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Saturday, January 9, 2010

Green Technology

Technology Articles

2015 is New Magic Date for Fuel Cell Vehicles

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Wishing upon a star or throwing a coin in a well might make dreams come true, but when it comes to fuel cell vehicles, auto industry executives are hoping that chanting in unison will turn hopes into reality. The mantra from execs: "Fuel cell cars for sale by 2015."

Honda FCX Clarity

In the past few weeks, Ford, Toyota and Daimler have expressed and reiterated their commitment to bringing hydrogen-powered fuel cell vehicles to market in six years, with Honda pushing its target date to 2018.

The US Department of Energy announced that it will be pulling the plug on fuel cell research and development—and California is threatening to slash its spending on building a hydrogen refueling infrastructure—but automakers are holding firm to their new timeline for hydrogen.

    Daimler CEO Dieter Zetsche told Speigel Magazine in March that annual production of fuel cell cars will need to reach 100,000 units to be considered commercially viable, and that vehicle prices could be comparable to "premium" gasoline cars by around 2015.
    Toyota.s spokesperson John Hanson said in June, "Toyota is planning to go ahead with its program in certain world markets by 2015, if not sooner."
    Speaking in June at the Edison Electric Institute conference, Ford CEO Alan Mulally saw 2015 as the date that fuel cell cars would go on sale. Mulally hedged when reminded of the US government.s cut in fuel cell research funding. "That pushes out the timeframe for commercialization," he said.
    At a recent fuel cell conference, GM.s Larry Burns also agreed with the 2015 dates, commenting: "General Motors is committed to developing a hydrogen fuel cell car despite its bankruptcy and a huge cut in (federal) research dollars for the zero-emission (hydrogen) vehicle." Dave Barthmuss, GM's West Coast regional PR manager, said last week, "We don't need any more breakthroughs to bring the [fuel cell] cars into the commercial market by 2015."
    Honda's Steve Ellis, manager of fuel cell vehicle sales and marketing, told an audience at a National Hydrogen Association webinar in June that Honda is looking at 2018 as its magic date, but is already producing the FCX Clarity on a regular production line.

Waiting for a Miracle?

Despite repeated statements pinpointing 2015 for delivering fuel cell cars, automakers acknowledge two major hurdles in reaching that goal: high costs and lack of infrastructure. As Andreas Truckenbrodt, chief executive of the Automotive Fuel Cell Cooperation—a Daimler-Ford venture to advance fuel cells for vehicles—said, "Fuel cells work fine. The number one focus is now on cost reductions, and we know how to get there. Do you really think we would be spending billions if we were waiting for a miracle?"

But a miracle might be required for producing and selling fuel cell cars in any significant numbers by 2015. The hydrogen-refueling infrastructure remains a distant, and extremely expensive, dream. The federal government and the State of California are both wavering on previous commitments to spend the required large sums of money on building hydrogen stations—begging the question of who will buy fuel cell cars without knowing where they will find fuel. If the US commitment to this technology wavers, auto companies may shift their focus to more markets, such as Japan and Germany.

Most industry analysts do not expect commercialization of fuel cell cars until 2020, at the earliest. As the move to plug-in cars—plug-in hybrids and electric cars—builds momentum, carmakers that have heavily invested in fuel cell technologies will feel increased pressure to justify the expense and convince their stakeholders that fuel cells are coming sooner than expected.

Moving On

Electric Car Maker Moving to Indiana

Friday, January 08, 2010 Associated Press

An electric car maker plans to open a factory in a northern Indiana plant that once made parts for recreational vehicles.

State and local officials planned to join executives from Think North America for an official announcement Tuesday. The plant in Elkhart will be Think North America's first in the U.S. and provide much-needed jobs in a city that has been struggling since the RV industry collapsed during the recession.

Think North America, a subsidiary of Norwegian-based Think Global, projects its new factory could have 415 full-time jobs by 2013. Think Global currently makes its compact, two-door electric passenger cars at a plant in Finland.

The company began looking in Elkhart after negotiations broke down last week with the owner of a property in the nearby town of Middlebury, said Tom Kemeny, Think North America's chief financial officer.

The Elkhart City Council gave initial approval Monday night to a 10-year tax abatement plan for the company.

Gov. Mitch Daniels was to take part in the formal announcement Tuesday afternoon at the former facility for Philips Products, which made doors and windows for the RV industry. That plant, which had about 250 workers, closed last summer.

Barkley Garrett, the city's economic development director, said city officials worked through the weekend to complete the deal with the company after it ended talks for the Middlebury site.

"We're not poaching other communities' projects," Garrett said. "We knew our site was a backup site. We were not involved in negotiations until they contacted us."

Two other companies are working on plans to make electric vehicles in nearby Wakarusa.

Navistar International Corp. plans to build all-electric delivery trucks this year with a $39 million federal grant. Startup Electric Motors Corp. intends to make electric-hybrid drive trains to be installed in various vehicles, starting with a joint venture with Gulf Stream that would make light-duty electric trucks.

Elkhart County's unemployment rate peaked in March at 18.9 percent but has fallen steadily since, hitting 14.5 percent in November.

"I don't think it makes any difference who gets this company or where they go as long as they go in Elkhart County," County Council President John Leatherman said. "What we're trying to build here is an electric car cluster, which is really a new diversification for this economy."

Need to Control a Car? There's an App for that!

Jan. 7, 2010 Drivers of the new Chevy Volt will be able to control some of the car's functions through an OnStar mobile-phone application. Gary Gastelu has more in the Fox Car Report.

Car Buying Do's & Don't's

Whether it’s your first time or you’re a seasoned pro, you should never buy a car on impulse. The buying process takes time, research, careful thought and even some strategy.

Truth be told, it can be overwhelming. In addition to finding the best car for the right price, you have to navigate through confusing payment options and deal with salespeople. One mistake -- no matter how small -- can cost you hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars.

