Plugin Electrics vs All Electric Battery EVs, Epic Throwdown?

On September 3, 2013, in Blog, by Neal Dikeman

I get this every time I discuss EVs.  Something along the lines of oh, you shouldn’t be including PHEVs in with EVs, they don’t count, or are not real EVs, just a stopgap etc. I tend to think PHEVs may be better product.  At least for now.  And I follow the GM’s Chevy Volt vs […]

A Tale of Two EVs

On April 15, 2013, in Blog, by Richard T. Stuebi

Albert Einstein once said:  “Make everything as simple as possible, but no simpler.”  Pundits always pursue the former, but often fail to uphold the latter. Such has been the case recently in regards to the prospects for electric vehicles.  Will electric vehicles be commercially successful or won’t they?  As often happens, there is superficial evidence […]

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Why is it So Hard to Make Money in New Battery Technology?

On January 18, 2013, in Blog, by Neal Dikeman

Energy storage is still the rage in cleantech.  But after the collapse of A123 and Beacon, and the spectacular failure on the Fisker Karma in its Consumer Reports tests, fire  in Hawaii with Xtreme Power’s lead acid grid storage system and with NGK’s sodium sulphur system, and now battery problems grounding the Boeing Dreamliners, investors […]

Bettering Batteries

On July 23, 2012, in Blog, by Richard T. Stuebi

I recently got an email entitled “Trojan Tips”.  Hmmmm, wonder what that could be about?  Alas, upon scrolling down from the subject line, I found the message provided advice from the battery manufacturer Trojan about proper battery management practices. The more you get into cleantech, the more you realize how central a role is played by […]

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It’s A Nano World

On December 19, 2011, in Blog, by Richard T. Stuebi

For the uninitiated, “nanotechnology” refers to the science of the very small, engineering particles and their corresponding materials at the nanometer scale.  For a sense of perspective, at one-billionth of a meter, a nanometer is about 1/60,000 of the width of a human hair, so we’re talking engineering not just at the microscopic scale, but the […]

Assaulting Batteries

On November 7, 2011, in Blog, by Richard T. Stuebi

A radical breakthrough in energy storage has long been considered the “holy grail” of cleantech.  With ubiquitous, scalable, reliable and (most importantly) low-cost energy storage, two main thrusts of cleantech adoption will be debottlenecked:  much deeper penetration of zero-emitting and limitless but intermittent solar and wind into the electricity generation mix, and significantly reduced needs for fueled internal […]

The Elusive Energy Storage Yeti

On June 8, 2011, in Blog, by Neal Dikeman

Large scale energy has proven almost as elusive a Yeti, and perhaps almost as all world saving juicy as the silver bullet for the werewolf or the Holy Grail itself (and not the Monty Python kind). Energy storage for nearly 15 years has been the energy tech and cleantech version of the ultimate “but-if”.  I.E., […]

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Hola, Tres Amigas!

On February 15, 2011, in Blog, by Richard T. Stuebi

by Richard T. Stuebi Something grand is emerging on the vast dusty plains of West Texas and Eastern New Mexico. Tres Amigas is an ambitious scheme to interconnect the three primary power grids in the U.S. — the Western grid known as WECC, the Eastern grid known as the Eastern Interconnection, and the Texas grid known […]

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Cleantech and the Future of GM

On February 8, 2011, in Blog, by John Addison

GM Ventures is focused on investing in innovative and early stage companies. Jon Lauckner, President GM Ventures, has been busy since GM Ventures was established last June and he was promoted from head of GM global product planning. GM Ventures has invested in Bright Automotive, which has designed an advanced plug-in hybrid delivery van with much greater cargo space than Ford’s Transit Connect Electric. GM has invested in two advanced next generation biofuel corporations – Mascoma and Coskata. Given the success of the Amyris IPO, these investments could should a high return for GM.

