Posted: 17 Apr 2012 06:26 AM PDT
I reposted an article from Gas2 the other day about an electric vehicle that can reportedly go 218 miles (~351 km) on a single charge, the SIM-WIL. In the original post and in my short introduction to it, Chris and I mentioned that it wasn?t the prettiest vehicle we?d ever seen. However, beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and it turns out a number of readers actually like the look of the car ? especially the actual car, not the computer models shown in the original post (and I also think the real car looks quite nice ? much better than the computer model).
Anyway, 1) since we had a number of people chime in, 2) since beauty really is in the eye of the beholder, 3) since one of our commenters shared some good images and a video of the car, and 4) since I realize that our articles have a bit of influence on what people think (heck, that?s a big reason why I?m in this field ? to try to have a positive influence on society), I?m following up with this post on how cool/interesting/great the vehicle looks :Dwhile also highlighting some of its killer performance details.
First, here?s a video of the car (looks even better in the video than in the images, in my opinion):
And here are a couple more pics:
Some reported performance details:
§ 218 miles (~351 km) per charge
§ 35.1 kWh Panasonic battery takes 12 hours to fully charge (using a 200-volt outlet)
§ 3,100 pounds
§ top speed of 180 kph (~110 mph)
The vehicle is supposed to hit commercialization in 2014.
More thoughts on the SIM-WIL?
Posted: 17 Apr 2012 05:50 AM PDT
Construction of Australia?s largest solar photovoltaic power project has reached a major milestone with the initiation of panel installation at the Greenough River Solar Farm in Western Australia.
?The demonstration of this proven technology in WA on a commercial scale should encourage the development of larger projects and reduce renewable energy costs in the medium to long term,? said Western Australian Energy Minister, Peter Collier, who joined with landholders, members of the Geraldton community and local contractors and First Solar, Inc., Verve Energy, and GE Energy Financial Services to mark the commencement of panel installation.
The 10-megawatt solar farm is located 50 kilometres south of Geraldton, with construction starting four months ago. Since then, above-ground electrical work has been completed and structural supports have been installed. Next on the list of things to do is to install approximately 150,000 First Solar photovoltaic modules, with completion of the project expected sometime in the middle of this year.
?The successful delivery of the Greenough River Solar Farm will help kick-off a long-term, sustainable market for utility-scale solar in Australia. First Solar has a strong record of successful project delivery, enhanced by working with local communities to ensure projects make a meaningful and lasting contribution,? said Jack Curtis, Vice President ? Business Development & Sales, First Solar.
?When in operation, First Solar?s panels produce electricity with no water use, no waste production and no CO2 emissions,? Mr. Curtis added.
?GE Energy Financial Services sees Australia as a key growth market that will continue to need capital to fuel its expanding renewable energy industry. We hope this is the first of many such milestones in the country,? said Jason Willoughby, GE Energy Financial Services? Australia business leader. ?With our strong partners, Verve Energy and First Solar, we are pleased to help make this landmark solar project a reality.?
?The Greenough River Solar Farm is providing valuable experience for Verve Energy in the development of solar energy in WA,? said Tony Narvaez, General Manager, Strategy & Business Development, Verve Energy. ?This experience will be very useful when Verve Energy pursues its aim to develop other solar farm projects in the near future.?
Source: General Electric Company
Image Source: Greenough River Solar Farm
Posted: 17 Apr 2012 05:47 AM PDT
I don?t write about it often, but if you?ve ever read any of my posts on high-speed rail, you know that I?m a fan of it. I?ve ridden it in Europe. I?ve seen its rapid growth in countries around the world, such as China, Japan, Turkey, the UK, and many other countries. (China is actually looking to connect its high-speed rail to Europe!) And I?m a big fan of the environmental, economic, jobs, and convenience benefits of high-speed rail. So, to see its future implementation killed off or delayed by Tea Party governors in my home state of Florida, in New Jersey, in Ohio, and in Wisconsin was not a fun thing to watch. Here?s more on that disappointing part of the high-seed rail story:
Remember the exciting announcements about a nationwide high-speed rail network that Obama made in 2010? And remember how several Tea Party governors killed high-speed rail in their states? Well, if it wasn?t painfully obvious before, Angie Schmitt of Streetsblog recently wrote a great post on?
