Korean EV wars come Stateside....

Much * Ado about * Shitty * Hoopties

Lots of talk this morning about CT&T EVs. Apparently they might be moving to Alabama, creating almost 3,000 jobs, and making their EVs local. Very much in the style of V-Vehicle's move in TN, and also like V-V (which would have been cooler had it been V_Vehicles) the cars themselves are the only iffy part. Sure, they're not the mystery cars that Al Gore an T-Boon Pickens plan on making, but what's worse, they are just more shitty little NEVs:

And whats even worse, they're Li-Ion NEVS (really, when you're cruising at a top speed of 35kmh, do you need batteries that will last for a 10 hour sprint? Where are you going to go??)

But this got me thinking... Sure we always talk about Chinese BEVs and PHEVs-- the Cherry, BYD et al, but what about Korea? And more importantly Korean-American, let's call them "Amerasian EVs" There's at least one other KorAm EV coming, and at least this one is a hottie! Sand Diego Based Korean EV Company, Leo Motors, is gunning to be top dog in the biz, and they have some nice recent stats, and look at the hotties:

Now that's a serious SUV. Can easily compete with the Phoenix, and then they even have something to go head to head with 'el Tesla:

But what's most exciting to a guy like me, is what they said in their most recent PR blast. See, they are actually converting Kia SUVs, and converting some other Korean sports cars... and as they say:

Leo's conversion solution can be used in any type of small to midsize vehicle platform (2,000 cc engines or below), for any manufacturer. Using Leo's solution, cars can be converted to electric vehicles for real world use both for high-speed highway and city traffic. The conversion kit solution is the result of evolutionary EV technologies from Leo Motors that focused on the development of the motor system, battery pack, power control, and power management system. Leo's particular solution set or "kit" consists of a 60kW water-cooled AC motor with controller, 30kWh or 16kWh lithium polymer power pack with multi-battery management system (BMS), and charger.

...and --seeing how there are more than 350 million cars that can be converted-- that simply kicks ass! So here's hoping that Leo expands its San Diego operations, and fights the good fight in the Korean/US EV War!

over the top

Excess is not 'green' ok??

Look I love Dean Kamen as much as the next guy--- sure the Segway wasn't exactly the "it" we were promised (of course it never got the fuel cells needed to make it a serious machine), and his water tratment systems are GENUIS. But the latest story, about the Kamen making a "Hybrid Stirling Engine Scooter" is stupid. Yes, I said it, it's just wasteful and shows whats wrong with more than 1/2 of the EV "market."

Kamen is now working on a stirling engine hybrid scooter. That means a scooter that uses gas, but also has some hybrid electric motor, and now his fancy stirling engine (which works with TH!NK but not so much on a scooter). Why why why??? There is no need for this.

See, until the police pried me off my electric scooter, I ran around Montreal for years and never once ran out of electricity. That's just the nature of the beats-- a scooter that only goes 75 kmh can not go on highways, hence the average commute on a scooter is less than 30km. LEAD ACID BATTERIES ARE PERFECT FOR THIS! There is no need for li-ion (like many scooters are now selling as an 'upgrade') and certainly no need for a hybrid motor. This is what Yamahaha is said to be doing as well, put out a hybrid scooter. These are BS. There is no need to have both an electric motor and an ICE, you can get everything done on Lead Acid Batteries (and LABats are infinitely more recyclable than lithium, cadmium, little metal hydrides....).

This is the same as the EV industry where people just wont buy an electric car if it only has a 100km range, and I'm sorry for sounding like a jerk, but this is just pure stupidity. People pay no attention to how much they drive per day-- if they did, they would know that they drive less than 50km a day! This means that for 99.9% of your average 2-car owner's driving, simple (and cheap) Lead Acid batteries and a 9" electric motor is all they need! Face it, you're not in college anymore, the Grateful Dead no longer tour, and there will be no big road trip (except for maybe driving the kids to Florida over Xmas).

If one were to convert their car to electric, or buy a preconverted electric, with lead acid, the money they save from EV commuting would afford the commuter to rent a rolls royce for their once annual road trip. And still pundits daliy bemoan the fact that EVs batteries don't go 300 miles on a charge! WHO DOES A 300 MILE COMMUTE????

I love ya Dean, but go back to the water and th!nk cars....

