My Thoughts on Technology and Jamaica: Alternative Energy and Range Extender Technology - Jamaica to Rhaatid

Monday, November 15, 2010

Alternative Energy and Range Extender Technology - Jamaica to Rhaatid

Four species of idol beset the human mind; idols of the tribe; idols of the den; idols of the market; and idols of the theatre

Francis Bacon, Novum Organum

The recent decision by the White House to go Alternative in the Spring of 2011 AD just to heat up a few rooms has been met with praise worldwide and is seen as a stepping stone in the right direction towards a sustainable Energy future and a more productive Private Sector in the American Economy as stated in the article “White House to install rooftop Solar Panels”, published October 5, 2010 5:19 AM PDT by Martin LaMonica, CNET News - Green Tech.

This as DoomsDay 2015AD, the Year of Peak Oil looms. Hopefully, the Republicans do not intend to block that as well, as may be their inclination as suggested in the article “Republican Win to hurt Obama's clean-energy plans”, published Wednesday November 3 2010, CNET News - Green Tech.

The obvious benefits are a warm White House as well as a demonstration to the World that an Economy based on Alternative Energy can be competitive, despite protestations by the Oil Drunk Republicans, possibly bemoaning the loss of their Country and Golf Club Membership and the money to buy that yatch they always wanted.

Best of all, it will be an example to the Government of Jamaica as to how to run Government Agencies, traditionally a poster child for Inefficiency, Waste and Bureaucracy (note the capitalizations!) as it relates to their usage of electricity, water and even worse, commitment to recycling.

Which ironically, is what would make the transition to All-Electric Vehicles in 2011 AD the Year of the All-Electric Vehicles economically feasible in the long run as stated in the article “Rare-Earth metal recycling needed to power Green Tech”, published May 17, 2010 7:31 AM PDT by Martin LaMonica, CNET News - Green Tech.

Albeit skepticism exists as to the coming of All-Electric Vehicles to Jamaica as opined by Kent LaCroix, President of the Automobile Dealers Association (ADA) as stated in the article “Is Jamaica ready for Electric vehicles ?”, published Friday, October 01, 2010, The Jamaica Observer.

Thanks to the impending spare parts shortage as stated in the article “Spare Parts shortage hits used-car Trade”, published Friday October 22 2010, The Jamaica Observer, All-Electric Vehicles may soon be a part of the Government of Jamaica Energy Diversification Plan, as if Japanese enthusiasm for the Apple iPhone, a driver electronics gadget, is anything to go by

Drivers with a Vehicle that is not four (4) years old may be willing to trade up, especially as All-Electric Vehicles would reduce their expenses into one (1) bill, that being electricity, as would Home Charging Units, a necessity reducing frequent visits to the Gas Station as stated in the article “GE unveils residential high-sped car charger”, published October 1, 2010 9:06 AM PDT by Lance Whitney, CNET News - The Car Tech blog.

Concerns though abound, which I shall address with much aplomb, Jamaica to Rhaatid style.

First of the bat: Charging Options. Just for the forgetful among us, who are constantly leaving home without charging our mobile phones to which an All-Electric Vehicle are akin, are Wireless Home Induction Charging Units in the driveway that automatically charge the Vehicle when it is parked as stated in the article “EV charging station recharges without wires”, published July 29, 2010 12:19 PM PDT by Liane Yvkoff, CNET News - The Car Tech blog.

Ecotality and Coulomb Technologies are two (2) companies that have been installing charging stations for All-Electric Vehicles as stated in the article “Fast EV charging stations plug in”, published October 13, 2010 6:01 AM PDT by Martin LaMonica, CNET News - Green Tech, easily locatable using a Blackberry, Apple iPhone or Google Android powered phone app as stated in the article “Network of Web-savvy EV-charging stations on tap”, published June 2, 2010 7:57 AM PDT by Martin LaMonica, CNET News - Green Tech.

Like a typical Vehicle, if you do run out of charge, you can plug in your industry standard charging port on your All-Electric Vehicle, which supports voltages of 110VAC, 220VAC and 500VAC using a proprietary Remote Charging Cord designed for your specific All-Electric Vehicle to take advantage of charging from 110VAC and 220VAC in case of emergencies as stated in the article “Ford introduces easy-to-use cord for remote location charging”, published October 8, 2010 9:49 AM PDT by Suzanne Ashe, CNET News - The Car Tech blog.

With all these charging options that technically free you from the Gas Station, be very aware that the Young and the Restless in Jamaica may begin to start pre-ordering their All-Electric Vehicles via the various dealerships here in Jamaica, just so they can scoot around town.

