2011 is shaping up to be a pivotal year in the renewable energy sector, particularly where electric or hybrid vehicles is concerned. The list of full or partial electric transport continues to expand at a rapid pace, and is not limited to the auto sector. This past summer, Sikorsky had an electric helicopter demonstrator on display at the Airventure Air Show in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. While in early development, every new tech has to start somewhere. We applaud this bold initiative as it represents a difficult but needed jump start with what some might consider a worst-case scenario. The Hybrid Truck Forum in Dearborn, Michigan sported an incredible array of hybrid and electric vehicles, including military concept vehicles. Brammo now has a number of viable electric motorcycles with great performance and range, Sonex recently flew its electric airplane, and we all know the Chevrolet Volt story (2010 USREA Game-Changer winner). Just todayt the Consumer
Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Ford unveiled the new Focus Electric, set for delivery in the later half of this year, while the Nissan Leaf is getting strong reviews. This list is just touching the surface of what has or is coming shortly. It seems every vehicle company is pushing battery and storage devices, and the technology is rapidly evolving. As we survey the EV landscape, it would appear the industry is determined to reach critical mass. Welcome to the USREA “Year of the Electric Vehicle” in all its forms.