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EcoTek Lighting Creates Brilliant LED Light Boxes for Fisker Automotive

Thursday, April 26th, 2012

Article by Dawna Lee Heising

EcoTek Lighting, a division of Expotrans, Inc., has developed energy efficient, ultra-bright outdoor LED light boxes for award-winning, premium green auto manufacturer Fisker Automotive, Inc. at two company locations. The high-powered direct backlit outdoor LED light boxes were installed at Fisker Automotive corporate headquarters in Irvine, CA and at the Fisker Automotive engineering facility in Pontiac, MI. EcoTek Lighting manufactured two outdoor LED light boxes for each building, which included custom routed aluminum face plates and translucent vinyl graphics adhered to digitally routed acrylic sheets. Each Fisker Automotive building now features two brilliant outdoor LED light boxes: one light box with a 30″ diameter and the other light box with a 24″ diameter.

The translucent graphics and acrylic sheets of the Fisker Automotive outdoor light boxes are illuminated by EcoTek Lighting’s LED Backlit Array technology. The rugged, durable light boxes are designed and engineered to provide more than 12 years of maintenance-free illumination. The installation of the backlit LED outdoor light boxes in the diverse climates of Irvine, CA and Pontiac, MI was an acknowledgement of the fail-proof adaptability of LED lighting to wide temperature ranges.

EcoTek Lighting’s light boxes with Direct Backlit LED Array technology offer:* Energy efficient LED illumination* Highest levels of luminosity for easy viewing* Even illumination across graphics display area* Corrosion-resistant extruded aluminum construction* Architectural powder-coated surfaces with five year warranty on finishes* Compliance with Federal energy efficiency and Green manufacturing standards

The Fisker Automotive outdoor LED light boxes contain LED panels that last from 50,000 to 100,000 hours and provide 55% greater energy efficiency than fluorescent lamps. The high performance outdoor backlit LED light boxes feature grids of LEDs across the entire surface area to provide six times the brightness of traditional edgelit light boxes. All EcoTek Lighting LED light boxes meet Federal standards for energy efficiency, including UL, CUL and CE listings and European RoHS Standards, and contribute points to LEED-certification. They are fully recyclable at end-of-life, and contain no heavy metals or other hazardous components.

Fisker Automotive, Inc. is a green American premium sports car company based in Irvine, CA. The company mission is to create a range of beautiful environmentally friendly cars that make environmental sense without compromise. The Fisker Karma Sunset PHEV hardtop convertible coupe was recently named the 2009 Production Preview Concept of the Year at the North American Concept Vehicle of the Year Awards, which were held at the Automotive Hall of Fame in Dearborn, Michigan. The North American Concept Vehicle of the Year Awards recognize those vehicles most likely to shape the future of the automobile industry.

Said Russell Datz, director of public relations for Fisker Automotive, “EcoTek is helping Fisker green its operations beyond its cars. Now we can display our name around the clock and still be environmentally responsible.”

“We are honored to partner with such a dynamic and environmentally-focused company as Fisker Automotive to develop Eco-friendly products to help save the environment and reduce the Carbon footprint of our communities,” said Rick Farrell, president of EcoTek Lighting.

About Fisker Automotive, Inc.Fisker Automotive, founded in 2007 by Fisker Coachbuild, LLC and Quantum Technologies (QTWW), is a privately owned American car company producing premium green automobiles, with Henrik Fisker as CEO. Global headquarters are located in Irvine, Calif. The company is backed by Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, Palo Alto Investors and the Qatar Investment Authority (QIA). More information is available at http://www.fiskerautomotive.com

About EcoTek LightingEcoTek Lighting, a division of Expotrans, Inc., is the leading provider of high performance light boxes, menu boards, poster frames and custom illuminated displays in the industry. Since 1984, we have set the standard for exceptional design, R&D, engineering, manufacturing and customer service. EcoTek Lighting was created with the mission of saving energy and producing Eco-friendly products. EcoTek Lighting received a 2009 Harvey Mudd College Green Engineering Certificate of Merit for energy efficiency at the TechAmerica High-Tech Innovation Awards.

Charging your new Nissan LEAF

Monday, April 23rd, 2012

Henry Ford’s gasoline-powered cars wouldn’t have become the standard transportation of the 20th century without gas stations. And electric vehicles won’t become the next-generation car unless there are charging stations.

