Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Green Technology 112 years in the making so far

The first fleet of commercial electric vehicles was built for the New York City taxi company in 1897.

On a recent trip to Whistler, I had a chance to pick up the August 26th edition of the Pique newsmagazine, which encompassed an article by a man named Andrew Mitchell about electric cars.

I found it interesting to read that you can get a kit to transform your gas guzzler into an electric vehicle for about eight thousand dollars, ($8,000) from Canadian Electric Vehicles Ltd.

The article also said that you can get the details of one man’s rebuilt online. That man used eleven twelve (11-12) volt led acid batteries, each weighing around twenty five (25) Kg. or about fifty six (56) pounds. With these batteries the Firefly had a range of about thirty five (35) kilometers on one charge.

Later in the same article, I was surprised to read that U.B.C. students have fitted a classic Volkswagen Beetle with Lithium batteries that they claim ran the vehicle for five hundred (500) kilometers between charges! I am looking forward to seeing how it does on its cross country trip, which they started on Aug. 21 and which you can of course, follow online. The vehicle however can only get up to ninety five (95) kilometers a hr. easily and “its” still very much a work in progress.

Written by Bill Taylor’s daughter Tanya Gervais

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