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President Obama’s Decision on Syria, Source: White House

August 31, 2013 in EV News, Oil, Politics

President Barack Obama meets in the Situation Room with his national security advisors to discuss strategy in Syria, Saturday, Aug. 31, 2013. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza) Courtesy of the White House

President Barack Obama meets in the Situation Room with his national security advisors to discuss strategy in Syria, Saturday, Aug. 31, 2013. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
Courtesy of the White House

Just now, President Obama laid out the case for a targeted military action against Syrian regime targets as a result of their use of chemical weapons that killed over one thousand people-including hundreds of children. The President also made clear that this would not be an open-ended intervention, and there will be no American troops on the ground.

While the President was clear on the need for action, he announced he would seek Congressional authorization for the use of force.

Watch the President’s statement now in his own words or read a transcript of his remarks:

This article is a repost, credit: The White House, National Security Council Spokesperson Caitlin Hayden,

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Nissan Inspired by Bees and Fish in Developing Technology for Future Mobility

August 31, 2013 in Electric Vehicles, EV News, Nissan

IRVINE, Calif. – Nissan’s engineers have been inspired by the animal kingdom as they develop new technologies that will shape the future of mobility. One of Nissan’s longer term R&D goals is to achieve virtually zero fatalities and serious injuries among occupants of its vehicles. Toru Futami, engineering director of advanced technology and research, said that studying the behavior of animals moving in groups helps engineers understand how vehicles can interact with each other for a safer and more efficient driving environment.

“In our ongoing quest to develop collision-avoidance systems for the next generation of automobiles, we needed to look no further than to Mother Nature to find the ultimate form of collision-avoidance systems in action, in particular, the behavioral patterns of fish.”

SUNNYVALE, Calif. (Feb. 21, 2013) – Seven small robots could help change the fundamental way we get around forever.  These little chick-like creatures made by Nissan Motor Company are called EPOROs - or zero emission robot car concepts. Photo courtesy of Nissan

SUNNYVALE, Calif. (Feb. 21, 2013) – Seven small robots could help change the fundamental way we get around forever. These little chick-like creatures made by Nissan Motor Company are called EPOROs – or zero emission robot car concepts.
Photo courtesy of Nissan

The research team created the EPORO (EPisode 0 Robot), utilizing Laser Range Finder (LRF) technology—inspired by the bumblebee’s compound eyes that can see more than 300-degrees—along with other advanced technologies. Six EPORO units communicate among themselves to monitor each other’s positions to avoid collisions as well as be able to travel side-by-side or in single-file, thus exhibiting the behavior of fish swimming in schools.

“In current traffic laws, cars are supposed to drive within the lanes and come to a halt at stop signals, but if all cars were autonomous, the need for lanes and even signals could be gone. We talked about fishes earlier, and fish follow these three rules: Don’t go away too far, don’t get too close and don’t hit each other. Fish form schools with these three rules. A school of fish doesn’t have lines to help guide the fishes, but they manage to swim extremely close to each other. So if cars can perform the same type of thing within a group and move accordingly, we should be able to have more cars operate with the same width roads. This would lead to more cars, but with less traffic congestion,” Futami explained.

Futami added that the EPORO can also communicate with one another at intersections, deciding which would go and which would stop, thus eliminating the need for traffic signals.

Prior to the development of EPORO, Nissan created the Biometric Car Robot Drive, or BR23C, which mimics the uncanny collision-avoidance ability of bumblebees. It was a joint project with the Research Center for Advanced Science and Technology at Japan’s renowned University of Tokyo.

Inspired by the bee’s compound eyes that can see more than 300-degrees, the Laser Range Finder (LRF) detects obstacles in a 180-degree radius in front of it up to two meters away. The BR23C calculates the distance to the obstacle(s), then immediately sends a signal to a microprocessor, which translates this information and moves or repositions the vehicle accordingly to avoid a collision.

“The split-second it detects an obstacle,” explains Toshiyuki Andou, manager of Nissan’s Mobility Laboratory and principal engineer of the project, “the car robot will mimic the movements of a bee and instantly change direction by turning its wheels at right angles or greater to avoid a collision.”

About Nissan North America

In North America, Nissan’s operations include automotive styling, engineering, consumer and corporate financing, sales and marketing, distribution and manufacturing. Nissan is dedicated to improving the environment under the Nissan Green Program and has been recognized as an ENERGY STAR® Partner of the Year in 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013 by the U.S Environmental Protection Agency. More information on Nissan in North America and the complete line of Nissan and Infiniti vehicles can be found online at and, or visit the Americas media sites and

About Nissan

Nissan Motor Co., Ltd., Japan’s second-largest automotive company, is headquartered in Yokohama, Japan, and is part of the Renault-Nissan Alliance. Operating with more than 236,000 employees globally, Nissan sold more than 4.9 million vehicles and generated revenue of 9.6 trillion yen (USD 116.16 billion) in fiscal 2012. Nissan delivers a comprehensive range of over 60 models under the Nissan and Infiniti brands. In 2010, Nissan introduced the Nissan LEAF, and continues to lead in zero-emission mobility. The LEAF, the first mass-market, pure-electric vehicle launched globally, is now the best-selling EV in history.

