Friday, March 25, 2011

EV News Roundup Week of 3/21: It is Spring Here, Folks

EV History, My Favorite Category

So I learned tonight that down in Philadelphia, which actually touches Bucks County, there were two early electric car-makers named Pedro Salom & Henry Morris who built their own EV.  This was back in 1894 and it was one of the first automobiles in the country.  Our original DIY boys built their car in two months.  It was basically a super-heavy box of batteries on spoked wheels weighing in at 4400 pounds (including sixteen hundred pounds of lead-acid fuel).   Also, it was named the Electrobat, which is probably the Best EV Name Ever.  

5 years later (1899-1900) the intrepid pair of Salom & Morris could be found in New York City running a whole bunch of Electrobat 2.0's in an all-electric taxi fleet (!). Furthermore, they were resolving their time-to-recharge problem with a battery-swapping scheme highly reminiscent of Shai Agassi's contemporary Project Better Place.  Shortly afterwards our heroes got tangled up wtih robber barons and the editor of the automotive trade magazine Horseless Age (who hated hated hated electric cars), and subsequently disappeared from history.  Except of course from EV history, which is my favorite kind and interests folks like the clearly intelligent and apparently fabulously handsome Alexis Madrigal, a senior editor at the Atlantic.  The Atlantic is a REAL MAGAZINE my friends and a very classy one!  There is something for everyone to love in this article if you love derbies, mighty mechanical feats involving hydraulic pistons and swappable battery packs weighing 1,300 lbs, plus words like 'autoelectrophobe' (be still my heart).  Maybe I love those things enough for all of us, come to think of it.  

Pure EV News

Ahahahahah it was a normal cute little Geo Metro but now it is crazy aerodynamic! Read all about this $3,000 conversion -- done by a guy who has some experience, having converted some 45 vehicles.

YES!  News from the folks at Carnegie Mellon who are working to harness robotics in the service of EV conversions -- their 2002 Honda Civic production prototype is complete and they are taking orders from folks who want their gas cars converted to quiet, efficient, and peaceful electric operation.  Go CREATE Lab, go.  

Nissan Leaf review plus interview with Chris Paine from Men's Journal, hey that is another actual magazine, this is EV News in Magazines week I guess!

EV & Hybrid Business News

From the New York Times via TorqueNews, which I suspect added the deadpan conclusion: "$8,000 seems like an awful lot of money for a car that has already garnered a reputation for catching fire."

From Autobloggreen -- when gas prices soar, used car buyers go crazy for fuel-efficient cars.

Post-Quake-Specific Business News

Charging Stations

On the Technological Horizon

Science Daily reports from the lab on batteries with a "three-dimensional nanostructure" process that achieves both high capacity and large current.  Over at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign they apparently have these clever little bicontinuous electrodes charging and discharging 10 to 100 times faster than equivalent bulk electrodes.  

Elon Musk is wondering, reports GreenBeat.  

Not Just EV's But Other Solutions to Our Transportation Problems

In Other Alternative Fuel & Renewable Energy News

We at Bucks County Renewables do not think much of genetic engineering as a solution to our transportation problems or any others.  

It Could Be Electric, and Look How Cute It Is

I am a big admirer of Buckminster Fuller and also, apparently, of cars that look like catfish and can hold eleven people.  Despite its super-cool name which sounds almost electric, this is not an EV.  I nearly omitted it from the blog on account of Relevancy Rules, but then I had to let it back in because who can resist a car that looks at you with such sad eyes begging not to be excluded?  Not me, Dymaxion.  This interesting post is from METROPOLISMAG.COM (that is how they spell it) and my gosh it is the website of another actual magazine, go figure!  And here I thought paper publishing was dead, but as you know spring is a time of renewal ... 

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