The University of Winnipeg



Are Plug-in Hybrids the Eco-Friendly Future of Transportation?

WINNIPEG: Advanced technology plug-in hybrid electric vehicles – expected to dramatically lower gasoline consumption and lead to a more sustainable and energy efficient transportation system – will take centre stage at a groundbreaking conference at the Delta Hotel in Winnipeg Nov. 1 and 2, 2007 entitled PHEV2007 Conference: Where the Grid Meets the Road.

Presented by the Plug-In Highway Network, this is the first major conference in North America dedicated to plug-in hybrid electrical vehicles (PHEV). Concurrently with the conference, a unique public showcase and forum at the Winnipeg Convention Centre (3rd Floor – Hall A) will feature the latest in PHEV cars, buses and trucks and other eco-friendly transportation options, display exhibits, PHEV prototype demonstrations and rides. You can also meet the leaders in the field and hear presentations by them regarding the future of PHEV and what it means for Manitoba.

Media are invited to register at the media accreditation table in the Talbot Room, Delta Winnipeg to cover events throughout the conference. As well, there are several opportunities for members of the media to interview and hear from dignitaries and leading experts and see first hand prototype plug-in hybrid vehicles:

Thursday, November 1, 2007
Delta Winnipeg, 2nd Floor Ballroom
8:00 a.m. – 9:00 a.m.
Conference opening and greetings by Hon. Ron Lemieux, Minister of Infrastructure & Transportation, UWinnipeg President Lloyd Axworthy, University of Manitoba President Emoke Szathmary, and Acting Deputy Mayor Gord Steeves
9:00 a.m. – 9:30 a.m.
Overview of PHEV technology by Dr. Andy Frank, father of the modern PHEV
Winnipeg Convention Centre, 3rd Floor Hall A
9:30 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.
Dignitaries will be available for interviews in front of PHEV demonstration vehicles.

Friday, November 2, 2007
Winnipeg Convention Centre, 3rd Floor Hall – Hall A
1:00 p.m. on

A conversion of a hybrid Toyota Prius to a plug-in hybrid will take place followed by demonstrations of the new plug-in hybrid electric vehicle.

PHEV demonstrations and one-on-one interviews will be available over the course of the conference with conference speakers and the co-chairs Arne Elias of the Centre for Sustainable Transportation, University of Winnipeg; and Dr. Eric Bibeau, NSERC/Manitoba Hydro Alternative Energy Industrial, University of Manitoba.

A plug-in hybrid electric vehicle is an evolution of hybrid vehicles on the road today. The PHEV has enhanced battery capacity that allows electric only driving and recharging from any electricity outlet with extended range from a generator/engine. This results in significantly less gas use and produces much less pollution while ultimately supporting the development of a sustainable electricity grid. Plug-in hybrids are not yet commercially available but most major auto manufacturers have announced intentions to develop and manufacture PHEVs.

PHEV2007 Conference: Where the Grid Meets the Road will focus on the range of opportunities and challenges that Plug-in Hybrid Electrical Vehicle present for sustainable transportation. It will provide a forum for collaboration amongst industry, academia, utilities, governments and institutions to understand how PHEV technologies integrate into current and future transportation systems and the electrical power grid. It also hopes to establish a primarily Canadian network focused on PHEV related issues and develop educational and public engagement for the Plug-in Highway.

The conference will feature plug-in technology experts from across North America including Dr. Andy Frank, father of modern PHEV and University of California-Davis Engineering Professor and Director of the Hybrid Electric Vehicle Research Center; Chelsea Sexton, executive director of Plug In America and featured in Who Killed the Electric Car; and Felix Kramer, environmentalist, entrepreneur and founder of California Cars Initiative, Cal Cars.

Workshop sessions will cover all aspects of plug-in hybrids from new battery technologies to the types of vehicles and the implications for the electricity grid.

“The conference is an opportunity to learn about the future of the electricity and transportation sectors – as an integrated energy system – and where business and community opportunities will be developing over the next few years,” said Elias, Executive Director of the Centre for Sustainable Transportation at UWinnipeg. “Over the next years and decades we have the means to affect a fundamental transformation to an intelligent, efficient and sustainable energy and transportation system. Plug-in Hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) are a key part of making this a reality.”

For more information about PHEV2007 Conference: Where the Grid Meets the Road including a complete program, abstract synoposes and speaker biographies, please visit:

For media accreditation, please contact:
Ilana Simon, Communications Officer, The University of Winnipeg
T: 204.786.9930, C: 204.782.3279, E:

The media room will be near the registration desk in the Talbot room at the Delta Winnipeg.