Kenneth Burridge test-drives electric Nissan LEAF in Melbourne Australia[/caption] Green-Eco-EV News Reporting by Ken Green Burridge CNN & Mother Earth News contributor, Green journalist, photographer, author and activist that has published over 1000 articles. Mr Burridge's travels have taken him to over 30 countries and 300+ major cities. He is originally from the USA, but has been residing in Australia for the last six years. Connect to Ken Burridge on:Twitter, facebook, Google+, Linked in or website
A nickel-metal hydride cell, abbreviated NiMH, is a type of rechargeable battery similar to the nickel-cadmium cell. A NiMH battery can have two to three times the capacity of an equivalent size nickel-cadmium battery. A nickel-metal hydride battery has about the same volumetric energy density as the newer lithium-ion cell, but cost significantly less.
So why aren’t they being used in hybrid and electric cars today? The small AA cells are currently all over the place and NiMH technology is being used in many consumer cameras, cordless phones, and laptops.
Turns out General Motors purchased the patent from Ovonics in 1994. Stanford R. Ovshinsky was the one who invented and patented the NiMH battery and founded Ovonic Battery Company in 1982. By the late 1990s, NiMH batteries were being used successfully in many fully electric vehicles, such as the General Motors EV1, Dodge Caravan EPIC minivan, Solectria and Toyota RAV4-EV. Field tests indicated the Ovonics battery extended the EV1′s range to over 150 miles and Solectria Sunrise achieved 375 miles on a single charge back in 1996.
In October 2000, GM sold the patent to Texaco and a week later Texaco was acquired by Chevron. Chevron’s Cobasys subsidiary that now has the rights to sell the NiMH batteries will in theory only provide these batteries to large OEM orders of 10,000+. Afterwards General Motors shut down production of their electric car production (the EV1) citing lack of battery availability as one of their chief obstacles. Cobasys/Chevron has effectively blocked the use of NiMH batteries by start-up EV manufacturers and has the ability to keep doing so until 2014 when the patents expire.
It’s interesting to note that in 1997-2003 Toyota sold/leased 1485 RAV4 EVs in California that used batteries produced by Panasonic, which had licensed the Ovanics technology. “The original batteries found in the remaining 750 RAV4 EVs that weren’t crushed like GM’s EV1s are still on the road today have proven the longevity and usefulness of large format NiMH batteries.” says Ken Burridge (editor-in-chief of EV.com). Toyota discontinued producing the RAV4-EV partly because Chevron won a $30,000,000 USD settlement from Toyota-Panasonic from the International Court of Arbitration which forced them to shut down their production line for large NiMH batteries. In addition California’s Air Resources Board (CARB) caved to the pressure of the US federal government and eliminated most of their Zero Emissions Vehicle (ZEV) requirements, which was the main reason Toyota had produced the RAV4 EV in the first place.
Noteworthy is that in July 2009, Cobasys NiMH division (Chevron-Texaco), was sold to a Bosch and Sanyo consortium, but they still retained the patent rights and collect royalties on the batteries.
There are grass-root campaigns springing up calling for: The US President, the U.S. Senate, and the U.S. House of Representatives to exercise Eminent Domain and/or Compulsory Licensing of NiMH large format technology by Cobasys NiMH division (Chevron-Texaco) to all interested manufacturers. We here at EV.com are fully supportive of all their efforts and encourage others to request this type of green government mandate.
You can sign such a Petition Now.
Now you can view live data from a 9,000 watt solar electric system which produces 120% of this family's annual electricity use. That extra 20% is enough to power an electric car for 10,000 miles annually.
Please check out this site: http://www.moneychimp.com/features/market_cagr.htm
The take away: "Over the very long run, the stock market has had an inflation-adjusted annualized return rate of between six and seven percent."
Investing in your own solar electric system will usually meet or beat the stock market. Now you can be rest assured knowing your investment is right next to you and not in a black hole somewhere subject to the volatile emotions of others.
1.144 million people now have documented jobs in Europe's renewable energy sector.
The boost in activity in 2010 represented about $166 billion in economic value, a 15 percent increase over 2009.
These figures only include renewable fuels, heat and electricity. They do not include jobs in mass transportation, recycling, and green building design.
They show a very healthy diversity in Europe’s renewable energy sector. According to the 2010 figures, the top three sectors for employment were biomass (273,000), solar PV (268,110), and wind (253,145). The next largest were biogas (52,810) and solar thermal (49,845). Behind those sectors were ground source heat pumps, waste-to-energy, small hydro, and geothermal.
