The Future Is Built In Batteries – Where the structure becomes the storage device

While I have always said the storage is NOT the problem in renewable energy because you can always pump something like water or air during good times and discharge it in bad times. The storage of energy in moving things was always gonna be a problem and batteries were only an interim solution. Now some people are getting a handle on this problem, and I am supper EXCITED about it. This article is real techincal. Sorry.

Big breakthrough for ‘massless’ energy storage

March 22, 2021
Chalmers University of Technology
Researchers have produced a structural battery that performs ten times better than all previous versions. It contains carbon fiber that serves simultaneously as an electrode, conductor, and load-bearing material. Their latest research breakthrough paves the way for essentially ‘massless’ energy storage in vehicles and other technology.

Researchers from Chalmers University of Technology have produced a structural battery that performs ten times better than all previous versions. It contains carbon fibre that serves simultaneously as an electrode, conductor, and load-bearing material. Their latest research breakthrough paves the way for essentially ‘massless’ energy storage in vehicles and other technology.

The batteries in today’s electric cars constitute a large part of the vehicles’ weight, without fulfilling any load-bearing function. A structural battery, on the other hand, is one that works as both a power source and as part of the structure — for example, in a car body. This is termed ‘massless’ energy storage, because in essence the battery’s weight vanishes when it becomes part of the load-bearing structure. Calculations show that this type of multifunctional battery could greatly reduce the weight of an electric vehicle.

The development of structural batteries at Chalmers University of Technology has proceeded through many years of research, including previous discoveries involving certain types of carbon fibre. In addition to being stiff and strong, they also have a good ability to store electrical energy chemically. This work was named by Physics World as one of 2018’s ten biggest scientific breakthroughs.


Go there and read. It is kinda long too. More next week.


Norway Goes Crazy For Electric Cars – The government helps

Norway has a very different approach to the environment then Donald Trump ( I prefer to call dolt 45). They are plunging headlong into a green energy future and I hope the rest of the world follows.

How Norway’s government made electric cars irresistible

May 29, 2017 at 6:35 PM EDT

In Scandinavia, which is a world leader in green technology, politicians and environmentalists want the president to follow their lead, and increase investment in environmentally friendly technologies like electric cars.

Special correspondent Malcolm Brabant reports from Norway, the world’s fastest growing electric car market.

MALCOLM BRABANT: Norway prides itself on being one of the world’s most pristine countries. Yet, amid the stunning scenery, there are reminders that its vast wealth comes from decades of gas and oil production.

But Norwegians are turning their backs on fossil fuels and embracing electric cars like nowhere else.

Ann Kunish, who moved from Wisconsin 30 years ago, is one of the new converts.

ANN KUNISH, Music Librarian: This car is a no-brainer. There’s no question about it. It’s very, very easy to choose electric cars. The Norwegian government has made it much more financially feasible to buy them. They don’t have the same fees, free parking in municipal spots. More and more charging stations are being built, lower yearly fee to use the roads, no tolls.


Go there and read. More next week.


Beyond Extreme Energy – I rarely endorse organizations

But today I do. This a great organization and a great idea as well. Join today.

Beyond Extreme Energy

Get involved in BXE’s work

Take Action!

Stay Connected!

Support our work!

  • Make a financial contribution.
  • Write to if you’re interested in being on one of our organizing working groups.

Questions? Need to contact us? Email




Go there and join, read and protest. More next week.


I Am Fascinated With Wheelchair Lifts – I am so glad I decided to do the residential handicapped stuff

I was recounting in the last post about a “handicapped” workshop that had an amazing experiential component to it. There were 4 common ailments included that everyone got to try out: being blind (which I have described), being in a wheelchair which was kind of boring but boy has that changed since 1977, having an arm amputated and being deaf. Like I said the wheelchair experience was just rolling around in this large open space. They did not want us to take them outside because we could break them or we could be hurt ourselves. They did give each of us a cautious trip down some stairs at the door to the outside. There were three of them and it was creepy. My grandma was in a wheelchair so I did it better than most.

They had an extra attraction called being a child, which I will talk about tomorrow. So here is a wheelchair lift.

Wheelchair Platform Lifts

A simple and inexpensive wheelchair porch lift uses less space and is often a much more attractive and affordable solution than the alternative of installing a ramp.

