Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Autonomy


A while back, I encountered a man who had rigged up his own electric car with the added functional virtue of charging itself with powerful solar panels on its roof. He said his initial investment in components (superduper batteries, photovoltaics) may have been expensive compared to Petroleum burning cars, but now he never has to pay for fuel, since he doesn't even have to plug it in. I wish I knew how to make one.

20 comments:

Dido said...

How fantastic! I wonder how fast it goes. Mind you, that wouldn't really work here in Scotland... do you get enough sun in Willits you think?

Olivier said...

c'est une très bonne idée, et bravo au bricoleur. voila une belle alternative au pétrole. la peinture de Taz est superbe, cela rend bien.

is a very good idea, and bravo to the handyman. voila a nice alternative to oil. Taz painting is beautiful, it makes good.

Benjamin Madison said...

Great idea! I bought an electric bicycle about 6 weeks ago and I love it. I have to plug it in at night but it only costs about a dime to charge it up for the next day's travel.

Jim said...

Very cool, even has Taz on the front.

Hilda said...

Oh wow, that's fantastic! I just wish alternative/renewable sources of energy weren't so expensive though. But the way petroleum prices have been going up, they'll look much more affordable very soon.

D.C. Confidential said...

Cool car! Reminds me of a little solar powered toy car I bought at the Discovery Channel store a few years ago!

I wish cars like this were widely available. Our use of fossil fuels is so illogical it defies comprehension.

Kelly said...

I wish we all knew how to make one.

USelaine said...

Dido - I think it's goes up to about 25 mph, so is not qualified for the highways, but here in town the legal speed limits are in the 25-35 mph range. We're just below the 40th parallel, and have a long dry season, so getting sun isn't too hard.

Olivier, Jim - Tasmanian Devil fans are you? I think he bought the golf cart with that already on it.

Benjamin - I've been thinking about getting an electric scooter, but I'm kind of a wimp about braving the year-round weather conditions.

Hilda - Prices will keep going up, so the sooner we make the investment the better, I think.

DC - To quote the Good Witch Glinda, we've always had the power...

Kelly - If the the corporate controllers won't serve us, we must serve ourselves. Unfortunately, I'm just a slave to the engineers.

Knoxville Girl said...

I really like those solar panels. But I'd be ridin' with Yosemite Sam.

Rose said...

Let's steal it, Elaine. lol

Louis la Vache said...

Uh, maybe plug yourself in to the wall outlet while on roller skates?

(Editor to "Louis": 'You weren't invited here to make smart remarks. In fact, you weren't invited here at all!

"Louis" to Editor: 'Why don't you go take a bath with the electric hair dryer? I'm sure you will find it to be an (ahem) electrifying experience!)

"Louis" is buried deeper than his cowbell in a work project for the next several weeks. He will stop and visit, but may not stay long enough to 'sign the guest registry'.

Amy Wachspress said...

I have long wished to convert one of my cars to electric. I recently read that a Norwegian company will begin selling electric cars out of San Diego in 2009. But they cost about $20,000 each. I want one. Oh well. Amy

Tash said...

Clever man. Thanks for the tip on the code for theme day! It would take me months to figure that one out.

Meead Saberi K. said...

Sustainable! A green car.
Thanks for sharing.

USelaine said...

KG - I would have chosen the Roadrunner!

Rose - It's clear you have a very interesting mind.

Louis - I'm trying to picture a cow on roller skates first of all, then...

Amy - I so envy those Norwegians too! I heard somewhere that they already have hydrogen powered cars on the road! We must demand more progress sooner.

Tash - Glad to help. There's all sorts of info tucked away in those hidden drop-downs.

Meead - The time is NOW, and if you are an engineer, you have the power of knowledge to make things happen, like this guy did.

He made it clear that this was just a "one-off" and he wasn't making these cars as a business. But it proves that it can be done, and I say, let's designate lanes and whole roads exclusively for the sensibly slow electric vehicles now, with solar powered charging stations where those emergency telephones used to be. Okay, enough soapbox for now...

Petrea said...

Oh gosh, he could sell the plans for big bucks!

Rose said...

Hahaha...
And you are so diplomatic! lol

Dina said...

Very cool! We used to use golf carts (Workhorse) for livestock work at Heifer Ranch. They are all about sustainability. We should send them a link to this post.

Halcyon said...

Funny!

USelaine said...

Dina - The only difference is the expensive solar collector on the roof, and the power storage batteries to keep it self contained. It was already an electric car, so folks with the know-how should be able to rig it (if the components are still available in this tight market!).

Halcyon - Having a cartoon on the front cracks me up - like it belongs in an amusement park!