The interior of some of these vehicles is not too bad either, if the pictures for the 2011 Mitsubishi iMiEV are anything to go by as shown in the article “Mitsubishi teases a nav-less i-MiEV Electric car”, published November 9, 2010 3:42 PM PST by Liane Yvkoff, CNET News - The Car Tech blog as the lack of navigation is mitigated by using your smart phone, which provides better turn-by-turn directions anyway. People this says “progressive”!

Second off the bat: How All-Electrics Vehicles stacks up to Gasoline powered Vehicles. For those doubting that All-Electric Vehicles would be cheaper on the driver if introduced here in Jamaica need only do the power math and realize that although a Gasoline powered Vehicle get upwards of two hundred and fifty (250 miles) miles on a fifty (50 Imp. Gal.) Imperial gallon tank, the typical Gas powered Vehicle is only 40% efficient on average and thus necessitating frequent top ups.

The same is true for All-Electric Vehicles, but once you have a fast charging 500 V facilities, top-ups can be done in thirty (30) minutes and the cost is comparatively lower when compared to top-up at a Gas Stations.

The frequency of recharging a 2011 Nissan Leaf, for example, is no different from that of a typical Gas powered Vehicle, as a single charge of an All-Electric Vehicle will result in at least a week of commute time, especially with its driving range of one hundred (100 mi) miles as stated in the article “Nissan Leaf has 100-mile range -  give or take 40 percent”, published June 21, 2010 10:43 AM PDT by Automotive News, CNET News - The Car Tech blog,  perfect for city commutes.

For commuters wishing to drive outside of this range, All-Electric Vehicles such as the General Motors’ 2010 Chevy Volt with its Range Extender Technology, predicted to be the technology of choice in the United States of America, will love the three hundred (300 mi) miles range.

Who drives more than one hundred (100 mi) miles in a day?

Plus, did I forget to mention that most All-Electric Vehicles are as quiet as a golf cart?

So quiet in fact that as in the case of the 2011 Nissan Leaf, you can customize the noise it makes as stated in the article “Nissan Leaf brings the noise”, published June 11, 2010 9:51 AM PDT by Wayne Cunningham, CNET News - The Car Tech blog, a temptation for the creatively inclined to pre-load a sound file into your ultra modern, ultra quiet 2011 Nissan Leaf to make it have the throaty roar of a 2011 Ford Mustang Shelby GT 500 or even a 2011 Dodge Challenger SRT8.

Third off the bat: How Gasoline Dealers fit into the picture. Range Extender Technology would keep skeptics and critics like Kent LaCroix, President of the Automobile Dealers Association (ADA), possibly the owner of a Gas Station at bay.

This as Range Extender Technology uses both Gasoline as well as electricity, with charging being confidently done at home and Flex Fuel Generators which are a part of the Range Extender Technology being still fueled at the Gas Station, meaning that drivers would not have to worry about what type of fuel to put into the Flex Fuel Generators.

Note I said “generator”, as these All-Electric Vehicles with Range Extender Technology come with two (2) fuelling ports, so critics can rest easy as to how well it would integrate into the Jamaican landscape.

It would even be better if the technology of the Gas Reformer to extract Hydrogen from any Fossil fuel as well as Sea Water, similar to that being employed in Volvo’s upcoming slew of vehicles were employed, as by using a Hydrogen Fuel Cell instead of a generator, which combined with Lithium-Ion Batteries as stated in the article “Ford introduces easy-to-use cord for remote location charging”, published October 8, 2010 9:49 AM PDT by Suzanne Ashe, CNET News - The Car Tech blog, is a step towards a progressive, albeit Rare Earth Metal dependent future.

But now I have allayed most of the fears of the car crazy enthusiast with the minor foibles of driving performance left for the visit to the show room and a test drive so you can make up your own mind based on the above information, the All-Electric Vehicle dealer’s information and your own satisfied angst.

It also rests with the Government of Jamaica to decide when they are going to endorse this wonder of Technology and create the support structures necessary to make this save of Jamaica’s exorbitant Fuel Bill a reality.

Best of all, Jamaica, by virtue of our fashionista view of life (Jamaican patios: live rich fi de weekend, bruk’ tomorrow) as well as our love for saving money, may wish to follow on this development as soon as it begins to pick up steam among the Young and the Restless here in Jamaica, as Home Charging Units and using a proprietary Remote Charging Cord for Remote Charging from a 220VAC or 110VAC outlet should make those willing to drive the future in Jamaica take the plunge.

If it survives our Jamaican driving conditions, word of mouth, especially among females, who hate opening the hood of their car, will make 2011 the Year of the All-Electric Vehicle in Jamaica as well.

Looks like Administrator Kirk’s of the Geezam blog prediction as to the faster adoption of technology may hold some water, but I will sit still until I see one in Jamaica with my own eyes, at which point I will do a review on the Geezam blog. Jamaica to Rhaatid style indeed!

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