Under such pressure, it’s easy to understand why so many car shoppers get in over their heads. However, it doesn’t have to be that way. By learning from past mistakes, you can find the right car and get a good deal too. Take a look at eight of the most common car buying mistakes and how to avoid them.

1. Confusing Wants with Needs
Convertible two-seaters are really cool. But if you’re lugging a load of hockey equipment every day, chances are you’d do better with a Honda Fit than a Mazda Miata. Unfortunately, car shoppers often make the mistake of confusing their wants with their needs. After all, who wouldn’t want a car that’s faster, sexier or more luxurious? However, such choices aren’t always practical…or even affordable.
Avoid making the same mistake by putting together a list of regular activities that would require using your car. When car shopping, reference the list to make sure that the car you’re considering will serve those functions well.

2. Test-Driving the Wrong Trim
You know those weird letter-number combinations that follow your car’s badge -- LS, GLS, LX, LP560-4? In most cases, they denote significant performance, interior and even exterior differences between trims of the same model. The Dodge Challenger SRT8, for example, performs like a true American muscle car. The Challenger SE? Not so much.
Be wary of dealers who give you the highest trim level of a car to test drive and then proceed to sell you a trim that better fits your budget. Car shoppers who fall for this trick usually end up sorely disappointed with the car's performance and features. To avoid making this mistake, test drive the exact trim you plan to buy before signing any papers.

3. Sacrificing Reliability for Appeal
Don’t let a car's curb appeal or features sway you. Buying a pretty car with funky features and a poor history of reliability can prove to be a major drain on your wallet. Just ask anyone who has purchased a Volkswagen Jetta. Shoppers love the Jetta for its small size, cute design and sprightly performance. However, the vehicle has a so-so record of dependability -- receiving a J.D. Power rating of only 2.5 out of five power circles for predicted reliability.
Before you allow a car’s emotional statement to overpower your ability to think rationally, research its reliability. J.D. Power and Associates is a good source for determining whether your car is doomed to be a lemon. If you’re buying a used car, hire a mechanic to conduct a pre-purchase inspection.

4. Not Knowing What Others Paid
Saving $500 on the sticker price of a 2010 Toyota Land Cruiser is great, but not if the average buyer is saving thousands more. In the past, it was almost impossible to know whether the price you negotiated at the dealership was a good one. However, with the dawn of the internet, that information is now readily available. The Land Cruiser, for instance, has an MSRP of $65,970, but the average price paid is only $63,645.

5. Underestimating the Value of Your Trade-In
A smart way to save money on the price of a new car is to trade in your old one. But a dumb way to miss out on potential savings is by taking the dealer’s word for how much your car is worth or announcing that you intend to trade in your ride too early in the game. After all, a dealer’s primary job is to maximize his profits -- not your savings. By failing to prepare or showing your cards too early, you could be making a costly mistake.
Before stepping foot on a dealer lot, consult Kelley Blue Book or NADA Guides to determine your car’s trade-in value. At the dealership, use that knowledge to negotiate a fair price. However, don’t mention anything about wanting to trade in your car until you’ve already negotiated a suitable deal on a new one. Waiting until the very end to mention your trade-in will ensure that its value gets factored into the final price. Also, remember that you can negotiate the value of your trade-in. If you don't like what the dealer is offering for your trade, find a dealership that will give you what your car is worth.

6. Buying Options You Don’t Need
If you’re shopping for a 2010 Lexus IS, an optional navigation system is going to run you an additional $2,465. It’s a great system that features the latest in voice command and Bluetooth technology. But if you don’t need all those bells and whistles, you can buy a TomTom portable GPS for only $150 and still get where you need to go. Shoppers who make the mistake of opting for unnecessary extras will quickly inflate the price of their new cars.
Avoid wasting money on optional features that you don’t need by researching their prices first. Most manufacturers will list the price of individual and package options right on their websites. If you come across a feature that you really want, try to find an aftermarket store that sells a comparable version for less. You’ll be surprised at how much you can save.

7. Not Cross-Shopping Car Deals
One of the costliest mistakes car shoppers can make is forgetting to cross-shop car deals just as they would competing vehicles -- though doing so can help save them bundles. Take, for example, the similarly-priced Nissan Versa a Chevrolet Aveo.
Recently, the Aveo was offered with zero-percent financing for up to 72 months. Nissan, on the other hand, was only offering 1.9 percent financing for up to 60 months plus $500 cash on the Versa. At first glance, the Aveo appears to be the better deal. However, a simple crunching of the numbers reveals that the Versa’s monthly payment would actually turn out to be a bit less than the Aveo -- assuming an equal down payment of course.
Don’t let carefully-crafted sales promotions mislead you into thinking that you’re getting the best deal around. Be meticulous in comparing car deals for competing vehicles, and remember that these deals change monthly. U.S. News’ best car deals will keep you in the loop.

8. Only Thinking in Terms of Monthly Payments
For most people, it’s easier to think in terms of affordable monthly payments than a daunting end price. However, such short-sightedness has led many car shoppers to overpay. Sure, a $250 per month car payment is easier to swallow than a $350 payment, but getting that lower price often means taking out a loan over a longer period. In the end, that means paying more interest and fees.To avoid overpaying, don’t just calculate what your monthly payment will be. Add up those payments to determine whether the total price paid still makes economic sense.

Friday, January 8, 2010

The World is getting Hotter

From the noughties to hot and wild – the world is just getting hotter.

Visit for further information

Latest analysis from the Australian Bureau of Meteorology shows Australia has experienced the warmest decade since records started in 1910 reaffirms the solid evidence on climate change and a warming planet.

Submitted on 01/08/10, 02:14 AM

From the noughties to hot and wild – the world is just getting hotter.

