Power

Supercharging for Sport

Tesla announced its one-of-a-kind, long distance, fast charging network in late 2012. Since then, the network has become so vast and far-reaching that it is nearly impossible for any one person to catch them all. Yet that hasn’t stopped some Tesla owners from trying; at least for all the chargers on their respective continent. While Tesla certainly envisioned the network becoming a complex web of inter-connected routes, they couldn’t have possibly foreseen the game it would become. As of today’s publication, there are 1,533 unique supercharger locations worldwide. There are 759 in North America, which includes the United States, Canada, and Mexico. Andy, who goes by the name Bighorn, has been to nearly all of them and is the current leader in this friendly competition. He...

Hydrogen Fuel Cell Cars: Where are They?

Hydrogen fuel cell vehicles (FCVs) are an intriguing subject for anyone remotely interested in green technology. Several Asian car manufacturers including Toyota, Honda, and Hyundai have bet big on fuel cell technology, even shunning all-electric vehicles (EVs) in favor of FCVs. Despite this move, FCVs are lagging way behind EVs in total global sales. Total volume for sales of FCVs was a paltry 2,300 for 2018. Compare that with sales of over over 2 million for EVs and one begins to wonder if the big names in the Asian automotive world have bet on the wrong horse. Toyota’s Mirai, the most popular FCV moved a mere 1,700 units for 2018, a decrease of over 7% from 2017! Why aren’t FCVs selling and what are automakers doing about it? The Tech Fuel cell systems differ from traditiona...

PG&E Knew that their Power Lines were Dangerous…and did Nothing

The Wall Street Journal reported yesterday that California utility PG&E (Pacific Gas and Electric) knew that their power lines were outdated and dangerous and did nothing to repair them.  According to the Journal, “the company knew that 49 of the steel towers that carry the electrical line that failed needed to be replaced entirely.” Documents obtained under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) also showed that PG&E knew that its oldest towers had a life expectancy of around 65 years but were more than 100-years-old. This scathing report comes on the heels of a completed investigation by fire officials in California, who concluded that last year’s camp fire was conclusively caused by faulty power lines owned by PG&E. The horrific fire killed 85 people and des...

GE Natural Gas Plant to Close 20 Years Early

General Electric has announced that it will close one of its massive natural gas power plants in California by the end of the year. The decision was made despite the fact that the plant has roughly 20 years of remaining useful life and could conceivably operate safely during that time. Deeming the plant too “uneconomical to support further,” GE has stated that it would like to focus more on renewable energies such as wind and solar. GE noted that the plant has been operating below capacity for several years now, and that the technologies currently being used at the plant are outdated. Located in Sun Valley, CA, the Inland Empire Energy Center first began production in 2003 for a cost of roughly $500 million.  The 800MW natural gas-fired plant sits on 46 acres in Riverside Count...

Destructive Mining: The Downside of Electric Vehicle Technology

Electric vehicle owners tend to also be rightfully concerned about our environment and how the negative effects of climate change are ravaging our planet. Many of us think of ourselves as climate warriors, fighting on the front lines of a war to change the way our fellow humans think of consumption and how damaging the over-consumption of fossil fuels can be for all of us. We imagine a world where oil companies no longer practice fracking or drill for oil around our coastlines and vehicles no longer require gasoline to power them. As altruistic as our motives may be, we must also recognize the damage that can be done due to our choices in transportation. One of the biggest issues with electric vehicle manufacturing is securing enough of the precious metals needed to manufacture the battery...

VW Says “Carbon Neutral” is the Only Way Forward

In the aftermath of VW’s multi-billion dollar diesel emissions cheating scandal that saw several executives face criminal charges and jail time, VW has been trying to reinvent itself as a clean, electric carmaker. It’s been making big moves, too. In addition to developing an entire family of VW and Audi electrics, it’s put big money aside to secure its battery supplies until at least 2023. Even with all that, the company still seems to have a credibility issue– and, as such, it’s released an official statement about its stance on global warming. Really. VW’s screed reads almost like a kid’s “What I Did on My Summer Vacation” theme, and VW’s execs really, really, really want you to know that they spent their summer vacation learnin...