Here in the U.S. we are at a fraction of these jobs...will we allow other areas of the world to create millions more while we sit and watch?
The U.S is a leader...lets get back in the race and win!
"...the Iceni will run to 230 mph, accelerate from 0-60 mph in under four seconds, and deliver 70 mpg at a constant 70 mph and up to 100 mpg at 55 mph. It will also have 100,000 mile service intervals..."
Lets scale this muscle car down and use its technology to offer a fun high mpg vehicle. What truck lover wouldn't love to have a powerful full size truck that gets 50 mpg with heart pounding acceleration and stump pulling power? Or the high mileage commuter car that gets 200 mpg for those daily long commutes?
The technology is here today and has been around for quite some time. While in Ireland back in 2006 I rented a 7 series BMW with an automatic transmission (nice sized car). The onboard computer said the car was getting 40+ mpg...i didn't believe it. I reset the computer while in Dublin and drove to Galway which is on the opposite side of Ireland. Again I didn't believe the computer as it was in the upper 40 mpgs. This car was a blast to drive. It had exhilarating accelerationtion and would pin my head back in the head rest...I would actually get dizzy during acceleration. On the freeway I kicked down the acceleratorator and counted as I went from 60 mph to 90 mph in 3 seconds...WOW. Again, I could not believe that a car that was this much fun could get that kind of mpgs. I reset the computer in Galway and would manually record the mpgs at the end of the trip to compare the mpg computer's accuracy. Anyone that has driven in Ireland knows of the narrow roads and heavily congested towns when traveling across this country. I did not baby this car as my early Camaro sports car driving habits were making themselves known many times. I arrived close to the Dublin airport and filled up. To my surprise the computer displayed 45.8 mpg and I manually calculated 45.3 mpg US. From that day forward I now know that we have a lot of mpg catching up to do.
Again, the technology is here. Emissions is not holding it up as that is not an issue. Safety is not holding it up as these same cars are imported to us with much less efficient drivetrains. Cost is not holding it up as we mass produce everything. There are no excusses...lets make the US energy self reliant.
"...the fossil-fuel industry got a whopping $70 billion in government subsidies from 2002 to 2008. Many of these subsidies have been in place for nearly 100 years."
WOW. Imagine where renewable energy would be today if it received this support.
In the same 736 page report (noted below) it states that the electric utility will need to bring on-line a total of 1,109 megawatts of capacity by the year 2024 to meet the estimated demand. California has brought on-line 1,148
megawatts to date of diversified solar PV (many of the 81,100+ systems are installed for residential and commercial customers on unused roof space) in the last 10 years and has created new job estimates as high as 50,000.
Granted solar PV only works when the sun shines but the beauty is that it very closely matches the power load curve of the power company which experiences most of their load during the same time frame that the sun is shining.
The economic benefits would be enormous as diversified solar PV could bring in billions of dollars to stimulate local
Minnesota economies while creating many 10's of thousands of wide ranging secure jobs.
Now that it has been in the news regarding the government's $4 billion a year in oil subsidies, renewable energy
should receive a level playing field. Ask your politicians to support Solar PV by creating legislation equal to or better than the other leading solar states.
There is an interesting fact in a publicly available 736 page document created by our local utility detailing their resource plans from 2011 to 2025. It stated on page 56 that they expect the average price per kWh to go from 8 cents in 2011 to 11 cents in 2016. This is a 37.5% increase over the next 5 years.
One way you can place a hedge against energy inflation is by installing a grid tied solar electric system. This can lock in your electric rate at as little as 3 cents per kWh and this rate will remain nearly flat for the next 25 years. Now you will smile even more when you see their rate increases...the more they raise, the more you save.
Only 19% of US survey respondents accurately guessed that the fossil fuel companies get 10 billion/year in subsidies.
- 34% of responders said the government should spend all the $10 Billion on subsidizing solar.
- 39% said we should give half of the $10 billion to solar and the other half to the dirty coal companies
- 8% thought we should keep things the way they are.
The above means that at least 73% of U.S. wants to grab 5 billion in fossil fuel subsidies and transfer that tax funded mojo to solar. It also means that 8% are completely nuts for fossil fuel.
We needed to choose an image located at the top of our website that encompassed all the following desired traits:
Renewable energy minded
Convey simplicity; yet complexity
Tranquil - Calming
Pristine - Purity
What are your thoughts regarding our choice? Can you see all of these traits in our current image?