MemberOctober 13, 2021 at 4:56 pm
Here’s what I wrote on the Wapo site.
I remember an old comedy tape – yes it was that old – that introduced this southerner to the ‘down-east’ culture. You know the one where the guy drives through a cross-roads in all directions and finally stops in front of the decrepit residence where an old local sits sucking on a stem to ask directions. They guy says where he’s going and the old man starts plotting a course this way and that, coming to an apparent dead-end at each alliteration, finally concluding “you can’t get there from here.”
Of course the answer is, you can, but your going to have to get off the frigging road you’re on and go overland … in other words ‘think out of the box.’
The last part of the article suggested roof-top and other micro-grid solutions and they will be important but you need to keep thinking out of the box. One of the problems presented is ‘land’ on which to install solar. I recall a few years ago an inventor suggested you do solar roadways which obviously make that part of the transportation system dual purpose.
Then there is the concept of the solar car. Poopooed by many as impractical, some guys in San Diego actually have come up with one that is proving practical. It generates about 700wh capacity but because of its world-beating drag coefficient of .13, it is able to travel over 10 miles at highways speed on a single kilowatt. It has backing from Monro & Associates and the suspension on the three-wheeler was perfected by Rousch. The full solar array on the car – it’s called Aptera – can generate up to 4kw – 40 miles of range – when parked in the sun. Yes, it looks like an aircraft with big outboard wheel pods but also includes a composite monocoque chassis that promises to make its two-seat passenger cabin safe.
The point? This is the kind of personal transportation that you can put in a field kind of like a grazing horse and get on and ride it when you need it.
Anyway, there is some out of the box thinking going on that may solve the issues – even in NY
BTW: I was surprised to see the solar roadway is also apparently getting traction. I remember looking at about the same time Aptera was first stumbling around the first decade of the century and they seemed dead in the water. The take-away is good ideas only get better.