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Nov. 28–30

Hyatt Regency Washington on Capitol Hill

The Industry

sustainable transportation

The Attendees

400 business, government, and utility delegates examining cash-guzzling new technologies

The Issues

The Gridlockmobile: The new Mini Cooper–sized ZENN (Zero Emission No Noise) low-speed electric vehicle costs about $12,500, powers up by plugging into standard electrical sockets, travels 35 miles on a single charge—but is restricted by law to 25 mph, since it lacks air bags. Asked why a D.C. resident should consider a ZENN, Feel Good Cars CEO Ian Clifford said, “It’s ideal for sitting in traffic.”

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Zero to Gusto: During a “Ride ’n Drive” for congressional staff and reporters, auto-company reps grew accustomed to being jerked around and rocketed through intersections as test-drivers discovered the high torque typical to newer electric and hydrogen-fuel-cell vehicles.

Roast Not: Temperatures that cause lithium-ion batteries to burst into flames merely melt the plastic housing of Altairnano’s NanoSafe nano-titanate battery cell.

Location, No-cation: The Honda FCX hydrogen-fuel-cell four-seater’s computer impressively tracks hydrogen refueling stations. Less impressive: There’s only about 200 stations to track.—Rob Tierney

More Conventional Wisdom at washingtoncitypaper.com