Archive for the ‘environment’ tag
Check out this article in the NY Times (Batteries Not Included) about Project Better Place, an Israeli company that is seeking to introduce battery-powered cars into the mainstream market in Israel. Their innovation is that they will introduce kiosks all over the country (Israel, Denmark and Hawaii are the pilot markets) that will feature automated robots to switch your used battery for a new one.
Unlike most electric-car technologies, which generally require you to plug your car into a power source and recharge an onboard battery for hours, the Better Place robot is designed to reach under the chassis of an electric car, pluck its battery out and replace it with a new one, much the same way you’d put new batteries in a child’s toy.
You pay for the miles like you pay for minutes on your mobile phone plan (and the company and tax breaks subsidize the car). No more oil, just solar energy.
“You always have to start with the science,” Agassi says, riding shotgun in his sister’s hybrid. “There’s nothing better than taking a photon, converting it to an electron and converting that to motion. Physicswise, you can’t beat that. The rules of energy conservation say that the minute you turn energy into a molecule” — into oil — “you’ve lost.
“Everybody says we have an energy-dependency problem,” he continues. “It’s not true. We have an oil-dependency problem. We can’t make oil. But all the rest of the energy we know how to make. Seriously. We know how to make it.”
Awesome idea, and a few decades ahead of its time (just wait until the oil starts to run out in a few decades).
And speaking of solar energy, did you know that Israel is the world’s leader in solar energy per capita (3% of total enery, as of 2007) thanks to laws in the early 80′s requiring all new homes to be built with solar panels). My only complaint is that while solar panels for heating water in homes is common-place, you still cannot line your roof with solar panels to supply your own energy for all household needs, and pump electricity back into the grid, as you can do in many other countries. The Feed-In Tarrif approved last year is a good start, but I would like to see the same thing approved so that solar energy can be produced and used on a private level as well.