The golden spikes will honor the near simultaneous launch of the Chevy Volt and the Nissan LEAF — the first two plug-in electric vehicles to be offered for sale to the general public in the United States.
NAATBatt Executive Director James Greenberger commented, "The golden spike awards commemorate the golden spikes that joined the first transcontinental railroad in Promontory Summit, Utah Territory, on May 10, 1869, symbolically opening the modern railroad age in the United States. The golden spikes presented to General Motors and Nissan will symbolically open a new transportation age — the age of electric vehicles."
Louisville, Kentucky, will be the site of the awards because of its location half way between General Motors’ headquarters in Detroit and Nissan North America’s headquarters in Franklin, Tennessee.
"While the awards focus on General Motors and Nissan," explained Mr. Greenberger, "they serve a larger purpose. The Volt and the LEAF mark the beginning of a new age in automotive transportation. The work of hundreds of scientists, technicians, engineers, and business people have made this possible. The golden spikes will recognize the achievement of all those individuals and provide a marker for future generations, who will one day ask when the age of electric vehicles began."
Governor Beshear will present the spikes at NAATBatt’s annual meeting and conference on Wednesday, December 8, 2010, at the Seelbach Hilton Hotel in Louisville. The conference, entitled "The Impact of PEV’s on T&D Systems: Challenges and Solutions," focuses on how utilities are preparing their systems to accommodate plug-in electric vehicles and will run from December 8-10, 2010.
The National Alliance for Advanced Technology Batteries ("NAATBatt") is a not-for-profit trade association of companies, associations and research institutions focused on the manufacture of advanced batteries for use in transportation and grid-scale energy storage applications in the United States. Members include advanced battery and electrode manufacturers, materials suppliers, vehicle makers, electric utilities, equipment vendors, service providers, universities and national laboratories.