This weekend scientists were able to measure freeway pollution when a 10-mile section was shut down for construction. The results were surprising. Within minutes of the traffic shut-down, air quality for the region improved by 83%. It also improved by 75% in the surrounding cities and 25% for the 30 miles in every direction.
The findings even shocked the scientists, from UCLA News:
“The air was amazingly clean that weekend,” Suzanne Paulson said. “Our measurements in Santa Monica were almost below what our instruments could detect, and the regional effect was significant. It was a really eye-opening glimpse of what the future could be like if we can move away from combustion engines.”
But just as quickly as the clean air came it was gone. Within a week of cars returning the pollution levels were back to normal. Still, it gives a peek into a future with electric vehicles and much cleaner air.
Read the full article - ‘Carmaheaven’: Closure of 405 in 2011 improved air quality up to 83 percent
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.
From David Pogue:
You can still use Google’s maps — on the Web. Visit maps.google.com…You won’t get spoken directions, but you’ll get written directions, public transportation details, live traffic reports and, of course, Google’s far superior maps and data.
He also says Google’s Street View will be coming to iOS devices, and for local restaurants there is the app – Google+ Local. And that should make this a complete workaround.
iPhone owners are rooting for Apple Maps to be a winner, but in the meantime we need to get where were going.
Visit Google Maps for more features available in this workaround.
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!
Profiled by a Los Angeles Times travel writer, it reminds me of the $1 DC to NYC bus ride.
One traveler finds the ghost of Jack Kerouac and more on a bus trip up California’s spine. At $1 each way, it has to be the best bargain in all of travel.
Mindful that great American road trips occur in all sorts of vessels — heck, Huck rode a rickety raft — we’re on a Greyhound bus heading up California’s flat, slender belly.
“Why?” you ask.
That’s a sensible question, but let us open our hearts and heads to this for a few seconds:
By the time we’re done, we’ll meet a vagabond grandma and a former prostitute, an impish computer genius and just maybe the ghost of Jack Kerouac, who looked at Greyhound and California’s wide-open roads as gateways to the finest American right of all: the right to wander.
So, climb aboard. No security checkpoints, no luggage fees. No pillows or drink service either, but also no charge. A few of my fellow passengers, some more hollow-eyed than even I, have prison on their faces. A few are students, but most look like the same sorts you see on commercial airlines these days.
The full story – Greyhound Express: new spin on an old-fashioned ride