Tesla Tries To Buy SolarCity – This could be a very good thing

This could be a huge boost for both the solar panel and the automobile industry. It could finally show a way to wean the world off gasoline as a fuel and on to clean electricity. Then again it could just crash and burn. I think it is a good thing. I hope for the best.

https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2016/jun/22/musk-tesla-solarcity-energy-electric-car-solar

Musk’s Tesla makes a bid for Musk’s SolarCity energy company

Electric car company attempts to acquire solar panel seller to create a Silicon Valley one-stop-shop for clean energy for car and home

Elon Musk’s Tesla electric car company has made an offer to buy Musk’s solar power company, SolarCity, for as much as $2.8bn in stock in an attempt to make a one-stop-shop for cleaner energy.

SolarCity, for which Musk is both chairman and its largest shareholder, is the market leader in residential solar panel installations in the US, but has about $6.24bn in liabilities, including debt.

Musk described the deal as a “no-brainer”, saying: “Instead of making three trips to a house to put in a car charger and solar panels and battery pack, you can integrate that into a single visit. It’s an obvious thing to do.”

If the deal goes through, SolarCity will adopt the Tesla brand and sell its solar panels alongside Tesla’s PowerWall home batteries to store electricity created during the day for when it is needed at night.

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Car Helps You Drive – Instead of driving you

I never really thought about cars this way before. It seems the more they HELP you drive the more expensive and complicated they are. If the car drives you, it will have a very complicated electronics system but a pretty simple structure. This would mean a much cheaper car and a radically restructured automobile industry.

http://www.cnet.com/roadshow/news/bosch-active-gas-pedal/

 

Bosch is developing a connected gas pedal with haptic feedback

This pedal promises to use haptic feedback toward helping you save fuel while driving.

Andrew Krok mugshot
Andrew Krok

Would you be okay with your car bossing you around if it saved you fuel, and therefore money? Bosch is hoping that you won’t mind a few extra pointers on the road with its new active gas pedal, which the company believes can decrease fuel consumption by 7 percent.

Of course, creating a smart gas pedal is a complicated endeavor. By connecting to a vehicle’s various electronic systems, it can use haptic feedback (Bosch mentions vibration, knocking and variable pedal resistance) to tell the driver when to shift, when to cut back on wasteful acceleration and even when a hybrid vehicle is about to switch from electric- to gas-based propulsion.

While going green is a big part of this new pedal, there’s also a safety angle to it. Not only can the pedal be linked to active safety systems like forward collision warning or parking sensors, but it could also connect to the navigation system to prevent drivers from taking corners with too much chutzpah. And once vehicle-to-vehicle technology becomes common, the pedal can be used to warn drivers of upcoming hazards like potholes or stopped vehicles.

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Electric Car Triumphs – Fitting award for the President’s re-election

Finally someone made a car that is better than one powered by gasoline. Really that is all they have to do.

http://www.csmonitor.com/Environment/Energy-Voices/2012/1113/Tesla-Model-S-wins-Motor-Trend-s-Car-of-the-Year.-Are-electric-cars-here-to-stay

Tesla Model S wins Motor Trend’s Car of the Year. Are electric cars here to stay?

Tesla Motors made history Tuesday when the Tesla Model S became the first all-electric vehicle to win Motor Trend’s Car of the Year award. Will Tesla’s honor silence critics of the electric car industry?

By David J. Unger, Correspondent / November 13, 2012

he Tesla Model S nabbed one of the auto industry’s most coveted awards this week when Motor Trend named the electric vehicle as their 2013 Car of the Year.

It is the first time in Motor Trend’s 64-year history that the award has gone to a vehicle not powered by an internal combustion engine.

“It drives like a sports car, eager and agile and instantly responsive,” wrote Angus MacKenzie, editor-at-large of Motor Trend Magazine. “But it’s also as smoothly effortless as a Rolls-Royce, can carry almost as much stuff as a Chevy Equinox, and is more efficient than a Toyota Prius.”

The announcement is a boost for an EV industry labeled a failure by some analysts and politicians.

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Most Diesel Engines Will Switch To Natural Gas – It is cheaper and cleaner

This has been so needed for so long. America pivots from gasoline to natural gas. When will we get over that to something that makes sense?

http://www.chron.com/business/article/Natural-gas-wins-place-as-oil-field-fuel-3900742.php

Natural gas wins place as oil field fuel

By Zain Shauk | Thursday, September 27, 2012

The biggest, baddest engines in the world, long chained to diesel fuel, are on the verge of a mass transformation because of cheap natural gas – with oil field equipment holding particular potential, executives said Thursday during a summit of heavy fuel users and producers.

“Here’s the first reason that large engines are going gas,” said JoelFeucht, director of gas engine strategy for Caterpillar’s energy and power systems division. “Large engines burn the most fuel. I could try to make it harder, but that’s pretty straightforward.”

Oil companies alone use nearly 1.2 billion gallons of diesel fuel a year just for pressure pumping equipment that supports hydraulic fracturing, said David Hill, vice president of natural gas economy operations for Encana Corp. Adding the diesel used to power drilling rigs themselves, the total is more than 2.8 billion gallons annually, said Pierce Dehring, a project engineer for Baker Hughes.

