Friday, June 24, 2011

EV News Roundup Week of 6/13 With No Commentary Whatsover; We Are Behind Here at Bucks County Renewables!

Pure EV News

EV Business Development & Predictions

Batteries & Charging Technology

Why CNBC Is Flat-Out Wrong On Electric-Car Charging All Cars Electric points out that our garages are ready for our EV's!

When Heat's On, Ford's Electric Car Battery Stays Cool from EVWorld

Hybrid News

GM offers cheaper Volt from CNN Money

EV's Are Not the Only Solution To Our Transportation Problems

In Wider-Ranging Renewable Energy News

Spanish Solar Power Plant Produces Electricity at Night from

Sunday, June 19, 2011


Look my friends, if any of you have been reading this blog or getting my email announcements* thinking, "Man I would love to sign up for that fun-sounding EV installation course but do I really want to spend 6 days of my summer vacation sweating in a hot workshop," then maybe you should go register RIGHT AWAY because when word gets out that we will be performing the Miata class & installation in this beautiful lab w/access to top-notch equipment, I should think the remaining spaces will fill rapidly.

In fact, facilities manager Rich Hansen declares that this is "the coolest room in the building in the summer." The beads of sweat mostly don't show in the pix of the 2007 and 2009 workshops but let me tell our work space was obviously competing in the "hottest room on the planet in the summer" category. Air conditioning will be a welcome upgrade!

There will be classes going on so the rest of the school will be busy (and cooled) as well -- but we won't have to enter through MBIT's front door and walk all the way back to that gorgeous lab if you choose to join us at July's class at the Middle Bucks Institute of Technology!   (2740 Old York Road Jamison, PA 18929 for mapping or click here for written directions from various PA locations)

Nope, instead of coming through this front door there is parking right behind the auto bay and we will be entering & leaving directly through the classroom. Man, this is one EV conversion workshop that is being held in the lap of luxury.

Saint Bill and I had a wonderful visit to MBIT on Wednesday -- everybody there is really nice!  Now I am about to leave for Lancaster with the drive train & transmission of the Miata in the back of my Highlander Hybrid and officially launch the next phase of our project -- yippee! Photos of Red Hot on the skewer up next!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

BH Electrics Breaks Nationally! Plus EV News Roundup Week of 6/6

Undisputed EV News Highlight 

Ladies and gentlemen, it is pretty gratifying when over the weekend you deliver one red-hot, pre-prepped Miata to your professional ally & personal pal Brandon Hollinger's garage because you have hired him to develop the conversion kit for this upcoming workshop, and then on Monday morning he is featured on the freaking front page of Time's website under the headline "Turning Old Gas Guzzlers into Electric Vehicles" and your kids are all like, "Hey!  We just saw that beautiful Saab!  Hey Mom, we didn't know that friend of yours was famous!" etc.  We are all covered with reflected glory here at Bucks County Renewables, thank you very much -- and congratulations to official media darling Brandon Hollinger, don't forget to vote for his gorgeous Austin taxi project here in the EVTV contest!

Second Best

10 Fun Facts About Electric Cars  This is an excellent round-up on Practical Environmentalist, well worth sending to anybody who is just waking up and thinking about how convenient and cheap (see below) an EV might be to run.  The link came from the Green Register newsletter sent me by Rich Hansen of MBIT, where we'll be converting the Miata this summer. Pix of the auto lab coming to the blog after our meeting there Wednesday -- oh boy I am excited!

Is the Electric Car Finally Here?  Steven Cohen of Columbia University's Earth Institute gives a cogent argument for on Huffington Post.  Key takeaway statistics: comparing the cost of 100 miles of driving Nissan's electric Leaf to the conventional Altima,  the Leaf cost $2.64 for fuel versus $14.25 for the Altima, and its power needs generated 63.6 pounds of greenhouse gases compared to 90.5.   Don't pay attention to the mantra about consumers not wanting electric vehicles, I know lots of potential Leaf drivers here in PA and they are just wanting and waiting.  

That same newsletter also linked to this food-for thought article originally published at The Good Human  (a blog with an excellent name): Oil Companies Profit While You Foot the Bill.  Read it if you want to get a little fired up about the corporate tax structure that exploits our gasoline addiction and makes the rich richer.  Yeesh.  

Other EV News 

Ford to Triple Electric Vehicle Production, Add Green Jobs  Thanks to Chris Gillespie of the Green Jobs academy for this link!  

