Tag Archives: car

Tesla announces network of free charging stations powered by solar energy

The biggest problem with driving an electric vehicle (EV) is not driving from home to work. It’s the long trips and vacations that scare people – beyond the EV’s range of 75-150 miles per charge. They need a network of charging stations, like gas stations, placed along highway routes for all the popular destinations.

And while the major car manufacturers are content to let governments and utility companies build these – Tesla has announced they will build their own. The company has six in operation in California and plans for twelve by next year. After that, if sales continue to grow, building 100s of them nationwide – allowing you to drive an EV from Los Angeles to New York.

And like all things Elon Musk does – these will be sleek, high technology, sustainable devices. Powered by solar technology, giving a 150 mile charge in 30 minutes, and free for Tesla drivers – while giving energy back to the grid.

For comparison, the standard models on the market offer 16-31 miles for a 30 minute charge.

 

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Majority of owners use electric vehicle as primary car

The plug-in epidemic is spreading:

Electric cars now primary vehicles

Nine out of 10 owners said plug-in vehicles represent their primary ride — though almost all had a second, conventional car, according to a survey with more than 1,400 respondents released this month.

Monthly mileage averaged about 800 — the equivalent of almost 10,000 miles a year.

These are not hybrids, but the plug-into your garage kind. Pretty awesome…I keep dreaming about the day I will own one!

 

#ZeroEmission
#EV
#NoMoreGas
#NoMoreOil
#TheFuture

 

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Electric-car brakes last 3x longer than conventional – threatening auto mechanics

Not only do electric cars threaten all those gas stations on every corner, but also the auto-mechanics and car parts stores:

Mechanic worries that electric-car brakes will ruin his business

Joe Ferrer says that brakes are easily 35 to 40 percent of his total business. Replacing rotors, calipers, and pads keeps his shop humming.

But on hybrids, brake jobs aren’t needed every 15,000 miles as they are on conventional cars–more like 45,000 miles, he says.

 

Those regenerative braking systems reduce the impact when braking and extend the life of the brake pads.

Of course, this isn’t the only thing that will change, Jiffy Lube will also be hurt. Electric vehicles (EV’s) get rid of nearly all the liquid lube in cars, so that means no more oil changes.

What is going to happen to all that land currently used for gas stations, Jiffy Lubes, and mechanics shops?

 

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The most travelled man on Earth…ever – Gunther Holtorf’s 23-year journey

This is an amazing journey Across Africa, Asia, South/North America, including North Korea and Cuba!

Watch it, you won’t be disappointed.

 

 

Back in 1989, as the Berlin Wall fell, Gunther Holtorf and his wife Christine set out on what was meant to be an 18-month tour of Africa in their Mercedes Benz G Wagen. Now, with more than 800,000km (500,000 miles) on the clock, Gunther is still going. - BBC News

How zero waste, local food, and sustainable transport are a part of the London 2012 Olympics

Pulled from the London 2012 Olympics Sustainability report (pdf):

 

If everyone lived as we do in the UK we would need three planets.

Our unsustainable lifestyles have meant that for the last 30 years we have been ‘eating into the Earth’s capital’ rather than ‘living off its interest’.

The promotion of sustainable development has become one of the fundamental objectives of the Olympic Movement…through its Agenda 21– Sport for Sustainable Development.

London 2012, WWF and BioRegional have developed the concept of a One Planet Olympics.

Staging a One Planet Olympics in London would help achieve the first sustainable Games. Sustainability has been at the heart of the London 2012 Bid and Masterplan.

 

The principles, goals, and legacy of the One Planet Olympics:

 

Zero Waste

Developing closed resource loops. Reducing the amounts of waste produced, then reclaiming, recycling and recovering

Goals

  • No Games waste direct to landfill – all treated as a resource
  • Zero waste target a pivotal procurement driver
  • Closed-loop waste management at all venues
  • Public information campaign to promote high quality front-of-house waste separation

Legacy

  • Zero waste policies extend across East London based on high recycling rates and residual waste converted to compost and renewable energy
  • Increased market for recycled products
  • Closed-loop waste management to be standard practice for major sports events

 

Local and Sustainable Food

Supporting consumption of local, seasonal and organic produce, with reduced amount of animal protein and packaging

Goals

  • Promotion of local, seasonal, healthy and organic produce
  • Promotion of links between healthy eating, sport and wellbeing
  • Partnerships established with key caterers, suppliers and sponsors
  • Composting of food waste as part of Zero Waste plan

Legacy

  • Increased markets for farmers in the region
  • Markets, catering and retail outlets supplying local and seasonal food
  • Composting facilities integrated into closed-loop food strategy

 

Sustainable Transport

Reducing the need to travel and providing sustainable alternatives to private car use

Goals

  • All spectators travelling by public transport, walking or cycling to venues
  • Low/no emission Olympic vehicle fleet
  • Olympic Park Low Emission Zone
  • Carbon offset programme for international travel
  • Individualised travel plans as part of integrated ticketing process

Legacy

  • Increased connectivity across and between legacy developments and neighbouring communities
  • Reduced car dependency
  • Car free events policy adopted for other major events
  • Greater market for zero carbon transport

 

 

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Internet connected cars is the 3rd fastest growing technology (after smartphones, tablets)

The real question is who will pay for internet access in our cars. Will this be another charge on our cell phone or cable bill, like getting 3G on an iPad is?