 

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Electric Refueling In California – New fuels spreading all along the highway

And it is not just Tesla who is getting into the game. Tomorrow I will post about natural gas refueling stations in Northern Florida. This could be the wave of the future. A battle between electricity and natural gas.

http://peakoil.com/consumption/tesla-motors-launches-revolutionary-supercharger-enabling-convenient-long-distance-driving/

Page added on September 25, 2012

Tesla Motors Launches Revolutionary Supercharger Enabling Convenient Long Distance Driving

Tesla Motors( NASDAQ : TSLA ) today unveiled its highly anticipated Supercharger network. Constructed in secret, Tesla revealed the locations of the first six Supercharger stations, which will allow the Model S to travel long distances with ultra fast charging throughout California, parts of Nevada and Arizona.

The technology at the heart of the Supercharger was developed internally and leverages the economies of scale of existing charging technology already used by the Model S, enabling Tesla to create the Supercharger device at minimal cost. The electricity used by the Supercharger comes from a solar carport system provided by SolarCity, which results in almost zero marginal energy cost after installation. Combining these two factors, Tesla is able to provide Model S owners1 free long distance travel indefinitely.

Each solar power system is designed to generate more energy from the sun over the course of a year than is consumed by Tesla vehicles using the Supercharger. This results in a slight net positive transfer of sunlight generated power back to the electricity grid. In addition to lowering the cost of electricity, this addresses a commonly held misunderstanding that charging an electric car simply pushes carbon emissions to the power plant. The Supercharger system will always generate more power from sunlight than Model S customers use for driving. By adding even a small solar system at their home, electric car owners can extend this same principle to local city driving too.

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Cool Green Cars – I haven’t done any car posts this year

I usually do a series of car posts every year, and maybe this is the time to do it. I know starting on a Friday is kind of obtuse but heh it gives me a couple of days to look at cools sites and cars before I do another post. These are hybrids but the real moves have been in all electric.

Five Hybrid Concept Cars We REALLY Want To Drive

Jun 22, 2012

Every now and then, we allow our thoughts to drift here at GreenCarReports.

Naturally, we’re thinking forward rather than back, and often to the cars we might be driving around in five or ten years time.

We’ve compiled a list of five concept cars seen at auto shows over the last year or so. All are hybrids, and all showcase exciting new visions of styling and technology that could well hit the roads in the near future.

Hyundai i-Oniq

Given the meteoric rise of Korean brands Hyundai and Kia over the last few decades, it’s only right that they should play a part in our future too. The i-Oniq concept car, revealed at the 2012 Geneva Motor Show back in March, is a sleek, two-door range-extended hybrid.

Though the styling evokes images of a huge engine under the hood, the concept uses a tiny 1.0-liter 3-cylinder unit, supplying power to a 107-horsepower electric motor when its 75-mile battery range is depleted. We’re pretty confident that 75 miles would cover most of our day-to-day driving, but that little gasoline engine would provide a useful extra 360 miles.

And you know what? It looks pretty good too.

 

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That is one of 5. Go there and read. Pretty pictures too. More next week.

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Oh If This Were True – Humans voluntarily give up fossil fuels

How cool would the world be if we actually stopped raping the Earth and started responsible stewardship instead. But I am suspicious around humans, so we will just have to see.

http://www.wheels.ca/news/peak-oil-are-we-looking-at-it-all-wrong/

Peak oil: Are we looking at it all wrong?

By as early as 2015, global demand for oil will begin to decline, some scientists say. Not because we’ll have run out of the fossil fuel, but because we just won’t need as much of it.

Published May 31, 2012

I don’t know about you, but when I’m skimming around on the Web and I catch sight of the phrase “Scientists now say” or “Some analysts find” I usually just click right on by. Because that article is going to be a bummer. Those analysts will find that the U.S. educational system is actually removing knowledge from children’s minds, and those scientists will turn out to say that pizza consumption is related to early-onset dementia. So I keep going until I find something about psychic twins or a baby raised by goats.

But it’s a good thing I broke with tradition when I came to the New Scientist article “Dump the pump: When oil will lose its luster.” Guess what these scientists and analysts now find? You know that whole problem with oil, how eventually it’s going to run out and trigger a global depression and maybe a breakdown of civilization and is it really such a good idea to bring children into this crazy world? Well don’t sweat it, everything’s going to be totally fine. It’s all going to be one hundred percent a-okay.

All right, that might be a somewhat simplistic rendering of the argument. What the scientists and analysts are arguing – and presenting evidence for – is that although we’ve been worrying this whole time about peak oil supply, the operative force will actually be peak oil demand. Due to a variety of factors – the article focuses mainly on advances in automotive fuel efficiency – global demand for oil is only going to keep increasing for a few more years, after which it will begin to decline and will continue on a downward path.

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I just printed the premise. Go there and read the rest. More Next week.

