EV Parade on Earth Day, 2011

March 31, 2011 at 10:49 am

Yay!!  Only 22 more days till Earth Day!  Everyone mark your calendars.  There is going to be an electric vehicle parade in Washington D.C. on April 22, 2011 (Earth Day).   The parade will consist of battery, hybrid, and fuel cell-powered vehicles.

This event is going to be sponsored by the Electric Drive Transportation Association.  The Electric Drive Transportation Association (EDTA) is an association dedicated to the promotion of electric vehicles as the best means to achieve the highly efficient and clean use of secure energy in the transportation sector.

The parade will be called the “Innovation Motorcade.”   This event will start with a press conference with Steven Chu, Secretary of the U.S. Energy Department. The parade go all throughout the District before ending at the EDTA Conference’s ride and drive demonstration at the Washington Convention Center.

“We are excited to show consumers and policymakers how many electric drive choices are available and how rapidly innovations are being brought to the marketplace,” said EDTA President Brian Wynne.

Read more: Electric car parade in D.C. | Washington Business Journal

To learn more about Brammo, please visit:  www.brammo.com

EVs Will Change The Way We Live

March 30, 2011 at 9:10 am

EVs will change the way we think and live.  Eventually I think that Generation Y will talk about internal combustion engines and gas powered vehicles the same way their parents and grandparents talk about how computers use to be the size of living rooms or cell phones use to be the size of brief cases. The next generation of kids will have “PLUG IN CAR” as one of their daily chores.  This generation will eventually forget what the smell of a gas station is like and they will not know how to change the oil on a car or even check the oil.

In a recent report released by GTM Research, it is predicted that global sales of electric vehicles will reach 3.8 million by 2016.  By people buying more EVs, this will speed up the rate of adoption of technologies such as distribution automation, vehicle-to-grid communications, and new software applications. EVs presently face infrastructure problems, but these problems will disappear once demand rises for these vehicles.  David Leeds, GTM Research’s senior manager said that during the next decade, “ensuring adequate distribution grid reliability appears to be the principal challenge related to the initial rollout of EVs. A variety of related grid control and protection issues will necessitate a large investment in smart grid technologies, specifically grid communications and distribution automation.”

After we are able to get over the technological humps of range anxiety and putting a solid charging infrastructure in  place, this change in lifestyle and thinking (as mentioned in the first paragraph) will occur.

To read more, please visit:  http://www.connectedworldmag.com/latestNews.aspx?id=NEWS110328120602530

To learn more about Brammo, please visit:  www.brammo.com

Nuclear vs. Coal

March 29, 2011 at 10:47 am

Right now the situation at the Fukushima power plant in Japan is dire, and if the situation gets worse, the future of nuclear power and possibly EVs could be just as bleak.

Europe, Asia and the United States have major plans for building an EV infrastructure that can support millions of EVs on the road. Some of these plans included nuclear power. Although it is costly and time-consuming to build a nuclear facility, it’s probably easier and less expensive for charging an EV than relying on solar, wind or hydro-electric energy sources.

So realistically, right now there are only have two viable sources of energy:

• Fossil fuel combustion. It provides 70 percent of our electricity. Coal burning alone annually emits 2.5 gigatons of CO2.

• Commercial nuclear power. It contributes 21 percent, has never caused a single death to the public in the US, and, because it doesn’t burn anything, makes 73 percent of our virtually emissions-free electricity—the equivalent of annually taking 68 million automobiles off the road (Coal or Nuclear).

The typical person in the United States produces nearly 20 metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions every year. The largest source of carbon dioxide is transportation emissions which account for 29% of all emissions. Riding or driving an EV can drastically reduce the amount of emissions you create. The amount that you reduce depends on how cleanly your electricity is produced, what vehicle you’re leaving in the garage, and how far you commute.

The events unfolding in Japan could lead other governments to question the safety and reliability of nuclear power.  This of course would cause the construction of new plants to slow, thus causing the building of the mass EV infrastructure to slow.

Electric Vehicle 101: One Million Electric Vehicles by 2015

March 28, 2011 at 9:47 am

The current administration’s goal of 1 million EVs on the road by 2015 is no easy task.  Educating consumers about electric vehicles and government funding seem to be the two main driving forces of the adoption of EVs in the U.S.

One Million Electric Vehicles by 2015”, details DOE investments in electric vehicle infrastructure, research and development, and demonstration projects nationwide that are laying the groundwork for achieving the President’s goal.  These projects include support for nearly 50 manufacturing facilities and demonstration projects nationwide.