That’s why the introduction of electric vehicles on the West Coast coincides with a planned charging network stretching from British Columbia to Baja California.

Charging stations now can be seen in some Intel parking lots and at Portland General Electric’s headquarters. Soon they will be found in more places, including the homes of electric vehicle owners.

Local governments, businesses and the auto industry are betting that electric cars will amount to 20 percent of new vehicles sold in Oregon within the decade, and they’re working together to make sure there are plenty of places to charge.

Gary Graunke owns two electric cars he built himself: one from a Honda Insight and another from a Toyota Prius. Both were hybrid cars using gas engines and electricity, until Graunke converted them to all- electric vehicles. He has two 240-volt outlets in his garage where he charges them with enough electricity to get him to his job at Intel.

He also ordered Nissan’s electric Leaf, introduced last month in Oregon. Graunke, 61, is co-chairman of the Oregon Electric Vehicle Association and has been thinking about electric cars since the 1960s, when he heard some General Motors engineers say fuel-cell cars were just around the corner.

Car manufacturers know they could count on true believers like Graunke who are passionate about electric cars. What they need are people like Jared and Charlotte Townsley of Tigard, who aren’t mechanical geeks that spend time taking cars apart and putting them together.

They pre-ordered a Leaf back in July, and figure they’ll need a 240-volt outlet in their garage to charge the new car.

Three levels of chargingSoon there will be an estimated 1,200 public car-charging facilities in Oregon, with more than half of those in the Portland area. Hundreds more will be installed in garages of electric car owners.

A regular 110-volt garage outlet will suffice, but it can put a strain on a home’s electrical system. Known as Level 1 charging, a 110-volt outlet takes eight to 14 hours to charge an electric car.

Level 2 chargers require 240-volt outlets, and can provide a full charge in 4 to 6 hours. Level 3 chargers, requiring 480 volts of power, can recharge a car battery to 80 percent capacity in a half-hour or less.

The cost to install a charging outlet in a home garage could range from a few hundred dollars to thousands of dollars, says Art James, innovative partnerships project director at the Oregon Department of Transportation. The upper-end figure is a worst-case scenario such as when a 1920s house with an original fuse box requires a new service panel.

Nissan Leaf buyers participating in a special electric vehicle partnership program get their Level 2 home-charging unit for free, James notes.

Outside the home, some public and corporate charging stations will offer recharging at no cost.

Companies are offering it as a benefit for patrons, James says. Lincoln City has installed several.

http://www.electroleaf.net

EVCARCO’s Corporate Development Update Regarding its Future Driven® Brand

Friday, March 23rd, 2012

Fort Worth, Texas – EVCARCO Inc. (OTCBB:EVCA) (OTCQB:EVCA), a Future Driven® Automotive Retail Group today announced updates to the shareholders and investment community on recent corporate developments, future plans, growth strategies, capital needs and changes to its share structure.

The Company has been working diligently to cultivate several, potentially valuable joint partnerships, identify new markets with products that provide carbon reduction technologies, sales channels, and sources of revenue.

As the Company moves forward, it continues to operate from its Micro-New Car Dealership in Ft.Worth, Texas that has generated cumulative gross revenues of $2,208,948.00, as of the last reported period of September 30, 2011. These revenues represent sales of new electric cars, EV charging stations, and pre-owned vehicles. The Company also continues to expose and market its Master Franchise and Single Locations Franchises opportunities of the Future Driven® Dealership Franchise.

On February 22, 2012, the Company announced that it signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with HFX Laboratories, Inc. regarding the market development, testing and licensing of the HFX4 Hydrogen Hybrid Combustion/Fuel Enhancement Systems. The Company is currently conducting tests of the HFX4 Hybrid System. The system produces hydrogen for use as a catalyst in the vehicle’s combustion system. The hydrogen catalyst is introduced into the vehicle’s air intake to completely utilize the fuel in the combustion process. The goal is to find in EVCA’s Due Diligence, results of 20% to 35% improvement in MPG and a reduction in emissions in the range of 60%, depending on engine efficiency.

Mack Sanders, CEO of EVCARCO, stated, “We have continued to work on expanding and growing acceptance of environmentally friendly vehicles. With recent increases in gasoline and diesel, we expect more consumers will feel the pain at the pump and embrace our products.”

