Why and how to joyfully move our butts around town, without mucking the place up.

Clean Energy and Transportation News for February 2017

Enbala Power Networks Raises $12 Million to Transform Distributed Energy Resource Market

(February 24, 2017) Growth in renewable energy adoption (solar, wind) means developing new energy storage to manage their intermittent nature. The sort of system described here takes in signals from utility companies, and prices on the real-time-energy-market, to determine when to absorb energy from the grid, or release energy to the grid, and even when to perform other grid services like voltage or frequency regulation.

2017 VW e-Golf offers improved range and fuel economy

(February 22, 2017) This is a significant improvement over the current VW e-Golf. Improved driving range will be the common theme the next couple years. While they aren't announcing the MSRP it's possible VW will do as Hyundai, and instead of going for 200+ miles range at a $30-35,000 MSRP, they'll go for a lower MSRP instead.

Tesla Prep For Model 3, Lucid Air PR, Self-Driving Bolt EV -- Transport Evolved Feb 18, 2017

(February 18, 2017) GM expands Maven car sharing to Los Angeles. Latest Tesla update provides real-time Supercharger status, preparing for an influx of more EV drivers. Adds data about congestion at upcoming supercharger stations so you can make additional plans. Toyota Mirai Fuel Cell Sedan recalled for software glitch that's expected to be rare but wasn't found in testing. EV Sales in Norway, where electric car sales are extremely popular, top 37 percent of new car sales last month (January 2017). That's just 13% from bypassing the 50% sales level. Hyundai announces $29,500 entry-level price (MSRP) for 2017 IONIQ EV, and combined with tax incentives it is extremely affordable. Jason Hughes, a famous Tesla Hacker, hacks his Model S to make it 30% more powerful. Electric bus maker, Proterra CEO predicts one-third of all new busses will be electric in just four year’s time (by 2021), and by 2030 all such busses will be electric. Daimler announces their Smart brand will become an all-electric brand in the U.S., completely eschewing gasoline. Was Waymo’s Brain Drain caused by overpaying its staff? It seems Waymo's parent company (Google/Alphabet) paid those employees enough to make them independently wealthy, allowing them to leave to start their own self-driving-vehicle startups. Kia exec says NIRO EV will hit market in 2018. Mercedes-Benz starts small series production for Daimler Urban eTruck. A patient Bolt EV owner has driven their car 300 miles on a charge, or 70 miles more than the EPA rating.

February 18 2017 Model 3 Updates, Bolt EV test drive -- Model 3 Owners Club

(February 18, 2017) Reporting from an auto show in Canada, the guys review latest Model 3 news.

Toyota and Shell one step closer to a hydrogen refueling network in California

(February 17, 2017) Fuel cell vehicles are supposedly the solution that will one day eliminate the need for battery electric vehicles. What's missed is the expense for hydrogen refueling stations (over $1.5 million apiece) versus the much lower cost for DC fast charging of battery electric vehicles (under $100,000). That means the same pool of money could build a whole lot more DC fast charging stations than hydrogen. The $16 million here to build 7 hydrogen stations could build 160 or more DC fast charging stations.

Ecotricity - Green Gas - Industrial scale biomass replacement for natural gas

(February 15, 2017) Clean electricity from Solar or Wind is great but it doesn't power natural gas fired stoves or heaters. It isn't entirely feasible to replace those with electric stoves or heaters, creating a problem of getting a clean renewable fuel that's equivalent to natural gas. Ecotricity has developed a biomass system fed with regular grass, that can grow on marginal land, producing renewable methane gas that is clean enough to go into the natural gas grid. Any longer continuation of natural gas to fuel industry or homes requires either fracking (which is horrendous) or some kind of biomass solution.

ABB to charge the largest single network of 101 electric buses in Europe

(February 14, 2017)

Lockheed Martin on rebooting the Atomic Age with Compact Fusion Research

(February 13, 2017) Who says nuclear power has to be dangerous? Lockheed Martin's Skunkworks is working on a semi-portable nuclear fusion reactor they say could be small enough to power an airplane. Current research fusion reactors are humongous build-sized extremely expensive monstrosities that probably will not work out. This is relatively small, and the team leader is oozing with confidence they'll get it to work. Nuclear power safe enough to fly an airplane. It presents no proliferation risk, making it possible to ship to any country. If it works it could revolutionize the energy system, if it is inexpensive enough to financially supplant fossil fuels.

