Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Compact Dymaxion Car...

It just occured to me that the 3 wheeled electric compact car I posted on earlier (see video below) may be using the same steering technology as the Dymaxion car invented by Buckminster Fuller, the guy most famous for creating the Geodesic domes (among other things). See one of my favorite Dymaxion Car Video below. The dymaxion car uses the rear wheel as it's turning wheel. The front wheels do not have a turning axis.

BTW, check out the Buckminster Fuller Challenge 2009 and the California Green Corps

Air Powered on Youtube

Hey guys, Youtube has been exploding with hundreds and hundreds of new compressed air powered vehiles videos. Recently, I even saw a vidoe of Dr. Michio Kaku (world famous physicist from New York) touting the advantages and future of cars powered by compressed air.

One of my recent favorites is a test drive of a convertable MDI powered by compressed air.

Here is a playist of some other interesting airpowered vehicles found on Youtube

Related Links:
- Air Powered Vehicles community forum
- Cycle Santa Monica! community forum

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Baker Electric Car

Finally someone posted the video of Jay Leno showing his Baker Electric car. Jay, please consider putting up all your videos on Youtube, or at least make your videos embedable, so us bloggers can be able to show what we are talking about. Thanks.

1909 Baker Electric
SEE MORE at....

Although a crude electric carriage was originally created in Scotland in the late 1830s, the first functional electric car in the United States was produced in 1891. For the next decade, the clean, quiet electric car was the king of the road. In 1899, an electric car broke the vehicular land speed record, and by 1900, there were more electric cars than any other kind in the U.S., accounting for 38% of the nations car market.

Jay still uses his Bakers original Edison batteries.
In 1898, the same year that gasoline-powered vehicles first appeared, automotive innovator Walter C. Baker started the Baker Motor Vehicle Company in Cleveland, Ohio to produce his electric cars. His company went on to manufacture more electric vehicles than any other company in history, despite the fact that it ceased production of them in 1916. Baker presented the first ever shaft-driven automobile at the first American auto show at Madison Square Garden, and is said to have sold his first electric car to Thomas Edison, who developed its batteries. Jay still uses his 1909 Bakers original Edison batteries. He just washes them out occasionally and refills them, and they work fine.
The essentially maintenance-free Baker Electric was a high coupe with carriage styling, brass fittings and tillers instead of steering wheels. With no cranks, no fumes and no mess, the cars were very appealing to women, and were soon designed and marketed specifically to them. Stepping into a Baker was a little like stepping into a very small parlor - Jays Baker even includes a small make-up compact with mirror attached to an interior wall. Its not surprising that its his wifes favorite car, even if it is a little bit like riding in a phone booth.
One charge will take the car about 110 miles, which isnt much different from contemporary EVs. This is one car you dont want to take on the freeway, and its not so great on hills either. The top speed of Jays car is about 25 mph, which is probably a good thing, since it only has rear brakes. Back in the day, Baker became the first man to travel at 100 mph in his electric Torpedo, but a fatal accident during the trial kept him from claiming the record and making any further attempts to win it. When Charles Kettering invented the electric starter in 1912, and Henry Ford began mass producing gasoline powered cars which cost half as much as the average electric, Bakers days were numbered. Still, its difficult to believe there arent more electric cars on the road today.

Obama Visits Electric Car Factory in California

President Barack Obama visited an electric car factory in California and urged workers to help the country lead the way in building a clean energy economy. (March 19, 2009)

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Buckminster Fuller Challenge

THE BUCKMINSTER FULLER CHALLENGE 2008 -You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.

Directed and Produced by Joao Amorim

Directed and Produced by Joao Amorim

Bucky had it right. "You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete."

That's why we're awarding a $100,000 prize each year for comprehensive solutions that radically advance human well-being and ecosystem health. The 2008 prize will be conferred June 23rd in NYC.

The 2009 Challenge begins this fall. Stay tuned...

If you would like to receive email updates about the 2009 Challenge, please send a request to challenge (at) bfi (dot) org with the word "subscribe" in the subject line. Directed by Joao Amorim

Folding Electric Car For Women?

This is a film clip of two females assembling, unfolding a three (3) wheel electric car. The car can be fashioned as either a convertible with side doors or as a front entrance car with full cover for the passenger compartment. The car can be folded up for storage. Presumable it is an all electric drive vehicle for ease of maintenance and to eliminate the the issue of cranking the start motor of the combustion engine of the day. Anyone know more about this vehicle, please send me a message or comment with what you know.

Another electric car similar to this has 4 wheels, is all electric, with a front entrance door. Jay Leno has one. It is called the Baker Electric.

A more modern 4 wheel foldable electric car is the Wike or "Wicycle" (see video clips)

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Obama on Energy

In his weekly address, President Obama announced that in the coming week, he will highlight the core principles of his budget, including reform of the energy, education and health care sectors.