Look who's talking II

Move over Denny Terrio-- I just taught Vincent Vega how to offset!
So last week I got asked to do this really neat thing: I got asked to teach JT how to offset his carbon emissions. It's a long story about how I got that gig, and if I get to do phase II: actually helping the guy offset his carbon footprint, then I might tell you the whole story (believe it or not, some of the names are even bigger!), but for now, it was cool-- the guy needed to know ASAP what it meant and how it works, and i woke up to an email reading "Help! John Travolta needs to know all about carbon offsetting, would you please explain it in a few short paragraphs or bullets? Thanks!!"

And sure, the guy made that so-so sci-fi movie (but he did shoot it in my hometown, Montreal, and he did use some of my old pals in the film), and sure, he does like to park a 747 in front of his house... but really, how could I say no? I grew up with the guy... first as Chuck Bensen on Emergency, and then mean Billie Nolan spraying Sissy Spacek full of pig's blood, and of course Vinnie Barbarino... and that lovable George Malley in phenomena tinkering with solar panels and organic fertilizers... how could I say no?

So I wrote it up nice & simple, didn't take too long, and sent it off. It went from "my people" to "his people" so I don't even know if he knows who I am. But I know if he liked it he will come back for more (they always seem to now), and at the very least i got to pay him back a little for all those years of entertainment! Hopefully next we can get him into biofuels for that big jet of his.. or maybe even some of that cryogenic hydrogen.. that would be cool. Anyway, it's certainly as much fun as when I used to be writing here all night and working in the recycling plant all day....

And at the least i thought it was good fodder for people on my friends list :p thanks y'alls for all your support over the times when it was tough(er)
space kat

they tell us that we lost our tails evolving up from little snails i say its all windmills and sails

Are We not Green? We Are E-V-O!
EVO! it's eco. it's EVOlutionary. It's "your marketplace for natural, clean & green products" and it's brand new (there was actually a media embargo until 8:00 am this morning). it's a web 2.0 green play, but looks way solid + fun! Think of a green version of amazondotcom meets digg, meets GroovyGreen. EVO is a green e-commerce hub-- there's already over 20,000 green products available a mouse click away, but the goal is more than that--- a place for news and views, and (online) community building.

And that they will eventually have members of their community adding products (as well as of course suggesting products to their "friends"). I think this 2.0 part makes this a killer ap (in the sense that a crappy product, a greenwashed product, or a company with horrible customer service will be mentioned by the masses--- as well as the best) so the creme will rise, and the newest-and-greenest will also be able to share the spotlight! Seriously, this is going to be a great watershed for finding the ideal green paint, the ideal eco fashion fall collection, or anything else you can consume. But it's not just about consumption right? Heck no.

Well it is a store, so there is some of that marketing & commercialization (a lot of that-- but really cool stuff like solar purses and electric cars!) But there is a whole section where you can shop around to find the best places to put your money (clean tech, green investments...). And there are so many articles, one might just think this is a blog (but it's not). I read a really nice clear post about B Corporations--- (and boy how i love learning a new term!!!!). And they even have cute video news!

So go check it out! it's EVO, it's live now. Sign up and they'll plant a tree in your name!!!

...greən is the new blog

It’s easy being greən
What do you call a carbon neutral airplane flight? Especially one that is neutralized by just the right number of trees that will (if they all stay alive) consume that carbon over the next 80 years (+ no mention of neutralizing all of the other emissions, only the carbon is neutralized)? Offsets have been talked about in many places (although I gotta say, I just recently saw that Shell up here in Canada is going carbon neutral, ha ha ha.. with trees, of course!), that is just one example, it seems to be that these days you can see it creeping into pretty much everywhere-- or at least I do, because I work with green info, I see a steady stream of PR (and a lot of it is amazing.. and actually green-er than what was being done before!)

But there is a lot of stuff that is so borderline it would be comical except that it does less good than many easier—and just as available-- alternatives. And some do more harm. So I decided the other day, that this ought to be called "Greən." Greən is almost like green, but the schwa makes one pronounce it with a little bit more of a numbed-accent on the second e so its not eeee like green, but more like the ‘e’ in taken (ta-k-ən) or the ‘u’ in circus (sir-kəs), gre-ən—it’s almost green. But you kinda have to pause in the middle of the word, like you know it really isn’t a worldchanger, but you just watch, I bet there will soon be a Swiffer toss away (oooh I hate those!) that’s biodegradable, Sure it won’t actually degrade in a landfill, but it will be advertised as a green alternative, and at least those of us in the know, can say; That’s not green. Greən, maybe, but definitely not green.

