Solar powered Prius

August 14, 2008

Now that’s what I’m talking about!  In our quest for a new car for me, we are hoping to hold out until the Prius with the solar panels is sold.  That gives a whole new meaning to “sun roof” doesn’t it?  If you are interested, you can read about it in this article from Treehugger.  Who knows if this will actually happen, but according to this Reuters article, Toyota has announced their plans to add panels to the high end Prius in 2009.  It will power the air conditioning.  Isn’t that cool (pun intended)?  We’ll see if my little Saturn can hold out that long, and if this actually comes to pass.  If you have a first gen Prius, will you be upgrading if this actually happens? Please comment, and have a nice day!


Electric car – the Zap Xebra

June 23, 2008

Here’s another article about an Electric Car. This time, the focus is on the Zap Xebra, which can go up to 40 mph and which can run for 25 miles until it needs to be charged. That would get me to work, sure, but it wouldn’t be safe for me to drive on the highway.  Boo hiss.  Also, I’m not sure I’m a fan of the body design.  I’m don’t care about the stares it may receive, but something about it being essentially a motorcycle? Now that has me a bit worried.  Around town , yes, but on the highway? The car companies have got to try a bit harder.

Electric Cars

June 21, 2008

Tony found me a great article today that talks about electric cars.  Thanks, Tony! Too bad that the one that can go more than 25 mph is over $100,000!  Maybe someday they’ll make a highway friendly car that is reasonably affordable.  Has anyone out there converted a Prius?

Tesla car batteries

March 15, 2008

MY husband sent me this link to a story about Tesla batteries today and how they can be safely recycled because they don’t contain that much bad stuff (great simplification on my part). If you much about the subject, please comment, thanks!

And thanks for the link, Tony!

Hybrid cars…diesel?

March 4, 2008

A few kind folks let me know the other day that there are many, many other options besides the Toyota Prius for a hybrid car.  Thanks, everyone, because I hadn’t really seen much advertising for anything else (except maybe Saturn’s Vue line).  Now at least I have a few other companies to look into.

Someone mentioned that a diesel hybrid is just around the corner.  Now that’s an interesting option.  I don’t really know that much about diesel electric hybrids, so I did a little surfing.  Here is a white paper about diesel electric hybrid technology.  It sounds like there aren’t many (any?) options yet for the average joe or jane, but hey, if you happen to drive a bus or delivery truck, get on the diesel electric bandwagon!  🙂  Hopefully options for individual car owners will be forthcoming sooner rather than later.  The question for me is, will my little “Saturn that could” car of 10 years hold out until then?

If you are interested in more information about the topic, the folks at the Diesel Technology Forum are hosting a webinar entitled “Diesel Hybrids: The Best of Both Worlds” on March 13.

A few websites for electric and hybrid cars

March 2, 2008

I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned it in a previous post or not, but the reason I’m looking into a hybrid car, is that my car is getting old.  My Saturn has served me well, but it is nine years old now.  I’m approaching 100,000 miles on the car.  While we won’t get rid of it, I need to start researching other car options.

That being said, I’ve been thinking about hybrids.  And heck, while I’m at it, I’m going to shoot for the moon and do some researching about electric cars, too.

Probably the closest resource I would have to learn about electric car conversions would be the Fox Valley Electric Auto Association, the Northern Illinois chapter of the Electric Auto Association.   There is also a plug-in hybrid interest group at the EAA as well.  Finally, there is Davis Electric Cars, based in California.  They have a car called the ZENN (Zero Emission,  No Noise) but unfortunately it looks like it tops out at about 35 miles per hour.  Definitely not something I could drive on the expressway.  Oh, and did I mention they are in California??  OK, so maybe not the best option for someone who lives in the Midwest, but perhaps this post can help someone looking for an electric car (or scooter) that lives on the West Coast.

Hybrids and Plug-ins

March 1, 2008

I ran into someone at work today who owns a Honda Civic Hybrid.  I didn’t even realize there was another family hybrid car other than the Toyota Prius.  It is good to know of alternatives!  I also checked out a book today about Plug-in Hybrid cars, entitled: Plug-in Hybrids: The Cars That Will Recharge America.  I can’t wait to read through it!