The following is a transcript of the president's weekly address:

Last week, I spent a few days in California, talking with ordinary Americans in town halls and in the places where they work. We talked about their struggles, and we talked about their hopes.

At the end of the day, these men and women weren't as concerned with the news of the day in Washington as they were about the very real and very serious challenges their families face every day: whether they'll have a job and a paycheck to count on; whether they'll be able to pay their medical bills or afford college tuition; whether they'll be able to leave their children a world that's safer and more prosperous than the one we have now.

Those are the concerns I heard about in California. They are the concerns I've heard about in letters from people throughout this country for the last two years. And they are the concerns addressed in the budget I sent to Congress last month.

With the magnitude of the challenges we face, I don't just view this budget as numbers on a page or a laundry list of programs. It's an economic blueprint for our future - a vision of America where growth is not based on real estate bubbles or overleveraged banks, but on a firm foundation of investments in energy, education, and health care that will lead to a real and lasting prosperity.

These investments are not a wish list of priorities that I picked out of thin air - they are a central part of a comprehensive strategy to grow this economy by attacking the very problems that have dragged it down for too long: the high cost of health care and our dependence on foreign oil; our education deficit and our fiscal deficit.

Now, as the House and the Senate take up this budget next week, the specific details and dollar amounts in this budget will undoubtedly change. That's a normal and healthy part of the process.

But when all is said and done, I expect a budget that meets four basic principles:

First, it must reduce our dependence on dangerous foreign oil and finally put this nation on a path to a clean, renewable energy future. There is no longer a doubt that the jobs and industries of tomorrow will involve harnessing renewable sources of energy. The only question is whether America will lead that future.

I believe we can and we will, and that's why we've proposed a budget that makes clean energy the profitable kind of energy, while investing in technologies like wind power and solar power; advanced biofuels, clean coal, and fuel-efficient cars and trucks that can be built right here in America.

Second, this budget must renew our nation's commitment to a complete and competitive education for every American child. In this global economy, we know the countries that out-educate us today will out-compete us tomorrow, and we know that our students are already falling behind their counterparts in places like China.

That is why we have proposed investments in childhood education programs that work; in high standards and accountability for our schools; in rewards for teachers who succeed; and in affordable college education for anyone who wants to go. It is time to demand excellence from our schools so that we can finally prepare our workforce for a 21st century economy.

Third, we need a budget that makes a serious investment in health care reform - reform that will bring down costs, ensure quality, and guarantee people their choice of doctors and hospitals. Right now, there are millions of Americans who are just one illness or medical emergency away from bankruptcy.

There are businesses that have been forced to close their doors or ship jobs overseas because they can't afford insurance. Medicare costs are consuming our federal budget. Medicaid is overwhelming our state budgets. So to those who say we have to choose between health care reform and fiscal discipline, I say that making investments now that will dramatically lower health care costs for everyone won't add to our budget deficit in the long-term - it is one of the best ways to reduce it.

Finally, this budget must reduce that deficit even further. With the fiscal mess we've inherited and the cost of this financial crisis, I've proposed a budget that cuts our deficit in half by the end of my first term. That's why we are scouring every corner of the budget and have proposed $2 trillion in deficit reductions over the next decade.

In total, our budget would bring discretionary spending for domestic programs as a share of the economy to its lowest level in nearly half a century. And we will continue making these tough choices in the months and years ahead so that as our economy recovers, we do what we must to bring this deficit down.

I will be discussing each of these principles next week, as Congress takes up the important work of debating this budget. I realize there are those who say these plans are too ambitious to enact. To that I say that the challenges we face are too large to ignore. I didn't come here to pass on our problems to the next President or the next generation - I came here to solve them.

The American people sent us here to get things done, and at this moment of great challenge, they are watching and waiting for us to lead. Let's show them that we are equal to the task before us, and let's pass a budget that puts this nation on the road to lasting prosperity.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Governor Creates California Green Corp

This could mean support for alternative transportation, such as elementary, middle, and high school courses (including materials and equipment) for bicycle safety training. That might include teaches kids that may like to use a bicycle as a source of transportation on the roads with other traffic, like cars and trucks. It may include training opportunities for installation and maintenance of electric power assist bicycles, and installation and maintenance of power supply ports/kiosks for electric bicycles and electric mopeds and scooters. It may include volunteer, foundation, and non profit organizations that are providing that support and resource. It may provide resources to support research into the area of improvements in the technology of power assist systems, and perhaps folding micro electric cars, like the Wycycle.

I welcome your comments, public or private.

Governor Creates California Green Corp
March 16, 2009

On March 16, 2009 Governor of California announces the creation of a Green Corps in California. The Green Corp will be at least in part funded with 10 million dollars in US Federal government stimulus money. The money will in part fun up to 20 months of training of at-risk youth in california. The training will nclude solar panel energy instalation certification, voluneering in the community. Later it may include wind turbine installation and maintenance, etc.