There probably hasn't been a greater love affair with people and the vehicles they drive, ride. This can be traced all the way back to the days of horseback when horses were the most popular means of mass transit. People always took pride in what they rode, and how they maintained their transportation. Well today it really is no different, people want to like what they drive, or what is transporting them around, and they like to have a bit of personal connection with whatever their mode of transportation is. Well the could not have been better as there is an explosion when it comes to great energy efficient, clean vehicles that are ready to ignite a whole new love affair for people to enjoy. Here at ReNewable Transportation we will help to keep you in the know when it comes to what you can expect,what makes financial sense, and where you can see some of these great new vehicles and modes of transportation first hand.
Rhode Island politicians met with transit experts from around the country to discuss how to improve public transportation in the state. The event was covered by ReNewable Now and was presented by a group of public transit advocacy organizations, Coalition for Transportation Choices, which sponsored the forum on December 1, at the Rhode Island Convention Center. The event brought together Gov. Gina Raimondo, House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello and Senate President Teresa Paiva Weed who all spoke at "NEXT STOP: Making Mass Transit Work for Rhode Island." The event includes speakers from other cities that have improved their mass transit, including Hartford, Connecticut, Denver, Colorado and Minneapolis, Minnesota.
EV's SHOCK & AWE!
It's Real, and Happening Now!
If you haven't heard the news by now, you may have either been on vacation (hopefully at an environmentally friendly resort), glued to the World Cup, or just behind on updates. So what was the Big News? Last week, one of America's, and possibly one of the world's, most iconic brands announced that it's going electric. Harley Davidson revealed "Project Live Wire," its official entrance into the EV marketplace. This unique company was started in 1901 by two young entrepreneurs, William Harley and Arthur Davidson, eventually became the symbol of freedom in motorcycle touring across American roads. The Harley Davidson motorcycle had the reputation of being big, bad, and of course loud, and this was exactly what the rebellious generation of the 60s was looking for, as we see depicted in the 1969 film "Easy Rider."
But, as reported by FORBES back in July 2013, the Baby Boomer generation may have run its course as a viable market for HD as the article suggests:
"The problem is that its core customers belong to a generation that is now over 50 years old, primarily male, and mostly white. These consumers have oodles of money to spend (and fantasies yet to be realized), but many of the likeliest buyers have already bought bikes, and their aging bodies are going to demand that they find other, more sedate ways to add check marks to their bucket lists.
The effects of this transition are evident in the company’s sales. H-D sold 349,196 bikes in 2006, but only 247,625 last year, or a decrease of almost 30%. It still maintains healthy margins, runs a great business, and is still the dominant brand by far, but it dominates a portion of the motorcycle category that’s shrinking (think Bud and beer)."
So enter"Project Live Wire." For ReNewable Now, this makes all the sense in the world and we applaud Harley Davidson for moving in this direction. But what we want to do is help our audience connect the dots, follow the trends, and hopefully be ahead of the curve.
So lets start connecting, Harley Davidson to Formula E to Tesla to The U.S. Military.
Lets start with Formula E, Formula 1 and the FIA's answer to the future. Alejandro Agag, the Spanish entrepreneur and CEO of Formula E was asked recently whether or not current Formula 1 fans were going to be their target audience? This was his response: "We’re targeting a younger demographic, between 10 and 25 years old. For traditional motor sports, this is proving a very difficult group to reach—they’re the first young generation to actually lose interest in the sports. We hope to connect with them through our gaming platform and by implementing an aggressive social media strategy, but we’re not going to connect overnight. If we do manage to connect with them, though, the hope is that they will buy an electric vehicle when it comes time to buy their first car."
So lets move on, Elon Musk and Tesla, this young South African who immigrated to North America is showing leadership without fear of giving away his intellectual property. Last week he made an impressive announcement in that he was making Tesla patents available to the public in effort to promote growth within the EV Market place. Elon Musk, alla Steve Jobs salesmanship, also shows how Tesla provides a quicker re-charge solution, through their BATTERY SWAP, versus refueling.
Rounding off our final four in the United States Military with their new stealth electric dirt bike. In April 2014, Logos Technologies received a small business innovation research (SBIR) grant from DARPA (the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency) to develop a military-use hybrid-electric motorcycle with near-silent capability. When fully matured, the technology will allow small, distributed military teams to move long distances quickly and stealthily across harsh enemy terrain.
So when we look at these four uniquely different groups the common denominator is that they are all electric for the most part. But more importantly they are brands that we refer to as "OPINION LEADERS." What we are hearing, when we read between the lines, is that these brands are making EV's cool, and that they are looking to a new, younger, and more informed generation. But importantly they are making it fun. Now we know the U.S. Military may not be looked at as fun, the military is serious business. But we included them in this feature because it speaks overall of the acceptance of this technology. We feel at ReNewable Now that this EV revolution is happening faster than anyone would have ever predicted. With Harley Davidson, and Elon Musk's recent announcement, and the upcoming launch of the Formula E Grand Prix Series beginning this September we believe as these dots intersect along the timeline of history that change will compound much quicker than anyone would have imagined. Its exciting, and this is one "Shock & Awe" we welcome.