Effective November 30, 2011, the Company amended its Articles of Incorporation to increase authorized capital. The increase was necessary in order to accommodate conversion of debt taken on over the same year. As of the date of this release, significant portion of the convertible notes payable has been paid off.

For more information on EVCARCO, Inc., please view: www.evcarco.com.  Shareholder inquiries should be directed to (972) 571-1624.

EVCARCO Inc. is a Future Driven® Automotive Retail Group focused on deploying a coast-to-coast network of environmentally friendly franchised dealerships, vehicles, technologies and sustainable solutions. EVCARCO is bringing to market the most advanced clean technologies available in plug-in electric, alternative fuel, and pre-owned hybrid vehicles from multiple manufacturers.

Forward-Looking Statement

This release contains forward-looking statements that reflect EVCARCO Inc. plans and expectations. In this press release and related comments by Company management, words like “expect,” “anticipate,” “estimate,” “forecast,” “objective,” “plan,” “goal” and similar expressions are used to identify forward-looking statements, representing management’s current judgment and expectations about possible future events. Management believes these forward-looking statements and the judgments upon which they are based to be reasonable, but they are not guarantees of future performance and involve numerous known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause the Company’s actual results, performance, achievements or financial position to be materially different from any future results, performance, achievements or financial position expressed or implied by these forward-looking statements.

Investor Relations Contact:

Jack Eversull

The Eversull Group, Inc.

972-571-1624

214-469-2361 fax

[email protected]

Gun Racking Chevy Volt Owner Response to Newt Gingrich Presidential Campaign

Wednesday, February 22nd, 2012

Aspiring zookeeper and frequent Tiffany’s shopper Newt Gingrich made some fresh waves in his wavy presidential campaign last week in Georgia, claiming the Obama administration wanted to force smaller vehicles and electric cars like the Chevrolet Volt on Americans, saying: “You can’t put a gun rack in a Volt.” One Chevrolet Volt owner took that as a challenge.

In the video below, the Volt owner - also apparently from Georgia — says he made the video to respond to the cheap shots by Gingrich made against the Volt, noting it’s made and designed in the United States, unlike nearly every other hybrid or electric vehicle on American roads. All we’ll add is that while GM says it didn’t design the Volt to be a “political punching bag” and might not be the first choice for a hunting trip, it did shoot battery packs to ensure they wouldn’t blow up if bullets passed through. (They don’t.)

Score one for engineering over politics.Gun Racking Chevy Volt Owner


EV Innovation: One inventor wants to boost EVs Range with a towable turbine

Sunday, February 5th, 2012

San Francisco’s P Youthful Museum is really a modernist copper-and-glass statement that challenges the attention and mind to consider past the quotidian. Exactly the same could be stated for that funky vehicle and it is oddball trailer parked just next door in the middle of Golden Gate Park. Should you thought the all-electric Nissan Leaf would be a walk into the near future, Phil Sadow would love you to consider again.

“What you are searching at is really a gas-powered Capstone turbine engine that spins at 100,000 revoltions per minute, but only has one moving part and may help electric vehicle proprietors circumvent the possible lack of quick-charging stations,” Sadow states, starting right into a flurry of scientific jargon that’s the San Francisco Bay Area engineer’s natural language.

When Nissan revealed its Leaf EV this past year, the wedge-like machine lifted the spirits associated with a driver disgruntled through the Who Wiped out The Electrical Vehicle? era. None much more than Sadow, who was raised criss-crossing the nation because of his father’s job using the electric golf buggy giant, E-Z-Go.

“You can tell I acquired the EV bug early, around age 7,” Sadow states.Skip forward couple ofseveral decades, which kid has become an electric engineering whiz that has become consumed with creating this version from the electric vehicle live.

“Transpire is always to make EV’s successful, because it is factoronly factor that’s likely to save us,” statesaccording to him. “The west is dependant on cars, so that is not vanishing. However when oil becomes scarce, our economy will most likely tank given our addiction to foreign oil. I simply hope what we are doing is not not enough past too far.Inch

Sadow is a component of the growing number of savvy fanatics who’re wanting to enhance whatever alternative-fuel automobiles auto producers can produce. In lots of ways, this smart number of renegades aren’t unlike the garage-based computer nerds who, in the past from the PC, compromised around to be able to find more effective methods of the machines to operate.

