June 11, 2013

Energy Czar: Tesla Supercharger, New Airbag, Peak Oil Suburbs & Walmart's Guilt

Tesla will be tripling it's supercharger network this summer which gives Tesla owners free car charging for life. By the end of 2013, Tesla owners will be able to drive from New York to LA. Tesla is the only car company that has it's own free charging network. The charging speed is also increasing to allow a 200 mile charge in 30 minutes. All current and future Tesla models will be compatible with the supercharger network.

Volvo has produced the world's first pedestrian airbag technology for the Volvo V40. The car can sense if its hitting a human. If it does, the hood pops up and an airbag is inflated in front of the windshield. China can benefit from this technology where 25% of traffic deaths are pedestrians. In the states its about half that.

More poor people are now living in the suburbs than in cities. One of the debated consequences of cheap Peak Oil is that the suburbs will become the slums of the future. A car dependent suburban lifestyle will eventually force people to move to the city where the better jobs are. In the suburbs, the poor have access to good schools, cheaper housing and plenty of minimum wage mic dollar type jobs. They may end up finding out they can't afford to drive anywhere.

After a 10 year battle, Walmart plead guilty and was fined $81 million dollars for dumping hazardous waste in California and Missouri. The violations included employees dumping pollutants from stores into sanitation drains. Also, in California, a child had been playing on a pile of yellowish colored powder near a garden department. Investigators observed piles of unknown fertilizer substances and torn sacks of Ammonium Sulfate. Walmart has said they have fixed the problem and are happy this is a final resolution.

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