In green technology developments this week, the sophisticated world of international auto racing will never be the same now that electric vehicles (EVs) have been accepted in a new category, to be known as Formula E cars.
San Diego-based digital wireless company Qualcomm (News - Alert) recently became the official technology partner of FIA Formula E Championship. Cars in the new classification are open-wheel and run on electricity. The first Formula E season will begin in September 2014 and run through June 2015. So far, 10 cities across the globe have been chosen to host races, including two in the United States – Miami and Los Angeles. Unlike NASCAR and the Indianapolis 500, Formula E races will be held on street circuits or courses consisting of closed streets normally used for everyday traffic. FIA is an abbreviation of the Paris-based Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile, a governing body that sanctions events in several different racing classes like Formula One.
Interestingly enough, in the future, these cars may not need many pit stops. Thanks to the partnership, Qualcomm will have the opportunity to promote its Halo technology, a type of wireless electric vehicle charging (WEVC). With WEVC, electric cars do not need cables to recharge. Magnetic induction technology will be all that is required to recharge the Formula E vehicles from units buried under the road surface.
In a totally different type of competition, Overland Park, Kansas-based Sprint (News - Alert) has officially set a new Guinness World Record for the number of mobile phones recycled in a single week. The company managed to recycle 103,582 cell phones in seven days—more than doubling its own previous record. The company was supported in its recycling and buyback initiative by TMNG, also based in Overland Park, a provider of professional services and technology solutions designed for clients within the communications, digital media, and technology sectors.
TMNG’s SmartXchange service was designed to provide wireless operators with the necessary tools for reaching out to cell phone users who have either used or unwanted mobile devices that can be resold or refurbished by the operator. In a statement, Kendra Wright, Sprint's logistics director for Repair and Reverse Management commented, "Sprint has been using SmartXchange for the last three years. Hitting this record is a fantastic recognition of the success of this program."
And finally, with apologies to former President George W. Bush for using one of his favorite words, environmental groups are accusing the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) of “misunderestimating” its projections for renewable energy production and capacity through 2040. They say that renewable energy is way ahead of the agency’s projections for generation and capacity, and they want EIA to reconsider its latest numbers. A coalition of nearly 100 green groups—among them the Center for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Technologies, Environmental Defense Fund, Environmental Law & Policy Center, Geothermal Energy Association, International Center for Technology Assessment, Natural Resources Defense Council, Union of Concerned Scientists, SUN DAY Campaign, and World Wildlife Fund—sent a letter on Sept. 10 to Adam Sieminski, administrator of the EIA, expressing concern that the agency had been publishing estimates that have been “unreasonably low and have not been borne out by actual experience” in its “Annual Energy Outlook” report.
The group points out that the data in EIA's most recent "Electric Power Monthly," released on August 22, 2013, indicates that, in a “reference case,” renewable energy sources accounted for 14.2 percent of net generation during the first six months of 2013. The environmental advocates take issue with this figure—because, they say that, if it is valid, then renewable energy sources already have exceed EIA’s lower projection of 14 percent for 2040.
What’s more, they state, “in 18 months, [EIA has expanded its projections] from 13 percent to 14.2 percent (i.e., nearly halfway to EIA’s higher [reference case] estimate of 16 percent by 2040).” Indeed, the group states, “It seems highly implausible that it will now take another 27 years to grow from 14.2 percent to 16 percent.”