Hacker, however, is really a term which make Sadow wrinkle his nose. “We’re making appropriately designed items,” he states. “We are not hacking things together.”

Although Sadow themself drives a heavily modified Prius — run by a 6.5 kilowatt-hour battery power and monitoring system of their own devising — he understood that Leaf proprietors would benefit most out of his brainstorms. His first thought had related to japan EV’s 120-volt energy cord, which could re-charge the Leaf in around 20 hrs, “that is just way too lengthy to become practical.”

Joining track of fellow EV enthusiast Mark Dutko, EVSE Upgrade was created. The internet company sells re-designed Leaf energy cords for $240, which may be blocked into 240-volt connections — what most houses have for any washer/dryer or spa — therefore reducing re-charge occasions close to seven hrs. Another $25 buys a fast-220, a forked adapter that enables the Leaf to charge off two separate 110-volt shops.

Dutko will not release sales figures, but he states EVSE Upgrade has put connects to the hands close to 15 % from the nation’s 7,000 Leaf proprietors. Nissan hasn’t endorsed Sadow’s invention, something he finds vexing.

“It’s certainly simple for individuals to panic,Inch he states, referencing the fires some Chevrolet Volt proprietors faced consequently of this plug-in hybrid’s energy cord issues. “However I think overall there’s an excessive amount of untrue stories available.”

Sadow states he’s heard no reviews of incidents from his clients. That’s given him the impetus to further upgrade the Leaf. Next is really a $150 tweak towards the car’s climate controls. In the as-shipped condition, the Leaf’s heater — a substantial energy drain, because it does not come with an car engine producing spare warmth — can’t be turn off using the press of the mouse, much the means by a regular vehicle the energy-drawing AC could be shut lower with one touch.

“Using what we are developing, the Leaf owner can very simply turn off the heat tank,Inch states Sadow. “What we should find is the fact that with many EV proprietors, an obsession evolves around mileage. People wish to go so far as they are able to off electric power charge, and do not want almost anything to get when it comes to that mission.”

Sadow happily announces he has not put gas in the Prius since last March.

Such obsession is part associated with a new technological boom, states Andy Frank, the plug-in hybrid pioneer whose transmission system improvements produced as they was in the College of California-Davis happen to be licensed to a different firm he’s managing, Efficient Drivetrains, Corporation.

“Should you look in time, the beginning associated with a new technologies have found people tinkering, in the Model T on up,” states Frank. “I performed with hot rods like a kid. Exactly the same is happening with plug-inches and hybrid cars. It’s a part of American culture.”

Frank salutes leaders for example Sadow, but, like a passionate Volt owner, thinks that plug-in hybrid cars possess the best possibility of beginning a genuine automotive revolution due largely towards the vexing problem of re-charging EVs, whose range typically tops out around 100 miles.

“For brief drives out and about, my Volt runs only on electric,” states Frank. “But when I were an EV owner and needed to move from Davis to Bay Area and back, I’d need to rent a vehicle.”

That kind of talk will get Sadow’s motor running. Actually, he was partially driven to action by EV owners’ frustration over both how gradually electric re-charging stations are now being folded out by the prices - $6,000 or even more - of in-home re-charging models.

“I needed a means for individuals to recharge without resorting to city assessments and major electrical rewiring projects,” he states.

What quickly adopted suit was the Leaf’s upgraded plug, its enhanced Air conditioning system, and — perhaps his most impressive if up to now not scaleable invention — a transportable electrical powerplant that will get towed behind the Leaf.

It’s this contraption which has Golden Gate Park drivers slowing down and bike riders preventing.

“Uh, what’s that factor?” asks a biker because he pulls a set of buds from his ears.

Sadow does not have to be requested two times within minutes, he’s off and running having a science-heavy explanation of methods he fabricated a tow-hitch to drag a micro-turbine given by gas you can use to charge the vehicle from zero to 80 % in about half an hour (the final 20 % takes another 40 minutes), or utilized on-the-go therefore stretching the plethora of the EV as lengthy because the gas lasts.

