Electric Cars: The Next Big Thing
By: Dave White on Tue. Mar. 6th, 2007, 7:56AM PSTURL:
Just in case all those stories about the Tesla
and the GM Volt
don’t drive the point home, let us officially announce that the electric car is back.
The very fact that General Motors, the company that famously killed the alternative-fuel vehicle in the film of the same name, is putting both feet into its efforts to build such a beast is proof positive that a large handful of Tesla fanatics can’t be wrong.
There’s a reason that the Tesla sold out before it was ever offered on the open market, and it’s not just that it’s cool beyond words. Electricity is the new ethanol, as it were, many industry analysts think, and they have evidence to prove it. GM is making a big carbon-less footprint, yes, but plenty of smaller companies are getting into the swing of things on the electricity front as well, including Phoenix, which is planning electric pickups and perhaps even SUVs. Electricity has the reputation of being the greenest of all the alternative fuels. And although these electric vehicles won’t be 100 percent electricity-powered, they will be predominantly that way, with gas becoming an afterthought as a vehicle fuel after a few iterations.Helping the cause of the electric car is a revolution in battery technology, based on the kind of lithium-ion that power most of today’s laptop computers. (These won’t burn or blow up, of course.) No less a presence than Tesla has championed the lithium battery, that one with more than 6,800 individual cells. Another startup, Caterpillar spinoff Firefly Energy, has bumped up the technological advancement factor in traditional power sources, depending on a super-lightweight carbon graphite foam to replace the lead-acid material that weighs down today’s batteries.Will Tesla sell out everything it makes for the next five years? Will the Volt be a big hit for General Motors, or will the automaker kill it, too? Stay tuned.
Genetically Modified Computing
The GT1 is certainly not for consumption by your typical computer user. It is a hybrid of computer and video camera. The “notebook” circuitry utilizes Transmeta’s 600mhz Crusoe chip for fast performance and even better battery life: up to 17 hours with the (LLL) cell.
The GT1 comes standard with the largest HDD available for its size, 20gb. (A natural, to leave space for recording video.) To enhance video editing, it is equipped with an ATI RAGE Mobility-M1 with 8mb VRAM. Maximum RAM is 192mb with 128mb standard.
The camera is a 680,000 pixel CCD variable aperture and zoom functionality. The screen swivels behind the unit to allow you to use it like a DV video camera. Full motion video with sound, as well as still photos are an option. The GT1 has integrated ports for Firewire, USB, mini-VGA, NTSC, memory stick, and more.
More on Electric Vehicles From The Green Living Guy
Build Your Own Electric Vehicle by Seth Leitman and Bob Brandt