The current administration’s strategy includes:

  • Make electric vehicles more affordable with a rebate up to $7,500: The President is proposing to transform the existing $7,500 tax credit for electric vehicles into a rebate that will be available to consumers immediately at the point of sale, instead of having to wait for tax returns to be filed.
  • Advance innovative technologies through new R&D investments: Building on Recovery Act investments, the President’s FY2012 budget proposal will include enhanced R&D investments in electric drive, batteries, and energy storage technologies.
  • Reward communities that invest in electric vehicle infrastructure through competitive grants: To provide an incentive for communities to invest in EV infrastructure and remove regulatory barriers, the President is proposing a new initiative that will provide grants to up to 30 communities that are prioritizing advanced technology vehicle deployment.

Below is a video from a session called “Electric Vehicles 101.”  In it the speakers talk about the strategy and the reasons for it.

To learn more about Brammo, please visit www.brammo.com

Animal Planet Tracks Sasquatch Using Silent Electric Motorcycles From Brammo

March 25, 2011 at 9:59 am

A couple of weeks ago there were some mysterious photos posted on facebook of the Brammo Enertia being filmed in a heavily wooded area.  At the time I was not authorized to tell everyone what these photos were all about…….but now I can!

Animal Planet borrowed a couple of Brammo Enertias for a special that they shot on people Squatchin’ in the Mckennzie River Rainforest.  Squatchin’ is what Bigfoot enthusiasts calls the actual process of searching for Sasquatch.  Bigfoot, also known as Sasquatch, is purportedly an ape-like creature that inhabits forests, mainly in the Pacific Northwest region of North America. Bigfoot is usually described as a large, hairy, bipedal humanoid. The term “Sasquatch” is a derivative of the word “Sésquac” which means “wild man” in a Salish Native American language.  Oregon is notorious for Bigfoot sightings.  Here is a link to a database showing information on over 1200 sightings in Oregon alone:  http://www.oregonbigfoot.com/database.php

The Brammo Enertia is perfect for Squatchin’ because it’s very quiet and stealthy.   Another plus is that the Enertia does not emit fumes, so Bigfoot could not smell you coming. The bikes that were used in the shoot also were camouflage green, thus making them difficult to see in the trees and old forest growth.

I will keep you guys posted as to when the special will air!

To learn more about Brammo, please visit www.brammo.com

Smart Grid Technology Will Enable EV Adoption

March 24, 2011 at 10:11 am

At a briefing on Capitol Hill concerning EV infrastructure, it was said that electric vehicles can displace the use of petroleum for current autos and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. It was also noted that having an electricity system that can maximize recharging of most vehicles overnight will greatly speed up the process of electric vehicle mass adoption.

Many people fear that our current electrical grid systems will be unable to handle the juice it would take to charge millions of electric vehicles. During this conference it was determined that the electric grid can be used more efficiently by having groups of vehicles spread out the charging process.

“Smart power systems* that allow for groups of electric vehicles to be recharged efficiently overnight are key to making electric-powered cars a reality”, Jeffrey Stein, associate director of the Automotive Research Center and professor of mechanical engineering at the University of Michigan, told the Washington, D.C. audience on March 24, 2011. Stein said the country needs “innovative policies that recognize the enormous potential of electrification,” but he warned that such a system is not a “silver bullet” to solving the country’s carbon-emission problems.

*A smart grid is a form of electricity network utilizing digital technology. A smart grid delivers electricity from suppliers to consumers using two-way digital communications to control appliances at consumers’ homes; this could save energy, reduce costs and increase reliability and transparency if the risks inherent in executing massive information technology projects are avoided. The “Smart Grid” is envisioned to overlay the ordinary electrical grid with an information and net metering system that includes smart meters. Smart grids are being promoted by many governments as a way of addressing energy independence, global warming and emergency resilience issues (Wikipedia).

Source:  http://www.speroforum.com/site/article.asp?id=50859&t=Smart+grid+will+enable+more+electric+cars%2C+say+Michigan+researchers

To Learn more about Brammo, please visit www.brammo.com

Infrastructure is a Challenge for Electric Vehicle Owners

March 23, 2011 at 10:02 am

“Auto experts say electric vehicles are a practical alternative to gasoline-powered cars, at least for some drivers. As VOA’s Mike O’Sullivan reports from Los Angeles, the biggest challenge for the auto industry is expanding the infrastructure for recharging the vehicles.”