Maersk Sets Net Zero Emissions Target for 2050

Member nations of the UN body charged with regulating ocean shipping announced, earlier this year, a new strategy to curb the industry’s massive impact on climate change. The UN asked for major shippers to commit to cutting their harmful carbon emissions 50% by the year 2050, by which time most of the ships currently in service will be scrapped. The Danish shipping giant, Maersk, is doing them one better: Maersk has committed to being fully carbon-neutral by 2050. The result of Maersk’s commitment could be huge, considering that shipping is traditionally responsible for about 800 million tons of carbon dioxide emissions per year. That’s according to Dan Rutherford, the marine and aviation program director of the International Council on Clean Transportation. “If you...

EICMA 2018: Honda Trail Bikes Get Fuel Injection

EICMA is known for its concept bike reveals and new product launches, and Honda didn’t disappoint, revealing a raft of new or updated products for 2019. We already covered the sporty new 2019 Honda CB650R, but now we’re shifting gears and playing a round of, “Roads? Where we’re going we don’t need- roads” with Honda’s CRF line of trail bikes. All of which are getting electronic fuel injection for 2019! They’re two of the basic tenets of Gas 2. “The best way to appreciate nature is to get out in it,” and, “Two wheels are better than four.” Honda’s small-displacement trail bikes deliver nearly triple-digit fuel economy and, thanks to that fancy new fuel injection, they’ll do so with lower emissions than ever ...

Volkswagen Ramps Up its E-mobility Program

Volkswagen is spending more than $40 billion to get past its dieselgate scandal. Slick electric products like the Volkswagen ID Buzz (read: new-age Microbus) are going to be the customer-facing side of those dollars, of course– but it doesn’t end there. VW plans to make its electric ID line available to more people than ever. “The ID. will prove to be a milestone in terms of technological development,” says Christian Senger, Head of the Volkswagen E-Mobility product line. “It will be the first fully interconnected electric vehicle that is 100 percent suitable for day-to-day use, and millions of people will be able to afford it.” So, yeah– anyway, here’s a massive press release from VW that touts the company’s new MEB vehicle platform and gets into all th...

Volvo’s Ghent Factory Gets a Solar Upgrade

Volvo has made a number of commitments to reducing improving the Earth. Sometimes that means donating profits to help clean up the ocean, while other times that means reducing its own carbon footprint. This story is one of those latter cases, as Volvo announces the installation of 15,000 solar panels at its SPA platform car factory in Ghent, Belgium. The Belgian factory also uses wind power to supply around 11% of its power consumption, and in 2016 the factory introduced a heating system that reduced carbon emissions by 40%, saving 15,000 tons of CO2 per year. Ghent follows the company’s Skövde engine plant in Sweden– which was the first climate-neutral facility in Volvo’s global manufacturing network. You can check out the original press release, below, then let us know ...

The Newest EV Data: CleanTechnica’s 2018 EV Report is Now Available

For the third year in a row, CleanTechnica has published an in-depth report on electric car drivers in North America and Europe. For the cross-continental report, we surveyed over 2,000 electric car drivers. This year, we also surveyed over 1,000 people who don’t yet have an electric car. You can read the executive summary below, get a free preview of the report here, or go ahead and buy the full report at a 50% discount in the coming week ($1500 instead of $3000). If you will be at AEC2018 in Brussels in a couple of days, I will be presenting additional findings from the report there during the opening plenary — along with other electric vehicle findings and hopefully useful insights. The electric transport industry is one of the hottest industries in the world. Billions of dollars ...

Forget The Hydrogen Economy, Here Comes The Ammonia Economy

Monday, October 8th was the fourth annual Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Day celebration, and if you heard the sound of partying from natural gas stakeholders, there’s a good reason for that. Hydrogen is touted as a zero-emission fuel and the primary source of hydrogen today is natural gas, which means that natural gas stakeholders will be looking to grow their foothold on the hydrogen fuel cell market. Well, not so fast. Hydrogen from natural gas and other fossil sources has a lot of baggage to carry in the form of fugitive greenhouse gas emissions. As the latest IPCC report makes clear, natural gas is not a sustainable solution. In any case, the race is already on to push fossils aside in favor of renewable sources. Get Ready For Renewable Hydrogen … Eventually! Renewable hydrogen is...