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Dodging solar storms

FYI, we came close to losing the power grid back in 2012. What we? Oh, just the planet.
posted by Brandon Blatcher on Mar 20, 2014 - 40 comments

San Francisco's secret electric power grid

"While DC continues to race through San Francisco power lines at nearly the speed of light, it does so anonymously. You’ll find no reference to DC power distribution in PG&E’s annual reports or on its websites. Even some utility engineers are unaware of its existence, which raises a curious question: Why is the inheritor of this legacy, the mighty and sophisticated PG&E, still bothering with DC distribution 133 years later?" [more inside]
posted by gingerbeer on Nov 29, 2013 - 44 comments

The best car we have ever tested. Ever.

Consumer Reports says the Tesla Model S is a truly remarkable car.
posted by I'm Doing the Dishes on May 9, 2013 - 251 comments

Now watch this drive

The Verge (video) and the New York Times (text) push the Tesla Model S electric car to its limits
posted by Blazecock Pileon on Feb 12, 2013 - 126 comments

Don't try to fight it

Dutch TV presenters volunteer to experience the pain of labour at a birthing center. [more inside]
posted by Iteki on Jan 22, 2013 - 181 comments

Off Grid Post Mortem

A Post-Mortem on India's Blackout: IEEE Spectrum's energy, power, and green tech blog gives an excellent overview of what led to the devastating blackouts that occurred in India on July 30th and 31st leaving more than 600 million people (approx 10% of the world's population) without electricity. Bonus: BBC's Soutik Biswas gives us 10 interesting factoids on India's power situation to chew on.
posted by infini on Aug 10, 2012 - 25 comments

Is that a pusher?

"Is that a pusher?" The amount of mass-market plug-in cars coming out today attests to the popularity and practicality of electric vehicles. The two big remaining concerns are the range of EVs, and the efficiency of plug-in hybrids. Some people have found the solution to both of these problems is a traditionally fueled pusher or genset trailer or booster. [more inside]
posted by brenton on Sep 5, 2011 - 72 comments

Miles Beyond

MILES BEYOND: the web's premier resource on the influential and inspirational electric music Miles Davis played from 1967 to 1991 [more inside]
posted by Trurl on Jun 20, 2011 - 20 comments

you may say I'm a dreamer

-Only an 'energy internet' can ward off disaster
-We must electrify the transport sector [more inside]
posted by kliuless on May 19, 2011 - 58 comments

The car that goes woosh

Washington Post humor columnist Gene Weingarten somehow talked his way into reviewing a Chevy Volt (GM's new electric vehicle) for 7 hours over 4 days. That's about 6:30 more than most reviewers get to spend with the vehicle. What resulted is a auto review unlike any other you've read before.
Previously on Metafilter.
posted by COD on Jan 28, 2011 - 130 comments

Jet Assisted Plugin Hybrid

The Chevy Volt plug-in electric goes 40 miles on battery alone, yet can go up to 350 miles. Top speed 100mph. How can you top that?
How about an 80 miles on battery, 500 miles total, and a top speed of 150mph and 0-60 in 3.9 seconds? The gasoline engine is a turbine (also used in jet engines). The Capstone CMT380. Specs (PDF). [more inside]
posted by eye of newt on Jan 6, 2011 - 57 comments

Icky Leak

The French government today said it was the victim of an "economic war" after Renault, the partially state-owned car maker, suspended three top executives over suspected leaks of secret electric car technology. The French industry minister, Eric Besson, told French radio: "The expression 'economic war', while often outrageous, is for once appropriate here." He said the case illustrated "the risks our companies face in terms of industrial espionage, and economic intelligence".
posted by infini on Jan 6, 2011 - 28 comments

Electric powered airplanes

Electric airplanes are not a new idea, but there have been recent developments in building affordable production electric sport aircraft. They are super quiet, low vibration, highly reliable, simple and gas-free. [more inside]
posted by stbalbach on Aug 30, 2010 - 52 comments

It was in tune when I bought it...

Danny Gatton, 'the greatest unknown guitarist in the world' has been eulogised here previously, but that was before someone had digitised and uploaded his instructional video and put it on You Tube. Here it is: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
posted by mhjb on Aug 29, 2010 - 13 comments

"'BANZAI!' is what Woodstock would have been screaming had he been wired into a vocoder at the moment."

