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“I was a skeptic. As Marines, we do not always like change. I expected [the solar gear] to be a burden.”—
Gunnery Sergeant Willy Carrion India Company of the U.S. Marines.
India company is now the greenest fighting unit in the U.S. military. Its battle-tested package of solar gadgets—collectively dubbed the ExFOB (Experimental Forward Operating Base)—has been a hit with the troops on the ground. Most of the fuel consumed in a combat zone powers electric generators, not vehicles, which makes solar a perfect alternative. The best evidence of this: Other units are clamoring for the same gear. India Company has become the model for a leaner, meaner, lower-carbon fighting force.
Electric Cars - Solved
2012 - The Year of the Electric Car. A Bridge Too Far?
Let’s not lie to ourselves; electric cars suck. At least at the present. As Top Gear most recently pointed out, there are major downfalls to current electric cars designs, particularly battery longevity. Despite research breakthroughs in electric cars, it still stands that they are very much a slave to current technology, limited by resources that can’t stack up against the good ol’ internal combustion engine.
So, the question remains, how do you make electric cars practical? And answering that question only leads to another, how can you make them better than current automobiles?
After watching a video on wireless charging of an iPad, I believe I’ve come with a pretty good work around. *Disclaimer* People smarter than me have already done a lot of work along these lines already, I’m just looking to offer a quick breakdown on theory.
Already, we are seeing the discussion of smart roads and bridges, as well as seeing inventive alternative energy solutions to take place along highways. Technology clearly has a future in the way we will further sculpt new infrastructure and renovate older roads and byways. And with all of the innovation, why not apply it more directly to our transportation?
In a world that is seeing an ever shrinking presence of cords and physical connections, giving way to WiFi and wireless capabilities, why should our transportation be the exception?
A direct integration of energy supply (preferably alternative, such as wind recapture on highways) into the roadways would create a unique ability for electrical cars to wireless charger while driving. Similar to electrical race-cars on a track, wireless induction could be used to help power electric cars while on the road.
What this means is no need to wait hours at home to refill the car’s batteries - they can be recharged while driving - and virtually no need to stop to recharge while traveling. This grid solution creates a clear advantage of the electrical car over the traditional - eliminating the need to stop for fuel, and decreasing commuting time. And if the car decides to go off-road, away from the highway charging grid, it will still have its battery backup to power the car.
This idea ultimately requires a complete restoration of all of America’s highways and byways, but would still enable cross country trips of electric vehicles, adding practicality to the new wave of transportation.