If you want to learn a bit about one of clean energy’s brightest champions, check out this piece in Discover magazine. Basically the magazine asks Lovins, co-founder of environmental think-tank Rocky Mountain Institute, to offer his views on a number of issues, including energy/electricity, oil, new plastics, hydrogen and wind.
Lovins, I should point out, is also co-author of the book Natural Capitalism — a must read for anyone interested in this area. I’ve got an Amazon.com link at the lower right corner of this site for anyone interested in the book.
My Clean Break column today touches on rumours that Ford is planning to come out with a hybrid-hydraulic version of its popular F-150 pickup truck in 2008. The speculation, which first surfaced on NewTechSpy.com, claims the truck will have the same mileage as a Toyota Prius. While I have my doubts about the specifics of that claim, I do know that Ford and others are working closely with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on hydraulic technology as a rival approach to battery-powered hybrid-electric cars. My column takes a look at some of the work being done, and gets an update from the head of the EPA’s transportation lab in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Bottom line: Cool hybrid-hydraulic designs are indeed on the way but I wouldn’t count on Ford to be first out of the gate. Also, the technology is aimed at bigger vehicles, so I wouldn’t bet that we’re ever going to see a hybrid-hydraulic Ford Escort. Delivery vehicles, garbage trucks, and other fleet-type workhorses are the more likely candidates.