PG&E Unveils New Plug-In Electric Truck That Will Help Keep the Lights on During Outages

(February 13, 2017)

ABB brings electric hybrid bus charging to Luxembourg City

(February 13, 2017)

Gigantic Antarctica glacier melting at alarming rate

(February 11, 2017) Russian scientists studying the Mertz Glacier in Antarctica expected the glacier to extend over 500 feet below the ocean surface. This glacier extends over 40 kilometers out over the ocean, and of course would normally have ice extending well below the surface. They sent a robotic submarine to explore the glacier, found the water to be warmer than expected, and the sub-surface portion of the glacier to be riddled with caves.

Winter test of the VW eGolf 24 kWh - Bjorn Nyland

(February 10, 2017) Bjorn Nyland puts the eGolf through its paces in the Norway winter.

Tesla Prep For Model 3, Lucid Air PR, Self-Driving Bolt EV -- Transport Evolved Feb 10, 2017

(February 10, 2017) To prepare for start of Model 3 production, Tesla Motors will do a short factory shutdown in order to install the necessary equipment (tooling, etc). Audi has been trash-talking Tesla Motors, claiming Audi will supply the first properly Premium Electric Car. Honda put out a strange fuel cell advertising campaign. Hyundai Ioniq beginning deliveries in USA, but with only 120 miles range probably cannot compete against Chevy Bolt. Because of Dieselgate, Volkswagen is launching its Electrify America plan with a website and a request for ideas. Nissan is in trouble for emissions of its Diesel powered vehicle. Lucid Air giving test drives to select people. The Tesla Model X can be easily accessed with just a screwdriver. Both Tesla and SpaceX joined a large group of Hi-Tech companies complaining about the Trump Administration Muslim travel ban. GM released a new video on progress towards a self-driving car. Electric car sales in the UK totaled 4.2% in January 2017.

February 9 2017 Model 3 Updates and rumours? -- Model 3 Owners Club

(February 9, 2017) To prepare for start of Model 3 production, Tesla Motors will do a short factory shutdown in order to install the necessary equipment (tooling, etc). This does not yet include the big Schuler Press that will produce the body panels. Model 3 Beta production should start by the end of the month. Supposedly a Model 3 with Ludicrous mode has been built that has a 0-60 miles/hr time of 2 seconds, but is unlikely to be a production car. Perhaps that performance level will wait for the Roadster 2.

Maven launches City Car Sharing in Atlanta

(February 9, 2017) General Motors car sharing service, Maven City Car Sharing, is expanding. Like most automakers, GM is looking forward to a future where autonomous cars can be deployed as an automated car sharing service. We should see this sort of service as a form of "dabbling" as they (GM) prepares for that future.

ABB and Nova Bus announce collaboration on electric transportation.

(February 9, 2017)

Chevrolet Bolt EV full review -- SlashGear

(February 3, 2017) The Chevy Bolt EV is GM's latest attempt to enter the electric vehicle market after they smashed the EV1. This review spends a long time talking with the Chief Designer talking about the choices going into many design details. The design team was in South Korea, perhaps to ease the collaboration with LG as that company is providing most of the components. It has many advanced features some of which really add to usability. An example is the front seats, which are very comfortable, yet they're very thin giving them a few inches extra room in the rear. I can attest having sat in the rear seat, that it has an amazing amount of room.

Fully Charged tests the 40 kiloWatt-hour Renault Zoe

(Jan 18, 2017) Robert Llewellyn (Fully Charged) test drives the new Renault Zoe in Portugal. Where the original had a 24 kWh pack, the new version has a 41 kWh pack, giving it over 180 miles in the summer, and 120 miles in cold conditions. The bigger battery fits in exactly the same footprint and they'll even allow the new battery to be used in the older Renault Zoe.