The 26th annual Electric Vehicle Symposium is taking place in Los Angeles, CA this week and the biggest news items are the details on the new Toyota RAV4 EV and the SAE-approved DC fast charging combo plug. But there is much more here on the show floor, and things got off to a good start during the opening session hosted by EDTA president Brian Wynne.

Wynne claimed EVS26 is the largest EVS ever held in North America. That's not all that surprising, since it's been many years since the last time an EVS was held on this continent (EVS23 in Anaheim in 2007). Since then, EVS has traveled to Norway and China, and moves on to Barcelona, Spain next year and Seoul, Korea after that. As that Wynne made clear, electric vehicles are a global movement. Nissan has sold more than 28,000 Leafs worldwide (including 1,000 in Norway, where EVS24 was held). Other signs Wynne mentioned that EVs are making inroads into the public consciousness are China's ambitious plan to sell five million EVs by 2020, the Ford Focus Electric acting as pace car for NASCAR and BMW's huge fleet of plug-ins at the Olympics in London this summer.

EVS organizers then gave an E-Visionary award to the city of Los Angeles and Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa (pictured). The mayor said he was glad to receive the award, but quickly added that Angelinos still need to be encouraged to do more. "If we're the car capitol of the United States, we should be the electric vehicle capitol of the United States," he said. To that end, he talked about how BYD and Coda Automotive are located in the city, then announced that Boulder Electric Vehicle will establish a west coast manufacturing facility in a state enterprise zone in the city. From there, the company will be able to make up to 1,000 clean trucks a year, with an eye to exporting vehicles to Asia.

Then there was a wide-ranging panel on the state of the electric vehicle industry called "Electrified Transportation: A Path to Economic Prosperity and Energy Security." This was moderated by Chris Woodyard of USA Today and featured Ted Craver, the chairman, president & CEO of Edison International, Daryl Dulaney, president & CEO of Siemens Industry, Tony Posawatz, the vehicle line director for the Chevrolet Volt, and JB Straubel, the CTO of Tesla Motors. You can listen to or download the whole thing down below.