The latest analysis from the Bureau of Meteorology, showing Australia has experienced the warmest decade since records started in 1910, reaffirms the solid evidence on climate change and a warming planet, and the political game playing and delays that overshadows the reason for action on climate change needs to stop, says Prof. Ray Wills, Chief Executive of the Western Australian Sustainable Energy Association Inc. (WA SEA), and Adjunct Professor with The University of Western Australia.

‘Global temperatures are rising – its been measured, it is a fact. Science has established that the cause of rising global temperatures is human-induced climate change.’

The inconvenient truth is now an undeniable truth.

‘'Strong and immediate action is required to stop the growth in world emissions and rapidly start the process of reducing emissions to a scientifically established level. Science tells us that we must quickly bring atmospheric CO2 concentrations back below 350 ppm if we are to avoid dangerous climate change,’ says Prof Wills.

‘Fixing climate change and acting on greenhouse gas emissions fuelling the increasing pace of global warming is essential for the health of the planet, the welfare of the community, and in the best interests of the world economy,’ says Prof Wills.

‘In other words, climate change is real, the impacts are already proving dire and will only get worse, humans are causing it, and we need to stop,’ says Prof Wills.

WA Sustainable Energy Association Inc. (WA SEA) Media Release – 5 January 2010

Automakers Post Second Best Month of 2009

By Shawn Langlois, MarketWatch

Ford, Asian manufacturers shine while Chrysler, GM post declines

SAN FRANCISCO (MarketWatch) - Automakers slammed the books Tuesday on one of their worst years in decades while eagerly touting December's 15% surge in U.S. car sales as evidence that 2010 is going to be far better.

Ford Motor Co. /quotes/comstock/13*!f/quotes/nls/f (F 11.69, +0.03, +0.26%) led the charge, breaking further away from still-struggling Detroit rivals.

George Pipas, Ford's top sales analyst, said the double-digit improvement represents the best year-over-over performance for the group since the employee-pricing promotion sent sales soaring back in July 2005.

F 11.69, +0.03, +0.26%

151050MMJSNThe closely watched seasonally adjusted annual rate of sales, or SAAR, came to 11.25 million cars and trucks last month, according to Autodata. That tops every month in 2009 except August, which got a huge boost from the U.S. government's cash-for-clunkers rebate program.

Specifically, Ford Motor Co. said its U.S. sales jumped 33%, while rivals General Motors Co. and Chrysler, both recovering from stints in bankruptcy, said they sold even fewer cars in December than they did a year ago, when the market appeared to be in freefall.

"Ford's plan is working," said Ken Czubay, the company's head of sales and marketing. "It was a challenging and very volatile year. ... For 2010, I'm leaving my seat belt on, because I think that volatility is still an element of the 'new norm.'"

Ford sales totaled 184,655 cars and trucks, up from 139,067 vehicles a year earlier, easily topping Wall Street's targets for the month.

Sales of Ford, Lincoln and Mercury branded cars rose 42% to 61,195 vehicles. Volvo, which Ford is in the process of selling, registered a 13.8% rise to 5,638 vehicles.

The truck side, boosted by big gains from the top-selling F-Series pickup, jumped 29.4% to 117,822 vehicles.

Ford said it likely garnered about 15% of the market, up 1 percentage point from 2008 -- marking the first year-on-year increase in the company's market share since 1995.

Ford reports a rally in U.S. salesFord ends 2009 with a sales rally, reporting a 33% surge in December.
Dearborn, Mich.-based Ford has benefited from a relatively fresh lineup along with goodwill garnered from avoiding bankruptcy and declining to take money in a federal bailout, unlike Chrysler and GM.

Investors embraced Ford's report, running the company's shares up as high as $11.24 to touch levels not seen since 2005. The stock finished the session up 6.6% at $10.96 and has now added 325% in the past year.

GM, Chrysler slip
GM handed in a 6.1% sales decline to 208,511 from 221,983 a year ago, blaming a drop in sales of rental cars and brands not considered to be part of GM's future.

The company said it expects sales for the industry to tally about 10.6 million vehicles for the entire year, marking the lowest level since 1982.

Hydrogen Fuel

Why is hydrogen used as a fuel?

Hydrogen has the highest energy content per unit weight of any known fuel-52,000 Btu/lb (120.7 kJ/g). It burns cleanly. When hydrogen is burned with oxygen, the only by products are heat and water. When burned with air, which is about 68% nitrogen, some oxides of nitrogen are formed. The process of converting hydrogen to energy using engines or fuel cells is much more efficient than the comparable gasoline counterparts.

How much hydrogen is consumed to produce 1 kWh of electricity using a PEM fuel cell?

In general, to produce 1 kilowatt (kW) of electricity for 1 hour (one kilowatt-hour, kWh) from a proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cell requires about 25-27 standard cubic feet (scf) of hydrogen. A standard cubic foot (scf) is the amount of hydrogen that occupies one cubic foot of space when it is not pressurized (in other words, at regular atmospheric pressure) and at 60 degrees F (a little cooler than room temperature).

How does hydrogen compare with other fuels like gasoline and diesel?

• Hydrogen can be totally nonpolluting (water is the exhaust).
• Hydrogen can be economically competitive with gasoline or diesel.
• Hydrogen can be as safe as gasoline, diesel, or natural gas.
• Hydrogen can help reduce our dependence on imported fuels.
• Hydrogen can be produced in any country or locale from a variety of energy sources.

What is the octane rating of hydrogen?
Short answer: "130+" according to a study done by the College of the Desert and Sunline Transit Agency

Longer answer: The octane rating of gasoline tells you how much the fuel can be compressed before it spontaneously ignites. When gas ignites by compression rather than because of the spark from the spark plug, it causes "knocking" in the engine. Knocking can damage an engine, so it is not something you want to have happening. Lower-octane gas (like "regular" 87-octane gasoline) can handle the least amount of compression before igniting compared to higher octane grades (like "super" 93-octane gasoline).

