Electric Car Trifecta
Hello out there in the Ask Patty Nation! I, your faithful blog editor, have taken some unprecedented time off, and so I'm actually out of town celebrating my five year wedding anniversary, so it's a lighter blog week for your Thursday and Friday, but I hope not an uninformative one.
Today, we look into the latest news from a favorite subject of the blog: the electric car. Once considered a far-off dream, hybrid and all electric cars are on the road in larger numbers than ever before, and they're making headlines. Here is a trifecta from the world of electric cars from the past week...
Fisker and Tesla may come out on top after Obama energy loan review
First, and maybe the most important, the Obama administration's review of the Energy Department's loan program is likely to draw in $1 billion in loan guarantees to two start-up electric-car makers, Fisker and Tesla. Tesla, which has built more than 1,000 electric roadsters, is using the bulk of its $465 million loan for its next vehicle, a $57,000 electric sedan, the Model S, that is supposed to arrive in 2013. Fisker used $169 million of its $529 million in loans to design and engineer its first car, a plug-in extended-range sedan that is being built in Finland. The rest is being used for a next-generation vehicle, code-named Nina.
Electric Car Pioneer Bob Beaumont Dies at 79
Bob Beaumont, 79, a car dealer who set out to become the Henry Ford of electric cars and sold more than 2,000 of them in a short-lived but visionary venture in the 1970s, died Oct. 24 at his home in Columbia. His car, the CitiCar, had a range of about 40 miles per charge, and some of them are still on the roads today. Our condolences to the family of this true pioneer.
Electric Cars Can Become Power Grid Batteries?
Vehicle-to-grid technology allows networks of electric vehicles to function like a giant battery with an intelligent software interface feeding power from car to grid or grid to car on an as-needed basis. It’s now one step closer to U.S. commercialization. Essentially, this means that some of the unused energy while your car sits idle (as most do, for 20+hours per day) gets sold back to the power company, and you the owner can reap the benefits.
The creator of this technology, Willett Kempton, sold the international license for the technology to the Danish company Nuuve in June, and now the U.S. license has been purchased by New Jersey-based NRG Energy. The ability of consumers to sign up for this service in Delaware is still two years away, but it's a pretty significant development nonetheless!
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