Monday, February 9, 2009

Electric Car Concensus

This item came out over a month ago but it sat in my inbox as other stories got precedence. Today’s item on the general sh9ifting of the energy production industry increases the significance of this story.

We may think that we are at the beginning of a technology transition, but these stories show us that we are really at the beginning of the actual build out. We are not inventing anything in order to accommodate electric cars.
We are building what is possible in the best way possible so that improvements can be simply folded in.

EEStor cars will still need electric power depots. Those depots will need access to massive power supply. The nighttime surplus that the grid is plagued with will disappear fast and a lot of fresh grid power must be added.

Electric cars mean that a lot of this power will need to be supplied by huge new power sources, and the swift rise of alternatives is showing us the way.


We are in a world in which the proverbial crap has hit the energy fan. It is now accepted that we must remove ourselves from the oil teat just as fast as we may. The developed world has a consensus as this article truly reflects.

We knew a long time ago that it was the right thing to do but cheap oil let us put of that day. The determination now exists to see this trap ended and this article talks of the use of a dense power distribution network. This is the brute force solution that we hope is never needed.

Otherwise this is a pretty complete survey of what is brewing as more and more outfits pile into the electric car rush.

If EEStor can deliver then I will be brave and now predict the fastest convergence to new technology in human history. I can see been paid to remove gasoline cars from the rolling stock in as little as three years after this happens.

Online exclusive: Electric storm on the horizon

David Dias, Financial Post Magazine Published: Monday, January 05, 2009

If necessity is the mother of invention, you might wonder if the electric car runs the risk of being orphaned. Gasoline is cheaper than it's been in years, and cash-strapped automakers are looking to avoid risky ventures. So will the electric car be killed yet again? Not a chance. With emerging nations increasing their appetite for oil, and the U.S. sticking to its planned increase in fuel-efficiency regulations, the race to set the standards for the electric cars industry is hotter than ever.

The battle to mass-produce the first modern electric car has garnered a lot of ink: GM's vow to take the lead by producing over 50,000 Chevy Volts a year after its 2010 launch date is being challenged by Renault-Nissan's plan to produce up to 100,000 electric vehicles by the end of 2011. What type of vehicles become dominant will impact another looming battle: the fight to set the standard for the electric infrastructure that the vehicles will tap into.

Renault-Nissan has signed a deal with a visionary California-based sustainable transportation company by the name of Better Place, which was formed in 2007. The company hasn't built anything yet, but its CEO, Shai Agassi - a software tycoon and former VP at SAP - has been busy cobbling together deals to blanket cities with charge spots and battery-swapping stations, all tied to a sophisticated IT network.
Sound like fantasy? Tell that to governments in Israel, Denmark, Australia, Hawaii and California, which have signed up, offering billions of dollars in support.

With the government's backing, Better Place will soon start building its electric vehicle infrastructure.
"We take a holistic, systematic approach," says the head of global development, Sean Harrington.
People buying an electric car will sign up for a subscription to Better Place's network. The company will install a home charging station and set up a GPS device on the vehicle's dashboard that can guide the driver to one of the thousands of charge spots that Better Place intends to build - at workplaces, in parking lots and at shopping malls. If the client can't wait several hours for the battery to charge, the GPS system will guide them to a station where the battery can be swapped with a fresh one in five minutes. Better Place hasn't announced its pricing, but insists it will be cheaper than gas. "This is not only for elite people who can afford it," says Harrington. "We are going for the masses here."

But Paul Scott of the electric vehicle advocacy group Plug-In America isn't convinced. He says plug-in hybrids like the Chevy Volt - which will be able to go 60 kilometres on battery power before switching to gas and can be charged at home - will have little use for Better Place's grid. "We're shaking our heads thinking, ‘Man, nobody's going to really need that,'" he says.

Meanwhile, a Texas company called EEStor is working on an ultra-capacitor that could allow a small electric vehicle to travel 400 kilometres and charge in five minutes. If something like this becomes a reality, the need for an electric network may vanish.

None of these threats, however, seem to be stopping Better Place from working to make its ideas into reality. In Israel, the company's pilot project is set to be built early this year, including 1,000 charge spots. Denmark and California will likely follow.

At this early stage, it's impossible to say if Better Place will ultimately set the standard for the industry, and its early entry into the sector may not amount to much once the big auto companies realize how lucrative the electric car market will be. But its bold experiment will certainly help get automakers and consumers moving toward an electric reality.

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