“This can be a evidence of concept, and we are still tinkering,” states Sadow, explaining the way the somewhat bulky package may ultimately be sleek right into a sleek tow-able oblong. He stays he mind within the turbine’s exhaust and sucks inside a lungful of air. “It’s cleaner than most air you breathe,” he states.

The price of Sadow’s portable generator continues to be within the prohibitive category, around $30,000. But he’s going to bring that lower, in addition to expand the scope of the potential marketplace for the invention. He’d particularly prefer to interest traditional gasoline stations covering the country’s interstates. “Not just could they assist EV proprietors fill, however they could likely get free heating for his or her garages” because of towards the extreme warmth produced through the turbine, states Sadow.

Not sometime ago, Sadow reached demonstrate his invention in a gathering of EV fans for Hidetoshi Kadota, Nissan’s chief vehicle engineer for that Leaf. Sadow reviews that although impressed, Kadota felt such improvements would only attract “techies, but that is not really a fair description of who Leaf proprietors are,” states Sadow. “Should you continue any EV discussions groups (online), you’ll find yourself speaking to everybody from doctors to mechanics, Dems and Republicans. We are just individuals who want to get rid of the earth, and believe that cars make the perfect starting point.Inch

Sadow shrugs. “I possibly could make much more money talking to than I actually do with EVSE, however i am going to help begin to see the EV grow,” he states. He then confesses for an odd dream to have an entrepreneur.

“Eventually, we’ll get beyond these habits that we have produced over decades, of seeing a service station to fill on oil therefore we can drive these noisy, smelly gadgets,” he states. “When on that day comes and you will find a lot more EVs on the highway in addition to easy methods to recharge them, I’m going to be happily bankrupt.”

EV Industry News: Choosing Fisker Automotive for Green Cruising

Monday, January 30th, 2012

Choosing Fisker Automotive for Green Cruising

EVCARCO takes a look inside the world of hybrid vehicles to look at an unexpected turn towards the seriously sexy with the release of the Fisker Karma in 2011. Not a fully electric car, it nonetheless has a lot to offer to the environmentally friendly driver. It also has a tremendous amount to offer to those interested in sports cars too. Difficult to describe in terms of design and appearance, the fact that this new offering from Fisker Automotive sold out until 2012 demonstrates the universal appeal of the car.

Basically, the Fisker Karma is powered by batteries that can give it around 50 miles per charge. When the batteries are low or depleted a simple flick of a steering wheel-mounted paddle kicks in the 2 liter turbocharged engine (four cylinders) that will power the car on lengthier trips even as it is also recharging the batteries. It takes around five hours to fully charge the batteries, and to run the vehicle in its Stealth mode.

Fisker Automotive decided to mount the electric motors in the rear of the car and to give them enough power to supply the driver of the Fisker Karma with a stunning 260 horsepower. When these are active (in the Sport mode) the car can go from zero to sixty in less than six seconds and can reach speeds of 125 mph. This is unprecedented in the world of hybrids and EVs (electric vehicles) and accounts for the diverse number of buyers who managed to acquire all 3,000 units available.

Fisker Automotive also opted to outfit the interior of the Fisker Karma with technologies and luxuries too. Drivers are seated on leather upholstery, touch suede or wood to engage all of the different functions, and even see a large central touch screen that will interact beautifully with any driver’s command.

What all of this means is that the Fisker Karma is taking the world of hybrids and EVs to an all-new level. Some industry experts worry that the release of this model is too early in terms of viability. These concerns are due entirely to the difficulties with “away from home” charging in many parts of the world. There are some places in which public charging stations are readily available, but in a location such as the United States the infrastructure is not yet “up to speed” and may impact the delight that should be experienced by all who are driving these amazingly impressive and eco-friendly cars.

EV Industry: Charing Station Trends in the United States

Friday, January 27th, 2012

Charging Station Trends in the United States

Though some of the most accessible and first fully electric cars have began to arrive in the United States in late 2011, the turn to hybrid plug-in and all electric vehicles has created the need for a system of charging station access. If you don’t know a lot about electric vehicles, or EVs, it helps to know that they have what is known as a “range”. This is a figure that indicates the number of miles that the EV can operate in between full charges. Hybrid plug-ins vehicles also have their electric capabilities or ranges too, and this is the reason behind the need for charging station access around the country.