Ford Focus Electric takes on Nissan LEAF

On January 11, 2011, in Blog, by John Addison

Ford has officially announced the Ford Focus Electric, a new aerodynamic 5-door hatchback with an expected range of 100 miles per charge. This 5-seat car matches the specs that I published after my test drive of the Focus Electric in May 2010. First consumer deliveries of the all-new Focus Electric will start towards the end of this year. At that point Ford will have solid EV experience and probably have delivered thousands of Ford Transit Connect Electric Vans to delivery and service fleets.

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Right Time for Better Place?

On December 27, 2010, in Blog, by Richard T. Stuebi

by Richard T. Stuebi Although the benefits of electric vehicles (EVs) have long been intuitively understood, EV market adoption has been limited by various issues associated with batteries.  Batteries cost too much and are too heavy/bulky, the operating range an EV is too short, and there’s no convenient way to recharge batteries with the speed […]

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It’s About China, Stupid

On October 25, 2010, in Blog, by Richard T. Stuebi

by Richard T. Stuebi In the energy sector, it’s becoming increasingly clear that the name of the game — whatever game you wanna talk about — is China. My favorite recent contribution to this strain of literature was a blog entry from late August written by the Center for Geoeconomic Studies at the Council on […]

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More Charge for Grid Storage

On August 2, 2010, in Blog, by Richard T. Stuebi

by Richard T. Stuebi While battery technology has been the subject of intensive focus for vehicular applications since the emergence of hybrid electric vehicles over the past few years, much less attention has been paid to batteries for the electric grid. Although energy storage for the power grid offers great promise to augment the smart […]

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Rare Earth

On April 5, 2010, in Blog, by Richard T. Stuebi

by Richard T. Stuebi Remember the white soul group on the Motown label, Rare Earth? If you do, sorry: this posting isn’t about them…. Nope, it’s about the fact that rare earth metals represent a unique problem — and opportunity — in the cleantech realm. As PBS reported on “Newshour” a few months ago (transcript […]

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Meeting the Energy and Climate Challenge

On March 16, 2010, in Blog, by John Addison

Dr. Steven Chu, Secretary of Energy and co-winner of the Nobel Prize for Physics (1997) delivered this speech “Meeting the Energy and Climate Challenge” at Stanford University on March 7, 2010, where he was formerly a professor. Dr. Chu called on the students and faculty to take part in a new Industrial Revolution. At the […]

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Batteries ‘R’ Us

On February 22, 2010, in Blog, by Richard T. Stuebi

by Richard T. Stuebi Of all the cleantech technology sectors, the one I can least keep track of is batteries. For those of you who want to keep pulse of this dynamic arena, a new blog called This Week in Batteries is just what you might be looking for. The host of this blog is […]

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Plugging Electric Vehicles

On November 2, 2009, in Blog, by Richard T. Stuebi

by Richard T. Stuebi Much has been written about the planned release by General Motors (NYSE: GM) of the Chevy Volt, a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle. When GM launches the vehicle, now slated for late 2010, it plans to sell tens of thousands of them. As profiled in an article in the August 24 issue […]

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BlogRoll Review: Space Beams, Leaded Batteries, and Sins

On April 16, 2009, in Blog, by Frank Ling

This seems like something out of a James Bond movie. There is a startup, Solaren, which is trying to build panels in space that converts sunlight into a radio frequency beam aimed at a receiving station near Fresno. The station then converts the radio waves into electricity. Megan Treacy at EcoGeek says: “If everything goes […]

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Battery Breakthrough?

On April 21, 2008, in Blog, by Richard T. Stuebi

by Richard T. StuebiI recently was sent an article about electric cars. It profiles the Lightning GT, a 700 hp electric sports car that can accelerate to sixty mph in four seconds. To me, the news is not so much about the Lightning GT as it is about the batteries being used in the car. […]

Cleantech Blogroll Review: Sulfur, Flipper, and Cellulose

On March 7, 2008, in Blog, by Frank Ling

by Frank Ling Sulfur Batteries The EPA has banned sulfur in gasoline but not in batteries. Sulfur, in the form of a sodium salt, has been used as large-scale storage systems. Pioneered in Japan, these batteries are gaining acceptance in the US as a reliable form of energy storage. Due to the intermittent nature of […]

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