The compression ratio of your engine determines the octane rating of the gas you must use in the car. One way to increase the horsepower of an engine of a given displacement is to increase its compression ratio. So a "high-performance engine" has a higher compression ratio and requires higher-octane fuel. The advantage of a high compression ratio is that it gives your engine a higher horsepower rating for a given engine weight -- that is what makes the engine "high performance." The disadvantage is that for gasoline, it costs more.

Hydrogen has an octane rating of 130 because it can be compressed more than gasoline and 100% octane before the fuel automatically ignites in the engine. (Gasoline with 87-octane has 87% octane, a special kind of hydrocarbon that makes up gasoline and other fuels).

Here are some other octane ratings:
• Methane: 125
• Propane: 105
• Octane: 100
• Gasoline: 87
• Diesel: 30

How is hydrogen produced?

Hydrogen is the most abundant element in the universe. However it is always bonded with something else like oxygen (to make water) or carbon (to make all plants). Hydrogen is all around us, but to use it, we must first separate the hydrogen from the other things bonded to it. One of hydrogen's advantages is that it can be made from a variety of local resources like water, plants, coal, natural gas and even algae. Although having so many choices sounds complicated, it's a great advantage because no one region or country has to be dependant on one resource. This means you can choose whichever resources make the most sense to make hydrogen, environmentally and economically.

Another choice that you have when making hydrogen is how much you make. When we make most fuels today, it's best to make very large quantities in refineries. However, with hydrogen you can just as easily make very small amounts, enough for one camera or cell phone, or very large amounts that could supply an entire town.

Today, in the U.S., over 95% of the hydrogen is made in very large quantities from natural gas, mostly to make fertilizer and to help make gasoline cleaner by removing impurities like sulphur. As hydrogen moves from these large industrial uses to something that you and I commonly use to fuel our businesses, homes, electronics and vehicles, we expect other resources besides natural gas to be used and that it will be made in a variety of amounts depending on how much is needed.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Plug-in Cars & Trucks Part I

Make, Model & Type
A1 Sportback

5 door, 4 passenger, AER 31-62 mi (normal vs efficiency mode), 0-60 mph 8 sec, top speed 120 mph, 20kW electric motor, 1.4L engine. Efficiency mode has slower acceleration and all-electric speed to 62 mph.

Target Intro: 2011
Progress: concept car at Paris Motor Show 2008

source: Audi


2 door sports car based on the R8, 2 passenger, range 248 km (154 mi), 0-62mph 4.8 sec, top speed 200 km/h (124mph), 42.4 kWh Li-ion battery pack, 4 hub motors with a combined output of 230kW, Audi announced in Nov 2009, plans to build road capable prototype in 2010 followed later by full production.
Target Intro: Not yet announced.
Progress: Concept car unveiled at 2009 Franfurt Motor Show

source: Audi &


4-door sedan, range 200km(120mi), 0–100km/h in 15 sec, top speed of 160km/h (100mph), fully self-developed EV by Beijing Automotive Industry Holding Corporation (BAIC) under subsidiary Beijing New Energy Automotive. BAIC also announced investment plans of $334M for a clean energy vehicle plant and target to build 20,000-40,000 vehicles / year in 2011
Target Intro: Not yet announced
Progress: Prototype shown in Shanghai Nov 2009

China Car Times & Edmunds


Conversion of MINI 2-door hardtop to 2-seat EV with drivetrain & battery from AC Propulsion, range 150 mi, top speed 95 mph, 35 kWh Li-ion battery back uses 5000+ laptop style batteries, 150kW electric motor, 220Nm torque, 3-4.5 hr recharge on fast charge (240V 48A/32A), 26.5 hr on 120V 12A, wt 3230 lbs

Target Intro: no plan announced for mass production
Progress: Trial fleet of 500 cars in US on 1-year leases to general public, first car delivered on lease May 22, 2009

source: BMW


Vision EfficientDynamics, all-new design 2-door 4 seater, 31 mi AER, total range 400 mi, 0-60 mph 4.8 sec, top speed 155 mph, recharge 2.5 hr on 240V, 2 electric motors (1 each axle), 356 hp, 560 lb-ft peak, 1.5L 3-cyclinder turbo diesel engine, 3000+ lbs, Cd 0.22

Target Intro: no plan announced for mass production
Progress: concept car shown at Frankfurt Auto Show

source: BMW

BYD Auto

4 door crossover, 5 passenger, range 400 km (249 mi), 0-60mph 8 sec, top speed 100 mph, BYD Li-ion Fe battery, 10 min recharge to 50% SOC, 4 power combinations using front & rear motors on some models: 75kW, 75+40kW, 160kW, 160+40kW
Target Intro:China & US 2010, Europe 2010
Progress: demo units now

source: BYD

Plug In America - Plug-in Vehicle Tracker

Plug In America is providing the following for informational purposes only. They do not endorse or recommend any specific vehicle manufacturer or distributor.

Vehicle Finder: Cars & Trucks
2 & 3 Wheeler Vehicles
Commercial Vehicles

Latest major changes:

Added Ginetta G50 EV, Rolls Royce Electric Phantom, Volvo C30 EV, Mavizen TTX02, Myers Motors Duo, SABA Carbon Zero

Revised Lumeneo SMERA, Tata Indica EV, Tesla Roadster, Arcimoto Pulse, Smith Newton

Key terms: EV: Electric Vehicle, PHEV: Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle (includes Range Extended Electric Vehicles), AER: All-electric range, AVAILABLE: can be ordered by the general public and units are shipping now, Mule: development vehicle, normally in body of existing vehicle, can be driven to test key components, SOC: state-of-charge

What vehicles get listed? Many companies have announced a vehicle, or have produced artwork or vehicle renderings. To be included on this list, companies must have completed a concept, demonstration, or mule vehicle. They also support safety and have elected to include vehicles which have been safety certified or intend to be certified. They do not include aftermarket conversions which have not been safety certified.

