The competition for greenest car is really heating up. My favorite is the Bolloré Bluecar, which will be available as a lease option in several European countries next year. That's OK with me because I am not an early adapter. People who willingly act as guinea pigs by paying exorbitant prices to be the first to purchase gadgets do us all a favor by helping manufacturers flush out bugs in new technology.
This car has in addition to an advanced solid-state Lithium Metal Polymer battery, a large ultra capacitor to handle regenerative braking and acceleration. If I were the engineer in charge of designing an electric car, this is just what I would be shooting for. It has a 150-mile range on a 6-hour charge. Purchase of a fast charger will let you get fifteen miles on a five-minute charge.
You have probably already heard about the low cost Honda Insight that will hit the U.S. market this summer:
Honda has received more than triple the 5,000 orders a month it was expecting…[Japanese sales of Insight].
Toyota is responding by keeping a lower cost Prius in the lineup but more importantly:
Chief Designer Akihiko Otsuka said Toyota is planning a smaller, cheaper hybrid based on its Yaris platform to take on the Insight.
I called this shot in an article I wrote last summer titled:
"Converting a Yaris into a plug-in Hybrid--Toyota may have something up its sleeve."
The trick is to call a lot of shots but only highlight the ones that panned out.
My oldest daughter absconded with my Yaris when she decided to come back to Seattle to finish college. I have been working on a 91' Tercel instead. Results of that conversion will be discussed in a future article, but don't hold your breath. Progress is painfully slow.
Outgreen: To be more active with respect to environmental concerns, or to be more environmentally conscious, than another.
I created a Wiktionary entry for this word just before writing this piece, which has already been edited and improved upon. It will eventually be removed if someone decides that it doesn't meet the criteria for inclusion. In theory, it should, assuming Friedman's Hot, Flat, and Crowded is considered a well-known work.
I'm not sure I like the definition as it stands. My first attempt at a definition was "To have a smaller environmental footprint or impact than a competitor." How would you define it?
The battery and capacitor of the blue car were developed by a French company called Bolloré. I have seen some wonderful stuff developed by French engineers. Boeing designed and analyzed the 777 in three dimensional Boolean solids using software developed by Dassault. It was an order of magnitude better than any other CAD software on the planet at the time (although it required a large complex of mainframes to run). It set the bar until it was eventually eclipsed by a competitor in the United States with even better software that ran on a PC platform, which Dassault immediately bought out.
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