For more information on our products, services and commitment to sustainable mobility, visit our website at

This article is a repost (press release 8-25-13), credit: Nissan, Video courtesy of Nissan

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Hi-Power Cycles Releases Revolutionary New Folding Solar Panels that Makes Solar Powered Commuting a Reality

August 31, 2013 in Electric Bike, Electric Vehicles, EV charging, EV News, Solar

Antonio Contreras and his Solar Powered HPC HT-1 Electric Bike. Photo courtesy of Hi-Power Cycles

Antonio Contreras and his Solar Powered HPC HT-1 Electric Bike.
Photo courtesy of Hi-Power Cycles

Hi-Power Cycles releases revolutionary new 120-300 watt portable solar panels that will allow consumers the freedom to ride their electric bikes anywhere by virtue of the sun.

Chatsworth, CA (PRWEB) August 30, 2013

Hi-Power Cycles employee Antonio Contreras commutes to work 30 miles round trip each day powered directly by the sun’s energy. His solar powered electric bike allows for viable and sustainable energy usage and freedom from reliance on fossil fuels. Thanks to Hi-Power Cycles and their brand new solar charging systems, Antonio is able to commute to work and back without costing him one cent.

Harnessing the power of the sun is now easier than ever, thanks to Hi-Power Cycles and their brand new portable, folding solar systems that are capable of charging large scale electrical equipment. Antonio claims he is now saving about $3500 a year which more than pays for his bike with zero reliance on the energy grid.

Armed with the world’s most efficient (24%) commercially available solar cells, Hi-Power Cycles has incorporated them into a lightweight, waterproof, foldable nylon charging system. This system is now able to output up to 300W and is able to charge any DC battery system.  For his purposes, Antonio uses the 300W folding panel to charge his 650Watt-hour 52V Lithium Nickel Manganese Cobalt Battery system from his electric bicycle in a little over 2 hours. He says his solar charge is even faster than the standard 120V wall charger that originally came with his bike.

The 300W panel itself weighs about 17 lbs and can stow in a backpack. Antonio says Hi-Power Cycles also offers other panels ranging in size from 60W all the way to 300W. With their custom charge controllers, Antonio says the nominal 24V panels can charge anything from a 12V DC car battery all the way through a specialized 90V lithium battery as the output voltage can be dialed in exactly as the customer wishes.

Aside from the monetary savings, Antonio says that his favorite part of the commute is when he actually arrives at the office refreshed, rejuvenated, and ready to start the day. “This is in stark contrast to when I used to ride a normal pedal bike to work. Not only did it take 2-3 longer, but when I arrived I immediately proceeded to the restroom to wash the sweat off and put on a change of clothes. I am forever grateful that aspect of my life is now over and done with.”

Another exciting aspect of going solar: “I don’t have to worry about peak times or charging during off-peak hours to get the cheapest rates from the power companies. In fact, I answer to my own power company now- the sun. It is such a thrill to develop all of this energy for free just by placing the panel out in the sun for a few hours. I can get a maximum of 35 miles of electric only range at about 18 mph out of my bike from just one solar charge.” For most commuters, this is more than enough, especially in cities congested with traffic. In fact, the national average for a two way commute for the average American is 32 miles. So, the 2000W electric bike or conversion kit from Hi-Power Cycles will cover the average American’s commute to work- all powered by the sun.

Hi-Power Cycles plans to expand production of their folding solar panels to meet the extreme demand from both consumers and dealers alike. Chris Hunt, founder of Hi-Power Cycles said, “We are extremely proud to pioneer the manufacture of these high powered folding solar panels that not only serve recreational users, but have industrial applications as well. The possibilities are endless with these panels, and we are excited to continue seeking the most efficient and well designed solar cells in the world.”

This article is a repost, credit: Hi-Power Cycles,

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SPIDERS Delivers First-of-a-Kind Bi-Directional Electric Vehicle Chargers at Fort Carson, Colorado

August 31, 2013 in Electric Vehicles, EV charging, EV News, Solar

Photo courtesy of Burns & McDonnell

Photo courtesy of Burns & McDonnell

KANSAS CITY, MO-(Marketwired – Aug 30, 2013) –  A team of Burns & McDonnell engineers, along with subcontractor Coritech Services has developed a system of bidirectional, fast-charging stations for a fleet of plug-in electric vehicles at Fort Carson, CO. This first-of-its-kind system will push power back to the base microgrid when needed to meet installation demand or improve overall power quality.

On Aug. 29, the team successfully commissioned five bidirectional chargers and the aggregating control system as part of the Smart Power Infrastructure Demonstration for Energy Reliability and Security (SPIDERS) microgrid project at Fort Carson. Commissioning was performed using both Boulder Electric Vehicle and Smith Electric trucks, which are being provided for use on SPIDERS under separate agreements with the U.S. Army’s Construction Engineering Research Laboratory (CERL) and Tank Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Center (TARDEC).

