SolarChargedDriving.Com news features

piece of paper with writing on itOur news features section comprises the heart of SolarChargedDriving.Com. Here, we publish news content focused on various aspects of the fascinating and potentially revolutionary synthesis between solar power and electric driving. We zero in on general news and information, people, and companies and products from both the solar and EV and PHEV worlds. But some of our content is more general. For instance, we cover news, information, people, companies and products in the fossil fuel realm as well, though we do so from a critical -- but also multiple-perspective -- angle.

Solar Impulse 2 flies 4,500 miles on solar alone

Congratulations to Solar Impulse 2, the 100 percent solar-powered/solar-charged plane flying around the world that, today, successfully finished a record-breaking 4,480-mile, 5-day, non-stop, flight from Japan to Hawaii powered by nothing but the solar-electrons of the sun!

 

Tesla's Powerwall excites electric car owners

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Tesla's Elon Musk unveils the Powerwall.

What if you threw a revolution and nobody came? That is the opposite of fun.

When people talk about Elon Musk, adjectives such as fun, merry and entertaining may not be at the tip of the tongue.

However, he is poised to throw a party of enormous dimensions for the purpose of growing green energy use.

Here is Musk's party invitation last year for Tesla car technology, which Mr. Musk is extending to Tesla’s new Powerwall energy storage products: “If we clear a path to the creation of compelling electric vehicles. But then lay intellectual property landmines behind us to inhibit others, we are acting in a manner contrary to that goal. Tesla will not initiate patent lawsuits against anyone who, in good faith, wants to use our technology.”

In other words, the technologies behind the new Powerwall batteries are open source and license-free. Let the party commence!

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STELLA world's most practical solar-powered car

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STELLA, a 100 percent solar-powered car, and Lex Hoefsloot, a member of the student-research team at Eindhoven Technical University in The Netherlands. [Photo by Albert Graham]

albert-grahamFor years, genuine solar charged driving or in-situ solar charged driving, took place relatively unnoticed on back roads and special racetracks far removed from the main highways and byways of America. Sleek, aerodynamic (mostly teardrop shaped) cars covered in solar panels silently zipped along in competitions with vehicles mostly piloted by university students and weekend hobbyist. 

The vehicles, sometimes just barely large enough to fit one average sized person inside and a little sturdier than light framed bicycles,  placed maximum emphasis on speed and distance traveled with a lesser degree of emphasis placed on passenger comfort.  After all, the objective was to just arrive at the finish line in the quickest time possible. 

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Testing a Twizy at EV 'Disneyland' in Paris

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The Renault Twizy in Paris. [Photo Courtesy of M. Brice BELVEYRE, Centre Renault Z.E.]

albert-grahamI recently had the pleasure of visiting the Renault Z.E. Center located on Ile Seguin, (Boulogne-Billancourt) just a few minutes outside of Paris.  The Z.E. stands for Zero Emissions – a reference to Renault’s popular line of Electrical Vehicles (EVs).

At the Center, Renault showcases all of the vehicles which make up their Z.E. line of cars – The Renault ZOE (5-door hatchback), The Renault Fluence Z.E. (4-door saloon small family car), the Renault Kangoo Z.E. (a small utility van which is used extensively in France for deliveries) and the Renault Twizy (more on this one in just a bit).

Unique in France, and a first in Europe as well, the center has a 2 km driving track (with small hills, sharp turns and even the eventual traffic signage and traffic light! ) which permits extensive testing of the vehicles under real road conditions - all while remaining off road.

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Mr. President: We can drive our cars on sunshine

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Long-time electric vehicle and solar supporter Paul Scott is spending more than $30,000 of his own money so that he can bring the renewable energy + EV message directly to President Obama.

paul-scottIf you had something important to say to the President, how much would you spend to get his ear?

On June 7, I'll be eating lunch with President Obama for $32,400. Two dozen other high-dollar donors will be there, but I'll be the only one in the room who does his own laundry. I'm not wealthy--I'm spending a large percentage of my retirement savings, at age 60, to sit at the table.

Why?

Because it's a deeply troubling time in our country and in our world. Whether you choose to believe it or not, climate change is a greater threat to life on Earth than at any time in modern history.

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