Students Build Electric Car that Acutally Sends Power to Grid Print E-mail
Written by AlterMyEnergy   
Wednesday, 24 September 2014 18:02

Eindhoven University of Technology’s “Stella” electric car isn't like other electric cars built at Universities around the world. This one, named Stella (which means “star” in Latin), seats four, meets crash-test standards in the Netherlands and possibly even here in America and produces more electricity in a year than it would expend in average daily use, thus sending excess power to the grid.On a clear day when the sun is at its brightest Stella makes 1.4 kilowatts of electricity from the array of photovoltaic cells plastered on its roof.

With two remarkably efficient motors driving the front wheels, a very low cross section for less wind resistance and tires that are seven times easier to roll than typical car tires, Stella can travel at 45 mph using only the electricity it makes from sunlight, or 1400 watts.“The same as a toaster,” said engineering student team leader Lex Hoefsloot. Room for four. Photo by Mark Vaughn For going any faster than that there’s a big onboard battery running the length of what looks like a transmission tunnel down the center of the car. Between the 16-kWh battery and the solar panel the car has a top speed of 80 mph and a range of almost 500 miles, Hoefsloot said.

The body is carbon fiber with an integrated roll cage. The cross section, the total surface it presents to the wind, is about half that of a regular car. There is neutral lift front and rear, meaning it is very aerodynamically efficient. But you’ve seen many electric cars made by college students that can run at great efficiencies.“The technology is not new,” said Hoefsloot. “It’s really about reshaping the car.”

Read the full story here.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 24 September 2014 18:07
Study Finds Luxury Cars Worst On Resale Value Print E-mail
Written by AlterMyEnergy   
Friday, 13 June 2014 02:16

Wondering which vehicles are best when it comes to retaining value?

Pickup trucks, famous for their rugged construction, generally fair best when it comes to depreciation and luxury cars fare worst, a study by an auto website,, finds.

The study looked at the prices of used cars from the 2008 to 2012 model years from March 2013, to March 2014. Some 577 models were studied, with the median model losing 9.8% over the one-year period.

The 2012 Ram pickup fared best in the study for retained value on a list that also included the Nissan Titan, Ford F-150 and Chevrolet Silverado, along others. The highest-ranking used car on the list was the Dodge Charger in third place.

Among biggest losers, the list includes 2010 BMW 3 Series, 2012 Mercedes-Benz E Series, 2008 Volvo XC90, 2009 Audi A4, 2009 Cadillac STS and 2012 Cadillac SRX.

Read the full article here.

The Right Fit: Honda's 2015 Subcompact Print E-mail
Written by AlterMyEnergy   
Thursday, 17 April 2014 12:39

Honda has revealed their anticipated 2015 Fit. The old Honda Fit was so popular in the United States that Honda consistently struggled to produce enough Fits in Japan to keep up with demand here. The 2015 Honda Fit hatchbacks are already rolling off the line at a brand-new plant in Celaya, Mexico, that has a production capacity of 200,000 units per year. Problem solved. This new plant will also be home to a new addition to the Fit family, a subcompact crossover that will compete with the funky Nissan Juke.

Despite all the love for the first two iterations of the Fit, Honda saw room for improvement with the 2015 Honda Fit. The subcompact segment has evolved over the past few years, with newer competitors offering better fuel efficiency, more technology, and higher levels of refinement than the outgoing Honda Fit. To get back to the top of the class, the redesigned Fit must zero in on these areas without straying from Honda’s proven small-car formula.

There’s no reason to think that demand for this new Fit won’t be just as high as before, if not higher. The 2015 Honda Fit is more efficient, more refined, and better-equipped than before without sacrificing the practical appeal and peppy personality that have made it a success thus far. To accentuate the fresh exterior styling, the Fit will be available in eight colors, including several vibrant options.

Read the full article here.

