Lucid Motors to Provide Customers with Access to Electrify America’s Ultra-Fast Charging Network

Lucid Motors has entered into a preliminary agreement with Electrify America to provide Lucid customers a nationwide charging plan. By the end of June of 2019, Electrify America will install or have under construction over 2,000 DC ultra-fast chargers at nearly 500 sites in metro and highway locations across 40 states and 17 major cities.

Lucid selected Electrify America after an extensive evaluation and cited Electrify America’s DC power levels of up to 350kW and network coverage as key selection criteria. Lucid was also attracted by Electrify America’s premium charging experience, providing EV drivers with safe and convenient charging locations that offer amenities like shopping, food, and restrooms.

Lucid’s first vehicle, the Lucid Air sedan, will begin production in 2020. “We are excited to be working with Electrify America given its extensive charging network and aggressive growth plans. The groundbreaking battery technology we developed for the Lucid Air allows class leading EPA range and ultra-fast charging with minimal cell degradation. Combining our technology with Electrify America’s network provides our customers with a comprehensive charging solution for their everyday lives,” said Peter Rawlinson, Chief Technology Officer of Lucid.

Electrify America is investing $2 billion over ten years in zero emission vehicle (ZEV) infrastructure, education, and awareness initiatives to help drive ZEV adoption. “Electrify America is proud to provide Lucid and its customers with our ultra-fast charging,” said Giovanni Palazzo, President and CEO, Electrify America. “Our high-powered, nationwide network of chargers is a great match with the EV technology offered by Lucid and a further opportunity to expand electric vehicle adoption in the U.S.”

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This article was originally published on

Lucid Signs $1bn+ Investment Agreement with Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia

Here it is, a major investment into electric transportation by a government that wants a big piece of the new economy’s electric transportation sector. Telsa, who is the undisputed leader in electric automotive transportation may now have some competition. It looks like there will be a two year buffer to get all the production kinks worked out before there is any hint of a car to even roll off the production line for Lucid. Let’s see..this is going to be exciting!!

Lucid Motors announced today that it has executed a $1bn+ (USD) investment agreement with the Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia, through a special-purpose vehicle wholly owned by PIF.

Under the terms of the agreement, the parties made binding undertakings to carry out the transaction subject to regulatory approvals and customary closing conditions.

The transaction represents a major milestone for Lucid and will provide the company with the necessary funding to commercially launch its first electric vehicle, the Lucid Air, in 2020. Lucid plans to use the funding to complete engineering development and testing of the Lucid Air, construct its factory in Casa Grande, Arizona, begin the global rollout of its retail strategy starting in North America, and enter production for the Lucid Air.

Lucid’s mission is to inspire the adoption of sustainable energy by creating the most captivating luxury electric vehicles, centered around the human experience. “The convergence of new technologies is reshaping the automobile, but the benefits have yet to be truly realized. This is inhibiting the pace at which sustainable mobility and energy are adopted. At Lucid, we will demonstrate the full potential of the electric connected vehicle in order to push the industry forward,” said Peter Rawlinson, Chief Technology Officer of Lucid.

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Lucid and PIF are strongly aligned around the vision to create a global luxury electric car company based in the heart of Silicon Valley with world-class engineering talent. Lucid will work closely with PIF to ensure a strategic focus on quickly bringing its products to market at a time of rapid change in the automotive industry.

A spokesperson for PIF said, “By investing in the rapidly expanding electric vehicle market, PIF is gaining exposure to long-term growth opportunities, supporting innovation and technological development, and driving revenue and sectoral diversification for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.”

The spokesperson added, “PIF’s international investment strategy aims to strengthen PIF’s performance as an active contributor in the international economy, an investor in the industries of the future and the partner of choice for international investment opportunities. Our investment in Lucid is a strong example of these objectives.”

