Archive for August, 2010

Looking Up

Ever wonder what that is that is traveling overhead at night? You might wonder if it is a satellite or the International Space Station.

Well, just pull up Orbiting Frog’s iPhone web app. It works of course on the iPod Touch and the iPad as well. You can access it with any browser on a Mac or PC, but is optimized for the iPhone. Just type in your location and it will give you an option to search for the ISS, satellite or even the Hubble Space Telescope that will be above your area. It gives information such as direction of travel and brightness and the amount of time it will take to travel overhead.

If you like to use Twitter, you can follow some preselected cities to see what’s going on overhead ( example: @overseattle ).

Make sure to check out the website as well for the above and much, much more!

Electrification and Hybrid Vehicles

Wow! What a day!

Today it was announced that an all electric car broke the world land speed record. It didn’t just break it, it smashed it.

The Venturi Buckeye Bullet 2.5 built by a team of enterprising engineering students from Ohio State University, averaged 307 mph on the Bonneville Salt Flats. It actually had a top speed of 320 mph!

I find it ironic that this was announced on the day I attended an event put on by Ford, Seattle City Light and Microsoft about the future of electric vehicles and electric infrastructure needs. It was held at Daniel’s Broiler on South Lake Union.

It was a very well attended meeting with people from the private, business and government sectors. The Mayor of Seattle was there as well as a Senator, various council members from different cities, executive managers of power companies as well as members of different electric vehicle associations.

Ford announced their upcoming vehicles and the future of Ford vehicles too. Microsoft presented their fine work on the project. Individuals from power companies and all the aspects of getting the power into the vehicles gave presentations and answered questions as well.

After the question and answer session (very informative) we were able to drive 3 different models of the new Fords. We drove a plug in hybrid (Escape), a hybrid Fusion and the all electric Focus. I was very impressed with not only the vehicles, but the infrastructure that is planned. The neat thing about the Pacific Northwest is, we are a perfect place to launch the electric and hybrid vehicles. We typically don’t get too hot or cold and we have plenty of electric power thanks to our hydro electric and nuclear power generation facilities.

This Plug In Escape can achieve up to 108 mpg!

I would like to thank all the people that put this event on and all the individuals I had the pleasure of talking with. Many thanks to Daniel’s Broiler for the fantastic lunch!

Below are some links to some of the sites available that can provide information on electric vehicles and related infrastructure and equipment.

Ford Vehicles
Microsoft hohm
Seattle Electrical Vehicle Association
Coulomb Technologies
Charge Point
(local distributor and service)CHARGE NORTHWEST
Puget Sound Solar

Return top