What is so interesting is that it is retail stores that are really moving things forward by opting to install stations for consumers to use as they do their shopping or errands. The average charging station is going to be able to supply power to cars, scooters, and bikes that require batteries, but they will vary in terms of fees or prices.

For example, the world-famous Mall of America in Minnesota has a charging station system that asks for three dollars per hour in order to charge the batteries while other stations ask for nothing in return. The owners of the fee-less stations usually understand that a customer is not going to be in their store or shop long enough to take the full charge and they believe that this is simply a service to clients and the environment.

Industry experts feel that the days of free charging station access are numbered simply because the shift to hybrid and fully electric vehicles is inevitable. With changing efficiency standards being required by the United States government (capped at more than 50 MPG by 2025) it is going to be impossible for most manufacturers to avoid the use of battery systems. This means that increasing demands for charging stations will begin to arise very quickly, and the option for free charges will disappear just as quickly.

For now, there are literally hundreds of stations popping up all over the country. The most unique of them was unveiled in Bethesda, MD in 2011. This is a totally green station that uses solar panels, GPS tracking of the sun, and clean supplies to provide drivers with free charges. The owner is a real estate developer who decided to his “bit” for the environment by making the green solar charging station available in a heavy commuting region.

Sears to offer the Evatran Plugless Power Wireless Electric Car Charger

Friday, December 23rd, 2011

Sears to offer EV customers the Evatran Plugless Power Wireless Electric Car Charger!

2012 Electric Cars Unplugged

If the idea of inserting a plug to your vehicle every time you need to charge up is a pain, here’s promising news: Sears has connected with Evatran to sell the wireless

Evatran's Plugless Power

charging systems for residential and commercial use. The Evatran system, known as Plugless Power, means that you could simply drive to your office or home garage and jump from the vehicle without needing to worry that you simply didn’t remember to hook it up.  This of course might not be among life’s large problems but getting a vehicle that will not go is worse than getting an iPad that is not juiced up, so you shouldn’t be too quick to laugh about this.

Installation will be handled by Sears Home Services that has been setting up home appliances and electronics for many years.

“Sears is very excited to announce this agreement with Evatran to support the installation and servicing of these stations. We look forward to being one of the leaders in this growing industry,” said Stu Reed, SVP and President, Home Services at Sears Holdings.

The companies say the benefits of the Sears-Evatran agreement includes:

  • Simplified Purchasing: Evatran will offer Plugless Power systems with optional basic or standard home installation wrapped into the purchase price of the equipment; this full price may be included in the vehicle purchase or lease at the time of sale.
  • Pre-Installation Site Visits: Site visits, as necessary to quote non-standard and commercial installations, will be completed in advance of installations.
  • Timely Installation: Sears will receive automatic notification of a customer’s installation request; Sears will contact the customer within one business day of equipment purchase to schedule home installation.
  • Convenient Additional Services: Sears will offer ongoing service and maintenance to Plugless Power owners.

Sears installation network technicians will be trained and certified on the wireless charging systems and will work with Evatran to structure a comprehensive launch plan for aftermarket systems throughout 2012, the companies said.

Product offerings will initially focus on Chevrolet Volt and Nissan Leaf models but Sears and Evatran said they will quickly expand to include additional electric vehicles. Installation will be offered with the sale of each Plugless Power system and priced based on the customer’s home and current electrical service. Sears will also offer commercial installation for electric vehicle fleet owners and managers.

Aftermarket systems will be available for installation starting in 2012 for Nissan Leaf and Chevrolet Volt models. A specific geographic rollout plan will be announced next year with final installation pricing for basic and standard home installations.

Interesting Approaches to Electric Vehicle (EV’s)

Monday, December 12th, 2011

Over the years we have all been able to monitor the ways that electric vehicles (EV’s) have increased in popularity and capability. Though early models were simply equipped with large arrays of batteries, today we can find a huge number of improvements and options. For this brief discussion on the most recent evolutions in electric vehicles (EV’s) we’ll consider Israel’s use of Better Place cars, solar powered electrical powering poles and stations, and the release of the fully electric Focus in the United States.

