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Author Topic: CAR TECHNOLOGY - Electric ride powering a transportation revolution  (Read 1038 times)
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WhiskeyGirl
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« on: July 08, 2008, 09:14:00 PM »

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GARY MASON

gmason@globeandmail.com

July 7, 2008

The Solar Taxi made a pit stop in Vancouver last week. At the wheel was Swiss adventurer Louis Palmer, who set off from Lucerne almost a year ago in his quest to become the first person to circumnavigate the globe in an electric car.

Thirty-two thousand kilometres down, 18,000 km to go. Mr. Palmer is hoping to traverse five continents and visit 40 countries as he spreads the word about the Swiss technology fuelling his journey.

But perhaps more than anything, he is focusing attention on the profound revolution under way in the world of electric car technology.

The Solar Taxi uses solar cells to absorb light and a new high-energy battery made from common salt, ceramics and nickel. It can travel about 300 km on a single charge. The battery can be charged about 1,000 times, which would allow the vehicle to travel between 200,000 and 400,000 km.

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Renault-Nissan, meantime, is entering into a massive electric-car project with Israel. More than 500,000 electric-charging stations will be installed throughout the country to help power the up to 20,000 electric cars the company plans to begin shipping there in a few years time. The cars are expected to be able to travel 100 to 160 km on a single charge.

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The biggest concern consumers have about the electric car is its capacity, Mr. Chandler says. How far can it go? But most people aren't aware of just how little mileage capacity they actually need. According to Statistics Canada, Canadians drive an average of 50 km a week. And their average commute to work is 7.2 km.

"So 95 per cent of the time they don't need a car that can go 700 km on a tank of gas as cars do today," Mr. Chandler says. "An electric car that can go 150 km on a single charge is more than enough for most people."

read the whole story here -

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/GAM.20080707.BCMASON07/TPStory/TPComment

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