Solar power on electric cars has yet to become a common feature, but Tesla is about to change that – starting with the Cybertruck electric pickup.
Electric Vehicle expert and Electrek writer Fred Lambert, has discussed solar roofs on EVs before, most recently with the one on the latest Prius Prime, but a recurring problem is that they rarely generate enough power to be worth it.
According to Lambert, the solar cells on the Prius Prime’s roof were estimated to generate enough power to add about 2 miles of range during the day. However, solar power technology has been improving greatly, and it is increasingly starting to make more sense.
There are even startups, like Sono Motors and Lightyear, developing electric vehicles mainly powered through onboard solar power.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk has been looking into the idea for years.
In 2017, he said that he pushed his Tesla engineers to look into integrating solar cells on Model 3, but they concluded that it wasn’t worth it at the time.
Two years later, things have changed.
After the launch of the Cybertruck, Musk said that Tesla’s new electric pickup truck will have a solar roof option that will add 15 miles of range per day.
It’s the first time that a solar roof system has been confirmed to be coming to a Tesla vehicle.
Tesla has yet to open the configurator for the Cybertruck and therefore, the price or availability of the solar roof feature for the Cybertruck is still unknown.
The automaker is aiming to release the Cybertruck in late 2021. Go deeper here. LINK
(source: Boston Globe)
Meet Greentown Labs CEO Emily ReichertEmily Reichert is CEO of Greentown Labs, which bills itself as the largest cleantech startup incubator in North America. As the company’s first employee, Reichert has spearheaded the rapid growth of the Somerville incubator into a global hub for climate tech and cleantech innovation, attracting visitors and partners from around the world.
Listen to a fascinating interview as she takes us behind the scenes of this innovation factory. Ms. Reichert explains the differences between clean tech and climate tech while helping us appreciate the urgency of transitioning to a low-carbon economy. LINK
“I still do not get why Silicon Valley largely scorns green tech — except that perhaps it is a lot harder to get right than offering a new app in which teenagers can do dance-offs.”
–Kara Swisher, NY Times
In a stinging editorial, touted tech journalist Kara Swisher, takes Silicon Valley to task for its pitiful investments in decarbonization and failure to take on climate change in a meaningful way.
The amount of investment and innovation aimed at green technology remains stubbornly low compared with other tech sectors; with most of the high-profile investments come from the likes of Bill Gates and Elon Musk.
But in the same way that tech ignores the benefits of diversity — which many studies have shown to be a key signal of a successful organization — it continues to ignore the benefits of green tech. It’s a big mistake.
Stay woke on carbon and climate. Go deep at carbon.substack.com
#climate #carbon #siliconvalley
(Source: Nikola Motors)
“We are not talking about small improvements; we are talking about doubling the range of BEVs and hydrogen-electric vehicles around the world,” said Trevor Milton, founder and chief executive of Nikola.
That’s the word from Phoenix based Nikola Motors. The breakthrough supposedly relies on modifications to current lithium-ion batteries rather than replacing them entirely. Those modifications involve removing the binder material and electric current collectors used in today’s cells, resulting in smaller, lighter batteries with faster charging capability. The new and improved batteries are said to be able to handle 2000 charge/discharge cycles — about double the standard for today’s batteries.
Stay woke on carbon and climate. Go deep at carbon.substack.com
#climate #carbon #batteries
By the end of the century, the global electricity system may need to be five times larger to meet projected population growth, rising standards of living, and the “electrification” of larger parts of the economy. That includes the growing use of electricity to fuel cars, run stoves, and heat buildings.
“If we stick to the average rate of clean energy additions during the last five years, it would take about 360 years to build a system (of that size), If we did it at the fastest rate in the last five years, it’d still take nearly 260 years.” - Seaver Wang, Breakthrough Institute
And, of course, all of it will need to be carbon free.
Building such a system fast enough to limit global warming to 2˚C would require our annual rate of clean energy additions to quintuple by 2040, according to arecent analysis by the Breakthrough Institute. MIT Review
(photo credit: Axios)
Royal Dutch Shell has tightened its grip on Australia's energy market with the purchase of a 49% stake of utility-scale PV developer ESCO Pacific, just weeks after the oil major completed an AU$617 million (US$425 million) acquisition of one of the country’s largest electricity retailers, ERM Power.
"Shell, the world’s second-largest oil player, unveiled plans in March to become the biggest global power producer within 15 years and has committed to pour US$2 billion a year into clean energy investments."
Shell’s growing appetite for investments in the global electricity supply chain has included the acquisition of German battery firm Sonnen and British C&I supplier Hudson Energy, on top of sponsoring major utility-scale PV developments in Texas and purchasing stakes in Bangalore-based rooftop solar firm Orb Energy and French floating wind developer EOLFI. PV Tech
(photo credit: Getty)
The solar economy continues its dramatic growth, with over a half-terawatt already installed around the world generating clean electricity. But what happens to photovoltaic (PV) modules at the end of their useful life? With lifespans measured in decades, PV-waste disposal may seem to be an issue for the distant future. Yet, the industry ships millions of tons every year, and that number will continue to rise as the industry grows.
Total e-waste—including computers, televisions, and mobile phones—is around 45 million metric tons annually. By comparison, PV-waste in 2050 will be twice that figure. Scientific American
Tesla’s CYBRTRCK pickup made its global debut last week to roaring cheers, some criticism and sighs of relief from Detroit automakers. The pickup features a unique trapezoidal design that’s unlike anything ever produced outside of sci-fi movies. The truck will be available in 2021. Business Insider
Rocky Mountain Institute's (RMI) latest report, Breakthrough Batteries: Powering the Era of Clean Electrification, shows that cost and performance improvements are quickly outpacing forecasts, as increased demand for EVs, grid-tied storage, and other emerging applications creates positive feedback loops for further investment and research, setting the stage for mass adoption. Now, analysts expect the capital cost for new battery manufacturing capacity to drop by more than half from 2018 to 2023.