The expansion of the infrastructure for charging electric vehicles is slowly happening.  Now with GPS applications provided by Google and ChargePoint, electric vehicle owners have the ability to look up where the nearest charging station is.

The adoption of electric vehicles will happen first in more metropolitan areas.  People who live out in the boonies will have to wait for this charging infrastructure expansion to spread to them, thus prolonging the adoption of EVs in those areas.

The mass adoption of electric vehicles will not occur until consumers can feel more confident that they will be able to get from point A to point B without a hitch. 

To learn more about Brammo, please visit www.brammo.com

Kite Powered EV?

March 22, 2011 at 10:25 am

Wireless charging and solar charging seem like pretty innovative charging methods, but the latest and strangest method to date has to be using a kite to power your vehicle!  Yep, that’s right, a pair of German “extreme sportsmen” recently crossed Australia in 18-days from Albany to Sydney in a lightweight car powered by a kite!

Driving across Australia in an electric car seems a bit dangerous.  Not only are electric charging stations in the Outback non-existent, but much of Australia is not inhabited by people.   If for some reason your electric car stops working on this journey, there is a good chance that you are going to have to go on a walkabout to find the nearest sign of civilization.

The two developers and pilots Stefan Simmerer and Dirk Gion teamed-up with industrial group Evonik to produce the Wind Explorer.  This nifty EV is made from lightweight composites and loaded up with lithium-ion batteries.

When the Wind Explorer’s batteries are empty, the pilots can recharge them using a portable wind turbine or via the conventional power charging network. The turbine takes one and a half hours to construct and is composed of a six-meter high telescopic mast made of bamboo. In addition to wind power, the Wind Explorer can be driven by kites that can reach speeds of up to 80 kph.

The Wind Explorer is not meant for practical use.  The pilots simply wanted their adventure to inspire further research and development for EVs and other alternative mobility concepts.

Wireless Charging

March 21, 2011 at 9:15 am

Google has installed a wireless electric car charger to charge electric vehicles on its Mountain View, CA campus.  This charger was developed by a company called Evatran.

“Evatran’s “Plugless Power” electric vehicle charger, uses “proximity charging” technology to charge up electric vehicles. The Plugless Power unit works via the combination of a parking block installed on a garage floor or parking lot, a connected tower that detects if the car is charging (and also has a cord option), and finally a unit installed underneath the bottom of the car itself. The parking block and the device installed under the car wirelessly connect when the car drives over the block, and the battery starts charging.”

Cell phones and laptops have been the focus of wireless charging, but more and more automakers and plug-in vehicle charging companies have shown interest in this technology.  One of the big hurdles for the technology is that without any automakers signed on yet, users have to have their cars retrofitted with the charging device. Google has retrofitted one of its cars to test out the wireless charger on its campus. The cost of doing this is considerable, but hopefully in a few years, the plug-free electric vehicle charging industry will become  more mainstream and the cost will go down.

Here is a link to “10 Things You Should Know About Wireless Charging

To learn about wireless charging, please visit www.pluglesspower.com

To learn more about Brammo, please visit www.brammo.com

“Revenge of the Electric Car”

March 18, 2011 at 9:28 am

“Revenge of the Electric Car,” is a new documentary that gives us a behind the scenes look at what car manufacturers do to develop and market electric vehicles.  The film will have its world premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival in New York on April 22, 2011 (Earth Day).

This film documents three years at four car-making operations ranging from GM to a guy converting gas-powered cars to electric in his small shop. The main characters include Bob Lutz, former vice chairman of GM, pitching that company’s Volt electric car; Carlos Ghosn, the boss at Nissan Motor Co., which makes the new Leaf electric car; Elon Musk, head of electric sports-car maker Tesla Motors, and Greg “Gadget” Abbott, converts gasoline cars to electric.

The film is directed by Chris Paine, who made the 2006 film, “Who Killed the Electric Car?.” “For many people, this is year one of the electric car,” said director Paine. “For us to be playing at Tribeca in New York on Earth Day is a great sign that the electric car revolution is more than just a great story, it’s our future with less imported oil.”  The filmmakers say this is not a sequel to “Who Killed the Electric Car?” Instead they say it “follows a new chapter in the history of electric cars with all new characters, cars, and stories.”

Please visit, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jkRIu5a6Sb0, to see the trailer.

To learn more about Brammo, please visit www.brammo.com