[note: in looking for a pic to paste with this, i saw this great article from inhabitat, they're not there yet... but the biodegradeable Swiffer is not that far off, i bet ya!]

get ready for the GREEN NOUVEAU

Green Nouveau ...because every good movement deserves a name
Anyone else notice the brand spanking new ecorazzi background???

I hope you feel as much glee as I do looking at that design and detail. It’s so lush yet playful, so nature-aware, but those colors now! And it makes me think of this term I’ve been playing around with a lot lately; Green Nouveau. it’s a growing trend I’ve noticed at first, like a trickle in the designs from a green PR company in Portland/NYC, but then really played out in the new ‘razzi do (Michael showed me a mockup of it a month ago which really got me thinking about this Green Nouveau). There are a many ways that what’s happening now in the green world resembles what was going on in the art world a hundred years ago, and its bold and exciting, but even better, it’s a way out of being called environmentalist. Cause nothing spoils the party faster than bringing the environmentalist along. Green Nouveau just wanna have fun. Just wanna party like its 1899

[Art Nouveau platter circa 1907. Add 100 years and
the Peter Max palette and you get the picture...]

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st kitty

MDI finds Indian love with TATA. Will finally manufacture theaircar!

No, not hot air. Compressed. C-o-m-p-r-e-s-s-e-...
Woooooot! Well there you have it, once more, it pays to be persistent. At least that's how it's panning out for Guy Nègre who, as Green Car Congress just revealed has signed a manufacturing deal for his long awaited MDI Air Car. Yes! the silent car that gets about 125 Miles [at 70 MPH] on a tank of compressed air (and can fill back up in a couple of minutes). So Tata Motors, India's largest automotive manufacturer is going to start cranking these baddies out! And everybody says "Oh yeah!" ...Newly added, they are also going to be manufacturing a hybrid version that runs on gas and compressed air (gas to boost it at higher speeds, as well as to refill the air compression making road trips more doable).
And they don't just have the city cab version anymore, they got a sleek 21st century pickup truck now, and a family vehicle! I wonder if it is silent though, or if it sounds like a balloon slowly deflating (or a whoopee cushion?) Will have to wait and see, but so the question i am thinking is not so much when can i get my hands on a waycool EV, but more, in about 18 months which type of green car is going to be the one to get??
desert cat

Burlingon-IBM turn semiconductor scrap into photovoltaics

...first Ben & Jerry's, then Phish, now this!
Here's another cool story out of PhysOrg, about a Vermont IBM team who have pioneered a way to turn semiconductor waste in to solar grade silicon for PV panels (well, actually, that part is not brain science, the new trick was more about erasing IBM's intellectual property before it leaves their hands and ends up on someone's roof). And this is good news, because in the semiconductor world, 250,000 silicon wafers are used a day (and 3.3% of that get scrapped on the factory floor) and so there are about 3 million silicon wafers sitting around waiting to be made useful. They would look nice on my roof :p

...speaking of computers, have you heard the one about OLPC the one laptop per child group has been looking at that run on cow power? No, seriously, and not what you might think, from some cow-poo biofuel or biogas.. but actually hooking the Mumbai cows (for example) up to pulleys and generating electricity from the cows... I dunno, sounds cool, but a little too much like the Professor from Gilligan and not enough like a gizmo from a Brice Stirling book = (
space kat

Here Comes the Total Mobility Project's Solar Mazda

...feels like years since it's been here!
...just read in PhysOrg about The Total Mobility Project, a group in Japan who have
turned a Mazda car into a 100% Solar Powered Electric Vehicle. It's not 100% there, yet, seeing how it only gives you <20 Miles per charge, and seeing how the conversion kit so far costs about $20K, it's still a little out there ...but look at the capacitors coming down the pipe, the advanced-LA Batteries and LI-batteries, and you can see where this will go (throw in some phat Ted Seargent spray-on PV for a total chassis chargeability and then all of the sudden, voilà, ur solar whip is teh kewl (!)