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Monday, October 5, 2009

Milwaukee area seen as hybrid hub

From an article by Tom Content in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel:

It's August. The forecast calls for weather in the 90s. You pull into a parking ramp downtown and plug your hybrid-electric car into a charging station.

By midafternoon, with air conditioners all over town running full tilt, the local electric utility can't keep up with the demand. So instead of charging up, your car's battery begins feeding power back to the grid - saving the city from a brownout.

That night, an app on your cell phone confirms how much money you saved on your electric bill by helping out.

This scenario may have seemed far-fetched just a few years ago. But today, more and more utilities are working with transportation researchers on developing the infrastructure for an advanced way for Americans to fuel their cars and trucks.

And some lawmakers and businesses are working to position the Milwaukee region as a leader in the industry.

"This is an area that's going to be growing in national importance, and there are some really unique opportunities that we are well-positioned to take advantage of," said state Rep. Jeff Stone (R-Greendale).

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