In the future, utilities will pay you to plug in your vehicle. Millions will plug in their electric vehicles (EVs), plug-in hybrids (PHEVs), and fuel cell vehicles (FCVs) at night when electricity is cheap, then during the day when energy is expensive, sell those extra electrons at a profit. Vehicle-to-Grid (V2G) technology is a bi-directional electric grid interface that allows a plug-in to take energy from the grid or put it back on the grid. V2G helps solve the major problem that demand for electricity is high during the day when everything from industrial plants to air conditioning is running … Read more
If plug-in hybrid cars become popular, the cars could potentially reduce greenhouse gas emissions and dependence on foreign oil. But will they cause electricity prices to zoom?
Scientists at the Pacific Northwest National Labs are trying to figure out that right now, according to staff scientist Michael Kintner-Meyer in an interview. PNNL hopes to issue a report this summer that will help answer that question.
Last year, PNNL studied how well the grid, as it exists today, could accommodate an influx of plug-in hybrids. (Unlike a conventional Prius hybrid, plug-ins can be charged from a wall socket. General Motors, Toyota … Read more
Better Gmail 2 is a Firefox extension that collects a bunch of Gmail customization scripts from Greasemonkey under one control panel. The latest update, to Version 0.3, brings Better Gmail 2 mostly up to speed with features that were in the original Better Gmail, but had to be abandoned when Google rewrote Gmail's code last November.
The biggest of the latest additions include a revamped insertion of Google Reader into the Gmail user interface. This is not merely a rehash of what came before, but a better-looking, faster-loading UI that makes switching between Gmail and Reader seamless.
The Chevrolet Volt has some high standards to live up to: In conversations with Wired News at this week's North American International Auto Show (aka the Detroit auto show), General Motors Vice Chairman Bob Lutz said that a successful launch of Chevy's plug-in hybrid could have "the same sort of symbolism" for GM and the U.S. auto industry as the Apollo missions and the moon landings did for NASA and American scientific endeavors. (He also talks price, batteries, and looks.)
Fisker Automotive formally unveiled its upscale hybrid car today and said it has received an infusion of cash from Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers.
The investment is believed to be the first direct investment by Kleiner Perkins into an alternative car company. (Rumors swirled that the company invested in Phoenix Motorcars, but it was never confirmed, and Phoenix subsequently had delays). Fisker did not officially release the amount of the investment but Kleiner partner Ray Lane told the Wall Street Journal that the investment exceeds $10 million.
The company is founded by noted automotive designer Henrik Fisker. He came up … Read more
Ecotality plans to acquire Minit-Charger, a subsidiary of publicly traded Edison International, for $3 million in cash and stock, both companies announced Thursday.
Minit-Charger makes chargers for rechargeable lithium-ion and lead-acid batteries that can be used in electric light construction vehicles like forklifts. The Irvine, Calif.-based company includes Home Depot, Costco Wholesale, and Toyota Motor among its customers.
"It's the charging system, very complex, that allows batteries to be charged to maximum charge on minimum time. It has a complex electrical system that adjusts once every 300 times per minute for variances," Ecotality CEO Jonathan Read … Read more
There are Firefox plug-ins for just about every task imaginable. There's one to tell you how many e-mails you've got waiting to be read, and another that gives weather forecasts. You can change how the browser functions, you can manage your music players, and with FireFTP, you can transfer files using a top-notch FTP client.
Once again, Aptera, the producer of a three-wheeled electric vehicle, is making big claims.
The Aptera Typ-1, a vehicle that can get 300 miles per gallon, will be available in early 2008 for less than $30,000 in both an electric plugin, and gas electric plugin hybrid version, the company announced Monday.
The vehicle will be able to charge from any stand 110-volt outlet, according to company specs.
The Typ-1 will have a range of 120 miles on electricity alone, with a 600 mile range for the hybrid version when fully fueled. The vehicle seats two in the front, with … Read more