This press release was originally published on SEP 17 2018 on www.lucidmotors.com

How Much Electricity Does It Take To Grow Marijuana? Colorado Cities Are Finding Out

Colorado’s appetite for lighting up requires a lot of lights, it turns out.Licensed marijuana growers traditionally cultivate their products indoors under very bright lights that suck a lot of electricity. With the release of the federal government’s Clean Power Plan looming, cities across the state are working to reduce their carbon footprint. Part of those efforts include persuading grows to reduce their power consumption.

Between 2012 and 2013, the latest data available, electricity use increased by 1.2 percent across the city and county of Denver. Commercial marijuana grows were responsible for nearly half of that uptick.

“We’re very keen to see what is increasing energy use, and to have half of that coming from the grow industry is definitely something we pay attention to,” said Sonrisa Lucero, a strategist for the Denver’s Office of Sustainability.

Denver marijuana grows used just 1.85 percent of the city’s overall electricity in 2013. But any uptick matters because the city set a voluntary goal to prevent total energy consumed from rising past its 2012 use levels. Lucero’s job is to make sure that energy efficiency is top of mind for new residents and businesses.

The city is working with marijuana grow operations to lower their electricity use. Or the industry may sort itself out: A growing number of outdoor and greenhouse grow operations in Colorado are emerging that could make indoor grows obsolete — or at least, less cost effective.

A $12,000 electricity bill

Colorado Harvest Company’s Flower Room No. 1 holds dozens of green plants thriving underneath 22 1,000-watt lamps.

(Nathaniel Minor/CPR News)

To understand just how much energy it takes to grow marijuana indoors, look no further than Colorado Harvest Company’s Flower Room No. 1.The room has dozens of green plants thriving underneath 22 1,000-watt lamps hanging from the ceiling. Each is the size of a small card table. An air-conditioning system prevents the lights from overheating.

“Running a cannabis company with indoor production means that you’re going to use more than your fair share of electricity,” said Tim Cullen, the company’s owner.

Cullen’s monthly electricity bill for the 10,000-square-foot warehouse runs a cool $12,000. Another marijuana grow reports spending nearly twice that amount. Cullen said he’s tried to reduce electricity use by using LED lights currently on the market, but they haven’t produced the results he needs.

“We just can’t suffer the losses of having a lower energy bill, but then not producing flowers,” he said.

Tim Cullen, the owner of the Colorado Harvest Company, stands in his grow facility in Denver on Wednesday, July 8, 2015.

(Nathaniel Minor/CPR News)

New LED technology under production could change this picture. But Cullen isn’t waiting for that to happen. Instead he’s building a greenhouse in Denver to commercially grow marijuana. From start to finish, the planning and construction is expected to take about six months.

Greenhouses blooming in Pueblo

Denver has about four commercial marijuana grow greenhouses. But Pueblo is leading the charge in the state, with 16 and counting. Some are small, but others cover as many as 50 acres.

Chris Markuson, director of economic development and GIS for Pueblo County, said shifting priorities are changing how and where marijuana is grown.

“At first the assumption was that the grow operations had to be tightly secured and hidden from public view,” he said. “Because the temperament of the community–and the society as a whole–has come around a little bit, the grow operations are not really seen with negative light. At least they’re not in Pueblo.”

It helps that Pueblo has marketed itself as a business-friendly lower-cost location to cultivate marijuana.

With about 30 marijuana grow businesses overall, Markuson said the majority are using “Pueblo sunshine” to grow product.

Energy use in the area is evolving with the industry. According to Black Hills Energy, which provides power to the city of Pueblo and parts of Pueblo County, 10 grow facilities used 2.1 million kWh in 2014. That’s 0.1 percent of the energy that Black Hills delivered to its Pueblo coverage area.

Laying the groundwork

As the marijuana industry evolves, Colorado cities are deciding how–or if–they want to manage the growing energy demands from the industry.

Denver isn’t considering regulations for the marijuana industry, but pushing LED lights to grows. In Boulder, the city and county are setting measures to require businesses offset their electricity use via subscription of renewable energy credits — things like community solar garden memberships.

Xcel is reportedly working with marijuana growers to update lighting so they’re as energy efficient as possible.

