Self-Driving Automative Technology hits the E-Mobility Space

E-mobility is all about changing the way we drive. So it makes sense that there are now calls to embrace self-driving technology. The idea of a car driving itself used to be the work of science fiction, but today there are prototypes that show us exactly how that might look.

Smarter technology would allow a connected car to be “always on”, wirelessly communicating with the internet. While critics of this type of technology argue that it would be next to impossible to shield motorists from hacking attempts, there are so many benefits to self-driving cars that we wanted to talk about it a little bit more.

Self-Driving Automative Technology

1. The Disabled Reclaim Their Freedom

Those with disabilities no longer have to worry about flaky handlers or transportation systems. With self-driving cars on the road, they could simply get in and tell the car where they want to go. They would be safe because the vehicle is sensing any and all obstacles that come in the way. The car would know how fast to go, when to slow down, when to brake and they could always emergency stop the vehicle if necessary. This would go far beyond the hand controls that are installed in some cars today to address the needs of people who are paralyzed below the waist.

2. Increased Growth for Automakers

An extended study of the e-mobility space by PriceWaterhouseCooper indicated that cars with this type of technology could truly become hot commodities, boasting sales of over 100 billion euros by 2021.

Is this what’s meant by disruptive technology? Somewhat, but it’s so much more. Read more

How Efficient are Today’s solar panels, anyway?

Are you thinking about switching over to photovoltaic (solar) energy? You’ve come to the right guide! We think that solar technology is incredible, but the public really doesn’t have a lot of information. Most people that are open about switching to solar come off as fringe folks that are distrusting, rather than people simply focused on a better world for all of us. The truth is that the old ways of getting energy to power our lives may not always be around. Wouldn’t it be better to convert energy from the sun, which is a renewable resource, rather than simply fall back on tradition, which could be depleted in our lifetimes?

So let’s talk about what solar panels really are. They are a group of solar cells. Each cell has energy producing abilities, but when you put them together you get a panel. The panel can handle a lot more than a mere cell, of course.

solar technology

The efficiency of solar energy is something that people speculate on. Generally speaking, most popular solar packages on the market can convert around 15% of the total energy available from the sun. Now, that’s going to be a low number to a lot of people. But one area that people are looking at would be the concentration of solar panels. This is exciting because it means that we could harness up to 40-50%, rather than the normal 15%. Read more

Addressing Recharging Needs of the Electric Car

Interested in electromobility? The ultimate goal would be getting an electric car. When we talk about electric vehicles with people, they instantly start imagining all of their troubles fading away. No more gas stations! No more stinky gas! No more risk of fire! Everything will be just perfect. The truth is that electric vehicles bring a lot of benefits to the table, but there are still some drawbacks. One of the biggest things that you will have to think about if you’re serious about getting an electric vehicle is that you’ll have to think about where you can charge the car. You can charge your car at home but what about when you go on the road? You’re basically at the mercy of charging stations that you find along the way. More cities are rolling out charging stations, but there may be some problems as you go from the city into a more rural area.

Recharging Electric Car

When it comes to electric vehicles, the amount of miles that you can go is determined by a few factors.

First and foremost, you have to think about the weather. While you’re probably used to thinking about the weather because of driving conditions, you need to think about the weather in terms of how it’s going to affect your battery life on the vehicle. When the weather is very hot, you’re going to have problems with the total range that you can go on a single charge. The battery will wear down much faster in extreme heat or when it’s super cold compared to a moderate day with just a little bit of rain. Humidity can also play a factor in battery life. If you’re planning a trip, make sure that you plan accordingly.

Next, you want to look at how you drive. If you tend to be a gas pedal hog, you’re going to burn up a lot of the battery’s energy. Same with braking really hard. Some electric vehicles let you recapture some of the energy as you go with gentle breaks. Gentle handling of your vehicle prevents losing the large driving range that you’ve come to depend on.

Finally, think about your comfort level in the vehicle itself. If you’re driving in the winter, chances are good that you’re going to want to run the heat to stay warm. Same with the summer: the air conditioner inside the vehicle will become your best friend. These things are going to affect the range you get out of the battery. The windshield wipers and headlights are also going to play a role in how long your battery lasts, as these are all systems that will tap into the battery.

