Help Plant Trees by taking a Test Drive in an Electric Car

Nissan LEAF electric car
A Nissan LEAF electric car recharging at an eVgo Freedom station. In a charge period of 15 minutes the station can provide the vehicle with enough power to travel an extra 50 miles.

Are you curious about electric cars but never taken the step of trying one out?  Now there's an added incentive, as just by taking a test drive you can actually help to plant trees in areas devastated by tornadoes and drought.

BMW enables its Electric Cars to be Powered by Renewable Electricity

BMW ActiveE electric car
The BMW ActiveE Electric Car.

Electric cars could well be one of the answers to a sustainable future, but currently unless you can find a recharging station that actually uses electricity produced in a renewable way, like a wind-powered Sanya Skypump or a solar powered recharging station, you'll find the electricity which goes to charge your vehicle originates from the electrical grid.  As such, a good deal of that electricity is likey to produced at power stations which burn those nasty old fossil fuels like coal, oil and gas.

World's First Wind Powered Electric Vehicle Recharging Station Opens

Vertical Wind Turbine at the world's first wind powered electric vehicle recharging station.
The UGE-4K wind turbine of the Sanya Skypump rotates almost silently around its vertical pole axis, at less than 38 decibels at a rated wind speed of 12m/s (26 miles per hour) and can survive windspeeds of 123 mph.

The world's first wind powered electric vehicle recharging station has been opened near Barcelona in Spain.  Offering a completely green solution to recharging electric cars and other vehicles,the station uses a combination of an innovative 4 kilowatt vertical wind turbine,called UGE-4K, made by Urban Green Energy and a charging unit known as Durastation from General Electric.  These are integrated as a single unit, with all of the electrical systems in the turbine's tower itself.

Interesting Hydrogen Facts and History

The Sun - our solar system's hydrogen reactor
The Sun - our solar system's giant hydrogen fusion reactor.

Photo courtesy of NASA.

You could say hydrogen was a bit of an enigma. It is the most common atom, comprising about 75% of the known matter in the universe in terms of mass.  If we're talking purely in terms of the number of atoms in the universe, the ratio is even more impressive, with hydrogen atoms comprising an estimated 90% of the total number of atoms.

Interesting History of Hydrogen Airships and Balloons

Hydrogen Balloon attacked by French villagersThe first Hydrogen Balloon being attacked by terrified French Villagers

From its discovery, the fact that hydrogen is the lightest element made it seemingly a perfect candidate for early air travel.  The first hydrogen ballloon was launched on 27 August 1783 from the Champ de Mars in France which is now the site of the Eiffel tower.  It took almost a quarter of a tonne of sulphuric acid, poured onto half a tonne of iron to produce enough hydroden to fill the 35 cubic meter baloon.  This had to be done over a number of days to fill it though lead pipes, due to the fact that the gas was hot when initially produced, but when it entered the balloon it cooled down and contracted in volume.

Solar Powered Plane Completes 26 Hour Day and Night Flight

In a record breaking flight this week a solar powered plane successfully completed the highest and longest ever flight by a solar aircraft.  The huge wings of the plane, known as the Solar Impulse, and its horizontal stabilizer contain 12,000 silicon mono-crystalline solar cells. Energy from the sun is stored in lithium batteries and used to  provide the aircraft's 4 electric engines with the power they need to fly the plane. The Solar Impulse flew throughout the whole night for the first time during the evening of 7th July and morning of 8th July 2010.

Is a Hydrogen Boat or Ship the Future of Sea and River Transport?

A short while ago we  discussed how hydrogen fuel cell cars would affect the future. Today, I'd like to write about another form of transport that is looking for alternative fuel sources.

The Future of Fuel Cells and the Hydrogen Powered Car

In less than 20 years from now, driven by the oil crisis and global warming, hydrogen could become an almost regular energy source in our daily lives, potentially being used to power anything from mobile phones to heating buildings and all the way through to our daily transport.