How Car Companies and Rental Agencies are Creating 'Carsharing 2.0'  Remember that fantastic bike-sharing program in Paris, France called Velib' & mentioned here back in March?  Those guys are back with Autolib' "le projet" and you can check out GreenBiz's report on their EV share program or go straight to the sexy French version this is very cool folks.  

Tesla Shows New Version of Model S, Will Raise $234M for Model X ditto

MotoCzysz 2011 E1pc stands out from the TT Zero crowd, goes faster [w/VIDEO] Yay for electric motorcycle races.  From Autobloggreen.  

Batteries, Charging & Infrastructure

Nissan Spends $3.5 Billion On Solar EV Chargers In Tennessee from Crisp Green, which is also a pretty great name for a blog

Ireland charges ahead with electric vehicle infrastructure from British site The Engineer

Recargo App Maps 1,000 Electric Vehicle Charging Stations Dan Monroe reports: this is primarily an iPhone app. However unlike some other sites you can search & add charge locations without owning an Apple product. I’ve added the outlets at my house. Will you add yours? ~ D

Hybrid News

Solar Charging at GE with Toyota Plug-in Prius   Prius Plug-in review from consumersearch

EV's are not the only solution to our transportation problems

Father And Son Take Cross-Country "EcoTour" On The Power Of One Light Bulb (from NY1, on another electric-assisted bike w/trailer)

In wider-ranging alternative energy news & policy

GM CEO calls for $1 gas tax hike from CNN Money

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Illuminati Motor Works

That is one classy team over at Illuminati Motor Works as illustrated by this comment on my last post: 

Brandon's project car is beautiful, and it's the one I would have voted for if my Gremlin wasn't a finalist. Good luck, Brandon, and great choice of cars!

- Jen Danzinger, Illuminati Motor Works

Man I could not bury a nice little note like that in the little-used comment section.   Now I can seize the opportunity to post the contest photo of Jen's Gremlin, which I really wanted to do anyway because people the Gremlin not only has a great name, it was the irresistibly brash early '70s AMC subcompact that beat Ford & GM to the market in response to higher gas prices: an efficient little vehicle whose iconic design somehow achieved both sexy & cute.  Jen's particular car is en déshabillé so it is extra-both!

I knew these Illuminati Motor Works folks must be smart, cool people based on their most excellent name & the mere fact of having a Latin motto, but now I have internet proof because if you click on their logo below you will get to read a very entertaining account of their 216-mile-on-one-charge trip in X-Prize vehicle "Seven."  

This practically just happened (June 3) and they just happened to be taking "Seven"  down to meet Jack Rickard in Cape Girardieu, Missouri so he could confess on camera that he originally characterized ït as "the ugliest electric vehicle on the planet ... but actually it starts to grow on you."  You can read about their visit & see the EVTV episode here.

 I like Jack's writing because it is long-form (um like mine).  If you have a short attention span don't apply!  But here's a typically flavorful teaser:  "It's what EVTV is about - let's just go to the garage and build one and to hell with a bunch of Arabs, Oil Companies, and GM executives."

Miata update AND EV news round-up coming soon oh boy stay tuned ... 

Another kind of gremlin

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Here's a Shocker: BCR Endorses Brandon Hollinger in EVTV Competition

Oh my gosh folks LOOK our very own Brandon Hollinger of BH Electrics and the EEVC is one of the finalists in Jack Rickard's gigantic, fantastic EVTV Dream Build Giveaway contest!  A complete set of top-of-the-line EV components (worth $20,000) will go to the winner -- the 10 finalists were selected by the various component sponsors out of nearly a thousand folks who submitted descriptions of their dream conversions.

Now the decision is up to online voters, so hey everybody -- read about Brandon's plans for this beautifully restored 1972 Austin FX4 British taxi and click on the VOTE FOR THIS FINALIST link at the top of the page to cast your vote in his support!

Then you can read the rest of the contest entries and Jack Rickard's exciting sum-up of the competition ;-)
Well, anyway, that's the order in which I proceeded.  In the end I would still have voted for the Austin Taxi because a beautiful EV taxi doing regular tourist rounds on the streets of historic Lancaster PA is, indeed a dream way to promote electric vehicles and a great idea!

The only entry that would even have tempted me were Brandon not my pal & professional ally was the Gremlin conversion (ooooooh I do like Gremlins) proposed by the Illuminati Motor Works, the astonishing team that took a homemade EV to the finals of the X Prize and came in 2nd against much more well-funded & professional entries.  They have a great name plus a Latin motto but hey, the 7-seater classic taxi project ultimately wins on coolness.  And anyone who saw Brandon's work on the Miata at the EV-ent in Macungie in April knows that he is a meticulous designer and will do a beautiful build.

