ANN ARBOR — The Business of Plugging In 2011, a Center for Automotive Research conference, returns to metro Detroit Oct. 11-13, featuring a blend of global experts who will provide insight into the evolving plug-in electric vehicle landscape — from the role of big box stores like Best Buy to Portland’s electric avenue.

Cross-industry collaboration will be a focus at the third annual Business of Plugging In, which will offer the attendees the opportunity to engage in the discussion of the long-term growth and widespread consumer adoption of PEVs.

“Since The Business of Plugging In began in 2009, we have seen a dramatic increase in cross-industry collaboration helping drive the delivery of production-ready vehicles and infrastructure to the market,” said Brett Smith, conference chair, Center for Automotive Research. “This year’s event will address the challenges arising from the introduction of these new technologies, as well as the opportunities that have resulted from an emerging industry.”

Key speakers for the 2011 conference include:

* General Motors’ Tony Posawatz, vehicle line director, Chevrolet Volt, who led the development of the highly acclaimed Volt, and continues to lead the development of the next generation model.
* Southern California Edison’s Ed Kjaer, director of Electric Transportation, who is responsible for all aspects of electro-drive transportation activities, including operation of the nation’s largest private fleet of pure battery EVs.
* Best Buy’s Chad Bell, senior director/platform lead for Personal Mobility and Transportation, who is leading Best Buy’s push in the EV world. Best Buy has won contracts to install home chargers for buyers of the Ford Focus Electric and Mitsubishi i-MiEV.
* Cenex’s Robert Evans, director, UK Government Alternative Fuels Fleet program and CEO, will present a perspective on PEV activities in the UK and Europe.
* GE Capital’s Deb Frodl, senior vice president and chief strategy officer, Americas, Fleet Services who is responsible for GE’s global EV initiative. A pioneer in sustainable fleet transportation, she’s driven adoption of EVs across the industry and within GE’s own fleet as part of the company’s landmark commitment to purchase 25,000 EVs by 2015.

For a complete list of this year’s speakers, visit

This year’s program, taking place at the Hyatt Regency in Dearborn, will feature sessions covering all aspects of the PEV industry and the latest market trends. From “Politics, Policy and the Electrified City,” a panel focused on the regulations that will drive PEV growth, to “The E-volution of Transportation,” a session highlighting the unique business opportunities created by the need to plug in, attendees will hear from several industry experts on the status of PEVs and the supporting infrastructure. The Business of Plugging In also will offer an afternoon of in-depth workshops covering topics like grid connectivity, the PEV value chain and utility preparedness. A ride and drive is also part of the conference offerings.

For more information or to register, visit


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