Since Nicholas Negroponte first came up with his landmark teething ring visualization of the coming together of communication, computing and content, the term convergence has become the uber buzzword. Now there’s convergence going on in the personal transport industry, with the car and the motorcycle morphing as car makers attempt to downsize their vehicles to make them better suited to the world’s increasingly crowded roads. This article begins with Nissan’s tandem two-seat, half width tilting car, the Landglider, and examines all the other work being done around the world as narrow track vehicles seriously begin to make their case.
Market slowly plugging into the advantages of electric vehicles
Talk to Jerry Kroll if you have any doubts about the fun and convenience of driving EVs. He’s a race-car driver and CEO of New Westminster-based ElectraMeccanica (smallev.com), which has just launched a prototype three-wheel single-person commuting EV called the Sparrow.
“E-cars make conventional internal combustion engine cars seem like a rotary dial phone or a fax machine,” said Kroll. (An electric car just set a world record for accelerating from zero to 100 km/h in 1.8 seconds.)
“Tesla is No. 1 in the world for lots of reasons: performance, safety, satisfaction, value. No other vehicle being sold today comes close, at any price.”
EVs have massive torque, no gears and few moving parts.
“An electric vehicle has the same maintenance schedule as your refrigerator. You plug it in, maintain tire pressure, washer fluid and keep it clean,” said Kroll.
“In 15 years being around electric vehicles, I’m not aware of anyone who bought an EV and then went back to gasoline.”
Kroll added that range is not an issue for owners, noting that 83% of Canadians commute less than 30 kilometres each way. OK, so they’re fun to drive, and cities are doing a lot to encourage them, but why are 47% of Canadians not even aware of how EVs perform?
Ever wish you could ditch your electric bill? Tesla is working on a house battery that could help you break up with your expensive utility company, essentially turning any home into an off-grid abode. Before you know it, a home in the suburbs could even generate enough energy to turn a profit by selling the excess back to a traditional electric company.
Like many of Tesla’s projects, this one is coming up fast. Mastermind electric power guy Elon Musk announced in an investor call that the designs for the home battery are complete. The public could get a glimpse of the design within the next month or two, with production beginning in as little as six months.
Tesla’s new stationary battery could be the gateway that finally links renewable energy to everyday consumers in a way that makes sense. The challenge of storing clean energy from solar or wind is one of the reasons people are sticking with grid power. Although Musk hasn’t commented on the cost of Tesla’s newest energy offering, chances are good that it will still represent a savings versus grid electricity over the course of its lifetime.
An innovation in energy like this isn’t just for the chic eco-friendly homeowner. These batteries could be a huge benefit for those living in areas where grid power is unreliable due to power outages. Some people respond to that situation by installing a gas- or propane-powered generator, which isn’t always practical or affordable. The battery, which Musk promises will come packaged in an attractive-looking casing to fit in with any home’s decor, will also work for commercial properties.
Curious green-minded energy buyers can listen to the investor call here.
Via Washington Post