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electric vehicles Archives - Michaels Energy

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Emerging Technology v Disruption

By Featured Energy Rant No Comments
Hi folks! We’re picking up from last week’s post in which we examined three vital elements for advancing technologies from successful pilots to mainstream acceptance and market penetration. They are: Makin’ money – it must be profitable from the manufacturer through the point of sale to the end-user. Cool – getting market penetration is much easier when customers show off their new thing to their sphere of colleagues, friends, and neighbors. Simple – end-users of the product should understand the product and have no surprises like, why is my water heater blowing cold air? Pilot Results I estimate the vast...
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emerging technology

From Pilot to Mainstream – Barriers and Solutions

By Energy Rant No Comments
“We need some ideas for saving energy. Whaddya got?” Have you ever heard those lines? They are about as common as “Are we there yet? How much further?” Last week I was on a working group call on the subject of emerging technology. They didn’t call it that, but that’s what it was. Specifically, the discussion centered around taking successful pilot work and broadcasting it nationwide to expand it to the mainstream. That is emerging technology or maybe market transformation. From my brain, emerging technologies include proven technologies or approaches that are not yet widely common in the market or...
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electric vehicles

Get People into Electric Vehicles Through the Zone of Acceptance

By Energy Rant No Comments
A few weeks ago, I observed a webinar [1]sponsored by the Advanced Energy Economy to help me triangulate what the next great trend(s) might be. That meshed well with the electric vehicles (EV) post of last week and this week. The webinar featured two electrification apostles and two critics. The apostles led off with the no-brainerisms of the EV. The economics are hysterically bullish. It costs a tiny fraction to power personal transportation with electricity, primarily through cheap renewable energy, versus petroleum-based fuels. Point taken. Technological Determinism Later, when the critics came onto the scene, one of them noted that...
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electric vehicle (EV)

Electric Vehicle (EV) Sales Swoon – Easy Remedies

By Energy Rant No Comments
The electric car (or vehicle / EV) may be the most captivating technology of my career. I panned EVs ten years ago with a Frivolous Novelty[1]. I implore you to go back and read that. Almost nothing has changed in ten years! The iPhone launched 13 years ago. Everyone has an iPhone or an iPhone wannabe. By contrast, the EV has gone from zero to 0.02 in the same period. This week I will cover market challenges and pain points. Next week, we will look at some mitigating solutions, some of which are stupendously simple. The Wall Street Journal reports...
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Prestige, Not Pain – Efficiency at Home

By Energy Rant 2 Comments
I call your attention to the brilliant marvel of engineering shown in the image below. This model was developed before most of you were born. It is the little diesel engine that could – get 60 mpg, in my second car – a 1984 Ford Escort Diesel. Most people didn’t even know they existed, but as a college sophomore, when I got tired of my crappy, rattling, vibrating, chintzy Mustang, I snapped up this baby for a deep discount from the Billion auto empire in Sioux Falls, SD. [vc_single_image image="14536" img_size="full" onclick="link_image"] There was no air conditioning or power anything,...
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Percent GHG Savings

Ethanol – Where Physics, Politics, and Emission Limits Collide

By Energy Rant One Comment
I recently researched many attributes and market effects for liquid fuels for a project we are working on, and like my digging into the wind and climate studies, this research results in several findings. This post covers ethanol and gasoline blends. A future post will cover fuel cost and impacts on electric vehicles and utilities. My journey began with the ethanol market. We produce a lot of corn-derived ethanol here in the northern plains. By 2020 there may be a big demand for Midwest ethanol as California caps the carbon intensity of its liquid fuels. The cap, part of their...
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The Millennial Threat and Opportunity For Utilities

By Energy Rant No Comments
One step toward success is ignoring what you like and observing what others like, and how things change with time – I mean, really change! With that note, changes and likes brought about by millennials are a threat, and an opportunity for utilities. My Way I may have been destined for engineering as I rode in the humongous Ford LTD sedan with my parents. I would notice how the automatic transmission would “shift gears” with no apparent action from my parents. I would watch what they were doing just to make sure I wasn’t missing something. Were they clicking a...
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Electric Utility Meet Amazon.com; Legislators Wake Up

By Energy Rant One Comment
This post, and the next couple, were spawned by an article written by John Hargrove in the latest edition of Public Utilities Fortnightly. The article’s title is, Utilities Can Do More to Partner with Customers. There may even be a follow-up to this article a few months from now. Wink. Wink. Anyone interested in this blog knows big changes are happening in the electric utility industry. For instance, I could write a series of posts on each of the following: State and federal subsidies are loading the grid with micro to utility-scale distributed energy resources, namely wind and solar photovoltaic...
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Things You Need to Know Re Electric Vehicles

By Energy Rant 2 Comments
Last week I wrote about understanding the customer and knowing what they want, whether the customer is the utility, regulator, or the end user of energy. Taking this a step beyond, the customer/client may not know what they want. For example, a hypothetical customer may want to control all energy use in their house from a smartphone, 100% renewable energy, and a smart-grid connected electric car. I am convinced once the hoopla settles, customers will want (1) cheap, reliable energy, and (2) any help to be more successful. Three weeks ago, I wrote about Messing with Near Perfection. That post...
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Utility Innovation – Smart Load Building, Yes; Smart Apps, Not so Much

By Energy Rant One Comment
Constant, 60 Hertz, 120/208 Volt, 277/480 Volt power, 99.999% of the time. That’s it. That is all electric utilities need to supply their customers. Like Porsche’s slogan, “There is no substitute,” a utility’s slogan should be, “There is nothing else[1].” This post features examples of what utilities can do, and probably not do, for increasing customer engagement, sales, and services. Smart Load Building - Yes Smart load building fulfills a customer need, and in many cases, produces net benefits to the environment and reduces emissions. Not-smart load building includes selling toaster coils to make hot water or space heat –...
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