, electric utilities must assume their responsibility for this collaborative effort. We are ready for the challenges that lie ahead. Equally important, we are excited about joining with government, auto manufacturers and urban planners and designers to take part in setting the course for the next hundred years." -- Thomas Kuhn, president, Edison Electric Institute.
 -0- 11~18~92
 ~CONTACT: Mike De Villing or Wendy Makowski of Eisbrenner Public Relations, 313-641-1446, for The Electric Vehicle and the American Community~


CO: The Electric Vehicle and the American Community ST: District of Columbia IN: AUT SU:

DH -- DE005 -- 2280 11~18~92 11:02 EST
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Date:Nov 18, 1992
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