Archives for posts with tag: Green Energy

The battle between Tesla and state car dealership associations continues to rage on, however the tide may be slowly turning in favor of the electric automaker. After New Jersey passed legislation that makes it illegal for Tesla to sell cars directly to consumers, new bills in Arizona and Ohio could legalize the brand’s direct sales model.

Green Halo - Teslas's Direct Sales Business Model - LegalizationTesla has not been able to sell its vehicles in Arizona because the state currently does not allow automakers to sell cars directly to consumers – but that could soon change. A new bill could legalize Tesla’s direct sales model. Why is Arizona changing its mind? Tesla is currently figuring out the final details for its upcoming gigafactory battery factory – including where it will be built. The $5 billion factory could bring thousands of jobs to Arizona, if Tesla decides to build it there, but unfortunately Tesla is not going to build it in a state where it’s illegal for the company to sell its cars.

As a result, Arizona House Bill 2123 was recently amended to strike down laws against Tesla’s sales model. The bill would only allow automakers that only sell electric vehicles to use the direct to consumer sales model. The bill is similar to a compromise between Tesla and the state of Ohio. It was illegal for Tesla to sell its vehicles in Ohio, but the state amended its law so that Tesla can sell its vehicles out of three stores, as long as it continues to sell only electric vehicles.

There are also reports that Texas may change its laws in favor of Tesla in an effort to attract the new gigafactory. Lastly, New Jersey may reverse its decision after all – Assemblyman Tim Eustace has introduced a new bill that would allow Tesla to continue to sell vehicles in the state.

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The country’s first all-electric school bus began transporting students to and from Kings Canyon Unified school district in central California. The new electric vehicle is a modified SST Trans Tech Bus with an electric powertrain from Motiv Power Systems. The electric bus is estimated to save the school district around 16 gallons of fuel a day, which equates to a total annual savings of $11,000. For a school district like Kings Canyon, which serves one of the largest geographical areas in California, these savings are quite significant.

Green Halo - America's First All-Electric School Bus Launches in CaliforniaThe pilot project was the result of collaboration between Motiv Power Systems and Trans Tech Bus Company and the California Air Resources Board, which contributed $400,000 cost-saving vouchers to the ambitious project. Thanks to a federal highway program, three more electric buses are on their way to the Kings Canyon district and similar programs are in the works in both Chicago and New York.

Although the initial cost of an electric bus is much higher than the traditional gas-guzzling bus, electric buses offer long term savings such as lifelong fuel and maintenance costs, not to mention the reduction of harmful greenhouse gases. According to founder and CEO of Motive Power Systems, “The buses cost about twice as much as a comparable gas bus, but cost 1/8 as much to fuel and 1/3 as much to maintain,” he said. “In the life of a school bus, 2-3 times the cost of the vehicle is spent on fuel and maintenance.”

The smaller electric buses hold up to hold 25 students and are equipped with four or five battery packs that allow for a range of 80 to 100 miles. Although the smaller buses were refitted for the pilot program, full-size electric bus fleets are also being considered for an all-electric makeover in the future.

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Consumers heading down to their local Best Buy for a new laptop or microwave will now be able to pick up solar panels as well. Best Buy and SolarCity have announced a new partnership to sell off-the-shelf photovoltaic systems in 60 Best Buy stores in Arizona, California, Hawaii, New York, and Oregon. To give the new program an exuberant kick off, SolarCity is giving every customer a $100 Best Buy gift card when they sign up for solar service through Best Buy before Earth Day on 22 April, 2014.

Green Halo - Best Buy Now Sells Solar PanelsThe San Mateo solar company hopes this new partnership will reach homeowners too wary or intimidated by installing solar panels on their homes. The initiative is an expansion of a pilot program the two companies carried out last year at Best Buy stores in California and New York. Previously, the company also teamed up with the Home Depot and Honda to provide affordable solar panels.

Despite these efforts, a recent SolarCity survey of U.S. homeowners detailed that only 45 percent of residents thinks that solar power is more affordable than it was three years ago. SolarCity has a long history of experimental strategies to reach more consumers. Before this new program, the company provided systems for free in exchange for long term contracts, or financing installations through investment institutions like pensions and hedge funds.

If you would like to get in on the deal, you can sign up here for a free consultation to discuss a plan. SolarCity promises to install photovoltaic panels for free with no up front costs. As long as the customer is enrolled they will receive green, renewable energy at a lower price than they currently spend on electricity.

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Charging your laptop may soon be as easy as sitting in the sun, as Apple has been awarded a patent for a new solar-powered MacBook. Still just a novel idea, a small solar panel affixed to the back of the laptop, where the Apple logo is currently placed, could generate the energy required to run the machine. If the company runs with the new patent, Apple fans could soon use their laptops in remote locations without plugging into the grid.

MacBook users around the world are just about powerless without an outlet – unless they live in solar-powered homes. U.S. patent no. 8,638,549 could change all that.

Green Halo - Apple Awarded Patent for Solar Powered MacBooks Green Energy

The dual display MacBook would look like regular MacBooks, except it would be backed with a plate made up of laminated layers similar to the dual-glass technology used in the iPhone 4. The layers could either house touch panels accessible when the laptop is closed, or host solar cells.

The photovoltaic cells could be used to produce green energy for the laptop. Working for an just an hour in the sun could produce sufficient energy to keep the MacBook running. Although still merely a patent at this stage, a solar-powered MacBook or even iPhone would be an amazing step in sustainability that would also allow Apple’s customers even more freedom.

Another great Green article from Green Halo
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