Funny, apocalyptic cultural-mashup stories circulated as text files from the hoary days of the Internet's early-'90s adolescence: A Peanuts Halloween II: Electric Boogaloo1 and Apocalypse Now (Or in That General Time Area): A Different Twist on the Final Judgement of Mankind2, both by Gary Achenbach (a/k/a Subgenius Rev. Gar Drastic); Day of the Barney3 and Son of Barney4 by Brian Bull; and Star Wars: the Purple Sith5, by Ali Hadden. [more inside]
posted by WCityMike on Jun 25, 2010 - 8 comments

The Fast Bike With The Funny Name (tm)

Healthy competition can advance technology, and motorsports is a good example of this. The Isle of Man TT has been a motorcycle proving ground since 1907, with a bike earning its mettle by doing ton-up on the 38 mile course. Enter Michael Czysz and his MotoCzysz E1pc. After disastrous failure at the Isle of Man TT the previous year, his company redesigned their electric sport bike from the ground up. The results could have wider implications for electric vehicles as a whole. Previously. [more inside]
posted by The Power Nap on Jun 10, 2010 - 29 comments

The status quo of electric cars: better batteries, same range

The status quo of electric cars: better batteries, same range: A hundred years of advances in electric vehicle technology have scarcely improved the range of mass-produced electric vehicles.
posted by melatonic on May 19, 2010 - 45 comments

Electric Boogaloo

Shocking photos of the Eyjafjallajökull volcanic eruption: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 and more volcano pictures from Marco Fulle taken on April 14th, 16th, and 17th.
posted by Blazecock Pileon on Apr 18, 2010 - 130 comments

"Electric Guitar" indeed.

Fried Gibson. I've always thought you were safe in a house from lightning storms as long as you were off the land-line or computer. A Mississippi man's Gibson Les Paul got positively roasted while sitting in his home, in its case, leaning against a wall. That's a powerful bolt. Lots of gory photos here and in the auction linked above including a nice shot of some of the parts that exploded off of the guitar, some shooting like bullets through the case. Awesome! And it still held quite a bit of its value. Via [more inside]
posted by JBennett on Jul 10, 2009 - 49 comments

A Better Place

Shai Agassi's Audacious Plan to Put Electric Cars on the Road. Now it's Agassi's turn. He starts off uncharacteristically nervous, stammering a bit. He's got something different, he says. A new approach. He believes it just might be possible to get the entire world off oil. For good. Point by point, gaining speed as he goes, he shares for the first time in public the ideas that will change his future—and possibly the world's. [more inside]
posted by destrius on Aug 20, 2008 - 68 comments

Immediate prospects for the electric car

Two takes on the immediate future of the electric car: we are either "Going Nowhere Fast" (if you ask a petrolhead from Top Gear magazine) or we are witnessing "The End of the Petrolhead" (if you ask The Economist). A bestiary of current and planned models includes TeslaMotors (now in production), Fisker Automotive (who are being sued by Teslamotors), the GM Volt (due 2010), The Lighting Car Company, the plug in Prius, the GWiz (now slightly less squishy apparently), the Corbin Sparrow, a few (vapory?) models from Zap! and the wondrous Sinclair C5.
posted by rongorongo on Jun 26, 2008 - 67 comments

The Telemaster

He was called "the Telemaster", "the Humbler", and " the greatest unknown guitarist in the world". Danny Gatton, revered by guitarists great and small, never achieved popular acclaim. His refusal to stick to any particular genre of music, and his reluctance to travel had much to do with that. But to those of us lucky enough to enjoy the Washington, DC music scene of the eighties and nineties got to see arguably the most talented electric guitar player this country has produced.
posted by Benny Andajetz on Nov 27, 2007 - 26 comments

guitar player

Sometimes you've got a song or a tune but something's missing : call Mike Stern, he could add some stuff.
posted by nicolin on Oct 24, 2007 - 9 comments

I'm a Barbie girl, in a Barbie... electric chair

Barbie Doll Electric Chair Science Fair Project [more inside]
posted by patricio on Sep 18, 2007 - 21 comments

Killacycle - world's fastest electric motorcycle

0 to 60 mph in less than a second. Drag strip record of 155 mph. And almost totally silent. Meet the battery-powered drag racer KillaCycle.
posted by Kraftmatic Adjustable Cheese on Jul 31, 2007 - 44 comments

Zzzzap! Zzzzap!

Weather shock horror! Survivors live to tell the tale!
posted by Blazecock Pileon on Jul 12, 2007 - 11 comments

Everything the Segway is but cheaper.

