The problem of matching the production of renewable energy with electricity demand has been a major challenge standing in the way of wider adoption of solar and wind powered plants. While electricity demand can be forecast with a great deal of accuracy, it is much harder to predict when peak energy will be available from solar and wind sources. Read this article for more information on how BYD and other battery makers might benefit. A video with background information is also included in this post.
BYD Chairman Wang Chuanfu is actively seeking commitments from the Chinese government to subsidize purchases of all-electric automobiles such as the e6 sedan as well as plug-in hybrids such as the F3DM model. While BYD has made some progress selling its plug-in hybrid F3DMvehicle to fleet customers, the cost has proven to be prohibitively high for private consumers in China. Read this article for more details.
Shai Agassi, the founder of Better Place, has come up with a strategy for building infrastructure that he believes will solve the problem of range. Mr. Agassi’s strategy is one that has been discussed here in the past. Better Place plans a two pronged approach that will place recharging stations near parking spots as well as provide “battery exchange” stations where drivers can quickly obtain a fully charged battery when on a longer road trip. Read this article for more details.
General Motors is claiming that the Chevrolet Volt electric vehicle can be expected to achieve 230 miles per gallon when used mostly in city traffic. The Volt is a hybrid vehicle that has a 40 mile range on electric power when the battery is fully charged along with a small internal combustion engine that acts as a range extender for the battery once the 40 mile electric only limit is reached.
Read this article for a brief comparison of the Chevy Volt and BYD e6 electric car.
Anyone who has been paying attention to discussions related to energy policy over the past few years has been hearing about a new “smart grid” that has the potential to play a major role in meeting the energy requirements of the United States in the coming decades. Charlie Munger, Berkshire Hathaway’s Vice Chairman, made a number of comments regarding the smart grid at the Berkshire Hathaway and Wesco Financial meetings. Let’s take a look at the smart grid and its implications in this article.