Heat wave.

The heat wave is global warming at work. Ugh.
And a new report concludes that extreme hot days are outnumbering the extreme cold days by 2 to 1.
Hot days, high humidity, little relief at night
That was one conclusion of a 2009 study by researchers at the National Center for Atmospheric Research and NOAA, who found that nights are getting warmer. Their study, published in the journal Geophysical Research Letters, also found evidence that climate change is skewing the proportion of record high temperatures to record low temperatures in the continental United States, with extremely hot days now outnumbering extremely cold days by 2-to-1.


Electric cars can run your home.

ELECTRIC CARS: Japanese carmakers to make EVs that can help cook food during blackouts (07/22/2011)
Nissan Motor Co. and Mitsubishi Motors Corp. are set to release electric vehicles (EVs) that can not only help drivers save on gas but also cook food during a blackout.

The earthquake and tsunami that hit Japan in March caused a number of blackouts and drew attention to the usefulness of electric car batteries as secondary power sources, according Nissan and Mitsubishi. Tokyo Electric Power Co. announced there may be more power outages this summer because of the crippled Fukushima Daiichi plant and scheduled maintenance at other nuclear facilities. In the end, the disaster may actually boost sales, said Takeshi Miyao, an analyst at consulting company Carnorama in Tokyo.

“Electric cars now have the chance to demonstrate how useful their batteries can be,” said Miyao. “Electric vehicles have an advantage, more than ever.”

The Mitsubishi i-MiEV currently has a 100-watt discharge capacity — enough to power a cell phone. By the end of this year, the Tokyo-based company plans to increase the model’s discharge capacity to as much as 1,500 watts, a level at which “you’d be able to power a rice cooker or a microwave,” said Yoshikazu Nakamura, head of the company’s EV business. The footlong device that connects the car battery to an appliance will cost an extra 15,540 yen ($200).

Nissan plans to release its discharge system for the Leaf by next month, although the capacity has yet to be determined, said spokesman Shiro Nagai. Despite having to halt sales following the earthquake, sales of the Leaf rebounded in May to 472, up from 177 in April. Toyota, the largest hybrid EV manufacturer, also plans to introduce a discharge system of up to 1,500 watts within the next year.

With more battery development ahead of them, carmakers are still deciding on the limits of the technology. “We only have plans for the electricity to be used in emergency situations, or for people going camping,” said Kai Inada, a spokesman at Mitsubishi.

But Nissan’s Hideaki Watanabe said its EVs can help store power at night during off-peak hours, conserving energy and adding value to the car. “The Leaf already has the capacity to supply all the electricity you need for a regular household for two days,” Watanabe said. “Customers can expect more than that in the new cars to come” (Anna Mukai and Yuki Hagiwara, Bloomberg, July 20).
You want this? Above? Or this, below

Save energy. Save money

Check out these cute ads from EPA on Energy Star. Using efficient light bulbs, for example, saves us money, which we can use to spend on vacations, expanding our freedom and understanding, not, as some suggest, constrict our freedom.

Solar EV charging station in Calif

I want one for my driveway ~!
Mitsubishi Opens First Solar-Powered Charging Station
Mitsubishi Electric & Electronics USA, Inc. (Mitsubishi Electric) and Mitsubishi Motors North America, Inc. (MMNA) today debuted a solar-powered charging station for electric vehicles at the MMNA headquarters in Cypress, California. This charging facility, the first of its kind in Cypress, symbolizes MMNA’s commitment to electric vehicle readiness, and will help kick off the preparations as certified Mitsubishi dealers become EV-ready in anticipation of the scheduled launch date of Mitsubishi i for each state. The charging station is powered by 96, 175W photovoltaic modules from Mitsubishi Electric. This charging station will help support CHAdeMO compatible electric vehicles such as the Mitsubishi i, which will arrive in showrooms in November of this year. Mitsubishi i vehicles are now being reserved by prospective owners through a pre-order process available at i.mitsubishicars.com.

Able to charge up to four vehicles at once, the station features three types of chargers with different voltages: standard level 1 voltage (110v) will deliver a 100 percent charge in 22 hours on the new Mitsubishi i; level 2 (220v) which can charge the vehicle in six hours; and level 3 CHAdeMO Quick Charger, which can charge to 80 percent battery capacity in 25 minutes.

The DC Quick Charger used for the Cypress charging station is manufactured by the Eaton Corporation, and is the first-of-its-kind CHAdeMO Quick Charger certified for U.S. sale and public utility. The actual installation of the charging equipment and the supporting electrical infrastructure was handled by Rogers Electric. The twin-arch structure for the charging station was designed by California Green Designs.


Charlie’s Letter to the Washington Post on EVs

Well, they didn’t publish it, so I figured I would.

Your article on electric cars (“Fueled by Electricity and Hype”, Washington Post, 7/10/11) was another of Pete Whoriskey’s one-sided anti-electric vehicle (EV) articles which discussed none of the benefits of EVs. These benefits include cheaper fuel (75 cents per gallon equivalent for electricity), reducing imports of oil (our electricity is 99+% made in the USA with a little hydropower from our friends in Canada) which reduces our trade deficit and our national security exposure to Mideast Oil, cleaner vehicles which curb oil spills and air pollution including global warming gases and lower maintenance (no oil changes, tune ups, muffler or catalytic converter repairs in your EV). Instead Whoriskey starts off with a sarcastic title followed by an anecdote of a goofy EV from 1894 that can go 15 miles per hour (mph). Does he balance this by mentioning that today’s electric vehicles that are available for sale can blow the doors off that? Or that the electric Tesla sports car can go 0 to 60 mph in 3.7 seconds, faster than most gasoline cars? Not a peep. Or a toot !

Then he hammers on lithium batteries, which have only begun to be developed. Yeah they cost a lot now, but so did the first $200 cell phones that were as big as a shoe box. Technology improvements are making lithium batteries cheaper and safer every day. But you would never know that from Whoriskey’s article.
If Whoriskey can’t provide any balance in his articles, how about running another pro-EV article right next to it?