Energy Transition

Are you interested in energy transition?  A new, online DVD video is available from Switch Energy which seems to present this in a fairly unbiased way.  You can stream the DVD, or if you are a teacher, you can get the DVD.

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Toyota is Developing a new Fuel Cell Car

One of the interesting sites for updates on electric vehicles that we don’t normally consider is the German site  In this article, they discuss an upcoming vehicle from Toyota that should give a 375 mile range, done by recharging with hydrogen a fuel cell to make the electric power for the car.  Toyota’s aim is to be price competitive with other electric cars.  See:

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Energy Storage: JCESR Goes Beyond the Lithium Ion Frontier


Remember when Argonne Labs announced it’s JCESR research program.  I thought an update was in order.  George Crabtree, Director of the Joint Center for Energy Storage Research is giving an update this month, telling where JCESR is heading.  If you will remember their goals of 1/5 the cost of lithium, 5 times more powerful, and available in five years.  JCESR formed a consortium of 14 major institutions to push this forward, some national labs, some universities and some private companies. JCESR received a $120 million grant to develop the next generation of batteries, going beyond lithium ion.

The presentation is set for the Advanced Photon Source Auditorium at Argonne on the evening before the FVEAA meeting.  I hope to be able to update FVEAA at the meeting. The lecture is free to the public, and does require registration.  Once registered, you will be admitted to the poster session before, and light refreshments at a reception, the talk by Dr. Crabtree, and a Q&A session afterward.   You can register for the program online: or you can relax in your own home/shop/library to view a streaming session at:

I’ll keep you updated

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Canadians want their EV’s quiet . . . obviously for military/law enforcement reasons

Just about the time you think you know EV’s well, another EV study pops up in an unusual place, and using EV’s because of a different one of their strengths. The Canadian Government has commissioned a study of electric and hybrid electric snowmobiles for stealth use in clandestine operations in the Artic. Now I do understand that sound carries much longer distances above ground covered wth ice and frozen snow. The Canadian Department of National Defence (by the way the spelling in Canada, Australia, and Great Britian is “defence,” where we use “defense” in the US) has allocated $620,000 CAD for these studies. You say you remember the Canadian dollar being worth less? At current rates, $620,000 CAD is about $600,367 USD, Worth less . . . not so much. The US $ will buy $1.03 in Canadian dollars and the Royal Canadian Mint is no longer making pennies. They (the Royal Canadian Mint) are actually buying up the pennies in Canada (35 billion of them) and melting them to recycle the metals. So if you want to change your US dollar, you may simply get a Canadian dollar in return.

The Canadian Department of National Defence is vitally interested in sneaking up on outlaws in the wild artic areas. The government issued a preliminary report, but so much information was redacted (blacked out) that the report was quite difficult to read, and hard to see any conclusions.

Some Canadian policy experts have questioned if this is money wisely spent. Michael Byers, who teaches International Law at the University of British Columbia and a former federal NDP candidate said, ”I don’t see a whole lot of evidence that criminals and terrorists are scooting around Canada’s North on snowmobiles and that we have to sneak up on them.” Byers wondered if the defence officials have an obsession wth high technology, and stated the officials might not have an accurate picture of Canada’s actual needs. Byers added, “I can’t help but wonder whether they’ve been watching too many (James) Bond movies.”

Perhaps this is an acknowledgement (Can. sp.) that when we analyse (Can. sp) government behaviour (Can. Sp.) of our neighbour (Can. Sp.) it can be labelled (Can. sp.) with the same humour (Can. sp.) as ours.

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