Way More Tesla Sedan Pictures

Thanks to Auto Blog Green for a huge gallery of product shots.

Electric Delivery Vehicle Plant Coming to Kansas City, With Chips

Smith Electric Vehicles U.S. Corporation plans to assemble all-electric zero-emission commercial vehicles in Kansas City with production of the first zero-emission commercial trucks scheduled to begin third quarter of 2009.

SEV U.S. Corp will initially focus its production on battery-electric-powered vehicles for depot-based predictable-route delivery fleets.

"We feel the greatest opportunity to have a major impact on the electric vehicle industry is through fleet operators who utilize commercial vehicles in a depot-based delivery model," said Bryan Hansel, chief executive officer SEV U.S. Corp.

"As more truck fleets adopt this technology, it will drive advancements in battery technology, drive down manufacturing costs, and form the foundation of a U.S.-based supply chain that, over time will also significantly reduce the cost of commercial electric vehicles. This will make them a natural choice for fleet managers with a depot-based delivery model."

Apparently, Frito-Lay has already signed up to use these vans for local delivery of its snack foods and chips. What a great fit! Zero emissions to foul up city streets, plus the power requirement goes down as the truck progresses through the route and then heads back to the depot to charge overnight for the next day's deliveries. Just like the electric milk float I drove 40 years ago!

Full Story on BEVs to be built in Kansas City by Smith

Peugeot diesel in 407 beats CO2 figure

Peugeot installs small diesel engine in 407, beats CO2 figure

"Peugeot is on to something since they put a 1.6-liter 110hp HDi diesel in the Peugeot 407, getting a relatively large car that burns just 4.9 l/100 km of diesel (equivalent to 48 mpg) and keeps CO2 emissions at a respectable 129 g/km."

Diesel Motorcycle? Yes, if you're military

"The HDT motorcycle diesel engine is based on state-of-the-art high-speed automotive diesel engine technology, engineered into a complete power unit suitably sized and packaged for installation in a compact on/off road motorcycle."

Looks at these specs, for 600cc diesel motorbike engine:

Power: 28 PS [21 kw] @ 5500 rev/min.
Torque: 32lbft [44 Nm] @ 3000 rev/min.

HDT - Hayes Diversified Technologies, Diesel Motorcycle Manufacturer

Ready for RuMBA? Broadband Bill of Rights

RuMBA Launches American Broadband Bill of Rights - Yahoo! Finance: "The Rural Mobile Broadband Alliance (RuMBA USA) was launched to assist rural community residents, carriers and equipment makers in raising awareness of the benefits of rural mobile broadband, and to encourage the most responsible use of stimulus package funds, thus maximizing the positive impact of broadband on the lives of ordinary Americans. RuMBA USA will disseminate statistics on the impact on employment, social, economic, educational, health care and business opportunities arising from proposed stimulus package spending on rural mobile broadband. Visit www.rumbausa.com for more information and to join the Alliance."

America's Broadband Access Gap: A rural and sub/urban divide

A recent US Department of Agriculture study confirms the disparity in Broadband access between rural America and urban and suburban areas, with rural communities less likely to have access to high speed Internet.

Read the report (.pdf format) here.

The Awesome Tesla S: These guys GET cars

Car fans! Forget Jeremy Clarkson's addle-headed ambiguity about the Tesla roadster (let's face it, the guy doesn't even get why diesels are awesome and Americans drive F150s). The real Tesla has emerged and one look tells you: THESE GUYS GET CARS! Just look at this photo:
What eco-conscious family man or woman wouldn't want to be driving this?

This pic appeared on the NY Times car blog. Shots like it will be heard around the automotive world. As many of us have said for so long now, eco-friendly doesn't have to be frumpy. Heck, family-friendly doesn't have to be frumpy. I mean, just compare this Tesla S design with what many people consider the epitome of 4-door car design, the Maserati Quattroporte.

I snapped a Quattroporte in Moscow a few years ago (excuse the sunburst in the upper left, but I needed to obscure the name of the establishment outside of which it was parked, and the dude with the bulge in his jacket who was obviously guarding the car):
It's about line and proportion. It's about adding form to function. The fact that folks at Tesla get this proves geeky can be gorgeous, and that bodes well for the future of all electric vehicles.

Leave boxy and square to the milk floats, where it makes perfect sense. For cars that move people, let the coachwork flow around the essential hardware and wetware. The natural result is a planet saving-ly low drag coefficient and looks that people will love.