Ford Enters Electric Car Field

Ford Motor Co. will start a two-year test program of testing electric cars and vans in Germany starting in January. The cars that Ford is using are the Focus and the Transit van. Ford Motor Company is preparing to introduce battery-powered models as early as next year.

They have picked 25 vehicles to be driven under normal traffic conditions in Cologne, where Ford’s European division is based, said Ferdinand Dudenhoeffer, director of the Center for Automotive Research at Germany’s University of Duisburg-Essen, which is overseeing the 15 million-euro ($22 million) study.

Ford is going to pick drivers which will include researchers and customers selected by Ford. Data from the models will be monitored on computers so that they can simulate testing of more than 10,000 vehicles.

The 25 vehicles will be driven under normal traffic conditions in Cologne, where Ford’s European division is based, said Ferdinand Dudenhoeffer, director of the Center for Automotive Research at Germany’s University of Duisburg-Essen, which is overseeing the 15 million-euro ($22 million) study.

Bernd Meier, a spokesman for Ford in Cologne, said the study is Ford Motor Company's first in mainland Europe. The company is already trying out battery-powered vehicles in London, Meier said.

Ford, the first U.S. automaker to offer a hybrid model, said on Dec. 8 that it may spend $300 million to $500 million on factories in its home state of Michigan to build electric vehicles and batteries. The Dearborn-based company has a target of rolling out an electric-powered version of the Transit Connect commercial van next year, followed by an electric Focus in 2011.

Local utility RheinEnergie AG will supply vehicle-charging stations for the test, which is being financed by the German government’s economic-stimulus package.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Algae Biodiesel

This is a really exciting story about the most incredible ENERGY coming on the market, OIL from ALGAE. What makes this so exciting is it is not about a fuel that is five years, or ten years, or even fifteen years down the road. Suneco Energy is presenting their technology and end product Right Now!!!

Algae Power Video!

CHINO, CA - July 29, 2009: J.B. Hunt Transport Services, Inc. and SunEco Energy today announced the signing of a cooperative agreement, which could lead to J.B. Hunt becoming a significant purchaser of biodiesel made from natural algae oil using SunEco Energy's proprietary technology.

Gary Whicker , Senior Vice President of engineering for J.B.Hunt states: " At this time Transportation fuel is virtually 100% oil-based," "Finding other energy sources to put in our fuel tanks is good business for our company and our nation. SunEco's innovative process to produce renewable fuel supplies from algae grown in American ponds is an intriguing new option. Our initial experience with their algae-based biodiesel is promising, and we are excited about the opportunity to work with SunEco Energy to move towards a lower cost, less carbon intensive, and more secure fuel supply for our business."

Dan Gautschi, Chairman and CEO of SunEco Energy states: “ We are very pleased that J.B. Hunt, a leading transportation company, took the steps to test our fuel in their trucks and are taking further steps to become a leader in the use of renewable fuels, The SunEco technology has been in development for over five years, with an operating pilot facility Over the past two years which has allowed us to continually produce barrels of oil rather than beakers, enabling us to provide oil for tests in a variety of applications."

SunEco's utilizes naturally occurring algae strains in a monitored setting to produce an oil product suitable for making renewable transportation fuels (biodiesel) and other oil-based products. One of the products is a high-quality animal feed supplement. SunEco is currently trying to raise additional funding to enable the large scale deployment of the technology in U.S. and international markets, including a large development in the Imperial Valley region of California.

SunEco's Algae Conversion Video

SunEco Energy is committed to leading the deployment of commercially viable bio-products made from natural algae strains. The Company's primary objective is to deliver reliable clean biodiesel products for transportation fuels and also livestock feeds, thus ending the trade-off between food and or fuel. Soon the company intends to expand its product range to include a full scope of products currently obtained from petroleum, such as, plastics and dyes, and inks as well as nutri-ceuticals.

SunEco’s in-depth understanding of the microalgae organism, and particularly how it behaves under certain conditions, allows the company to utilize naturally occurring algal species, without genetic modification, to produce and retain lipids which are basic building blocks needed to harvested oil. Rather than modify the algae, SunEco is able to modify the algal environment to cause the organism to behave in the desired manner – namely the production and retention of lipids, or fats, used to make oil.

At this time SunEco has a large Advantage, in time and in Scale. SunEco has gone through 18 pilot test harvests. This gave the company time to enhance and improve its process, also unlike other companies who have beakers of biodiesel. SunEco has barrels of the biodiesel, to test in numerous applications including some very successful on-road tests with a large interstate trucking company (J.B.Hunt).

Oil production sets SunEco apart today, and will continue to let SunEco outdistance the competition in the years ahead as they scale up production facilities to produce large quantities of high quality renewable biodiesel. The SunEco process was designed with scale in mind. Using naturally occurring algal strains, SunEco can utilize large open ponds for the growth medium. The SunEco process equipment has been designed to economically handle large volumes of alginated water. The large scale and high productivity of the process allows SunEco to produce at a very competitive unit rate.

SunEco Energy is now fully engaged in a large scale deployment of the technology in the Imperial Valley region of Southern California. The Company has acquired a large fish farm in the region which is being converted to a large algae harvesting and processing facility once all necessary approvals have been obtained. SunEco will undergo a dramatic growth phase as we move to become the leading supplier of renewable and sustainable algae based bioproducts.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010


 Largest selection and lowest prices of generator transfer switches. We sell ASCO, GE Zenith, Generator Joe, Generac, Winco, Onan, Reliance Controls, ESCO and others. 

Grokodile Blog Directory - The Easy Way to Find Link Swap Partners

New & Used Cars

New and used cars including offers on popular UK vehicle makes such as:
Ford, BMW, Vauxhall, Renault and Peugeot.

