Peter Darbee,
Chief Executive,
PG&E
 
Washington, DC, U.S.A. --- (METERING.COM) --- June 12, 2008 – A recent poll commissioned by Google.org shows voters strongly support an active government role in promoting the development of technology for cars and trucks that draw power from electrical outlets. And at a plug-in vehicles conference sponsored by the Brookings Institute and Google.org Peter Darbee, the chief executive of utility Pacific Gas & Electric Co., said that his company is investing billions of dollars in developing the infrastructure necessary to support plug-in hybrid vehicle technology.

The survey revealed that, despite a general lack of knowledge about these plug-in vehicles, respondents have great interest in learning more. In addition, most respondents correctly note benefits of plug-in technology, including saving money on gas and lowering pollution.

"Today, our electric grid cannot support massive quantities of plug-in hybrid vehicles very well, and there is much work we have to do to accomplish that," said Darbee. "But I think much of that work can be done over a five year time frame in California and a ten year time frame throughout the remainder of the United States. In short, we need to transform the electric grid in the United States."

He also made the point that incentive pricing and a smart electric grid that would encourage customers to charge their vehicles during off-peak hours were important in increasing the stability of the system.

Respondents tended to see technology, rather than consumer demand, as the primary barrier to wide adoption of plug-in vehicles and they support government incentives for both consumers and industry.