We interrupt this blog for a musical number...

Saturday, November 22, 2008
Dr. Electric Car's Sing-a-long Musical Blog We received this link and our first singalong musical blog posting from Bo Brown and the gang at Hogmolly

Hi folks,

Heard  you were gearing up for another documentary on the electric car. I saw the first one, it had enough impact on me that I wrote a song on the subject.

The song came to me almost complete in a dream, (got up at 4 am to record it) my band Hogmolly recorded it in a live studio performance the day after we learned it. Don’t know if it would be appropriate, but would love to see it used in your film, or any other use you may have for it.

Keep up the great work, and good luck with the new project.


Bo Brown


Solartaxi visits AeroVironment

Friday, November 21, 2008
This summer Swiss visionary Louis Palmer and his friendly team made several stops in Southern California on their global whirlwind tour with their spectacular Solartaxi Electric Vehicle.  One of the stops was at AeroVironment in Simi Valley. 

The Solartaxi is a realization of one of Louis' childhood dreams : to drive a zero emissions solar powered electric car around the world. He wants to show people that solutions already exist to resolve the Global Warming crisis.  Click here to read Solartaxi's mission statement

Towards this end, the Solartaxi is a promotional vehicle and not one that is suggested we all be driving. The Q-Cell solar panels mounted on the trailer towed behind the Solartaxi provide 50% of the electricity required for the journey. They're mainly along for the ride to demonstrate that photovoltaic solar technology is real and available today. They also help to ensure the vehicle can keep traveling even in remote sections of the world should they fail to find a plug for recharging.  The other 50% of the electricity required for the journey is obtained by plugging into the electrical grid en route.  In Switzerland, the Solartaxi team has created a stationary solar array to feed green power into the (global) electrical grid. Solartaxi just extracts that greenly produced electrical energy from the grid while touring the world. We should all support the installation of rooftop mounted PV solar to power our homes and our near-future plug-in electric vehicles. 

Solartaxi has two Swiss made 14kwhr Zebra batteries which are a molten-salt type battery that has an operating temperature window of 270-350degC (518-662degF). The battery is insulated in a thermos-style package to minimize heat loss and has a life of about 1000 charging cycles. Zebra batteries have an energy density of around 90Whr/kg. Solartaxi has one of these Zebra batteries in the car portion and a second is located along the axle of the photovoltaic solar panel trailer.  That gives a cummulative energy storage capacity of 28kWhrs. 

The Solartaxi electric drive motor powering the single rear wheel is rated at a peak of 13kW.  The Q-Cells PV solar modules produce upwards of 600 watts. To recharge the batteries solely from the rear trailer would take about 4 days. After admiring and discussing the Solartaxi for almost an hour, Solartaxi Tour Director Louis Palmer gave a fantastic 40 minute PowerPoint presentation on his mission and adventures.   As of this summer's SoCal visit, Louis had traveled two thirds of his journey around the world. The presentation was followed by an enthusiastic EV technology discussion along with real test drives of the Solartaxi - viewable in the video below.

Bring Back the EV1 Press Conference

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Friday November 14th, 2008 - GM Training Center - Burbank, CA The Honorable Nate Holden, former California State Senator and L.A. City Council Member, held a press conference demanding General Motors apologize to the American people for destroying the automaker's EV1 plug-in electric vehicle.  Mr. Holden demanded the EV1's immediate re-introduction before, or in exchange for, any Government bailout of GM. “General Motors compounded their financial woes by destroying the EV1 and continued to work with the oil companies to gouge the public. It's a dishonest act on the part of General Motors.” said Holden. 

This press conference was held at the very same GM facility where the EV1 Vigil took place during February and March 2005. Loyal GM EV1 customers tried valiantly to save 78 remaining EV1s from being crushed. Activists kept a 24/7 watch over the vehicles and offered to buy the EV1s from GM for their residual value. Alexandra Paul and Colette Divine were arrested while peacefully protesting and making a stand against an EV1 filled GM transport semi attempting to exit the facility.   

Chris Paine's film "Who Killed the Electric Car ?" documented the EV1 Vigil. Former EV1 drivers Doug Korthof and Chris Reeves attended and spoke at Holden's press conference, having each arrived in their respective plug-in EVs (2002 Toyota RAV4-EV and 1997 GM Chevy S10 EV). Alex Datig (Business & Public Affairs Consultant, HighRoad Consulting Group LLC) let us know that Mr. Holden had a fruitful day getting the EV1 word out.  After the press conference at the GM Training Center Mr Holden went to City Hall to conduct more interviews and to speak to elected officials. He sent the story to KFWB News 980 and to President-elect Barack Obama.  

Mr Holden had the following words for the loyal supporters of the EV1 : "I want to thank the EV1 family for their support and encouragement for me to continue the fight to hold General Motors and other auto manufacturers' feet to the fire. As you know, today I strongly urge Congress to withhold any bailout funds from the auto industry, unless and until the industry agrees to mass-produce fuel efficiency automobiles; electric cars. Congress should not, under any circumstances, release the bailout money to automobile manufacturers without making these demands. Without these demands, the automobile manufacturers will just continue with "business as usual," manufacturing gas-guzzlers, which would increase our dependency on the middle-east oil producing countries. 

This dependency must end now! We are the advocates of the electric car family and must continue our fight to save the electric car. We must not allow Congress to backslide, or "bait and switch." At the very least, members of the electric car family demand that the conditions that were incorporated in the funding legislation of the $25 Billion loan package of September 2008 be adhered to. 

I respectfully urge each member of the electric car family to contact Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of the United States Senate, Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the House of Representatives, and each of your local members of Congress, to let them know that any deviation on their part from the conditions of the loan approved in September will not be tolerated. Lets keep the pressure on!" Nate Holden California State Senate, ret. Los Angeles City Council, ret. Hon. Nate Holden's next press conference on the EV1 will be held on Wednesday, November 19, 2008 at 10:00 AM at the LA Auto Show (LA Convention Center - Pavilion adjacent to West Entrance). [Click here to see more coverage from the Bring Back the GM EV1 Press Conference.]