Germany has nearly as much solar-powered electrical generation than the rest of the world combined,. Friday (5/25) and Saturday (5/26) solar power fulfilled one-third and half of its electrical needs respectively, setting a new record of 22 gigawatts per hour. In the wake of Japan's Fukushima nuclear plant disaster, Germany intends shuttering all of its nuclear power plants by 2022. Germany is considered the world leader in the use of renewable energy, with 20 percent of its energy needs supplied by wind, solar and biomass.
Tesla Motors Inc. announced that it will be delivering its highly anticipated Model S electric sedan beginning June 22, nearly a month early. Based in Palo Alto, the company indicated that it does not expect to fill the nearly 10,000 orders for the premium electric car by the end of the year. Prices for the Model S range from $49,900 to $97,900 even after the $7,500 tax credit. The automaker is expected to sell 3,000 cars this year, 13,000 and 19,000 for the next 2 years, according to Morgan Stanley, making it the first U.S.
Apple, the maker of the ubiquitous iPad and iPhone, announced plans to power their new data center in Maiden, North Carolina entirely by renewable energy. Announced this week, the facility is expected to garner 60% of its energy needs from a battery of fuel cells and 2 onsite solar cell arrays.
A paper released by Nature Climate Change reveals that Americans are willing to pay more for clean energy, but not a lot more. The study, based on a survey of 1,010 people, indicated that US citizens are inclined to pay an average of $162 more per year for a national clean energy standard (NCES) that would require 80 percent clean energy by 2035.
Since the financial crisis, not much has been heard of Zenn Motor Company, Canada's plucky little electric car maker. No longer making automobiles since 2009, their stock recently reached junk bond status at below 70 cents, but they're still around. Focusing on their EEStor ESU barium titanate ceramic battery, Zenn announced this week that a new private placement had raised $2 million in capital. Although the infusion of cash has helped raise their stock price to over $1.60, it seems unlikely they'll be making automobiles anytime soon.
Ford Motor Co. CEO Alan Mulally revealed at the Brainstorm Green conference in California that the cost for their Focus electric car costs between $12,000 and $15,000 apiece. The 23 kilowatt-hour battery pack weighs between 600 and 700 pounds. A closely guarded secret, industry mavens have estimated EV battery costs between $500 and $1,000 per kilowatt-hour, but Ford is paying between $522 and $650 a kilowatt-hour. To help lower the cost of batteries to $300 a kilowatt-hour by next year, the U.S. Department of Energy is helping fund manufacturing capacity.
AS part of demonstration project, Chrysler Group, LLC delivered 8 plug-in hybrid Town and Country Minivans to Duke Energy to be used and evaluated over the next 2 years. The project, in partnership with the U.S. Department of Energy, developed the vehicles to gather data on performance under real-world conditions. Duke Energy, headquartered in Charlotte, NC, anticipates all of its new vehicles be plug-in hybrids after 2020.
The market for electric buses and taxis will rise 8.7 times from 2012 to 2022, says Reportlinker.com's new market research report entitled Electric Buses and Taxis 2012-2022. The full report, priced at about $4000 seems geared towards busy marketing and PR firms. Uniquely up-to-date, the thorough guide forecasts marketing, manufacturing and trending forecasts but seems out of reach to the average consumer.
Over 1000 people gathered in Brattleboro, VT on Saturday (2012.04.14) to protest the continued operation of Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power Plant. Including speeches by U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders and Gov. Peter Shumlin, the event was peaceful, unlike a March 22 protest in which 130 people were cited for trespassing. The Vermont legislature voted to decommission the plant, one of the oldest in the nation. However, the NRC issued a 20 year extension which is undergoing a legal challenge from the state.
According to Ward's AutoInfoBank (subscription required), 52,000 electric and hybrid automobiles were bought in March, 2012. 34,000 were bought in March, 2011. Combined, the two categories comprised a record 3.64% of total U.S. automobile sales. The former monthly record was 3.56% in July, 2009, encouraged by the Cash for Clunkers program. Rising gasoline prices are seen as a motivating force in the marketplace, jumping 19 cents/gallon in March and penetrating the $4 barrier in California.