Vehicle

Big ‘Green’? IBM works on 500-mile-per-charge battery

Publication: msnbc.com   Date: April 20, 2012   View Article

An electric car that can go from Boston to Detroit on a single charge could hit showroom floors sometime in the next decade, if all continues to go smoothly for IBM.

Yes, IBM. The company, best known these days for its trivia-champ computer Watson, is making a risky bet on the development of lithium-air battery technology in a bid to accelerate adoption of electric vehicles.

Road rage at driverless cars? It’s possible

Publication: msnbc.com   Date: January 20, 2012   View Article

The road to a future where we jump in our cars, enter a destination, and let them do the driving could be filled with rage, according to an expert on driverless car technology.

For starters, driverless cars will likely be programmed to obey all traffic laws. They won’t speed and will always come to a complete stop at stop signs, for example.

Throw just a few of those law-abiding robots on roads clogged with 250 million human-controlled cars, and there’s bound to be some shaken fists, or worse.

The era of e-bikes is upon us

Publication: msnbc.com   Date: September 27, 2011   View Article

Bikes with an electric-motor assist are beginning to change the way people get around town, according to experts who declare the age of the e-bike is upon us.

E-bikes look and operate similar to their traditional pedal-powered equivalents, but contain a battery-powered motor that kicks on when, for example, pedaling up a menacing hill.

Navy gets fix for speed need

Publication: msnbc.com   Date: September 15, 2011   View Article

The future of war at sea is looking fast and agile.

The U.S. Navy will christen on Saturday a catamaran-style cargo ship that can zip through shallow waters at speeds up to 40 miles per hour, loaded down with 1.2 million pounds worth of gear.

The joint high speed vessel, named Spearhead, is the first of ten 338-foot-long aluminum dual-hull boats that are being constructed by Austral USA in Mobile, Ala., as part of a contract worth a reported $1.6 billion.

Can EVs solve wind power puzzle?

Publication: msnbc.com   Date: September 13, 2011   View Article

Electric vehicles outfitted with a $10 computer chip can help streamline the addition of wind power to the electric grid, according to a study that shows how the two types of technology could piece together the puzzle of our green energy future.

One of the biggest hurdles utilities face with the addition of wind power and other renewable sources of energy to the grid is where and how to store excess generation for use when people actually need it. Until that happens, if the wind blows when nobody needs electricity, for example, the energy is wasted.

Hydrogen fuel gaining respect

Publication: msnbc.com   Date: August 31, 2011   View Article

Hydrogen is once again starting to look like a promising green fuel of the future thanks to breakthroughs that permit the fuel to be stored and released from a chemical “tank” that is easily recharged.

The problem with hydrogen, which is easily converted to electricity in a fuel cell and is carbon free, is that it’s a gas that is typically stored in high pressure or cryogenic tanks.

Poop fuels hydrogen cars

Publication: msnbc.com   Date: August 11, 2011   View Article

An experimental fuel cell at a wastewater treatment plant in California is turning poop flushed down the drain into hydrogen fuel for cars.

The novel fuel cell converts biogas — methane — produced in digesters at the plant into heat, electricity and hydrogen. The heat is fed back to the digesters, the electricity powers the plant, and the hydrogen is fuel for cars.

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