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Mayor Rybak - Plug In hybrids

Page history last edited by PBworks 14 years, 7 months ago

A Step Towards Green Jobs
Posted July 30, 2008 at 9:39 PM

Minnesota is one step closer to creating a green economy thanks to a partnership that will bring plug-in hybrid technology to the state.

Minneapolis mayor R.T. Rybak recently announced that Minneapolis would be one of six U.S. cities where hybrid drivers will be able to convert their car to a plug-in electric-car.

Last week I met several high school and college students who had gathered to write letters to the state’s elected officials asking them to create green jobs. They say that green jobs help address the issue of global warming while at the same time stimulating the economy. The mayor’s announcement means the state can look forward to more “green collar jobs.”

The Mayor told me that the good news about converting hybrids to electric is that the technology is out there. The bad news is that “out there” is in Canada, which is where Rybak had to take his hybrid to have it converted by a Toronto company called Hymotion.

When Rybak found out Hymotion would be bringing their plug-in conversion technology to five major U.S. cities (none of which was in Minnesota) he asked them, “How many of the mayors of those cities are driving a plug-in hybrid?” When they responded that none were, Rybak started negotiating with the company to bring the technology to Minneapolis.

“That’s how you create green jobs,” Rybak said.

Sierra Club member Owen Duckworth, 25, says that the good thing about green jobs is that they are harder to outsource. I think he has a good point. Plus, offering to do the conversions in Minneapolis means more Minnesota hybrid drivers will probably take advantage of this opportunity rather than driving to Canada.

At $10,000 dollars, the conversion is pricey. But a state grant will help pay for up to 30 percent of the conversion cost.

It might be worth it though. The mayor told me his Prius used to get about 40 miles per gallon, but after the conversion he gets between 70 and 80.

Rybak says that each night he plugs his car into a standard outlet to charge it, so now the challenge is to find a way to make electricity more green considering that most Minnesota electricity is currently coal powered.

“I’d really like to see solar panels over garages,” Rybak said. Perhaps that will be the next phase in creating a green Minnesota economy.
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Tags: global warming  environment  green  jobs  hybrids  Minnesota  Street Team '08  Electric Cars  Minneapolis  R.T. Rybak 
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