(Trivia Fans: Astute readers will note that the Maserati Quattroporte is featured in the template of this blog, at the bottom right of this page. Yes, we likee that much. Just as we loved the long gone Citre├Ân Maserati.)

3 Cheers for Tesla's Stunning Model S

First Look at Tesla's Stunning Model S | Autopia from Wired.com:

"The car has drawn comparisons to the Jaguar XF and the Maserati Quattroporte, and although von Holzhausen didn't cite those vehicles as influences, he welcomed the association.

'I hear Jaguar, Aston Martin, Alfa Romeo, and I think that's positive,' he said. 'People have positive associations with those brands, and I think that's a good reflection on Tesla. If they said it reminds them of the (Ford) Pinto or the (Pontiac) Aztek, we'd have problems.'"

April deadlines loom for Windows XP support

April deadlines loom for Windows XP, Office 2003 product support:

"Microsoft is ending mainstream (free) support for Windows XP Home and Professional, as well as for its Office 2003 suite, on April 14, 2009. It also is “retiring” Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 1 (SP1), meaning it will no longer provide support for that four-year-old release.

Microsoft is offering paid, extended support for XP Professional users (who also have Software Assurance licensing contracts) until April 8, 2014. It also will provide paid, extended support for Office 2003 through August 4, 2012."

Broadband Stimulus Details (So Far)

Risk factor could affect broadband stimulus payouts - CNET News:

"The departments of Commerce and Agriculture have a combined $7.2 billion from the stimulus package to dole out for broadband deployment and expect to receive more than 10,000 applications for funding."

And here's a link to the actual legislation. It's 407 pages, but see Title VI specifically.

Lobbyists, public interest groups square off over broadband stimulus rules

Lobbyists, public interest groups square off over broadband stimulus rules - FierceTelecom:

"Policy wonks and telecom lobbyists are squaring off in a battle royal over which strings will be attached to broadband stimulus money. The fights aren't seen as a one-time battle, as the precedents set for USDA and NTIA funds are expected to be embraced for larger broadband spending of tens to hundreds of billions of dollars by Congress in the future."

Peugeot Promises A Diesel Hybrid For 2011 Le Mans

For all of us who said, many years ago, diesel hybrids were the way to go, Autopia from Wired.com presents this superb piece of eye candy:



May it kick serious butt in competition and pave the way for passengar cars with all the benefits that diesel hybrids have to offer (click for a sharper image). And check out Peugeot Promises A Diesel Hybrid For 2011

The Broadband Stimulus Papers

The federal economic stimulus bill includes $7.2 billion in grants, loans and loan guarantees to extend broadband Internet to underserved rural areas. There is a good article on the rural aspect here:

Rural areas hope stimulus package includes funds for broadband - JSOnline

Providing true broadband (i.e. fiber optic, cable, DSL, or WiMax but NOT satellite) to rural America would be the single greenest, most productive thing the government could do with the stimulus money. The increased potential for telecommuting alone could save huge amounts of fossil fuel consumption. Not to mention the community benefits of social network, local news coverage, online forums, etc. And the education benefits. Many children in rural America can't use the Internet at home like kids in urban and suburban aras, thus putting them at a big disadvantage.

Why the FCC is Wrong About Broadband

According to this article, the Federal Communications Commission:

1. Assumes that if one house in a ZIP code has broadband access from a certain provider, then everyone in that area has the same access.

2. Defines high-speed Internet as anything that's slightly faster than a basic dial-up connection, including satellite service.

Well, as to item 2, the FCC is obviously has not read my previous post which explains why this is wrong, in so many ways.

I will soon explain why the FCC is wrong-headed on item 1 as well (although it should be obvious to anyone who has spent an hour or "out in the country").

And the Good News is? Apple's iPhone works in my house

phonesAs some readers already know, I've had to abandon my faithful Treo 680 because it wouldn't always work in my house. Sad, because I've had a Treo since they first came out, operating on T-Mobile, then Cingular, now AT&T.

Although it was only GPRS, I was able to read the news on my Treo, do email, Twitter, and write notes pretty darn fast. But the fact is, you can't very well use a cell phone for business if it doesn't work reliably in your house.

I was going to hold out for a new Palm Pre but it looks like that device is anchored to Sprint at the moment (my choice of "anchor" being quite intentional). And current speculation is that the Pre won't be available on AT&T until next year (per the TreoCentral forum). Sprint coverage at my place is zero. Verizon is better and so a Pre on Verizon might be appealing at some point in the future.

But for now, the iPhone 3G is my phone, which means