Early this year, when it became clear that the Chevrolet Volt and Nissan Leaf had missed their 2011 sales targets, critics declared the electric-car revolution over. Yet at Detroit's annual North American International Auto Show in January, plug-in cars abounded.
Portable electronics and electric cars both need a steady supply of lithium, and while the world has plenty of it (at least for the foreseeable future), hardly any is produced in the U.S. That is about to change, as a California startup aims to produce lithium from the waste product of another 21st century new-energy technology: Geothermal power plants.
A new thermostat designed by the brains behind the iPod promises to save money by learning your household habits, encouraging energy efficiency while looking snazzy on the wall. The Nest looks like a 21st century version of the circular Honeywell heat controls many people grew up with, and it promises a modern, simple solution for lowering utility bills.
A German car nicknamed "heavy drinker" or “boozer” has set a new record for electric vehicle stamina: 1,013 miles on a single charge. The single-seat vehicle’s aerodynamic shape, with the motors integrated into the wheel hubs, helped the car accomplish this feat.
With introspective retrospection, we consider the effects of our trip on transportation in this country
By Pierce HooverPosted 08.17.2011 at 11:36 am 5 Comments
On August 11, my son and I completed our summer-long trip across the US in our prototype human-electric hybrid vehicle. Over the course of 71 days, we traveled just over 4,200 miles while consuming about eight dollars in electricity (based on national average kW/hour rates), getting a good dose of exercise along the way as we pushed the pedals to lighten the engine’s load.
Our tiny EV may not be the strongest car on the road, but it may well be one of the most consistent
By Pierce HooverPosted 07.27.2011 at 11:18 am 1 Comment
Before starting our summer-long crossing of the United States, I often described it as a coast-to-coast journey. After a couple of weeks on the road at an average of 15 mph, the nomenclature shifted to “cross-country journey,” as the process wasn’t so much about the oceans at either end as the thousands of miles in between.
EVs like ours are actually more convenient to recharge out in the wild, largely unpopulated west than a gas-powered--or even traditional electric--car
By Pierce HooverPosted 07.27.2011 at 11:09 am 0 Comments
The farther west we move on our cross-country odyssey, the greater the distance between towns and service stops grows. In the Eastern states, we would pass some sort of country store or gas station every few miles it seemed, and at the most, might have a 20 mile stretch between services. This changed as we moved into the Great Plains, where we hit 50-mile sections of road in Kansas with nothing but fields and scattered farm buildings.
If you want the results, you still have to do the work
By Pierce HooverPosted 07.27.2011 at 10:57 am 2 Comments
There’s no denying that our unique vehicle draws a lot of attention. Drivers frequently slow as they pass to gawk or snap a photo; a stop inevitably draws onlookers with questions, comments and suggestions. One of the most common questions involves the drive system.