Keeping an Eye on Energy in 2012 Print E-mail
Written by AlterMyEnergy   
Monday, 05 December 2011 00:00

Canada’s energy industry saw markets for its two main products head in sharply different directions in 2011: Global oil prices (CL-FT100.700.110.11%) averaged a record high $111 (U.S.) per barrel for the year, while natural gas prices in North America languished.

That disconnect prompted North American companies to focus their exploration on crude, and on natural gas plays that offer the prospect of extremely low-cost supply or “liquids-rich” gas that contains high-value propane and butane.

In 2012, companies are likely to continue that shift, while high-profile battles over the oil sands, pipeline projects and fracking will also persist. At the same time, both crude oil and natural gas prices may reverse course modestly during the year, as natural gas demand picks up and supply growth slows, and as global suppliers boost production as developed economies struggle out of recession.

Read the full article here.

Last Updated on Thursday, 19 January 2012 19:38
GM has Big Interest in Battery Power Print E-mail
Written by AlterMyEnergy   
Thursday, 27 January 2011 15:11

It seems cheap batteries are the wave of the future if we are to embrace electric vehicles.  General Motors has invested $7 million in Envia Systems, a California-based start-up that has been developing more powerful and cheaper batteries for electric vehicles.

Newark, California-based Envia has developed cathode technology for lithium-ion batteries that it says will make them both cheaper and more powerful.

GM said Wednesday it also reached a separate licensing agreement to use the Envia cathode technology in future electric vehicles.

The investment marks the second time this month that GM has taken a stake in a start-up in order to assure its access to technology related to electric vehicles.

In early January, GM announced that it was investing $5 million in Powermat, a company that provides wireless charging for electronic devices like cell phones. The top U.S. automaker plans to incorporate the Powermat technology into upcoming vehicles, including the 2012 Chevrolet Volt.

GM CEO Dan Akerson, who took charge of the top U.S. automaker in September, has said he wants to see the company move faster to roll out plug-in hybrids derived from the Volt while increasing production of the Volt this year and next.

Robert Stempel, former chairman of GM, has been a member of Envia's board of directors since May 2010.

GM founded a venture capital arm in June last year with $100 million in funding. GM Ventures is headed by Jon Lauckner, a veteran GM engineer, and overseen by GM Vice Chairman Steve Girsky, the former investment banker in charge of strategy at the automaker.

My prediction is that in the next 18 months there is a major breakthrough in extending battery power for electric cars!

The Onion Hits Humans Where it Hurts Print E-mail
Written by AlterMyEnergy   
Thursday, 03 June 2010 15:50

Another great eco-friedly headline over at one of our favorite time-wasting websites:

New Eco-Friendly Cigarettes Kill Destructive Human Beings Over Time

RICHMOND, VA—Executives at Philip Morris USA this week unveiled Marlboro Earth, a new eco-friendly cigarette that gradually eliminates the causes of global warming and environmental destruction at their source.

"By killing off the No. 1 threat to the environment, new Marlboro Earths will have a long-term effect on the overall health of our planet," Philip Morris spokesperson Janet Weiss said. "If everyone in America does their part and joins our new green-smoking movement, then together we can eradicate man's destructive practices once and for all."

According to a press release from Philip Morris, the new environmentally friendly cigarettes work by employing powerful carcinogens that accumulate in the lungs of smokers, slowly breaking down their vital organs and eliminating the danger posed to the overpopulated planet by the human race.

Read the rest here

Artic Drilling Proposal Print E-mail
Written by AlterMyEnergy   
Thursday, 20 May 2010 19:44

A proposal to drill for oil in the Arctic Ocean as early as this summer received initial permits from the Minerals Management Service office in Alaska at the same time federal auditors were questioning the office about its environmental review process.

The approvals also came after many of the agency’s most experienced scientists had left, frustrated that their concerns over environmental threats from drilling had been ignored.

Minerals Management has faced intense scrutiny in the weeks since the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. An article in The New York Times reported that it failed to get some environmental permits to approve drilling in the gulf and ignored objections from scientists to keep those projects on schedule.

Read the entire post here

Last Updated on Thursday, 20 May 2010 19:46

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