The attempts by utilities and cities fit into a larger movement under way right now, said Howard Geller with Boulder-based Southwest Energy Efficiency Project.

“We can have that economic growth without electricity use increasing,” he said. “That’s going to be beneficial economically and that will help us achieve our environmental goals.”

Denver and Boulder’s work with marijuana and other businesses could be a good warm-up lap for what’s to come. The Clean Power Plan rule, expected to be finalized later this summer, will put even more pressure on states to reduce carbon emissions. Some of that reduction will come from changing where our power comes from. But Geller expects another significant portion to come from things like switching out the lightbulbs.

“Energy efficiency is a strategy that can be implemented very quickly in terms of ramping up rebate and financing programs, education efforts,” said Geller. “Whereas building new power plants–or retrofitting old power plants–that kind of initiative will take years to implement.”

This article was originally published on July 10 2015 by BY GRACE HOOD of Colorado Public Radio

Koch Brothers backed group, climate denier join APS’s anti-clean energy campaign

In this post Energy and Policy Institute’s Matt Kaspar reveals how the Koch Brothers-backed Americans for Prosperity and Heartland Institute Climate Denier James Taylor have joined the effort to fight a 50% renewable energy mandate for Arizona.

 

Before Arizona voters head to their polling place in November, they will receive the Secretary of State’s publicity pamphlet that includes information about the statewide initiatives that will appear on the ballot. The booklet will also include arguments for and against ballot measures that were submitted by individuals, politicians, and groups who either paid $75 to have their comments in the pamphlet, or had their comments sponsored by an organization. Joining the dozens of filers that submitted arguments against the Clean Energy Healthy Arizona ballot, which would require Arizona utilities to use more renewable energy, are Andrew Clark, the state director for the Koch Brothers’ Americans For Prosperity Arizona chapter, and James Taylor of the Heartland Institute, a think tank that has been at the forefront of denying the scientific evidence for man-made climate change and routinely attacks clean energy.

Perhaps best known for its ill-conceived 2012 billboard campaign that compared those concerned about global warming with the Unabomber and Osama Bin Laden, the Heartland Institute also hosts conferences where attendees deny climate sciencepromote fossil fuels, and attack environmental regulations and renewable energy policies. Taylor, a senior fellow for Heartland, is also president of The Spark of Freedom Foundation, a pro-fracking and pro-nuclear organization.

Americans for Prosperity is the political advocacy group founded and funded by the billionaire brothers Charles and David Koch, the owners of Koch Industries. AFP works in sync with other organizations funded by the Kochs or allied with their interests to advocate against policies that would protect the environment and combat climate change. Together, Heartland and AFP state chapters and the national organization have specifically targeted the Clean Power Plan and state renewable energy standards. The Clean Energy for a Healthy Arizona ballot seeks to increase the state’s current renewable energy standard of 15% by 2025 to 50% by 2030 – so it is no surprise that Taylor and Clark have joined with Arizona Public Service in attacking the effort.

Voters will receive the voting booklets in early October; they can currently read an online version on the Secretary of State’s website.

 

APS’ network of politicians and organizations also join voter pamphlet

In addition to the Heartland Institute and Americans for Prosperity figures, dozens of lawmakers and organizations also filed arguments against the initiative; many of them have received significant funding from APS throughout their career.

Source: Arizona Secretary of State Campaign Finance Database for state contributions; Center for Responsive Politics for federal contributions. Spreadsheet of contributionsEnergy and Policy Institute

The fourteen Arizona state legislative and federal politicians that submitted arguments against the Clean Energy Healthy Arizona ballot have received a total of $166,918 in state and federal campaign contributions throughout their careers from the political action committee of Pinnacle West, the parent company of APS. Reps. Biggs, Gosar and Lesko have further collected a total of $54,650 in federal campaign contributions from APS individuals, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.

Several of these lawmakers have recently worked to undermine Clean Energy Healthy Arizona this year.