 

“Intel claims that the connected car is the third-fastest growing technological device, following smartphones and tablets. For a car maker that offers huge potential.”

Audi has developed a built-in 3G wireless in its A7 and will extend it to other new models.

“The connected car concept is well and truly here,” added John Leech.

In-vehicle internet access is close to becoming reality, according to the world’s top car bosses.

The survey by KPMG looking at future trends shows speech recognition and internet connection with wi-fi and 3G will become the norm.

More than a third (37%) of the 200 car executives believe “infotainment” in cars is nearly as important as car safety.

 

Source: BBC - In-car internet ‘to become norm’ in survey about future

 

 

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Japanese government begins plans for driverless driving by 2020

Japan’s Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism Ministry will soon embark on a project to realize an “autopilot system” for automatic driving, a system for guiding motor vehicles on expressways without human assistance.

The system is expected to contribute significantly to such goals as alleviating drivers’ fatigue, preventing road accidents and easing traffic congestion. It would be for vehicles referred to as self-driving cars capable of sensing their environment and navigating by themselves, with people not required to perform any mechanical operation besides choosing their destinations.

With a view to making an autopilot system a reality in the early 2020s, the ministry will launch a study panel of experts this year, to start full-scale discussions about a self-steering vehicle control project.

The ministry envisages an autonomous vehicle system in which, after leaving your home, motorists would enter an interchange of a nearby expressway while manually operating their cars.

When pulling into the expressway’s lane exclusively for the autopilot system, the driving mode would change to “automatic driving” and input your destination into the system. Motorists would take their hands and feet off the steering wheel, gas pedal and brake.

 

Via‘Driverless driving’ envisioned for Japan in early 2020s

 

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Getting your home ready for an electric vehicle (EV)

 

Owning a plug-in electric car means a new way to fuel. The convenience of charging at home can reduce or even eliminate your trips to the gas station, but it also comes with choices.

Get a lower rate

We offer 2 rate plans specifically designed for people with electric cars. These plans provide lower rates when you charge at night and during off-peak hours. Your selected rate plan and charging level (or voltage) will determine whether you’ll need to upgrade your home’s electrical wiring.

Do you need a charging station?

If your electric car has a smaller battery, or if you simply drive less, you can charge your electric car within a few hours using a standard household 120-volt outlet. If your electric car has a larger battery or you drive more, you may want a home charging station or dock for faster charging.

Resources

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Our brains can brake a car faster than our feet

If you’ve ever had to slam on the brakes to prevent an accident, you know that the time it takes to get your foot to that pedal can seem like an eternity. Now, German researchers aim to cut that reaction time by getting drivers’ brain waves to help stop the car. Their findings appear in the Journal of Neural Engineering.

When you’re behind the wheel, or doing anything physical, your brain knows what it wants you to do before your body swings into action. Most times, this minor delay between thinking and doing is no big deal. But when you’re moving at 60 miles an hour and the car in front of you stops short, every fraction of a second counts.

Researchers recorded how quickly volunteers reacted when the lead vehicle in a driving simulator suddenly hit the brakes. Sensors monitored the subjects’ brain activity. Turns out drivers knew they needed to slow down more than a tenth of a second before they tap the brakes.

That might not seem like much, but if cars could read minds, they could stop 12 feet sooner at highway speeds. Which could mean the difference between a scare and a smash.

Listen to the podcast version of this storyBrain Brakes Car Faster Than Foot

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Click and Clack to retire – NPR’s Car Talk – final show this Fall

They were a couple of auto mechanics with a pronounced Boston brogue and, improbably, degrees from MIT. They hadn’t a clue how to perform on radio, much less public radio.

So Tom and Ray Magliozzi just decided to have a good time. The result was “Car Talk,” which shattered the perception that public radio is inaccessible to the masses and became National Public Radio’s top-rated weekend show.

After 35 years on the air, the brothers announced Friday that the run was ending. No longer would they be dishing on cars so old that their odometers switched to scientific notation or delivering gift advice to VW Bus lovers. The show informally known as “Click and Clack the Tappet Brothers” will tape its final original show this fall.

Declaring that “even one hour a week is too much” work, the comedian-mechanics said it was time to “stop and smell the cappuccino” instead of inhaling exhaust. The call-in show is syndicated on 660 radio stations and is heard by 3.3 million listeners weekly.

more on this storyHosts put the brakes on NPR’s ‘Car Talk’

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