A hybrid plane, EV forecasts, a plastic battery and ‘rain panels’

JetSuite Is Launch Customer For Zunum’s Hybrid-Electric Regional

May 21, 2018
Zunum Aero hybrid airplaneZunum Aero, which is backed by JetBlue Technology Ventures and Boeing Horizon X, announced today that JetSuite will be the launch customer for their 6 to 12 passenger hybrid-to-electric aircraft. This is the first time hybrid electric aircraft will be used for passenger service. The first delivery is planned for 2022 and JetSuite plans to add up to 100 of the electrics to their fleet in the early 2020s.

JetSuite is already a disruptor in the air travel business, offering fast semi-private flights at commercial fares via JetSuiteX, which operates out of private terminals in the southwest United States.

Airline industry website BlueSky says: “The Zunum Aero aircraft are optimized for distances up to 1,000 miles a maximum cruise speed of 340 mph, and with a low runway requirement of 2,200 feet for takeoff. Zunum said it is well-positioned to refresh the roughly $1 trillion in aircraft currently now serving regional routes.

Zunum has also ‘been engaging’ with the government of Norway over the past year, which is targeting 100% all-electric short-haul flights by 2040.


Bloomberg New Energy Finance: Electric Vehicle Outlook 2018

May 21, 2018
Bloomberg New Energy oil displacement analysisBloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) today released what has been referred to as ‘the bible of the EV industry’, their annual look at the future of electric vehicles around the world. The

Some highlights:
Our latest forecast shows sales of electric vehicles (EVs) increasing from a record 1.1 million worldwide in 2017, to 11 million in 2025 and then surging to 30 million in 2030 as they become cheaper to make than internal combustion engine (ICE) cars. China will lead this transition, with sales there accounting for almost 50% of the global EV market in 2025.

  • EVs will become price competitive on a pure unsubsidized basis starting in 2024.
  • Battery prices will continue to fall.
  • China is and will be the main driver of the EV growth.
  • Electric buses will be adopted more quickly than cars – this is already happening.
  • By 2040, 55% of all new car sales and 33% of the global fleet will be electric and will displace 7.3 million barrels of oil per day

»» You can download an excerpt of the findings in a free public report.

7minutesolar: There is already a lot of discussion about this paper, but there don’t appear to be many experts saying that this is too aggressive. The general consensus seems to be that this is a responsible forecast, and if anything the adoption of EVs may be even more rapid than predicted here. The most interesting discussions seem to be centred around figuring out at what point there are so many EVs and so fuel FF vehicles that it becomes easier and more profitable to get out of the entire combustion engine business and infrastructure like gas stations start to decline.


Forbes: A Battery That Could Change The World

May 20, 2018 by Robert Rapier

Last week I happened to catch an intriguing documentary on NOVA called Search for the Super Battery (video may not be viewable in all areas).

The topic is of intense interest to me, as the development of better, cheaper batteries is critical for both the future of electric vehicles (EVs) and for the future electrical grid. Battery improvements are needed to increase the range of EVs, and cheaper batteries can help drive down the costs of EVs so more consumers can afford them.

The NOVA documentary profiled the work of Professor Mike Zimmerman of Tufts University. Professor Zimmerman has developed a battery that replaces the liquid electrolyte in the battery with a flame-retardant plastic. This battery won’t catch on fire if it is cut, punctured or crushed. In fact, it can continue to produce power despite significant damage.

»» Read the full article at Forbes
»» Read more about the battery technology of Mark Zimmerman at Ionic Materials


EuroScientist: Scientists design new solar cells to capture energy from rain

May 21, 2018 by Megan Ray Nichols

Scientists have overcome a design flaw of solar panels by allowing them to collect energy in both the rain and sun. Now, almost any home can install solar panels. So even if you live in a rainy area, you can use solar panels to produce electricity for your home. This innovation could change renewable energy completely.

Hybrid solar panels, also called all-weather solar panels, generate electricity from both the sun and the rain. These panels install on a rooftop to capture the sun during the day. When rain falls, the solar panels continue to generate electricity from the force of the falling rain on their surface.

»» Read the complete article at EuroScientist

7minutesolar: Colour us sceptical. Not sceptical that electricity can be generated from rain falling, there must be kinetic energy that can be converted to electrical impulses. But how much? And is it worth it? Every few months there is news of someone working on this concept (as the article in EuroScientist points out), but it just doesn’t seem like it would be worth working on as anything other than an interesting hypothesis. In the real world, we suspect that making a solar panel that is a small percentage better at converting the massive amounts of sunshine that hit the earth every day would more than make up for advances in hybrid solar panels.

Images: Zunum Aero, BNEF, Ionic Materials, Icons: made by Freepik from www.flaticon.com 

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