Sen. Kavanagh sponsored a rival ballot initiative to compete with the Clean Energy for a Healthy Arizona ballot initiative, which critics called an effort to confuse voters. That effort did not make it out of the legislature. An APS spokeswoman said the utility had proposed the language.

Rep. Leach introduced legislation, which was signed by Governor Ducey, that will limit financial penalties for utilities who fail to meet renewable energy standards if voters decide to increase them in November. APS admitted it helped craft this legislation as well.

Rep. César Chávez and Sen. Robert Meza co-authored an op-ed against the ballot initiative earlier this year. Furthermore, Sen. Meza has received income from some non-profit organizations that have received funding or have board relationships with APS. Energy and Policy Institute reported in April that he had received pay from Chicanos Por La Causa, The Armory and PSA Behavioral Health Agency – all of which have ties to APS.

Others have helped APS in other ways throughout their careers. For example, in 2016, as a state senator, Debbie Lesko worked with APS to create a ballot measure to compete with a pro-solar ballot measure sponsored by former Arizona Corporation Commissioner Chairwoman Kris Mayes. Six years before that, Lesko tried to pass a bill that would have classified nuclear power as renewable – essentially gutting the state’s renewable energy standard.

Along with the politicians featured in the pamphlet, many of the organizations that submitted arguments against the initiative have a relationship with APS either as a recipient of the utility’s cash or by having an APS executive on the board.

Additionally, Kimberly Wold, executive director of Prosper, submitted an argument against the ballot. In 2013, APS admitted – after first denying – that it funneled money through a consulting firm to Prosper, which then funded ads to attack solar energy. APS spent $9 million on public relations efforts to fight rooftop solar during that year.

Many of the arguments in the pamphlet are sponsored by Arizonans for Affordable Electricity, which is the political action committee set up by APS to specifically fight the clean energy ballot. At the end of June 30, Pinnacle West had contributed a total of $7,536,300 to Arizonans for Affordable Electricity.

 

Matt Kaspar is the Research Director at the Energy & Policy Institute. He focuses on defending policies that further the development of clean energy sources. He also frequently focuses on the companies and their front groups that obstruct policy solutions to global warming. 

This article was originally published on the Energy and Policy Institute blog,

NASA Solar Powered Aircraft

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Pathfinder in flight over Hawaii.
Credits: NASA Photo

Just imagine…

  • An aircraft that could stay aloft all day, powered only by sunlight.
  • An aircraft that is no more than a flying wing, able to maneuver without rudders, ailerons, tails, or other control surfaces typical of conventional aircraft.
  • An aircraft that flies without an onboard human pilot, but instead is controlled remotely from a ground station.

At the NASA Dryden Flight Research Center at Edwards, CA, imagination has become reality, and that reality is the Pathfinder solar-powered, remotely piloted aircraft.

Aircraft Description

The Pathfinder is a lightweight, solar-powered, remotely piloted flying wing aircraft that is demonstrating the technology of applying solar power for long-duration, high-altitude flight. It is literally the pathfinder for a future fleet of solar-powered aircraft that could stay airborne for weeks or months on scientific sampling and imaging missions.

Solar arrays covering most of the upper wing surface provide power for the aircraft’s electric motors, avionics, communications and other electronic systems. Pathfinder also has a backup battery system that can provide power for between two and five hours to allow limited-duration flight after dark.

Pathfinder flies at an airspeed of only 15 to 25 mph. Although pitch control is maintained by the use of tiny elevons on the trailing edge of the wing, turns and yaw control are accomplished by slowing down or speeding up the motors on the outboard sections of the wing.

Pathfinder was designed, built and is operated by AeroVironment, Inc., of Monrovia, CA, the firm that developed the pioneering Gossamer Penguin and Solar Challenger solar-powered aircraft in the late 1970’s and early 1980’s.

Pathfinder Flight History

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Pathfinder in flight over Hawaii.
Credits: NASA Photo.