Top Electric Cars - Part II

• Fisker Karma

The Fisker Karma is a sporty looking, car that has the power to back up its looks. The Fisker comes with a Q-drive Technology. It has an innovative gas/ electric motor combination. In a way it is a hybrid, the electric motors (2) are the only mechanical drive to the wheels. The gas motor is mated with a generator that feed the batteries only if the batteries need to be recharged. The batteries have a range of 50 or so miles then the gas motor/generator comes on giving the Fisker a range of 300 miles, At a 100 miles per gallon U.S. The Fisker has a top end speed of 125 miles per hour, zero to 60 in 5.8 sec.. The twin electric motors produce 200+ Horse Power at 960 ft-lbf torque. The model shown at the car show was a convertible, with a folding hard top.

• Nissan Leaf

The Nissan Leaf

The EV-11 (Leaf) uses an all electric drive train, the motor is 110 Horse Power, has a lithium-ion Battery pack. The Leaf has a range of 100 miles in City driving. The Leaf also has Navigation system, remote control from your cell phone and remote monitoring from your cell phone through Nissan secure data center. The expected price of the Leaf, depending on options, will be between $25,000 to $33,000.

Nissan Leaf will employ an advanced IT system. Connected to a global data center, the system provides support, information, and entertainment for drivers 24 hours a day.

The dash-mounted monitor displays the Leaf's remaining power, in addition to showing a selection of nearby charging stations.

User’s mobile phones can be used to turn on air-conditioning, the heater and re-set charging functions even when the vehicle is powered down. An on-board remote-controlled timer can also be pre-programmed to recharge batteries.


Production Vehicle Preliminary Specifications

Dimensions & Weights

Overall Length 195.5 inches / 4,965 mm
Overall Width 74.8 inches / 1,900 mm
Overall Height 69 inches / 1,755 mm
Wheelbase 120.5 inches / 3,060 mm

Gross Vehicle Weight 5,820 lbs. / 2,639.9 kg
Curb Vehicle Weight 4,820 lbs. / 2,186.2 kg
Payload 1,000 lbs. / 453.6 kg

Chassis: Front Suspension: Independent torsion bar and double wishbone
Front Brakes: Ventilated disc

Rear Suspension: Rigid axle and 5-link coil springs
Rear Brakes: Disc
Steering: Rack & pinion

Battery Pack: Battery Type (Power Rating): Lithium Titanate Battery (35 kWh)


0-60 m.p.h.: Less than 10 seconds
Factory Set Top Speed: 95 m.p.h.
Braking: 60 to 0 m.p.h. in an estimated 150 feet


Urban (UDDS): 100+ miles per charge
Highway (HFEDS): 100+ miles per charge

Charging Time: On-Board Vehicle 6.6KW Charger: 5 to 6 hours
                        Off-Board High-Power 250KW Charger: Under 10 min. to 95% SOC

• Chevy Volt

The Chevy Volt is an electric hybrid car. It has an electric drive only,  has the range of 40 miles on a full battery charge. When the batteries are discharged, the gas motor drives a generator to supply the electric motor the power needed to keep going, this gives the volt a range of many hundreds of miles. The first year’s volume, by GM’s own calculations, is 10 000 units.

 The idea behind the Volt is wonderful. The car doesn’t have to trade off power between motor and engine from second to second according to some exquisitely complicated mechanism or scheme. Instead, the Volt makes electricity the main course. Today’s hybrids put the motor and engine in parallel so that they juggle their power contributions to the wheels according to many different parameters, including speed, battery charge, and the load on the engine. But the Volt links the power plants in series. That way the motor powers the wheels, and the engine merely engages, when needed, to recharge the vehicle’s enormous lithium-ion battery. How enormous? If you drive no more than 65 kilometers (about 40 miles) and have an electric socket handy at both ends of your commute, you won’t burn a drop of gasoline.

One problem I see in the near future is that inexpensive algae fuel will be available and will require no change in car engine design. The algae product will be mixed in with the fuel we pump now, and will eventually replace most of the oil imported from the Middle East.

Top Electric Cars - the Good and Bad

• The Aptera 2e.

The Aptera 2 Series (formerly the Aptera typ-1) is a high-efficiency passenger three-wheeled automobile produced by Aptera Motors. The California based company is currently allowing residents of California to pre-order the car.

The first variant of the Series 2 slated for production is the Aptera 2e, a battery electric car. Aptera clams the 2e will accelerate from zero to sixty in under ten seconds, and is able to reach a top speed of 85+ miles per hour. The Aptra 2h, a plug-in-hybrid electric car will be priced from the mid-$20,000 to the $40,000 range, depending on options.

The first Aptera 2h used a small water cooled EFI gasoline engine, with a closed loop Oxygen feedback and a catalytic converter coupled with a 12kw generator/starter. With a five gallon tank the Aptera would have had a range of 600 to 700 miles, compared to the 120 mile range of the Aptera 2e. The Aptera 2h is a series hybrid. The engine would not connect to the drive train it is used to only recharge the batteries.

As with any hybrid, fuel economy is depends on the trip length and the battery charge at the start of the trip. For trips of less than 50 miles on a full battery charge the charging motor will not start at all. Resulting in the same energy use as a pure electric car will get. If on the other hand the car was not plugged in and batteries were not charged the Aptrea would get 130 miles per U.S. gallon. Aptrea Motors quotes 300 miles per U.S. gallon when starting with a fully charged battery on a 120 mile trip.