Commissioning of the vehicle charging stations represents an important milestone of the Fort Carson SPIDERS project, which is nearing completion. The project is managed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) Omaha District and includes technical guidance from CERL and TARDEC.

The bidirectional charging units are capable of providing up to 300 kilowatts (kW) of power to plug-in electric vehicles and also can discharge a like amount of stored energy from the vehicle batteries to the grid or microgrid via Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) standard J1772-compliant bi-directional charging cables. The vehicle-to-grid (V2G) charging includes power factor correction, which is a growing concern at locations such as Fort Carson that are experiencing a growth in on-site solar power generation resulting in utility rate penalties.

Photo courtesy of Burns & McDonnell

Photo courtesy of Burns & McDonnell

Each of the five chargers have been tested to charge and discharge at full capacity of 60kW, and have imported and exported a combined 394 kVAR (reactive power that diminishes the real power capacity of transmission lines) to the local grid even when electric vehicles are not connected to the chargers. This provides a 24-hour per day benefit to Fort Carson by absorbing VARs from the grid, thus increasing the power factor of the loads at Fort Carson and making the transmission of power from the local utility more efficient and less costly.

The chargers are also integrated into the SPIDERS backup power microgrid which allows the installation to utilize a fleet of bidirectional-capable electric vehicles as energy storage devices that, in conjunction with diesel generators and a 2-megawatt (MW) solar photovoltaic array, increases the reliability and efficiency of backup power systems to critical facilities at Fort Carson. The Burns & McDonnell team also includes Southwest Research Institute (SwRI) and Intelligent Power & Energy Research Corporation (IPERC) that provided design, programming and aggregation of the vehicle charging solution and microgrid integration.

About Burns & McDonnell

Burns & McDonnell provides engineering, architecture, construction, environmental and consulting services to clients throughout North America and abroad. More than 4,000 engineers, architects, scientists, planners, estimators, economists, technicians and other professionals work in more than 20 regional, national and international offices. Founded in 1898, Burns & McDonnell is 100 percent employee-owned and is currently ranked Number 20 on the Engineering News-Record Top 500 Design Firms. For more information about Burns & McDonnell, visit its website at

This article is a repost, credit: Burns & McDonnell,

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Throttle Electric Bicycles Likely to Be Categorized with Motorcycles

August 31, 2013 in Electric Bike, Electric Vehicles, EV News

Image courtesy of ST Bicycle

Image courtesy of ST Electric Cycles

In countries around the world, throttle assist electric bicycles have been categorized alongside motorcycles and scooters rather than as bicycles. The same legal designation is likely coming to the US.

Deerfield Beach, FL — (SBWIRE) — 08/26/2013 — Electric bicycles have experienced a boom in recent years as individuals want to reduce their expenses and are becoming more aware of their effect on the environment. An electric bicycle may be a fairly big investment, some of them costing as much as a cheap used car, but the long-term costs are much, much lower. You don’t have to buy gas for them and parts and repairs are less frequent and less costly than what you typically pay to keep a car in good shape. Environmental impacts seem to be a secondary consideration, but an important one, nonetheless. Being more “green” can often tip the balance for individuals deciding whether or not to buy an electric bike.

But many electric bicycle owners are finding themselves up against some frustrating legislation that seems to ignore the reasons that users choose e-bikes instead of motorcycles. In Asia and in Europe, electric bikes that use a throttle are now legally considered the same as a scooter or motorcycle on the roads.

“A motorcycle is so much heavier than my e-bike – I couldn’t imagine having to deal with the weight. And I don’t want to go so fast, it makes me feel less safe. If I have to ride my e-bike in traffic like a motorcycle… I’m just not going to do it.” The complaints of this e-bicycle fan are echoed by many others. There are also concerns that licensing laws will change, but so far that does not seem to be an issue electric bicycle owners have to worry about.

There is some good news, however, and there are a whole host of electric bike owners who are happily avoiding concern over the new laws being proposed in the US. “A friend told me about the laws, and I kind of panicked. Then I read more online and realized that my e-bike is not included under the law.” That’s because he owns an ST Electric Cycles model, one without a throttle. ST Electric Cycles is well aware of the laws in other countries and has been designing e-bikes with pedal assist that would not be subject to new legal requirements should the law pass in the US.

“We realized that it’s only a matter of time before Congress acts to change the laws for throttle electric bicycles. Now it looks like it’ll be in place as soon as next year.” ST Electric Cycles has been ready for the change, however. “Pedal assist bicycles are popular around the world and the technology is available. We’ve been improving on the basic idea and making sure that our bikes are as lightweight as possible.” The law may be bad news for throttle e-bike users, but for those that are now considering an electric bicycle purchase, there are other options.

About ST Electric Cycle, LLC: Please visit for further details. Or, contact them at tel. num. 888-883-1341 or fax no. 954-943-0377.

This article is a repost, credit: ST Electric Cycle,