These reliable vertical lifts can be installed outdoors or indoors and are designed to be completely resistant to the harshest weather conditions.

Wheelchair platform lifts for residential and commercial installations are easily installed and have a lifting range from 28″ up to as much as 12 feet (144″).

Our systems are an economical way to offer home / building accessibility.

Twenty years of manufacturing experience has resulted in the most durable and economical solution for wheelchair platform lift access in North America.

We will help you have a successful project, starting with offering four categories of wheelchair platform lifts.

Residential lifts for home use provides an attractive and practical solution for making your home accessible for a wheelchair user.


Go there and read. More next week.


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.



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


Next Week Is Earth Week – Actually Sunday is the day

Might as well end the week with a kick off for the next. Earth Day is Sunday, but Springfield can’t seem to get its act together on the actual day. But at least people celebrate it. Happy weekend everyone.

April 19, 2012

10 Things We’ve Learned About the Earth Since Last Earth Day

Sunday is the 42nd celebration of Earth Day, which was started in 1970 by U.S. Senator Gaylord Nelson to help educate people about environmental issues and demonstrate public support for a conservationist agenda. With that in mind, we decided it was the right time to recap the most surprising, awe-inspiring and alarming things that we have learned about the Earth and the environment since last year’s holiday:

1. Undiscovered species are still out there: Countless discoveries over the past year reminded us that, despite centuries of research, the planet still has plenty of surprise species in store. Among the many finds include seven new forest mice species in the Philippines, a “psychedelic” gecko in Vietnam and a new type of dolphin in AustraliaA new analysis released last August, billed as the most accurate ever, estimated that a total of 8.7 million different species of life exist on earth.

2. Global warming is already driving up food prices: While many fear that climate change will someday reduce crop yields and cause food prices to rise, a study published last May in Science indicates that this troubling trend has already gotten started. The models used suggest that reduced global yields of wheat and corn are related to global warming. Although the effects are relatively small so far, they may cause severe problems in the future, as climate patterns continue to change and food demand increases.


Go there and read. More next week.


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.

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.


Go there and read. More tomorrow.


Green Highways – Following up on yesterday’s post

This is an excellent website for more info about green highways. I like their inclusion of the entire roadway’s impact on the surrounding environment. Though I wish they would include a discussion of  landscapes that require no mowing and the inclusion of indigenous plants.


The Green Highways Partnership (GHP) is dedicated to transforming the relationship between the environment and transportation infrastructure.  In its nationwide review of green transportation infrastructure, the U.S. House Subcommittee on Technology and Innovation found the GHP to be “the primary federal vehicle for encouraging the use of green transportation infrastructure by state and local governments and private industry.”  Such a finding says that this effort is not only unique to the nation, but is the only one of its type serving this critical purpose recognized by Congress.

“All of the Federal Government’s greatest achievements in the last half century involved significant amounts of collaboration across sectors.”

Dr. John Bryson, U.MN-
On exercising government leadership through collaboration.

The Partnership
The GHP serves as a voluntary public-private collaborative that advances environmental stewardship in transportation planning, design, construction, operations and maintenance while balancing economic and social objectives. The Green Highways Partnership is supported by an ever growing list of dedicated and experienced partners. However, the partnership would like to recognize the following partners for their considerable financial and staff support:

Greenhighways Partnership EPA Logo Greenhighways Partnership Department of Transportation logo Greenhighways Partnership State Highway Administrator logo

The GHP was initiated by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) out of a realization that building safe, sound transportation systems and protecting and sustaining a clean and healthy environment were not mutually exclusive, particularly in light of their common denominator, serving the “public good.”


More tomorrow.


Green Roads Choked By Contractors – The past always repeats itself

This is a guest post. I concur with it. I can’t post the whole thing here because it is a little long. Please go to the website listed below and read the rest.

Green Roads Construction: Are Contractors Our Roadblock?

by Derek SingletonERP Analyst, Software Advice
Jul 07, 2011

The buzz of innovative ideas on how to build cheaper, greener roads is all around us. These ideas range from using scrap construction materials and rubber tires to using recycled glass to reduce our reliance on asphalt. While these brainstorms are laudable, they’ve yet to prove themselves in a total life-cycle analysis.