• Myers Motors Duo

Safety Features:

Spherical body design (like a motorcycle helmet)

Layered composite construction, low center of gravity

Three-point shoulder safety harness / Automotive safety glass

Emergency parking brake / Inertia switch / Emergency Power Off button

Hazard warning lights / Full dash board instrumentation/Seat with head restraint

Curb side driver door / Interior door lock


No more Gas station trips needed

Reduced or eliminated global warming impact

Gets more attention than a $100,000 sports car

Zero emissions for cleaner, healthier air

Access to HOV carpool lanes at 76 mph*

Motorcycle parking and fees

First on first off the ferry

Most energy efficient vehicle on the road

Charge in convenience of your own garage


Onboard battery charger 110 Volt

DC Motor/Controller

Three-wheeled vehicle registers, insures and parks as a motorcycle

72-inch wheel base, 57 inches vehicle height

75 mph top speed, 50-60 mile range


A-arm front suspension / Single sided swing arm rear suspension

Cog-belt drive, Three-wheel disc brakes, Spring over hydraulic shocks, 13-inch wheels


Power windows, AM/FM stereo & CD player standard

Two power ports for laptop & cell phone

Heater/defroster, fan operated / Vents (3)

6 cf Trunk storage /Adjustable seat back

Tilt steering wheel / Rack & pinion steering

Additional Features:

30+ hp

Lithium-Ion batteries

Battery life: Approx. 2500 charge/discharge cycles at 50 mile range


$20 of electricity for 1000 miles of driving at $0.10 / kWh

About 4-5 miles of driving per hour of charging at 110/20 amp outlet (depending on driving habits)

About 15-20 miles of driving per hour of charging at 220/30 amp outlet (depending on driving habits)

• Mitsubishi i-MiEV

MIEV motors are constructed using an in-wheel motor rotor, an in-wheel motor, a rotor bracket, stator bracket and inverter directly behind the brakes. The batteries can be charged from a standard 15 A/200 V car charger in seven hours and with a three phase electric charger in 25 minutes. The batteries are located under the floor pan and in the Colt uses 22 li-lion modules to produce a cumulative 325 volt. The design allows for an entirely electric vehicle, or a hybrid using the batteries to supplement a traditional internal combustion motor.

According to Mitsubishi, locating the motor behind the wheel offers the company three distinct advantages.

1. It allows for a true four wheel drive system without need of transmission, drive shafts, differential gears or other complex mechanical components. Mitsubishi Motors has been one of the few companies to persist in offering 4WD on vehicles other than SUVs since the technology's heyday in the 1980s.

2. Placing the drive system entirely in the wheels allows for greater freedom of design for interior stylists.

3. The space created facilitates the storage of the batteries, allowing for extra modules to be fitted which would offer increased power and range compared to previous electric vehicles.

• Coda Sedan

• STYLING: The Coda has better street presence than photos show, but it's hardly cutting edge. Style could be a drawback for buyers, who Coda thinks will move up to a full electric car.

• PERFORMANCE: In cut-and-thrust New York City traffic, we had our foot in it and the car kept up just fine. We can't comment on highway performance; the most we saw was about 45 mph.

• SEATING & INTERIOR: The front seats were comfortable for our 20-minute trip, though surprisingly low to the floor. The beltline is low too, so visibility was fine. The rear had enough leg room a full-size adult male human. Styling and plastic quality was acceptable.

• INSTRUMENT PANEL: The new dash will include both digital instruments and advanced airbags, which had the longest lead time of any component. The company must still crash another 30 or so cars to validate them.

• REFINEMENT: The din of New York exterior noise was fairly well suppressed, though some electric motor whine was apparent. A remarkably noisy heater/air-conditioner pump would be replaced in production cars.

• BUILD QUALITY: This is the biggest question for Coda: Can Chinese-designed and built cars offer the high standards of design and build quality that Western buyers require? Panel gaps were wide but consistent, and we can only say nothing fell off during our tenure in the car..

• SUMMARY: This first Coda may never attract fashion-forward car buyers, but the greenest of Southern Californians likely look for different qualities in carbon-free cars.

• PRICE: A list price of $45,000 seems absurd for a not-very-stylish compact car, but the Coda is eligible for a $7,500 Federal tax credit. The state of California may add its own credit as well.

BYD e6

So far, all we know is that the E6 will be a 5 seater with an acceleration of 0 to 100 kph of around 10 seconds. Top speed should be top speed of 160 kph (100 mph), and the battery pack, which is located under the rear passenger seats, will be based on BYD's own lithium-ion iron phosphate technology. Range per charge is expected to be 300 km (186 miles).

But most impressive of all:

"BYD projected the battery had a life of 2,000 cycles, for a lifetime range of about 600,000 km (373,000 miles)"

Charging of the battery will take the night with 220V, but the E6 electric car can also take a fast charge that can bring the battery to 80% SOC in about 15 minutes.

::BYD Introduces Electric E6 Crossover at Beijing Auto Show, ::Beijing 2008: BYD e6 electric MPV, possible production EV in two years

Update December 2008: GM is Weeping: BYD F3DM Plug-in Hybrid Goes On Sale in China, 3 Years Before Volt

• Think City

Think City is short and boxy, with doe-eyed headlights and a nifty glass hatchback. The City has a top speed of around 65 miles per hour, a range of more than 120 miles in city driving, and a full complement of safety features such as ABS and airbags. The cabin is comfortable, well-built and handsome.

Think promises that up to 95 percent of the City is recyclable. Even the body panels are color-impregnated plastic. This makes them tough and dent resistant, and also eliminates the toxins that are released during the painting process. Seeking to counter General Motors' highly publicized EV1 electric car, Ford purchased Pivco in 1999.

Ford pumped tens of millions of dollars into what it curiously renamed the Think Car. California’s electric-vehicle mandate was first watered down to include hybrid vehicles, Then quashed completely in 2003 under continuous threat of legal action by major auto manufacturers such as DaimlerChrysler and General Motors.

Recharging the Think brand

Sale of Think was not due to the electric-car company lack of potential. There was always a very dedicated following amongst Ford for Think. Think still has a good relationship with the American car company and many parts on the Think City, such as the steering wheel, are still sourced from Ford. For all you fans of automotive trivia: Think taillights are identical to those once used in the Lamborghini Diablo supercar.