We’ll begin this look at interesting approaches to the use of electric vehicles (EV’s) with a review of the innovative system about to be launched in Israel. The Better Place vehicles come with a promise of around 20 percent savings in annual automotive expenses for their owners, but they do this through a series of unique concepts. The first is that the system uses a monthly membership plan similar to most cell phone plans. This locks the costs of operating the Renault Fluence Z.E.s into a fixed range and requires only that the driver “swap” batteries at the appropriate stations when necessary. The company also has a nice package deal that will actually decrease total costs by 35% by including three years of use of the car, all of the battery swaps needed, all service fees, and around 25km in mileage per year. The company indicates that it isn’t just making electric vehicles (EV’s) possible, but also affordable – which is something that is a major challenge in the industry.

Another great challenge with EVs is the fact that they need to have access to charging stations, but there are not a lot of them available at the current time. This is being changed in many ways including the recent “launch” of the first solar “tracking” pole station in the state of Maryland. Originally the concept created by children of the real estate developer who installed the device, the idea was to mount solar panels that track or follow the sun to a special utility pole. This pole would then serve a few cars at a time. The very first was installed in Bethesda, MD in August of 2011.

Of course this sort of concept is going to come in very handy as the first full fleets of electric vehicles begin rolling out across the U.S. In 2012, the states of California and New York will be the first recipients of fully electric Ford Focus vehicles. These are cars that will require the presence of such things as charging poles, and fortunately the timing is almost perfect!

News from the Electric Vehicle Market

Saturday, October 1st, 2011

In late 2011 or early 2012 Ford’s first completely electric version of their famous “Electric Vehicle Market” will arrive in United States markets. This is a vehicle that is generating a lot of interest because it is quite likely to be among the first of the brands or models that is used in a broad manner by a huge portion of the population. This car is going to appear first in California and New York and then spread out across the country before being released in Europe. This is great news for those hoping to some day see the electric vehicle, or EV, market go totally main stream.

Naturally, the appearance of fleets of electric vehicles indicates that the country has the infrastructure ready to support them…right? Sadly, the United States is out of sync in terms of its capabilities for supporting electric vehicle usage and the appearance of actual electric cars or trucks.

Consider the most substantial factor for any electric vehicle – the energy supplies it requires. This is something that most often comes from a home-based charging station, but this is an issue that will have to change. Most of the vehicles will run from 50 to 120 miles on a single charge, but that is not adequate to the needs of most daily drivers. This has always been one of the reasons behind the wild popularity of the Tesla EVs with their 245 mile capacity on a single charge, but with a $100k price tag it is not likely that average drivers will be able to enjoy this, and so a better infrastructure of charging stations is essential.

In 2008, the City of Chicago began creating esthetically pleasing and totally functional solar charging stations that remain free of the public utility grids, but this is not the preferred approach. That is why so many news stories featured the inaugural use of a single Solar Charging Pole that began operating in Bethesda, MD in July of 2011. The pole utilizes a “tracking solar” array that relies on GPS guidance to keep it continually aligned with the sun. By doing this, it provides around 45% more energy than standard or “fixed” panels.

This is the sort of readily available support that most EV drivers will require and is what needs to begin appearing as the thousands of brand new and totally electric cars start to appear on American roads and highways.

Nissan Leaf and Household Power

Friday, September 9th, 2011

Nissan Leaf and Household Power

One of the biggest news stories to come from the world of EVs (electric vehicles) during 2011 was the announcement by Nissan that their Nissan Leaf could actually provide emergency energy supplies to a home during the event of a power outage or failure. They went on to explain that the Nissan Leaf (due to reach consumer markets in 2012) has the option for two-way energy flow. This means that the vehicle can accept energy into its batteries, but that a simple switch can re-direct that energy back into the charging station, and then back to the source. In that case, say the carmakers, the Nissan Leaf can operate a home should the power supplies be interrupted or fail.

They went on to indicate that the car could keep the average American home functioning for roughly 20 hours after the power loss. So, is it possible? That is something that will not be determined until the vehicles appear in the spring season of 2012. What people do know about the Nissan Leaf is that the car has a power control system rated at 6,000 watts with lithium-ion batteries capable of storing up to 24,000 kilowatts for up to two days at a time. Continue reading “Nissan Leaf and Household Power” »

The Chevy Volt Has Inspired GM to Give It a Sibling

Monday, August 22nd, 2011

The Chevy Volt Has Inspired GM (NYSE: GM) to Give It a Sibling

The Chevy Volt is one of the latest in the extended range electric car offerings on the market.  Created by General Motors and met with surprising demand and success, the Chevy Volt has helped to bring EVs into the public spotlight.  Along with other entrants in the EV race, such as the Nissan Leaf and the Mitsubishi i-MiEV, the Chevy Volt allows daily commuters to make most or all of their travel on battery use alone without the need to also consume gas.