So take it from us here at Bucks County Renewables, this is the best project in the contest -- we recommend you go vote for Brandon Hollinger and the Austin taxi conversion right now if you haven't already, it only takes a minute!

Okay, here is the scoop on the rest of the contest and now you should probably go browse Jack Rickard's blog for a while if you haven't already because he is hilarious and knows approximately 10 million times more about converting EV's than I do.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

EV News Roundup Week of 6/1

EV News

Plug In America: "Plug-in vehicles of today are what cell phones were in 1987" - Autobloggreen blurbs the latest Plug-In America newsletter and chooses the exact same pull-out quote I did: nice work Sebastian Blanco.

Ten Reasons Why You’ll Really Enjoy Owning an Electric Car - this piece from All Cars Electric is by Michael Thwaite, who couldn't make it to the Macungie EV-ent in April  :-(   These 10 arguments for driving an EV are so cogent & well-written I couldn't punish him for being a no-show by burying it farther down in the links!  

Electric Cars? Even NASCAR Drivers Want them  Race-car loving Volt owners unmasked by All Cars Electric!

Video: Crazy Genius Charges EV by Towing It  tee-hee, this link is to Wired's coverage, see also All Cars Electric take here.

Volt, LEAF Charge Faster With Unofficial Hardware Upgrade - also from All Cars Electric as is the next link -- yay for more DIY hacks!  

850 Miles In A Tesla Roadster In A Weekend: Crossing The Line - tip-to-tail EV charging stations can now get an electric car from one end of the United Kingdom to the other in 24 hours.

Hybrid News

ReGo Converts Hybrids to Plug-Ins -  Finance & Commerce on a Minneapolis conversion start-up. 

Fisker Debuts Karma at Monaco Grand Prix  Sovereign Prince of Monaco runs it through the street course, first appearance of any monarchy in this blog thanks to EV World.  

EV Industry News

Electric BMW i3 to Start at $35K, Have 150 HP and 99-Mile Range from Car & Driver's "deep inside source"  ooh

Tesla Roadster Rated at 119 MPGe by U.S. EPA  Treehugger's Michael Graham Richard emphasizes that what matters with an EV is not MPG equivalent but how your electricity is made

Ford Follows GM Lead on EV Charge Port Location  from EV World -- where do you plug in to charge your EV?

GE unveils EV Solar Carport in Connecticut - from Autobloggreen, picture this near you:

In related EV solar-charging news check out the 25 Solar Assisted EV Charging Stations Recently Deployed by Oak Ridge National Laboratory -- 125 to be completed by this time next year.  Thanks to Ira Weissner of the Green Jobs Academy for this link!

London Expands its Electric Car Charging Points As Part of Transportation Plans - By next year, they'll have more charging points than gas stations, according to Treehugger.

On the Horizon

Prince Charles's Eco-Village to Include Nissan Leaf - from Scotland on Sunday yes this is definitely a brand-new source for our weekly EV news roundup

Future Mitsubishi i-MiEV Will Provide Emergency Power to Homes - from the Yomiuri Shinbum, also not a source we have linked to before for sure

Wireless Electric Car Charging Closer to Reality from more familiar web-destination Treehugger on underground induction charging systems

EV's are Not the Only Solution to our Transportation Problems

Airbus-sponsored electric airplane flies for the first time the LA Times blog on a German experimental flight

How Much Does It Cost To Commute By Bike?  Treehugger's Lloyd Alter wants to count in food-as-fuel for bikers, which seems a little silly as all us car-drivin' folks eat too

The Forgotten Future of Pedal Power: How Bikes Can Do Just About Anything my friend Alex Wolfson scooped both Autoblogreen and Dan Monroe by sending me this direct link 12 days ago

In Wider-ranging Renewable Energy News & Policy

Solar Panels for All New Buildings in Japan? from Zachary Shahan at ecopolitology

Food for Thought

Long Commutes Kill People - and destroy marriages: from Slate

Carbon emissions from energy use hit record level, agency says CNN reports, but fails to point out that this is how addicts respond to an impending shortage: "oh gosh I am stressed by the fact that I'm about to run out and that's gonna make me use it up faster"  

Saudi prince: Keep Americans hooked with cheap oil  There's a shocker!  Also from CNN.