I really want a pair of Orange Power Wellies, largely so I can say that I'm wearing "wellies," a word we just don't use enough on this side of the pond. But also because they're terribly cute thermoelectric rubber boots that charge your mobile phone using heat from your feet. These could come in very handy when hiking, camping, or engaging in other activities that lend themselves to wellie wearing but not to power outlets.
General Motors will offer the first 4,400 buyers of its Chevrolet Volt the option of having a 240-volt charging station installed in their home when the car is released this fall, the company said Thursday.
The Volt is General Motors' upcoming plug-in electric car that promises a range of 40 miles on electricity alone before one is forced to switch to gas for fuel. GM refers to it as an extended-range electric vehicle, or EREV, instead of a hybrid because the gas engine generator is not directly tied to the car's transmission.
The 240-volt charging stations will be … Read more
A car group in Tokyo recently drove an electric car 1,003.184 kilometers (about 623 miles) on a single charge, breaking its own record for greatest distance traveled without recharging.
The Japan Electric Vehicle Club has asked Guinness World Records to certify the event, held at a track in Shimotsuma, Ibaraki Prefecture, last month.
Guinness recognized the club's 345-mile journey from Tokyo … Read more
Nokia unveiled on Thursday a bicycle-powered phone charger.
The Nokia Bicycle Charger Kit, which can be attached to any bicycle, powers up from the pedaling motion of the bike's rider. A dynamo--the electricity generator--is powered by the front bicycle wheel as a rider pedals and transfers electricity to a charger attached to the handlebar, which a phone plugs into.
"To begin charging, a cyclist needs to travel around six kilometers per hour (four miles per hour), and while charging times will vary depending on battery model, a 10-minute journey at 10 kilometers per hour (six miles per hour) … Read more
Think's all-electric City car is wending its way to South America, the automaker said Wednesday.
The Think City, featured at this week's Michelin Challenge Bibendum conference in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, has a taker. As part of its partnership with Think, Brazilian-based utility CPFL Energia has bought three cars with plans to buy more for its fleet.
One utility buying for its fleet may not sound like much. But CPFL Energia serves about 7 million residential and commercial customers and generated revenue of $6 billion in 2009, according to the company.
"Sustainable mobility is fast working its … Read more
Electric vehicles designed for everyday driving are coming out in a matter of months. But the industry continues to play a giant guessing game over how consumers will take to them.
Deloitte Consulting on Thursday released results of a consumer survey on electric and hybrid vehicles and delivered a relatively modest forecast on volume, citing hurdles such as cost, range, and infrastructure.
It expects sales of all-electric and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles to be somewhere between nearly 2 percent and 5.6 percent of the U.S. market in 2020, or between 285,000 and 840,000 units. Share by … Read more
A Japanese town near Tokyo is about to become a test community for cars that run mainly on solar energy, several companies announced Wednesday.
Through a partnership with Mazda, Think Global, EnerDel, and Japanese conglomerate Itochu among others, Tsukuba City will be testing cars that rely on solar-generated electricity for their batteries, which will be rapid-charged at stations at local FamilyMart stores.
Mazda2 vehicles (known as the Mazda Demio in Japan) have been outfitted with all-electric drive trains made by Think containing EnerDel lithium ion batteries.
Solar panels attached to stationary grid-storage units designed by EnerDel will also have rapid-charging … Read more
Think Global, a Norwegian electric car maker, plans to launch its vehicles in the United States this year and has raised $40 million from existing shareholders to fund operations.
The new round of financing, which all of Think's major shareholders participated in, was oversubscribed, Chief Executive Richard Canny told Reuters.
Canny said venture capital fund Rockport Capital has now become the electric carmaker's second-largest shareholder with the latest round of financing.
The largest shareholder remains lithium ion battery maker Ener1, which has a 31 percent stake in the company, he added.
Ener1 CEO Charles Gassenheimer was named chairman … Read more
The Department of Energy is funding a series of projects that marry concentrating solar power with storage, which offers the potential of solar power plants that operate 18 hours a day.
The DOE said Friday that it has made $62 million available to 13 companies to test equipment and materials, such as molten salts, to add storage to solar power systems that use heat to produce electricity.
Concentrating solar power, in which the sun's heat creates steam to drive an electricity turbine, is seeing a renaissance because it can be used for large-scale power plants in deserts. Adding storage … Read more
International Battery, which makes large-format lithium ion batteries for utility-grade energy storage, has raised $35 million in a series C round of funding.
The money comes from existing investor, private equity firm Digital Power Capital, and will be used for expanding manufacturing in Allentown, Penn., according to International Battery.
Many lithium ion battery companies, including A123 Systems and EnerDel, are developing packs for both vehicles and utility-grade storage.
International Battery's technology of large-format lithium ion cells is best suited for stationary uses, such as back-up storage for renewable energy. Its prismatic-shaped cells are about the size of bricks, rather … Read more