Raleigh will be the hub of the electric and hybrid vehicle industry this week.

Industry players and wannabes will be at the Raleigh Convention Center starting Monday for the “Plug-In 2011 Conference & Exposition.” The conference ends on Thursday.

The City of Raleigh has been an early advocate of electric vehicles, and the Research Triangle area has emerged as a hub for smart grid as well as other alternative energy initiatives. 

Duke Energy and Progress Energy, which are in the process of merging, have also embraced numerous alternative energy and smart grid projects. They are among the event’s sponsors.

This is the first time the conference has been held outside California. The three previous events took place in San Jose (twice) and Long Beach, Calif.

A “public night” is set for Tuesday when the general public is invited to tour the conference hall from 5:30-10 p.m. Admission is $10 and includes a screening of a documentary “Revenge of the Electric Car.”

The conference will focus on vehicles and technology, infrastructure, results of customer surveys and much more.

Three technology development centers at NC State will be featured tour sites for attendees:

• Advanced Transportation Energy Center

• Future Renewable Electric Energy Delivery and Management Systems Center

• Envision Center, a smart grid technology demonstration center

For the conference agenda, read here.

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