It seems that utilities in Denmark have stumbled upon a problem. On windy days, the wind turbines they use to generate 20% of the country’s power needs are intermittently producing TOO much energy, reducing power costs to $0. Yup, that’s zero. So power company Dong Energy (from Denmark) and Project Better Place (located in California) are teaming up with Renault and Nissan to build a fleet of electric cars with lithium ion batteries that can be recharged during periods when the power grid is carrying too much energy. Then, this national fleet will get infrastructure, as Denmark plans to roll out a nationwide charging station initiative. Nice! To top things off, in looking for ways to “spend” the extra power, Denmark has also gotten cozier with some of its neighbors, selling inexpensive power to those such as Norway whose own energy needs are greater at certain times. Now that’s international relations as it should be.
What I want to know is: if Nissan and Renault are already going to build this fleet of purely-electric cars for Denmark and a similar program in Israel, why don’t they release them state-side as well? Since the death of the EV1 in America, the only electric car we’ve had is the new plug-in option on the Toyota Prius. Here’s to hoping they make a few with steering wheels on the left side.
Speaking of steering wheels, have you heard about the new car from MDI that runs on air? AIR. It has a 80s VW meets PT Cruiser kind of body, but inside seems pretty nice, and features… a steering wheel in the center of the car, so it can be driven anywhere in the world. Why did it take someone so long to think of this? Really. Right now the car is only being tested in India, but with a promise of $3 fillups (that’s for the TANK, not a gallon) and 180 miles between each one, a lightweight fiberglass frame, and considering you get the car and a home air compressor for less than $20,000, I’m pretty certain it won’t be long before people want one worldwide.