Founder, California Cars Initiative
Chosen because: The nonprofit California Cars Initiative, founded in 2001, initially aimed merely to get consumers to ask automakers for EVs. The hope was that this would lead to commercial production of such vehicles, says founder Kramer, 62. In 2004, realizing "a real vehicle was a much more powerful idea," CalCars.org, as the nonprofit is known, converted a Toyota Prius into a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle. The ball was rolling. The California Cars Initiative declared victory in October 2009, when it felt sure the Chevrolet Volt would be produced, says Kramer. But his mission hasn't ended. Now the Initiative devotes itself to helping small companies that convert existing internal combustion models to plug-ins.
Quote: "This is the first time I've succeeded in having an impact in the way I have wanted to my whole life."