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Littlest Greenest Car – But it is way too much money

I love things like the Smart Car, the Coopers and all the little electric cars I have reported on over the years so of course I like this one too. The thing that amazes me is how much money they cost. I mean you can argue that you are front loading your costs…yada yada blah. But noway I am paying that kinda money for a car period.

http://jalopnik.com/5910190/the-worlds-smallest-cars-are-back-on-sale-for-insane-money

The World’s Smallest Cars Are Back On Sale, For Insane Money

Contact Jason Torchinsky: jason@jalopnik.com

May 17, 2012 4:00 PM

Like an adorable, tiny zombie popping out of its tiny, adorable window-box grave, the Peel P50 and Peel Trident are back from the dead. Neither of the tiny, tiny cars has been built since 1966, but a new company, with funding from the BBC’s show Dragon’s Den, is starting production up once again, as announced earlier this year. They’re street legal in the UK and US, and you can buy them for an absurd price £10,000 ($16,000).

The Peel P50 is the World’s Smallest Car, most famously enjoyed (indoors and outdoors) by Jeremy Clarkson. The Trident is a sort of sportier-looking model, with the same mechanicals (original: 49cc, 4.2 HP) but swaps the cyclopian porta-potty look for a very 50s-modern bubble-topped futuristic fiberglass body. The Trident also can hold two, instead of the solitary seat of the P50.

The modernized P50 and Trident swap the old (reverseless) three-cog transmission for a CVT unit, and use a 3.35 HP motor (one of the few times the hundredths decimal place is important), which is enough to push the 198 lb Trident or 240 lb P50 to 28 mph (electronically limited— maybe you could go a bit faster?). There’s electric versions as well, with roughly the same specs, except instead of an amazing 118 mpg, you have a meager 15 miles between charges. Dead dinosaurs sure hold a lot of energy.

At 118 MPG, Peel advertises…

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Savings In Your Car – I consider your car as part of your residence

People traditionally do not think of their car or other forms of personal transportation as part of their residential energy package but I think it only makes sense. In between gas and insurance along or electricity now, they can be some of the most expensive things in your life. And it is a big part of of your carbon footprint. This would sure make a differenced.

http://digg.com/newsbar/topnews/fold_up_car_of_the_future_unveiled_at_eu

Fold-up car of the future unveiled at EU

January 24, 2012

A tiny revolutionary fold-up car designed in Spain’s Basque country as the answer to urban stress and pollution was unveiled Tuesday before hitting European cities in 2013.

A tiny revolutionary fold-up car designed in Spain’s Basque country as the answer to urban stress and pollution was unveiled Tuesday before hitting European cities in 2013.

The “Hiriko”, the Basque word for “urban”, is an electric two-seater with no doors whose motor is located in the wheels and which folds up like a child’s collapsible buggy, or stroller, for easy parking.

Dreamt up by Boston’s MIT-Media lab, the concept was developed by a consortium of seven small Basque firms under the name Hiriko Driving Mobility, with a prototype unveiled by European Commission president Jose Manuel Barroso.

Demonstrating for journalists, Barroso clambered in through the fold-up front windscreen of the 1.5-metre-long car.

“European ideas usually are developed in the United States. This time an American idea is being made in Europe,” consortium spokesman Gorka Espiau told AFP.

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Creating Green Transportation Options Take Money, Cash and Moola – Suspended regulations do not hurt either

 

While Solyndra made headlines, Aptera’s crash and burn is deeply frustrating because solar panels are made all over the world so the loss of one company is no big deal. The press of course had a field day with it as well they should. But not everyone tries to make green cars. So this is a sad piece as well.

http://www.greencarreports.com/news/1070490_aptera-collapse-how-why-it-happened-a-complete-chronology

Aptera Collapse: How & Why It Happened, A Complete Chronology

December 12, 2011
t’s not the best photo, but it means a lot to the 19 people in it.Posed in front of a mirrored glass office building under a colorful logo, they are the final employees of the now-defunct Aptera Motors on the last day of its existence: Friday, December 2.

Now we can bring you the inside chronology of the events that led to the end of Aptera.

Costly, risky, and very, very hard

Over the last week, we’ve interviewed former CEO Paul Wilbur and former marketing VP Marques McCammon, who were there to the very end.

We also spoke at length with company founder Steve Fambro, who resigned his seat on the Aptera board of directors early this year. He had been replaced by Wilbur as CEO in September 2008.

If there’s one lesson to be learned from Aptera, it may be this: Starting a car company takes a huge amount of money–orders of magnitude more than the software startups Silicon Valley venture capitalists like to fund.

If the cash runs out at any point, the company will die.

Not just a single car

Through several hours of conversations, a few themes emerged from the Aptera story as recounted by Wilbur and McCammon.

The pair speak highly of the entire workforce, all of them now looking for jobs.

And it is clear that the car designed by founders Fambro and Wilbur was not the car Aptera ended up developing. In fact, it created a longer, larger version of the three-wheeler to comply with the 738 separate Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards covering cars that may legally be sold.

Then, after it became clear that funding a three-wheeler wasn’t going to be possible, the company switched gears in January and threw all its design resources into creating a four-seat, four-wheeled car using the same plastic composite body shell construction as the original three-wheelers.

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