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Comments 6
  1. — Dan P.    Aug 02, 2007 05:21 AM    #

    Miles ZX40 and the ZENN
    All-Electric Vehicles Make Their Debut In Maine

    I will have to go try one of these out, but I still need more Speed Scotty!
    My son’s birthday is Aug.10th so maybe he would like to drive one of these toys around the lot…

    Nice “Breaking News” there Jerry. The Think looks good but the marketing approach bothers me. I don’t own a cell phone nor do I want one and I never did like the idea of leasing a car let alone its batteries.

  2. — James May    Aug 02, 2007 07:18 AM    #

    I think the simple approach would be automatic inductive loop charging stations built into traffic junctions and car park spaces. I can’t understand why no one suggests this. You can roll it out gradually and the electric infrastructure is already there. You could activate and charge back with RFID. So simple! Why not?

    Much better than 3rd rails, pantographs or other borrowed tram technology.

    The problem is the thinking. The roads are a public network. Why not the charging. Gets around the problem of swapping out 500Kg battery packs.

  3. jerry Halstead    Aug 02, 2007 07:38 AM    #

    Thanks for the link, Dan. Now, do you NEED more speed or do you desire more speed? Just curious if it’s some sort of medical condition. ”:^)

    As to leasing batteries, I suspect it’s to comfort folks worried that the batteries are going to die and they’ll be saddled with a large replacement bill down the road. It’s certainly not an approach for everyone, but it’s better than the whole EV being leased and you end up losing it like folks who leased the EV1.

    James: Street corners in much of the US (and UK?) already have inductive coils embedded in the cement (probably only for the first and maybe second car at light) for sensing when to change traffic lights. I wonder how much current is flowing through them and if you could pick up any useful energy? Talk about an opportunity charge! I can just imagine the traffic cop:
    “Son, I’m wondering why you have the entire bottom of your car wound as a huge inductor?”

  4. — James May    Aug 02, 2007 17:55 PM    #

    Hee hee!

    I have fantasised about plugging into those fluorescent-lit centre-marking bollards you get on UK town roads ever since I saw an old one using a standard 240V plug to plug into it’s base. Seriously – inductive loop charging amenities look like the sensible option to me!

  5. — Nick Smith    Aug 05, 2007 20:02 PM    #

    Take a look at “whispergen.co.nz”. These guys are using a stirling cycle engine to run home central heating and generate power in a small underbench unit.
    Follow the link to ‘technology’ for a review of the stiling cycle and their unique ‘wobble yoke’ design. Unfortunately they are just a bit expensive – and they burn hydrocarbons :(

  6. — James May    Aug 06, 2007 07:13 AM    #

    Hi Nick

    I have known about Whispergen for a few years now. I would love to have a Whispergen boiler.
    In general CHP (Combined heat / power) works best at municipal level (e.g. a street or block of flats).
    If you are going to burn hydrocarbons anyway, this seems sensible as long as you get a few years use out of it to amortise the energy used to create the boiler.