Think was bought for a paltry $15 million two years ago. Of the initial investment, Development has moved quickly because they had a 90 percent finished car and a good factory."

Early last year additional funds totaling approximately $93 million were raised for development. The company plans to sell its cars almost entirely via the Internet. Customers will buy the car, but lease the batteries in a system, the mobility-pack fee would be $100 to $200 per month (depending on the market) and would include the batteries, car insurance, carbon offsets and even Web service. An owner could text message his/her car and receive messages back with service updates and diagnostics. The batteries would be replaced and recycled when the vehicle detects lost their optimum efficiency levels.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Introduction to the Problem

I would like to say that after watching the documentary “Who Killed the Electric Car”; I was so mad I could light my fireplace with the palm of my hand. But there are a few things that I feel I need to set straight. First, the Electric car is not dead…..just wounded. The “Volt” by Chevrolet is still being made, just not set to be sold to the common “Joe” until 2011. The $4000 tax credit the documentary stated is actually $7,500.

“Electric vehicle” advocates, like me, often feel powerless against huge oil companies, monstrous auto manufacturers, and the federal government. Taking on big industry and/or the government can seem to be a daunting task. But when it comes to EV technology, the US Department of Energy, “Big Oil” and “Big Automotive” have been openly colluding under the auspices of the "Freedom car". As part of their grand scheme, they want to convert much of the transportation industry to hydrogen. Hydrogen funding outstrips all other funding for “Freedom car” to date. But thanks to author and electrical engineer Nerves Cefo, there is something we can do to get EV's back into the mainstream of auto manufacturing. We must demand that the government release the patents on the large capacity NiMH batteries that powered Saturn's EV-1 and Toyota's RAV4-EV, both 100% electric cars. The Toyota’s are still on the road because unlike the EV-1s, they were not destroyed. But Chevron Oil Company still holds the patent on their batteries so no one else can manufacture them. Personally, if someone said I could buy an EV that got 100 miles or more and did not have an internal combustion engine, no transmission, virtually no maintenance, no emissions, no gas and had a battery that lasted the life of the vehicle, I would go buy one tomorrow…..regardless of the price!

The large capacity NiMH batteries used in the Toyota RAV4-EVs and the Saturn EV-1s have the best track record of any electric car battery. They are fully recyclable, road tested and have the longest life cycle. Many of the RAV4-EVs are still on the road today getting 100 miles + per charge. Unfortunately, while they released some of the patents on NiMH batteries for smaller batteries (some used in the Toyota Prius's), the patents for the large capacity NiMH batteries are still held by Chevron, Oil Company.

President Obama is making good on his promise to spearhead the EV revolution. During a visit to Southern California Edison’s Pomona EV test facility, he launched a $2.4 billion competitive grant program for US battery makers.

It’s all part of the Obama administration’s plan to get one million plus in hybrids on the road by 2015.

Obama at a Town Hall Meeting in Los Angeles, California - March 19, 2009. Photos: Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times

Here’s a quote from the LA Times article By Maeve Reston:

Obama unveils $2.4-billion grant program to aid electric cars

“Even as our economy has been transformed by new forms of technology, our electric grid looks largely the same as it did half a century ago,” Obama said. “So we have a choice to make. We can remain one of the world’s leading importers of foreign oil, or we can make the investments that would allow us to become the world’s leading exporter of renewable energy.” The president renewed his commitment to doubling the country’s supply of renewable energy over the next few years — including spending $11 billion upgrading the nation’s power grid to ease the delivery of renewable energy across the country, and $15 million to help develop green technologies such as solar and wind power, and new coal technologies. As a receptive audience of engineers and workers cheered his plans, Obama pledged to put a million plug-in hybrid vehicles on the road by 2015, and highlighted his offer of up to $7,500 in tax credits for Americans who purchase electric vehicles. The new $2.4-billion grant program, which would be part of his recovery program, would ask companies to compete for federal money to increase the manufacturing of batteries and parts used in the electric cars.

Later that evening, Obama answered questions during a Town Hall Meeting that took place at Miguel Contreras Learning Center, in Los Angeles, California, where he warned us about the energy dinosaurs that would be opposing the new plan:

“…if we are going to make a serious investment in clean energy, well, that requires that we phase out dirty energy. And that requires that we stop subsidizing certain things and instead subsidize other things. Somebody is not going to be happy about that because they’ve been getting the subsidies, so they will start running ads on television saying this is a terrible energy plan.”

(Published by Paul Scott on June 23, 2009)

There are three Auto companies that are still in the E.V. business besides the Chevy “Volt”. Three EV pioneers, Tesla, Nissan and Ford, are receiving loans from the Department of Energy’s Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing program. Totaling $8 billion, the funds will be used to manufacture efficient vehicles and electric drive components.

In Tesla’s case, they’ll receive a total of $465 million to set up their factory in Southern California for the production of their hot Model S. This car has generated a lot of interest given its superb styling, performance and efficiency. The price point of $57K makes it affordable for a large segment of the population. Part of the money will be used to set up a production line for their battery packs and electric drive trains to be sold to other manufacturers such as their new partner, Daimler.

Nissan will receive $1.6 billion to build EV and battery factories in Tennessee. Having experienced the drive train for their new EV, I am very pleased that this will enable them to ramp up quickly to 150,000 EVs annually. This car will appeal to a larger segment of the population given its price of around $30K.

Ford is the big surprise for me. They’re getting the lion’s share of the money at $5.9 billion. They’ll use it to increase the efficiency of several of their cars and trucks. I assume some will go toward building their new EV with the help of Canadian parts supplier, Magna.

This announcement assures that large numbers of electric vehicles will be available to U.S. customers starting late next year and growing rapidly soon after. Additionally, tens of thousands of jobs will be created.

There will more announcements to come. I’m betting that Bright Automotive in Indiana will be on the next list of recipients.

Electric Cars

Aren't they pretty! All charged up and ready to go on battery power alone.