Pathfinder was first developed for a now-canceled classified government program in the early 1980’s to develop a high-altitude, long-endurance aircraft for surveillance purposes. Known as the HALSOL (for High-Altitude SOLar) aircraft, its eight electric motors — later reduced to six — were first powered by batteries. After that project was canceled, the aircraft was placed in storage for 10 years before being resurrected for a brief program under the auspices of the Ballistic Missile Defense Organization (BMDO) in 1993. With the addition of small solar arrays, five low-altitude checkout flights were flown under the BMDO program at NASA Dryden in the fall of 1993 and early 1994 on a combination of solar and battery power.

After that program was ended, the aircraft was adopted into NASA’s newly-established Environmental Research Aircraft and Sensor Technology (ERAST) project in late 1994. After further flight tests at Dryden that year, additional solar cells were added, eventually covering most of the upper surface of the wing. Pathfinder was then brought back for another series of development flights at NASA Dryden in 1995. On Sept. 11, 1995, Pathfinder reached an altitude of 50,500 feet, setting a new altitude record for solar-powered aircraft. The National Aeronautic Association presented the NASA-industry team with an award for one of the “10 Most Memorable Record Flights” of 1995.

After additional upgrades and one checkout flight at Dryden in late 1996, Pathfinder was transported to the U.S. Navy’s Pacific Missile Range Facility (PMRF) at Barking Sands, Kaua’i, HI, in April, 1997. Kaua’i was chosen as an optimum location for testing the solar-powered Pathfinder due to predictable weather patterns, high levels of sunlight, available airspace and radio frequencies and the diversity of terrestrial and coastal ecosystems for validating scientific imaging applications. While in Hawaii, Pathfinder flew seven high-altitude flights from PMRF, one of which reached a world altitude record for propeller-driven as well as solar-powered aircraft of 71,530 feet.

Pathfinder “Plus” Modification

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Pathfinder Plus in flight over Hawaii
Credits: NASA Photo

During 1998, the Pathfinder was modified into the longer-winged Pathfinder-Plus configuration. On Aug. 6, 1998, the modified aircraft was flown to a record altitude of 80,201 feet for propeller-driven aircraft on the third of a series of developmental test flights from PMRF on Kaua’i. The goal of the flights was to validate new solar, aerodynamic, propulsion and systems technology developed for the Pathfinder’s successor, the Centurion/Helios Prototype, which was designed to reach and sustain altitudes in the 100,000-foot range.

Essentially a transitional vehicle between the Pathfinder and the follow-on solar wings, the Pathfinder-Plus is a hybrid of the technology that was employed on Pathfinder and developed for Centurion/Helios.

The most noticeable change is the installation of a new 44-foot-long center wing section that incorporates a high-altitude airfoil designed for Centurion/Helios. The new section is twice as long as the original Pathfinder center section and increases the overall wingspan of the craft from 98.4 feet to 121 feet. The new center section is topped by more-efficient silicon solar cells developed by SunPower Corp., Sunnyvale, CA, that can convert almost 19 percent of the solar energy they receive to useful electrical energy to power the craft’s motors, avionics, and communication systems. That compares with about 14-percent efficiency for the older solar arrays that cover most of the surface of the mid- and outer wing panels from the original Pathfinder. Maximum potential power was boosted from about 7,500 watts on Pathfinder to about 12,500 watts on Pathfinder-Plus.

In addition, the Pathfinder-Plus is powered by eight electric motors, two more than powered the previous version of Pathfinder. Designed for the Centurion/Helios Prototype follow-on solar wings, the motors are slightly more efficient than the original Pathfinder motors. The Pathfinder-Plus also validated a new flight control system for the Centurion/Helios Prototype, although only the Pathfinder’s own system actually controlled the motors and control surfaces.

Environmental Monitoring and Technical Demonstration Missions

Major science activities of Pathfinder missions have included detection of forest nutrient status, forest re-growth after damage caused by Hurricane Iniki in 1992, sediment/algal concentrations in coastal waters and assessment of coral reef health. Science activities are coordinated by the NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, CA, and include researchers at the University of Hawaii and the University of California.

