Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Cars and Phones - Ergo!

Imagine powering up cars the same way we recharge our phones - at outlets everywhere.
It's an ambitious plan that will work...sort of. The plan forgets one thing. The energy involved in retrofitting the world's auto-industry, and regridding the current garage infratructure. That said, it's one of the better ideas I've seen.
clipped from www.wired.com

The problem, he decided, was oil-consuming, CO2-spewing cars. The solution was to get rid of them. Not just some, and not just by substituting hybrids or flex fuels. No half measures. The internal combustion engine had to be retired. The future was in electric cars.

Car batteries, then and now, are heavy and expensive, don't last long, and take forever to recharge. In five minutes you can fill a car with enough gas to go 300 miles, but five minutes of charging at home gets you only about 8 miles in an electric car. Clever tricks, like adding "range extenders"—gas engines that kick in when a battery dies—end up making the cars too expensive.
Agassi reimagined the entire automotive ecosystem by proposing a new concept he called the Electric Recharge Grid Operator. It was an unorthodox mashup of the automotive and mobile phone industries. Instead of gas stations on every corner, the ERGO would blanket a country with a network of "smart" charge spots.
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