The Easy-Glider is everything the Segway is, but cheaper. Electric engine, 16-25 kilometers (10-15 miles) on a charge. Looks like fun [8mb qt] for only less than EU1000 ($1300 US). (Currently not available in the US.)
posted by Dave Faris on Jun 14, 2007 - 42 comments

Zap-X - Lotus Designed All-Electric Sports Car

Zap! is releasing their next electric car and it looks g-r-e-a-t As an electric car enthusiast and a big fan of the Tesla Roadster, I was excited to see more companies entering the sort of mainstream electric car market, even though we don't know when these will come out or what their MSRP will be like, though I'm sure it'll be pretty comparable to the Tesla's beefy $90k tag.
posted by lesseffective on May 2, 2007 - 30 comments

Interview with Elon Musk - SpaceX and Tesla Motors

Interview with 36-yo entrepreneur Elon Musk of SpaceX and Tesla Motors (22min, video or audio, Jan 3 2007).
posted by stbalbach on Jan 21, 2007 - 9 comments

First energy-autonomous production car

Eclectic is a solar, wind, and plug-in electric-powered "vehicle" making it [theoretically] energy autonomous. While solar vehicles are not new, this pioneering consumer production model may find a niche market. June 2007, priced starting at 24,000€. Summary.
posted by stbalbach on Jan 16, 2007 - 15 comments

The Tesla Roadster

Nikola Tesla lends his name to an electric car that can reach 60pmh in 4 seconds and travel 250 miles between charges. Early witnesses include Arnie and Wired. An old Tesla rumour is that he made his own back in the 1930s.
posted by rongorongo on Aug 3, 2006 - 93 comments

I wuz framed!

Who killed the electric car? [flash] A documentary film (and flash website) about the mysterious demise of the electric car. The website contains a lot of information about the electric car and other alternative fuel cars in development. The film is coming to a theater near you, if you live in NY or LA. (Ok, actually a few other places.) Watch the trailer. [embedded qt]
posted by jlub on Jun 10, 2006 - 80 comments

Altered Productions NW Photograper's work

Photos before the show starts Yakutat AK; Portland, OR; San Diego, CA; L.A; Cleveland, OH.
posted by efalk on Oct 30, 2005 - 15 comments

Energy-efficient urban commuting options

With gas prices rising, SUV sales (16-20 mpg city) have been declining. What are some alternatives for urban commuters? Prius (56 mpg) and other hybrid vehicles. SmartCar (50 mpg city; available in Canada, but not the US) and other microcars. Electric motor scooters and bicycles. Electric cars like the General Motors EV1 seem to be stalled, although people are working on a battery-powered SmartCar. What about hydrogen vehicles? In the medium term, MIT's Laboratory for Energy and the Environment doesn't think they'll outperform hybrids (full report). A comparison of fuel-cell and battery electric vehicles gets into some of the details of how they work.
posted by russilwvong on Oct 11, 2005 - 83 comments

The Well-Tempered Wurlitzer

Cool Keys Radio. A true labor of electric piano love that will undoubtedly sate the taste of even the most ardent lover of the instrument.
posted by melissa may on May 29, 2005 - 6 comments

eco-aware motocross?

I never would have imagined we'd see silent, full-powered, electric motocross bikes, but they actually exist. Looks like they went for gas motor-like performance over range, but they'd probably be a blast if you had a small track near your house.
posted by mathowie on Aug 2, 2004 - 10 comments

Bzzzt

Mike's Electric Stuff
Glass tubes and high voltages galore. Of particular interest, tesla coils, and how to build a clock using nixie tubes, the prettiest display devices ever invented. If you can't build your own, other people will do it for you.
posted by Mwongozi on Oct 26, 2003 - 7 comments

Move over Segway!

Move over Segway! Sir Clive Sinclair, who invented the first pocket calculator (retailing at only £79.95 + VAT in 1972), the ZX80, and the ZX81 with its massive 8K operating system, is promising an update to the Sinclair C5 that will compete with the Segway.
posted by Pericles on Aug 5, 2003 - 20 comments

FORD Pulling Plug on Electric Car...

FORD Pulling Plug on Electric Car... Ford Motor Co. on Friday said it was pulling the plug on its Think electric vehicle division due to poor customer demand and lack of government support for the environmentally friendly cars. "The bottom line is we don't believe that this is the future of environmental transport for the mass market."
posted by DailyBread on Aug 31, 2002 - 32 comments

Electric cars not good for the environment after all

Electric cars not good for the environment after all (well, not the immediate environment surrounding them)? Thanks to a glitch in the electrical system of a charging Chrysler Gem, supermodel Veronica Webb's home burnt down, taking her dog and almost her husband with it.
posted by mathowie on Jul 31, 2002 - 24 comments

Build your own electric VW Rabbit!

Build your own electric VW Rabbit! It's easy, just order the VoltsRabbit kit and you can have your very own 90-mile range electric car. Bonus boints for converting a Rabbit Convertible to electric!
posted by laz-e-boy on Jul 19, 2002 - 3 comments

PG & E declaring bankruptcy.

PG & E declaring bankruptcy. So if every website in the bay area goes down, it may not be due to the dotcom fallout. And remember kids, when the lights go off, you'll want to loot your local Fry's before anything else.
posted by mathowie on Apr 6, 2001 - 40 comments

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