7/02/2008

From Dyson Vacuum Cleaners to Solar Panels Powered Cars

I filled up my car with gas this morning and had one of those déjà vu moments. Waiting my turn in a line of ten cars, I was transported back thirty years to the gas lines of the last energy crisis. This morning I saw the same grim desperation in the faces of motorists jockeying for position at the pump. I felt a little desperate myself as I shelled out a king’s ransom for half a tank of gas. Here we go again, I thought. The squeeze is on.

At least one man I have faith in is working on the problem. Britain’s most famous inventor, Sir James Dyson, of Dyson vacuum cleaner fame, is now turning his considerable talents to the development of a solar powered electric car by using solar panels. Traditionally, electric cars, although quiet and pollution-free have been slow—around 30mph—due to the fact that batteries powerful enough to produce speed, and compact enough to not take up all the space in the car, could not be developed. Automakers from Detroit to Tokyo are working on the problem, but most are thinking in terms of batteries that recharge by being plugged in to an electrical outlet of some sort.

Once again, inventor Dyson is thinking outside the box. Reportedly, he and his research group are working on a lightweight electric vehicle whose battery will be charged by solar panels, installed on the roof of the car and on the roof of the garage where the car is parked. Admittedly. there are some kinks to be worked out, but according to Dyson, his lightweight, fast, solar powered vehicle will be road-ready within a few years, and able to travel hundreds of miles between charges.

I don’t know about you, but after paying for my gas this morning, I can hardly wait.


Photo by williac Thank you!

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