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Hybrid cars may be the key to oil independence

Author speaks on Earth Day

(Published April 10, 2007, 4:05 p.m.)

Award-winning journalist, hybrid advocate and author Sherry Boschert will come to UW-Whitewater April 20 for the Earth Day celebration to speak about plug-in hybrid automobiles.

"The quickest way to wean Americans off our fossil-fuel-fired cars and trucks is with plug-in hybrids, a new kind of car that uses electricity for local driving, but has a liquid fuel bank as a backup for long-distance driving," Boschert was quoted as saying in a news release. "By plugging the car into a regular electrical socket at night, drivers save money, the air gets cleaner and we reduce U.S. demand for oil."

Boschert is an award-winning medical news reporter, owner of an electric car, co-founder of the San Francisco Electric Vehicle Association and author of the book "Plug-in Hybrids: The Cars that Will Recharge America."

In her book, Boschert explains the difference between conventional, gasoline-dependent hybrids and plug-in hybrids that plug into a regular 110-volt wall socket to recharge the batteries, and keeps the gasoline engine as a backup.

"It is critical for Ms. Boschert to speak at UW-Whitewater because the means are extremely limited by which students can inform themselves about the state of the automobile market today and usually available only to those who follow automotive engineering and technology as a hobby," Department Chair and Associate Professor of Physics Paul Rybski said.

While plug-in hybrid electronic vehicles aren't available for purchase yet, President Bush promoted plug-in hybrids in both of his State of the Union speeches, and the city of Austin, Texas has already collected more than 8,000 advance purchase orders for plug-in hybrids.

"Students are unaware of the reasons for the limited purchase choices given to them by the automobile marketplace," Rybski added. "If these students wish to help the environment by reducing the amount of greenhouse gas emissions given off by American automobiles, they must assertively contact their favorite car companies and demand plug-in hybrids be made available for purchase in the very near future."

There will be three hybrid and one plug-in hybrid automobiles for viewing following Boschert's speech during the lunch hours in the Center of the Arts parking lot at the Earth Day celebration. Boschert will speak from 10:30-11:20 a.m. in the Light Recital Hall of the Greenhill Center of the Arts. For more information, contact Rybski at rybskip@uww.edu or (262) 472-5766.


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