Considering that the average charge uses only about $1.50 worth of electricity and generates far fewer emissions, the car certainly has a fan base, especially in the green movement.  On August 12, 2011, General Motors made a surprising announcement by telling the press that they have given the green light to another EV- this one to be produced by Cadillac. Continue reading “The Chevy Volt Has Inspired GM to Give It a Sibling” »

Massachusetts Moving Ahead with Electric Car Charging Stations

Monday, August 22nd, 2011

Electric vehicles are certainly gaining a lot of attention in recent years, but with little access to charging stations outside of home, few consumers have really made the transition.  Car manufacturers and environmentalists alike are trying to lobby governments to help make the vehicles a more viable alternative to traditional fuel based vehicles, but progress on the matter has been slow.  It is worth noting, however, that many states are certainly starting to make progress.  The Mall of America has now installed a charging station, as have many businesses in California.  And now it seems that Massachusetts is making a very active effort to increase opportunities for people who purchase these vehicles.

The commissioner of Massachusetts’ Department of Energy Resources has made it clear that he believes electric cars are a critical part of reducing emissions on the state and that he recognizes the reluctance of consumers to purchase the vehicles when there are few to no convenient places to recharge them.  In recognizing this, he has worked to garner funding to build a statewide infrastructure of charging stations that includes a grand total of 142 electric vehicle recharging facilities statewide. Continue reading “Massachusetts Moving Ahead with Electric Car Charging Stations” »

Austin Looks to Curb Range Anxiety with More EV Charging Stations

Sunday, August 21st, 2011

“Range anxiety”.  It’s an unfamiliar term to many, but for those who have purchased electric vehicles or who have sat down to weigh the pros and cons, it is certainly a familiar concept.  Most electric vehicles are designed to go at most 100-200 miles on a single charge, and for those who travel frequently, get stuck in traffic, or have limited opportunities to recharge, the fear of losing charge away from home can make people reluctant to travel.

This same fear has led many to stray away from electronic vehicles, opting instead to wait until more charging stations are created.  For some time, it appeared as though it would be a standoff- no stations would be built until enough cars had been sold to prove them worthwhile, but no cars would be purchased until there were enough charging stations for consumers to be comfortable leaving home.

Continue reading “Austin Looks to Curb Range Anxiety with More EV Charging Stations” »

DiCaprio spends $100,000 on his SEXY Fisker Karma

Friday, August 19th, 2011

Leonardo DiCaprio Buys Fisker Karma

Leonardo DiCaprio had to spend a lot of green to get his new green-friendly car, a $100,000 hybrid Fisker Karma. His new wheels are quite a step up from his Toyota Prius.

His Karma has a hybrid engine that competes with normal sports cars, going from 0-60 miles per hour in under 6 seconds and reaching a top speed of 125 miles per hour.

The Karma’s accessories include: keyless entry, bucket seats and diamond dust in the paint. The eco-car can also use the energy captured by the solar glass roof to assist the lithium-ion batteries that power the dual electric motors. The Karma gets an economical 100 miles per gallon.

(Photo by FilmMagic)

The Karma also features two driving modes, Stealth Mode for efficient electric driving and Sport Mode to access the car’s full power. Former Vice President Al Gore and former U.S. Secretary Of State General Colin Powell are said to be in the market for one.

Apart from his fame as an actor, DiCaprio has become known for being one of the most vocal environmentalists. He recently told Live magazine: “This is not about me. And it’s not about one group of people telling any other group of people how to live. I don’t think it’s fair to tell people to install solar panels, buy (low-watt) light bulbs or drive a hybrid – that’s not a reality for most people.”

“It is about something much, much bigger. It’s about getting the governments of the world to implement environmental policy. We are the most powerful country in the world and we haven’t made a tiptoe towards renewable technologies. We should be the ones paving the way, the ones other countries look up to. It makes me extremely sad.”

SOURCE: By Michael Allen

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