Does this mean that electric vehicles aren’t useful? Not at all. If anything, itís good to see how effective electric vehicles can be. Also, as there are more and more charging stations being built, you will not have to worry as much about running on a single charge than you were in the beginning.

Germany’s 2020 Electromobility Plan Is Amazing

Germany’s certainly trying to lead the world in terms of electromobility, and one way to do that is to have a clear vision of the technology and its applications in society. Reducing energy emissions is a good thing, and we need to look at any and all solutions that will allow us to get things done. Instead of pouring through all of the official documents yourself, we created a guide for you that breaks down exactly what Germany plans to have in place by 2020. Given how massive electromobility has become, it’s interesting that these goals are estimated to be completed in a little less than 5 years time. Amazing!

The first thing you should know is that this plan was not created in a vacuum. It is a partnership between the Federal Ministry of Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi), Building and Urban Affairs, the Federal Ministry of Transport, the Federal Ministry for the Environment, the Federal Ministry for Education and Research, and the Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety group. The idea for this started back in 2007, to address the problem of energy emissions as well as more efficient vehicles.

Electromobility Plan

The National Electromobility Development Plan covers nearly 500 million Euros worth of incentives to promote better vehicles, as well as the energy storage devices that these vehicles need. Given the scope of this project and the desire to have a million e-vehicles on the road by 2020, the plan has been expanded with an addition one billion Euros.

One of the main points of the plan is to support the batteries that will run these electric vehicles. The new generation of batteries will need to have a larger capacity, as most drivers go very long distances. Charging stations along the way are ideal, but it will take some time before the full infrastructure is in place. There’s no reason that we have to wait until every single charging station is in place, of course. With larger battery arrays, the vehicles can go longer on a single charge.

The plan calls for 500 million Euros of funding for a national innovation program just to account for this issue. Germany is set on reducing over 34 million tons of CO2 by 2020. Auto manufacturers have been following hits news carefully and responding to the challenge very well. The German Association of the Automotive Industry indicates that there are already over 250 cars in production that meet the CO2 target level. It is assumed that there are additional cars to follow. Read more

Green Energy – 3 Ways to Reduce Your Energy Bills

There are so many different benefits to green energy, but one of the most important is reducing your bills. Simply by paying a little more attention to the energy in your home can play a major role in the money you spend each month. However, some of the examples here today take longer to get an ROI.

#1 Sealing “Drafty” Areas

Take a look around your home and you will most likely find air seeping in or out of your home. One of the first places to check is your front door. It’s always been a major culprit in older homes, and just by putting a blanket in front of it, you could save tons of money on your energy bill. However, if you want to purchase something a little more “stylish,” then we recommend a rubber seal made for the bottom of your door. When company comes over they won’t even notice it’s a separate piece from the door.


Other areas you might consider checking are:

* The Garage – If you own an older home, there could be holes in your garage that lead to the basement. Anytime you open the basement door, you could be letting cold air in the home. You can eliminate this by filling the holes with caulking foam.

* The Windows – Another major energy killer, older windows always seem to let in some type of air. During the winter you can seal the windows with plastic. When the plastic bubbles, you know there is a leak in that window. You could also replace the window(s), but this could cost thousands of dollars. The return on your investment could take a long time to recuperate.

#2 Green Energy Lighting

You won’t notice the benefits right away, but purchasing different lighting for your home can be a big money saver. Depending on how many lights you have in your house (or apartment), will depend on the length of time it takes to get your money back. Most energy saving lights today will last double to quadruple the hours of an old-fashioned light bulb.

We recommend purchasing enough for the entire home in order to receive the biggest savings.

#3 Major Appliances w/Energy Star

Appliances with the Energy Star tag came out back in the late 1980s-early 1990s. These are built specifically to help save you money. These items are a little more expensive than buying plastic or caulking foam, but the overall benefits are much higher on a financial level.

Some of the appliances to consider are:

* Dishwasher

* Dryer

* Hot Water Heater

* Microwave

* Refrigerator

* Washer

It seems like an oxy-moron to tell you to spend money in order to save it, but the big picture is more important. Just by taking advantage of the three suggestions above, any household will save thousands of dollars over the next decade. If you truly want to enjoy the savings, and then put away all the money you save on the energy bills each month. Over time this money will visibly build and can be spent in other financial areas, or maybe a vacation.