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UT conference explores electric vehicle market in Southeast

A two-day conference on electric vehicle policy, market issues and infrastructure will be at the Howard H. Baker Jr. Center for Public Policy on the University of Tennessee campus Thursday and Friday of this week.

Electrifying the Vehicle Market in the Southeast will explore the potential of all electric drive vehicles (battery electric, hydrogen fuel cell, plug-in hybrid, and hybrid) to help address problems with national energy security, climate change, and local air pollution.

Sales of electric vehicles were at record highs in 2012, but still below expectation for many automakers. This workshop will bring together industry, policy makers, researchers, stakeholders and practitioners to share knowledge and experience, and explore strategies that could advance the market for electric drive vehicles in the US in general and in the Southeastern region, in particular.

During the conference a free display of electric vehicles will be available and open to the public. Cars are on loan from the Tennessee Valley Authority and GM.

Discussions include:

Prospective benefits and costs of electric vehicles, both public and private
Assessment of the current market and supply and demand challenges
Effectiveness of incentives, infrastructure investments and public information
Dialogue on future policy initiatives

The keynote speaker is David Green, a senior fellow with the Howard Baker Center and Oak Ridge National Lab. He will present "Achieving Sustainable Transportation by 2050: The National Research Council's Transitions to Alternative Vehicles and Fuels."

Other experts include representatives of Nissan and Ford and state and local governments already implementing zero emission vehicle plans.

The conference is sponsored by FedEx, Nissan, the U.S Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory, the University of Tennessee College of Engineering, and the University of Tennessee's Howard H. Baker Jr. Center for Public Policy.

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