Thus far, Pathfinder has flight tested two new scientific instruments, a high spectral resolution Digital Array Scanned Interferometer (DASI) and a high spatial resolution Airborne Real-Time Imaging System (ARTIS), both developed at Ames. These flights were conducted at altitudes between 22,000 and 49,000 feet in 1997.

During the summer of 2002, the Pathfinder-Plus flew several demonstration missions to confirm the practical utility of high-flying, remotely piloted, environmentally friendly solar aircraft for commercial purposes. A two-flight series in July funded by Japanese communications interests and AeroVironment emphasized its potential as a platform for telecommunications relay services, and another NASA-funded demonstration in September saw the Pathfinder-Plus soaring aloft on a NASA-sponsored coffee harvest optimization imaging mission. Both missions were flown from PMRF on the Hawaiian island of Kaua’i.

Remotely piloted, solar-powered aircraft similar to Pathfinder, such as the follow-on Helios ultra-long-duration flying wing now being developed, could spend long periods over the ocean, monitoring storm developments to provide more accurate hurricane predictions. These aircraft also could be used to monitor major croplands, forests and other large, remote expanses to provide early warning of crop damage or fires. In addition to their commercial communications relay potential, they could also be instrumental in quickly establishing emergency communications links for recovery and relief workers in areas struck by natural disasters where existing communications infrastructure has been crippled.

The ERAST Project

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Pathfinder in flight over California’s Mojave Desert.
Credits: NASA Photo.

Pathfinder is one of several remotely piloted aircraft being evaluated under NASA’s Environmental Research Aircraft and Sensor Technology (ERAST) project. The ERAST project is one of NASA’s initiatives designed to develop the new technologies needed to continue America’s leadership in the highly competitive aerospace industry.

Additional technologies considered by the joint NASA-industry ERAST Alliance include lightweight materials, avionics, sensor technology, aerodynamics, and other forms of propulsion suitable for extreme altitudes and duration. The most extreme mission envisioned for solar-powered aircraft such as Pathfinder’s successor, the Helios, would reach altitudes of up to 100,000 feet for science and commercial applications, as well as fly for weeks or months at a time on extended duration missions with the assistance of a fuel cell-based supplemental energy system for nighttime flight.

The ERAST project is sponsored by the Office of Aerospace Technology at NASA Headquarters, and is managed by the NASA Dryden Flight Research Center.

Aircraft Specifications

  • Wingspan: Pathfinder 98.4 feet (29.5 meters); Pathfinder-Plus 121 feet (36.3 meters)
  • Length: 12 feet (3.6 meters)
  • Wing chord: 8 feet (2.4 meters)
  • Wing Aspect Ratio: Pathfinder -12 to 1; Pathfinder-Plus- 15 to 1
  • Gross weight: Pathfinder about 560 lb (252 kg.); Pathfinder-Plus about 700 lb (315 kg.).
  • Payload: Pathfinder— up to 100 lb (45 kg.); Pathfinder-Plus up to 150 lb (67.5 kg.)
  • Airspeed: Approx. 17-20 mph cruise.
  • Power: Arrays of solar cells, maximum output: Pathfinder— about 7,500 watts; Pathfinder-Plus— about 12,500 watts.
  • Motors: Pathfinder, six electric motors; Pathfinder-Plus, eight electric motors, 1.5 kW maximum each.
  • Endurance: About 14 to 15 hours, daylight limited with two to five hours on backup batteries.
  • Glide ratio (power off): Pathfinder— 18 to 1; Pathfinder-Plus —21 to 1.
  • Manufacturer: AeroVironment, Inc., Monrovia, CA.
  • Primary materials: Carbon fiber, Nomex, Kevlar, plastic sheeting and plastic foam.

This information was originally published on www.nasa.gov  on Feb 2014 and Last Updated: Aug. 7, 2017 by the Editor: Yvonne Gibbs

 

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