Friday, April 1, 2011

EV News Roundup Week of 3/28

EV News

Report: European Union working to ban gas and diesel-powered cars by 2050  If this is not a crazy rumor (we'll know on Monday) it will certainly be a BIG JUMP START for EV's, hey?  Big surprise, brothers & sisters, the Ford Motor Company has already objected to this proposal in a very mealy-mouthed press release indeed, entitled "Ford Says EU's Proposals on Future Transport Policy Should Address Congestion, Environmental Issues While Preserving Consumer Choice and Jobs."  Yes, U.S. automakers are shocked, shocked at the idea of someone's government mandating rapid industrial shifts to benefit both the environment & the economy.  Fact: U.S. Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) regulations were enacted in 1975. You've seen the dramatic effects of that regulatory leadership I'm sure:

The report on the EU's move to ban gas & diesel vehicles in about the same time it took for us to improve fuel economy in this country by 10 miles per gallon comes from itself (not our usual source autobloggreen), while the CAFE graph is from Canadian blog r h i z o m i c o n 

Volvo C30 Electric Bests Winter's Worst  "Northern Sweden is the perfect place to do sub-zero temperature testing," says Lennart Stegland of Volvo, to which I can only say brrrrr -- from EVWorld: The Future In Motion

First Major Shipment of Nissan LEAFs Arrives in U.S. from, reporting that LEAF production has now surpassed both the Tesla Roadster and the beloved RAV-4 EV.

2011 Nissan Leaf Electric Car Buyers Eager For Order Followup  Sez "An informal poll of Leaf customers rates their dealers 8-10, Nissan Corporate's intentions 10, and Nissan Corporate's or lower. Fortunately for Nissan, those customers who have actually received their 2011 Leafs report a very positive overall review of the car." 

Tesla Roadsters Rack Up Collective 10M Miles  500,000 gallons of fuel saved! from

Tesla Teams with Panasonic to Boost Electric Car Battery Life  More model S glimpses -- from

Norway’s postal service to drive Ford Transit Connect Electric vans  From ecoseed; and the Norwegian postal service turns out to be unsurprisingly pretty cool.  We've had no luck trying to get one of these vans for the EV-ent in Macungie April 30, 2011, I sure wish somebody who would like to sell more Ford Transit Connects would get in touch with us about displaying one to this core audience of early adopters in South Eastern PA near the confluence of NJ, MD, DE, & DC markets at an EV-ent that is also a really fun time.  Email if you can help! 

Since this is from the EXEC Digital part of a magazine called Executive Lifestyle I guess they can be excused for not knowing that the Fisker Karma is! a! series! hybrid!  
EVWorld takes offense at a recent review of  a Mercedes-Benz CLS 63 AMG entitled "Another Nail in the Electric Car's Coffin."  (Mr. Kenzie is evidently an electroautophobe.)  Bill Moore argues fiercely that the Fisker Karma smacks the AMG upside the head.  He also has a great supporting statistic for my argument that EV's are synergistic with renewables energy:  " ... a recent study of early Nissan LEAF owners found that 40% of them also use photovoltaics on their homes, which often is used to charge their cars. Anecdotally, something like a quarter of all first generation Toyota RAV4 EV owners charge their cars with solar energy."

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

America's Weight Problem Means Mass Transit Needs An Upgrade Treehugger forgets to mention that our buses & ambulances need to put in thse costly upgrades on account of our messed-up farming policies & toxic food system here, but we Michael Pollan fans know where that's at.

For Its 4th Birthday, Vélib' Plans to Get Faster and Better The oddly-spelled Vélib' is Paris, France's bike-share plan and it's very clever because the vél is for vélo which is "bike" and lib' is how everybody in Paris really says libre which means "free" at least that is how I am interpreting it folks. You do not have to read a lick of French appreciate the eye-popping Eurostyle on the blogheader below, the bike is kind of cool too with its utilitarian-but-chic gray mudguard.

In Wider-Ranging Renewable Energy News & Technical Developments

Debut of the First Practical 'Artificial Leaf  Not the car silly (note category!) -- this artificial leaf mimics photosynthesis & breaks a bucket of water down into hydrogen & oxygen; the catalysts are made of nickel & cobalt, metals that are widely available.  For some reason this item-in-development being targeted to developing countries (I guess because it can only power teeny-tiny, efficient homes at the moment and each leaf only lasts 45 hours)?  Science Daily quotes Dr. Researcher Daniel Nocera as saying, "Our goal is to make each home its own power station"  and we at Bucks County Renewables salute that sentiment sir!

Smaller Particles Could Make Solar Panels More Efficient Science Daily also reports on developments that may prove "a controversial idea" which I am totally in favor of because it has the excellent moniker of multiple-exciton generation (MEG). If the coolest thing you learned today is that an electron that has absorbed light energy is called an exciton, you are in good company.

Tool-Wielding Women in Developing Countries Help Their Communities, Environment Renewable energy and other sustainable lifestyle components need fixing and Treehugger celebrates the end of over-genderizing the matter as do we at Bucks County Renewables.  I am sure Dan sent this link because I happened to mention at the workshop that I don't plan to have anything to do with the Mazda de-iceing and don't even know what an engine hoist looks like.  I am happy to provide sparkling companionship and take photographs while people do complicated things with greasy automotive parts though :-)  

Energy Politics & Business News 

CA Energy Efficiency Policies to Create Over 200K Jobs, but Could be Improved  Ecopolitology summarizes a report & recommendations to the California Public Utilities Commission which found that over 2/3 of the expected jobs related to energy efficiency work will perpetuate low-wage jobs in traditional construction fields rather than stimulating new, specialized, higher-paying "green jobs." 

Japan Carmakers Discuss Power Rotation to Save Energy  Yay, more lessons of cooperation which we can ALL learn from.

The Real Price of Gasoline The externalized costs of gasoline, when added to the retail price of gasoline, yield a range "real" price per gallon of $5.60 to $15.14 depending on which estimates you accept.  The article over at explains this, without any snazzy graphics. The actual report being summarized in the post does have graphics & charts too, but it is 35 pages long, here for the hardcore among you: Source: Real Price of Gasoline.pdf 

Infographic of the Day: Do Americans Pay Too Little for Gas?  Answer: yes, so by all means start talking to everybody you meet about converting an ordinary internal-combustion engine vehicle to 100% battery electric, and spread the good word.  Really, more often than not when I bring up My Favorite Topic of Conversation with somebody I have just met at a social event, it turns out that talking about electric cars is practically their favorite thing to do too and then we both have a good time.  Being an EV advocate can make social events fun: it is a proven fact. 

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