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“Joe Lambrix of Olympia is building an electric vehicle infrastructure in the South Sound, one 120-volt plug-in at a time.
The founder of the nonprofit group Plug In Olympia is motivated on several fronts.

On the personal level, Lambrix, wife Kathy and daughter Sarah, drive two all-electric vehicles, so it helps to have places around town to recharge the car batteries when theyre commuting to work or running errands.

Since forming Plug In Olympia in May 2007, Lambrix has persuaded about 10 businesses, four state agencies, Intercity Transit and the City of Lacey to install electric plug-in stations in their parking lots. Some of the state agency sites are for state employees only, but most of the sites are open to anyone who needs an energy boost for their electric vehicles.

But the Lambrixes passion for electric sockets in parking lots runs deeper than personal convenience. Its the familys way of promoting increased ownership and use of electric vehicles, which, in turn, reduces the nations dependency on foreign oil and curbs greenhouse gas emissions from motor vehicles.

‘We want to build a national infrastructure,’ said Lambrix, 52, an Intercity Transit bus driver. ‘Our goal at Plug In Olympia is to go nationwide.’

When it comes to green energy, the Lambrix family walks the talk. About one-third of the electricity used at their home on Olympias west side comes from their array of 18 solar panels they installed on their roof in December 2006. They also have a solar-powered hot water heater. They planned to add another six solar panels to the system before the years end.

The solar array allows the family to make a claim that few can: They produce the electricity that powers their vehicles.

They bought their first all-electric vehicle in April 2007 a three-wheeled, shiny blue Zap Zebra that Lambrix uses to commute to work and run errands around town. The vehicles range is about 25 miles per charge.

The family added a Miles in June. Its a four-passenger sedan with a 35- to 45-mile range and top speed of about 35 mph…

The family has about 8,000 miles on their two vehicles at a fuel cost of about a penny per mile, or a total of about $80.

The same mileage in a car averaging 25 miles per gallon of gasoline priced at $3.50 per gallon would have cost the family $1,120.

Lambrix is realistic about the limitations of electric vehicles. The family owns a gasoline-fueled car for longer trips out of town. And he realizes electric cars powered by electricity from coal-fired power plants isnt a real answer in the battle against global warming. The cost and the need to dispose of electric car batteries are other challenges for electric vehicle supporters.

‘But I think technology will solve many of the environmental problems with electric cars,’ Lambrix said.

Lambrix said hes invested more than 1,000 hours and $1,000 of his own money in Plug In Olympia, driven in part by a conviction that the auto industry and politicians have held back the development of the electric vehicle.

‘When I think about whats happened to our environment, and after seeing the movie Who Killed the Electric Car? it just burns me up,’ Lambrix said.

‘My ultimate goal is to meet the president of General Motors, shake his hand and say to him: Weve built the infrastructure for electric cars, now when are you going to build the electric cars?'” quoting a story published November 28th in The Olympian.

PLUGINOLYMPIA.COM A Washington State Registered 501C-3 Not-for-Profit Organization”


Posted by Steve on December 26, 2008 at 7:17 am | Permalink

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