Going a Long Way Without Gas

We are reaching a point where, if we are going to save the planet, we have to change some mental images in our heads. In many ways it's all about our EGO. Who can go the fastest, the furthest, and the highest always gets the most attention and it's generally dependent on using fossil fuels. And example in the birding world is the fossil fuel supported record breaking Big Year of Neil Hayward. Neil Hayward got much more attention then the record establishing fossil fuelless Big Year of Dorian Anderson. We have to decide who we are going to admire, respect and give our attention to. There are many people who are now pushing the limits without using climate changing fossil fuels. This post is about just a few ways that this being done.

Congratulations go out to pilots André Borschberg and Bertrand Piccard and the Solar Impulse 2 team.

As noted in this thinkprogress.org article states.

Just before noon, Borschberg landed the Solar Impulse 2 plane in Hawaii after taking off from Japan nearly five days before. The plane was powered without a drop of jet fuel, using only electricity generated from the sun striking the photovoltaic panel across its wing.

Borschberg actually broke one world record before his flight ended, for taking the longest nonstop solo flight without refueling in aviation history. The previous record was a 76-hour flight, held by Steve Fossett for his nonstop flight around the world in 2005.

But when he landed, Borschberg also broke the record for the world’s longest successful solar-powered flight, both by time and by distance. The flight lasted 4 days, 21 hours and 50 minutes, and traveled 8,209 kilometers across the Pacific.

There has never been a solar flight as long as this in the history of aviation.

After today’s landing in Hawaii, Borshberg and Piccard will continue their attempt to fly around the world. The next leg will be from Honolulu to Phoenix, Arizona, and then the two will fly together across the Atlantic on a return journey to Abu Dhabi, where they first took off in May.

Formula E racing is the answer to Formula 1 and 2 racing.

Formula E is a new FIA single-seater championship and the world's first fully-electric racing series.

The inaugural season kick-started in Beijing in September 2014 and runs until June 2015, competing in 10 of the world's leading cities including Miami, Berlin and London. A total of 10 teams, each with two drivers, race on temporary city-centre circuits creating a unique and exciting series designed to appeal to a new generation of motorsport fans.

Formula E also aims to represent a vision for the future of the motor industry, serving as a framework for R&D around the electric vehicle, accelerating general interest in these cars and promoting clean energy and sustainability.

0-62mph in 3 seconds and a top speed currently at 140mph seems fast enough for me.

80 DAY RACE

In April, as many as 30 teams will set out from Paris on a race around the world, each aiming to cover 25,000 miles and make it back to the French capital within 80 days—which means covering about 320 miles a day. And they have to do it without burning any fossil fuels.

The “80 Day Race” obviously is inspired by Verne’s 1873 novel Around the World in 80 Days, in which protagonist Phileas Fogg bets he can circumnavigate the globe in record time, thanks to new technologies like the steam engine.

“New technology allowed [Fogg] to do something really radical,” says race co-founder Frank Manders. “We are currently now in exactly the same situation.” Electric and fuel cell vehicles are within striking range of internal combustion engine-powered vehicles when it comes to efficiency, range, and cost. An international competition to improve the technology is just what’s needed, he says.

Manders says he’s already in talks with 15 teams, and hopes that number will reach 30 by race time. “You have a group of people that really likes big challenges,” he says. “There is a general appeal to a lot of people to do something outrageous, something that really defines your life.”

One of those teams is Storm Eindhoven, a group of 29 students at Eindhoven University of Technology, basically the Netherlands’ MIT. They have no interest in pooling together their spare cash for a Chevy Spark EV. They’re building their own electric ride, and it’s a motorcycle. The world’s first all-electric touring motorcycle, in fact.

The bike will deliver 28.5 kWh of energy—more than the new Nissan Leaf’s 24 kWh—when fully loaded with batteries. The team hasn’t built the thing yet, but says simulations show its range will be a whopping 236 miles. That’s Tesla territory.

Speaking about electric motorcycles–you know things are changing when Harley-Davidson starts thinking about producing one.

Many years ago, in my youth, I briefly rode a motorcycle around. I soon realized that every gray haired person in a huge Cadillac was out to get me. If I were ever to take up riding a motorcycle again I don't think I have the characteristic attributes of a Harley rider. I might go for the Zero SR.

I will probably just keep pushing the pedals of my Gary Fisher bike for as long as I can. I have a birthday coming up. I wonder what advances they are making with electric walkers.

You know, we humans are programmed to think that big changes on the Earth happened a long time ago, or will happen a long time in the future. What we don't realize is that they actually can happen right now. Right here, right now, while we're alive, in our own hours and days and months and years.

James Balog

 

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