Jun 11

Past Event

Plug-In Electric Vehicles 2008: What Role for Washington?

Event Materials



  • Senator Lamar Alexander (R-TN)

    We need a bridge, Senator Alexander says, to get us to our energy future. He says that bridge must be a composite of different technologies and sound policies.

  • Representative John Dingell (D-MI)

    Rep. Dingell says Congress can pass important bills to help find solutions to the nation''s energy problems, but consumers have to do their share to help end the nation''s dependence on oil.

  • Fred Smith

    Smith explains that he is a proponent of a carbon tax. He says that reinvesting the collected fees into reducing carbon emissions is a means of taxing a bad thing for good results.


Oil prices are at record highs. The overwhelming dependence of our cars and trucks on oil strains family budgets, threatens our national security and contributes to global warming. Plug-in electric vehicles have the potential to significantly reduce the United States’ dependence on oil. Yet can this potential be realized? If so, how? Is there a national interest in putting millions of plug-in vehicles on the road soon? How should policymakers in Washington, D.C., respond?

On June 11 and 12, the Brookings Institution and Google.org hosted a conference titled “Plug-in Electric Vehicles 2008: What Role for Washington?” The conference placed a spotlight on plug-in electric vehicles, examining their potential, their viability, and the pros and cons of different federal policies to promote them.

View Full Transcript (PDF) »
Watch Event Video Clips »
View Full Agenda »
Plug-in Car User Videos »
Speaker Biographies (PDF) »

Among those who addressed the conference are:

  • The Honorable Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), Chairman, Senate Republican Conference (Remarks »)
  • The Honorable John Dingell (D-Mich.), Chairman, House Committee on Energy and Commerce (Remarks »)
  • The Honorable Orrin Hatch (R-Utah)
  • The Honorable Jay Inslee, U.S. Representative (D-Wash.)
  • Shai Agassi, Founder and CEO, Project Better Place
  • John Bryson, Chair & CEO, Edison International
  • Troy Clarke, President, GM-North America
  • Peter Darbee, Chair and CEO, PG&E Corporation
  • Mark Duvall, Program Manager, Electric Transportation, Electric Power Research Institute
  • Juliet Eilperin, Correspondent, The Washington Post
  • Mark Fields, President, Ford-North America
  • Tom Friedman, Columnist, The New York Times
  • Peter Horton, Producer and Director, "Grey’s Anatomy"
  • Andy Karsner, Assistant Secretary, U.S. Department of Energy  
  • Felix Kramer, Founder, CalCars
  • Tom Kuhn, President, Edison Electric Institute
  • Deron Lovaas, Vehicles Campaign Director, Natural Resources Defense Council
  • Alan Madian, Director, LECG
  • John Podesta, President, Center for American Progress
  • Dan Reicher, Director, Climate Change & Energy Initiatives, Google.org
  • Bill Reinert, National Manager, Advanced Technology Group, Toyota
  • David Sandalow, Senior Fellow, The Brookings Institution
  • Chelsea Sexton, Executive Director, Plug-In America
  • Frederick W. Smith, CEO and Founder, FedEx, and Co-Chair, Energy Security Leadership Council
  • Sue Tierney, Managing Principal, Analysis Group Inc.
  • Vijay Vaitheeswaran, Correspondent, The Economist and co-author, Zoom
  • Dave Vieau, CEO, A123 Systems
  • Jon Wellinghoff, Commissioner, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission
  • Jim Woolsey, Partner, Vantage Point Venture Partners
  • Mary Ann Wright, CEO, Johnson Controls-Saft Advanced Power Solutions


June 11-12, 2008

Hyatt Regency Capitol Hill

400 New Jersey Ave., NW


For More Information

Brookings Office of Communications

(202) 797-6105