ZeroCat™: Electric Car-Carrying Ferry.

Electric car-carrying ferry from Siemens and Fjellstrand for NorledIn 2015, the Norwegian villages of Lavik and Oppedal are going to be linked by the world’s first electric car-carrying ferry. The ZeroCat™ electric ferry, which is being developed by Siemens and Norwegian shipyard Fjellstrand for Norled, will replace the current car ferry that uses approx 264,000 gallons of diesel fuel each year. From Gizmag:

“The 80-meter (262.5-foot) catamaran can carry 120 cars and 360 passengers across the fjord between the villages. It is powered by two 10-tonne (11-ton) electric motors, each one driving a separate propeller. Those motors have a combined maximum output of 800 kilowatts, although for the ferry’s usual cruising speed of 10 knots, an output of 400 kW should suffice.”

The ZeroCat™ will be able to recharge in 10 minutes when docked during the load/unload process. [Gizmag]


Tip For Driving In The Carpool Lane: Articles Of Incorporation Will NOT Be Considered A Passenger.

Carpool HOV LaneJonathan Frieman of Northern California took his new baby, Articles of Incorporation for his non-profit JoMiJo, and entered the Hwy 101 carpool lane. After getting a $478 ticket for driving solo in the carpool lane, he contested the ticket and what should be considered a passenger on the grounds that a Supreme Court ruling in 2010 treated corporations as people, granting them First Amendment rights to contribute freely to political campaigns. Mr. Frieman lost.

Going forward, if Mr. Frieman insists on buying his non-profit JoMiJo a plane ticket and seat each time he flies, the state should reconsider his claim. Until then – next! [Wired]


12.5% Of The US Car Buying Market Accounts for 29% of Hybrid And 41% Of Electric Vehicle Sold In 2012.

2013 Chevy VoltIf fuel efficient car ownership were a competition, the western United States just annihilated the rest of the country. Tom Libby of Polk has crunched the numbers for the first 10 months of 2012 and despite only representing 12.5% of the market, the western United States accounted for 29% of new hybrid vehicle sales and 41% of new electric vehicle sales.

According to Mr. Libby’s data, 7% of all new vehicle sales for the top 15 DMAs (Designated Marketing Areas) were hybrids. And in the San Francisco / Oakland / San Jose DMA, nearly 10% of the new cars sold were hybrid. Of the top 15 DMAs for hybrid and electric car sales – 9 were located in California, 4 in Oregon and 1 each for Washington and Arizona.

In the bottom 15 DMAs, which were predominantly located in Louisiana and Texas, hybrid sales represented 1.5% of new car purchases and electric vehicles only .01%. The bottom 15 DMAs represent 6.6% of the new car buying market.

What can you take away from this data? If you’re buying a hybrid or electric vehicle and you live on the west coast, you should probably haggle more. [Polk via GCR]


Is The $5500 Volitude Fold-Up Pedal-Assist Swiss-Army Electric Bike Worth Getting?

Volitude V1 Pedal-Assist Electric BikeThe Volitude V1 kind of looks like a roided-up Razor scooter with pedals and a seat. At $5500, the Volitude V1 weighs 60 lbs, is speed-limited to 16 mph and has a range of 25 miles**. Recharging the removable battery takes approx 4 hours to hit 80% charge and 6 hours to fully recharge.

So should you buy it? The Volitude V1 looks like it would be a lot of fun to ride around my imagined mansion grounds but I don’t think I would ever commute with it. And the fact that it’s speed-limited to 16 mph or less wouldn’t allow me to outrun the taunts of other cyclists and teasing kids.

Who would buy the Volitude V1? Thanks to its compact size, the Volitude V1 would be great for a designated driver taxi service. Price is still steep but Swiss engineering isn’t cheap. [Gizmag]

**Range depends on the terrain and how much the rider pedals.


Designed By Didi Senft: Santa On A Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer Bicycle.

Santa on a Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer bicycle.  -  Didi SenftIn addition to building the world’s largest bicycle, German bike designer Didi Senft can now add the Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer bicycle to his list of accomplishments. Sure beats the usual gas-powered parade float. [Laughing Squid]


The Loud Bicycle Horn Is GENIUS!

The Loud Bicycle Horn from Loud Bicycle.The Loud Bicycle Horn is a great idea that will allow cyclists to share the same sound/warning footprint as a car. Currently, bike riders are only able to alert drivers of their presence by yelling at them or via hand gestures. Here are its features:

  • Sound: is like a typical car horn, both in volume and pitch.
  • Honk: for up to 30 seconds at a time.
  • Batteries: are rechargeable Li-ion batteries that will last 1-2 months.
  • Button: snaps on to either handlebar and honking does not interfere with braking.
  • Weather resistant: works in rain, sleet and snow.

The neutral car horn sound will make the road safer for cyclists by warning drivers without escalating the situation. The current warning system of calling a driver a “shithead” won’t be necessary and instead of offensively giving the finger, cyclist will choose to use that finger and activate their Loud Bicycle Horn. The Loud Bicycle Horn is currently fundraising on Kickstarter. [Laughing Squid]