Posted: 17 Apr 2012 05:30 AM PDT
Brammo?s got a pretty super motorbike coming to market this year. And while I?ve never been into such bikes (I?m more of a bicycle guy), the video and post below have me pretty intrigued by and attracted to the Brammo Empulse. I?d echo Chris? last line here:
First announced in July of 2010, the Brammo Empulse promises to be the fastest, longest-range production electric bike when it hits markets later this year. The official reveal for the production model is set for May 8th, but Brammo has released this teaser video a month early to drum up some excitement?
Posted: 17 Apr 2012 05:00 AM PDT
I don?t think any of this will surprise too many of you, but here?s some useful info on a variety of important topics packed into one nice post (enjoy!):
Green energy jobs are growing like crazy these days. Of course, dirty energy companies and politicians would like you to believe that protecting the environment costs jobs. That?s just not true. What is true, however, is that in the midst of tremendous profits, oil companies have been laying off?
Posted: 17 Apr 2012 04:30 AM PDT
Say who? An electric plane called Elektra One is adding solar panels to its bragging rights. And the plane is actually selling for quite a competitive price? if you?re in the market for hobby planes. Here?s more info from Chris over on Gas2:
Electric cars may be struggling to find a home, but EV?s are making remarkable progress in the unlikeliest of places; aviation. Last summer we brought you the story of the Elektra One, an all-electric airplane a range of about 300 miles. Well the brilliant minds behind the Elektra One are back with?
Posted: 17 Apr 2012 04:00 AM PDT
It?s well known that bottled water is a demon (or favorite punching bag) of the green community. Plastic is filling up our environment and even taking over huge patches of the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans. Additionally, shipping bottled water all across the world is, to say the least, a bit absurd. Unfortunately, while the water coming out of the tap in many places may be fine for drinking, in some places, you?re really better off with cleaner water.
There are different options for ensuring that you?re drinking clean water. One of the most obvious is a water filter and dispenser in your home. BIBO is one such company now offering a water dispenser for home, and its dispenser will heat or cool your water while it?s at it.
I think I first ran across BIBO last year when someone shared a ?10 Bottled Water Facts? infographic (created by the company). The company is only a year old ? it was founded in 2011 and started offering its home water dispensers in June 2011 ? and is just a 4-person team right now.
The formation of the company and BIBO?s products seems to have come out of a desire to help the environment. Founder Jonathan Brown was actually a bottled water pioneer in the UK in the late 80s. After some years in that field, however, he realized the environmental damage being done by the industry. So, he went on to develop filtered mains water dispensers for the workplace by forming Connect Water Systems. Reportedly, Connect has helped 200,000 companies move away from bottled water. In 2011, Brown (and a few others) expanded into the home sector with BIBO.
BIBO?s website states: ?Bottled water is becoming harder to justify. Not only is it environmentally unsound to ship water hundreds, or thousands, of miles. It?s also well known that polycarbonate bottles can leach chemicals into the water they carry.? Very true.
So, if you?re in the market for a good water filter/dispenser, you might want to check out BIBO?s offerings. There?s also a video on its home page that shows off the system better than words probably can.
And if you didn?t already click on the link to it above, here?s that ?10 Bottled Water Facts? infographic I mentioned:
Posted: 16 Apr 2012 02:02 PM PDT
Last time I wrote on the popularity of going solar through a service (i.e. solar leasing or going solar through a PPA), someone from Sunrun (a leading solar service company) got in touch with me and we had a nice back-and-forth about more of the details of going solar through Sunrun. I?ve been meaning to come back to writing a post about that since then.
Basically, the discussion centered around some of the more hidden benefits of going solar through solar leasing or PPAs ? in particular, for those who can afford it, going with a prepaid solar service vs. owning a system. One big benefit of going with a prepaid solar service is that companies like Sunrun are sometimes eligible for subsidies that individuals/households are not eligible for. So, the overall cut in cost can be greater than going solar on your own. Policies vary from location to location and for people in different tax situations, so, as always, it?s worth getting as much info as you can on different solar options before deciding on the option that?s best for you.
Another somewhat hidden benefit is that people going solar through a third party generally don?t have to worry about maintenance of the system because the third party will often cover maintenance and monitoring of the system for the entire 20-year contract of the lease or PPA. Many inverters are not guaranteed for 20 years and will die before that time. Under a 20-year solar leasing or PPA contract, Sunrun would notice the inverter failure through monitoring of the system and would replace it without charging the homeowner an extra dime.
Some nice benefits. It?s no wonder about 70% of households going solar in California are now going solar through such third-party solar services.
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