The green construction practices that have a demonstrated track record can’t gain traction because of an archaic contractor bidding process. And herein lies the problem. A problem that we can no longer afford to ignore given the sheer cost and impact of our highway system.

“Our roads are everywhere. Anywhere you turn, you’re automatically on a road. We can’t get away from them. We step outside of our house and we’re on a road. If we go to a National Park, we take a road. People don’t realize this but [building roads] is one of the highest impact things we do.” – Shane Stathert, Think Green Roads

The need for lower impact roads is a pressing economic issue. Each year, we spend roughly 7 percent of our Gross Domestic Product (GDP) on transportation infrastructure. For fiscal year 2010, that amounted to nearly $1 trillion. A key input to these costs is the amount of asphalt we use. But the costs don’t end there.

A typical two-lane mile stretch of highway uses roughly 25,000 tons of crushed stone, which is what makes aggregate (the base layer for roads) one of the most mined materials in the world. Then there’s the CO2 emissions. The 32,300 lane miles of road the United States paves every year emits millions of tons of CO2. Here’s a conservative estimate.

Constructing a single-lane mile of road emits 1,200 tons of CO2. If we assume every mile of road built is single-laned (yeah right, not in America) then building our roads emits 38,760,000 tons of CO2 every year. That’s the same as the annual energy use of 6 million homes. Seriously, 6 million, stop and think about that for a second.

Needless to say, these exorbitant costs – both fiscal and environmental – left many in the industry wondering: how can we reduce expense and still maintain the quality of road construction? Thus, the green road construction movement was born.

Recycled Materials: A Reliable Aggregate Alternative?

With 94 percent of paved roads covered in asphalt, the first obvious target was determining how excessive use of asphalt could be reduced to minimize economic and environmental impacts. One idea that’s gaining a lot of attention in the green construction movement is the use of recycled materials for aggregate.

The logic is simple: pick a material with a good consistency that would normally sit in a landfill, grind it up and you’ve got an aggregate substitute or aggregate base. Popular fillers and aggregate replacements include rubber tires, roofing shingles and even glass.

Using recycled material for aggregate in this way not only saves money, but it also makes use of a material that would otherwise remain unused. A single lane mile of road constructed with rubber tires will use roughly 2,000 tires and save as much as $50,000. It also diverts rubber tires from landfills where they’d otherwise pile up and present a fire hazard or act as a breeding ground for disease-carrying mosquitoes.

But putting what would otherwise be considered trash into our roads raises a healthy amount of skepticism. What happens when the roads break apart? Is it safe for plastics, rubber and used construction material to be exposed to the elements? What if these wash into our water system?

There is a dearth of research on the environmental costs of using such recycled materials for aggregate or mixing them with asphalt. And using recycled rubber is one of the most promoted ways to green a road today. Both the Green Highway Partnership and National Asphalt Association tout recycled rubber as an environmentally safe and viable alternative.


More tomorrow


Flying Car Approved – The future is here

So what? You can drive yourself to the airport and then take off?

Flying car cleared for use on US roads

Posted on Jul 6th 2011 by Emma Woollacott

The Terrafugia flying car is now legal for use on the roads, following a grant of special exemptions by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).


One exemption allows the Transition to use tires that are appropriately rated for highway speeds and vehicle weight, but which aren’t normally permitted on for multi-purpose vehicles. It means the vehicle can have the same tires as were used successfully in flight and drive tests in 2009.

The vehicle’s also allowed to have its own type of windscreen, with Terrafugia arguing that traditional laminated automotive safety glass could fracture in such a way as to obscure the vision of the pilot in the event of a bird impact.

Instead, it’s allowed to use polycarbonate materials which are just as protective, it says, but which won’t shatter or craze.

Last summer, the Transition was given initial approval by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), and  granted an additional 110 pounds weight allowance.

The company says all it needs to do now is carry out a testing program before the Transition starts shipping. It’s planning extensive analysis and crash testing to make sure it reaches safety standards.

After that, it says, the Transition could be available as early as the end of this year, costing around $200,000. You can reserve one for a deposit of $10,000, here.


Kind of looks like the batmobile when its wings are folded up.


More tomorrow.