A large portion of the green industry energy has been aimed at making hybrid and electric vehicles cheaper, more efficient and more common. Several companies have undertaken efforts to introduce electric vehicles to the mainstream. A large portion of our current pollution crisis comes from vehicular pollution, and not just one form over another, but trains, planes, and automobiles, all contribute. Hybrid vehicles like the Toyota Prius gained massive popularity for their hybrid construction and super-efficient nature. Chevrolet and Nissan released a more affordable hybrid option with the Chevy Volt and Nissan Leaf. Ford even retooled one of their standard Ford Focuses to an electric-only model. Most famously, a company named after the famous electric engineer Nikola Tesla, released an electric car that was both stylish and fast.
Tesla is an important figure in modern energy, whose contributions were often ignored. The fact Elon Musk named his company after such a man is finally some recognition for his achievements and ideas. What’s interestsing and proves that green energy comes back full circle is the fact Nikola Tesla designed a wind turbine, a bladeless wind turbine to be exact. The only problem with electric vehicles is that you have to charge them, and if you charge them using electricity created by fossil fuels, you are taking two steps forward and one step back. The cleanest and most efficient energy model would use a green source of energy. For example, the electricity generated by a wind turbine used to fuel an electric vehicle is the cleanest way for it to run. This idea isn’t my own, and an Australian man proved it was possible.
Down under and Outback
A gentleman named Marc Talloen decided he wanted to take a completely green road trip. By green, I don’t mean he was driving through the countryside. Marc is an agricultural engineer, and a renewable energy enthusiast and advocate. His road trip was done not only for his own enjoyment, but to prove that vehicles and electricity can be both green and that it’s possible to travel long distances in an electric vehicle. This trip also allowed him to raise awareness for electric vehicles and green energy.
Marc set off on his road trip throughout Queensland and traveled 9,000 kilometers. He stopped along the way to charge up numerous times, and never relied on a supercharger network. His vehicle of choice was the Tesla Model S. The Model S and Tesla vehicles in general are expensive, and Marc even says so. However, Tesla is working on making more affordable electric vehicles so people of all economic means can benefit. Throughout his trip he found that the Tesla MS handled an additional 400 kilograms and only lost 3 percent efficiency. One of his traveling companions used an electric motorcycle to power through the trip, which is a much more affordable option for most people.
While the Tesla is expensive, the cost is not just for having the novelty of an electric vehicle. The Tesla is a luxury vehicle akin to BMW and Mercedes, it has a fast acceleration, and is extremely high tech. The software in the car continually updates to provide more efficient battery consumption, improved performance and make it safer.
Marc charged his vehicle at 40 different charging stations, most were public, at least one private, and one charging station was extremely unique. Marc stopped in what he described as “…the culmination of my self-proclaimed trip mission preaching the word of EVs, Tesla, and renewable energy….” This charging station was powered by wind turbines. The charging station was at the Windy Hills Wind Farm.
While he was charging his Tesla at Windy Hills, Marc was able to educate others on electric vehicles and clean and renewable energy. A group of school children from a local school was able to come out and learn a thing or two, as well as several members of the local press. His mission to raise awareness of green energy and electric vehicles was surely met on that day.
Wind energy and vehicles was something unheard of until the last few years. But in a short period of time people have recognized that there is a happy medium where the two can meet. We have several examples already set before us.
Trinity Turbines are some of the latest miniature, personal turbines. They come in several sizes, ranging from the Trinity 50, a 50 megawatt 1.4 pound wind turbine, to the Trinity 2500, a 2500 megawatt turbine that weighs 42 pounds. The Trinity 1000 and 2500 have the potential to provide individual energy to electric cars.
General Electric is actually the biggest builder of wind turbines inside the United States and their Sanya Skypump is specifically designed for the homeowner. The Skypump is a relatively small turbine when compared to the standard 100-foot models you find in wind farms. It’s the right size for the suburban yard and perfect for charging an electric vehicle. The Skypump is not just a turbine, but combines turbines with G.E.’s electric vehicle charging watt station.
A rental car company on the Island of Lewis is already using all electric vehicles, powered by wind energy. The rental agency has seven chargers throughout the isle that rely on mostly wind energy to power their rental cars. This small scale experiment has proven successful and is a model for future endeavors.
The Transport Turbine
The Transport Turbine is an experimental set of turbines that can be mounted to the roof of your car and used to charge electric car batteries. For these to work, your car has to obviously be parked, since a perpetual motion machine is largely science fiction. However, the idea is sound for a parked vehicle needing a quick ‘pick me up’. While it hasn’t reached commercial production, once the bugs are worked out, it seems to be a solid idea.
Electric vehicles and wind energy go hand in hand with each other. A truly green method of transportation is the combination of an electric vehicle and cleanly sourced electricity. This could be the future of transportation.