Clean Energy and Transportation News for August 2018
Jaguar I-PACE sets production electric car lap record at Laguna Seca, to appear at Concours d'Elegance(August 23, 2018)
Elon Musk overworked, ill-considered tweets about going private making Tesla Board look for a #2(August 16, 2018)
A few days ago Elon Musk idly tweeted that he's considering taking Tesla private at $420 per share, and that funding is lined up. At least this wasn't posted on April 20. After initial excitement some realists started studying this, asked where the funding was, the SEC started mulling a stock manipulation investigation, and so on. And now the NY Times has an article following an hour-long interview with Musk, describing him as overworked, and the Board is worried and is looking for someone to take over some of Musk's responsibilities.
Airbus electric airplane flies continuously for 26 days, setting world record(August 11, 2018)
Airbus has flown an unmanned high-altitude airplane for 3 minutes shy of 26 days, beating an endurance record also owned by Airbus. The airplane combines solar panels and energy storage to enable continuous flight, and operates at a 70,000 foot altitude where there is little air turbulence. The primary goal for such an airplane is to implement a kind of very-low-orbit satellite -- that is, remaining at a very high altitude means such an airplane can perform reconnaisance or communications services like a satellite, but without the expense of launching a satellite into orbit.
The 70,000 foot altitude is above the weather, above regular air traffic, and for example is high enough to provide a very wide viewing angle for camera systems, or for telecommunication systems, that might be mounted on such a vehicle. By operating on solar power such an airplane could theoretically operate indefinitely. But of course it is useful for it to land every so often for maintenance.
A couple years ago the Solar Impulse solar electric airplane used a similar drive train to complete an around-the-world journey. In that case the airplane was manned, and therefore its time aloft was limited to pilot endurance. The longest flight of the Solar Impulse was from Japan to Hawaii and (if memory serves) took over five days.