Can You Afford a Million Dollar Solar Powered Caravan?
The fuel savings resulting from towing this ultra light caravan compared to a standard van will take a little while to provide payback on the up-front cost.
A project of Global Caravan Technologies, the 10.3 metre CR-1 boasts an all-carbon fiber construction; dramatically decreasing its weight. Even inside the van, it's detailed in leather and carbon fiber styling.
With beds for six, it has rear entertainment/lounge area that doubles as workstation and also a walk-through master bathroom.
The RV was built without screws or fasteners and weighs about half that (2,700 kgs) of a traditional caravan of the same size. Global Caravan Technologies says an improvement in fuel consumption while towing in the range of 100 - 150% is attainable. The makers also claim the van is "an order of magnitude stronger of any RV that has existed before it."
A fully decked out CR-1 includes an integrated generator, a 700 watt solar panel system system with 300AH AGM deep cycle batteries. You can also have a washer and dryer installed, plus satellite TV and wi-fi router. There's even an option that will allow you to control the CR-1's various features via a smart phone.
Even with all that kit, there is a promise of plenty of space to move.
"We approached the development of the CR-Series with an absolute premium on interior space," said GCT’s CEO and Chief Product Architect Charles Hoefer late last year. "We have really pushed the envelope in taking a new design to market, which features a modern exterior, yet brilliantly spacious interior."
The CR-1 was developed by a team consisting of Nascar and IndyCar champions, former NASA engineers, IT boffins, automotive engineers and aerospace designers. Global Caravan Technologies has established a research and development facility beside the Dallara IndyCar Factory in Speedway, Indiana.
If you like the look of the CR-1 and don't quite have a million dollars to splash out on the fully optioned version; don't worry, there's an entry level model that will cost around USD$170,000 according to Drive - (before shipping and relevant taxes).
Europe and China Join Forces to Upgrade Urban Mobility
BEIJING, China, November 25, 2013 (ENS) Ă‚Â– The European Union and China are working together to improve urban mobility. Hundreds of European and Chinese city mayors as well as academics and business representatives with an interest in the future ofĂ˘â‚¬Â¦
Street Cars Bring New Orleans to Life
New Orleans lays new trolley track just in time for the Super Bowl, but the new track is complimenting a great history the city has with it's love of street cars.
In addition to being a world renowned tourist destination, New Orleans also operates one of the country's largest Vintage Trolley systems. The system consists of a surviving "legacy" line from the city's original streetcar network, a new line serving riverfront tourist destinations, and t he reconstruction of another of its most famous legacy lines.
In the summer of 2005, Hurricane Katrina devastated portions of the City, also rendering its fleet of newly-built replica trolleys inoperable. Fortunately, the 35 original heritage cars survived relatively unscathed, and this group of cars has been used to incrementally return all of the lines to operation. In 2008, rebuilding of the damaged replica car fleet began, and RTA plans to continue to increase service levels as demand and resources allow.
Fares are standardized with the RTA bus system; $1.25 base fare with transfers costing an additional 25 cents. Multi-day tourist passes are also sold through various outlets.
History: New Orleans' St. Charles Streetcar Line is the world's oldest continuously operated electric railway line. Electric operation began in 1893, when streetcars took over after 20 years of horsecar operation. In 1922, operation of all New Orleans streetcar lines was taken over by New Orleans Public Service Inc., or NOPSI for short. In 1923, the current streetcars, designed and built by the Perley Thomas Car Company of High Point, North Carolina, were introduced. Beginning in the 1930s, streetcar service in the Crescent City followed the national trend of gradually diminishing service, with rubber-tired vehicles coming into favor as replacements. With the closing of the Canal St. Line in 1964, the St. Charles Line became New Orleans sole surviving streetcar line, and 11 of the cars were sold off, many ending up in railway museums around the country.
In 1973, the St. Charles Line and the remaining fleet of 35 Perley Thomas cars received national recognition when they were named to the National Register of Historic Places. In 1983, the Regional Transit Authority (RTA) completed the buyout of NOPSI, one of the last urban transit systems in the US to be transferred from private to public ownership. Between 1988 and 1992, RTA completed a $47 million renovation of the St. Charles Line, including a complete rebuilding of all 35 streetcars and the Carrollton maintenance facility.
Electric street cards aren't only a great way of getting around, they make environmental sense, and done the right way can be a economic stimulus for cities done the right ways. To learn more about New Orleans Trolley System just visit www.norta.com. What are your thoughts, can any cities in New England make street cars a viable inner-city form of transit?
Profiles in Excellence Series
Environmental Attorney and community activist Seth Handy speaks about stewardship when it comes to his passion for the environment, and how this gift has to be preserved for our future generations.