CleanTech Talk — Tesla, Solar, Batteries, AI, Tech
Summary: CleanTechnica's Zach Shahan and Mike Barnard discuss cleantech news and original analyses with cleantech leaders, top researchers, and investment experts in the fields of solar energy, battery storage, climate change, artificial intelligence (AI), electric vehicles (EV), and more. The "Tesla Inside Out" show is also part of the CleanTech Talk podcast.
Episode #39 of Cleantech Talk is here! A giant passive house project in Vancouver, a trackless train, and an unsatisfactory Tesla conference call stole the show in our opinion, so that's what we discussed.
Episode 38 of Cleantech Talk kicks off with a discussion of how, while China may be overperforming with its solar panel buildout, those panels are underperforming due to the low air quality there. Which is a polite way of saying that coal-combustion aerosols are reducing solar panels’ electricity harvest -- by up to a third! (Dark aerosols, like soot, tend to absorb light; other aerosols such as sulfates and nitrates, reflect light. In both cases, the aerosols prevent light from reaching solar panels below.) There’s a Laffer Curve at play here, Laffer Curve being a wonkish way of describing the Goldilocks principle that the ideal porridge is between the two extremes of hot and cold. A fellow named Arthur Laffer once pointed out that if a government wanted to maximize revenue, it shouldn’t set the tax rates too high or too low. To his everlasting credit, he pointed out that others had the idea before him, but the name “Laffer Curve” has stuck.
We started this episode talking about the LMX-161 e-motorcycle, then got into Shell EV charging stations, Big Oil, natural gas, ad-supported EV charging stations, and the benefits of low-energy-density renewables.
Cleantech Talk starts off this week with a clip from professional wrestler Daniel “The Progressive Liberal” Richards. (The clip played on the show starts at the 0:27 mark from this YouTube video.) Nicolas Zart and Matthew Klippenstein also chat about electric bikes, plug-in hybrids, Tesla (of course), and Crossing the Chasm.
Though cars get most of the attention, batteries will participate in our cleantech energy transition on land, in the air and by sea. And in today’s Cleantech Talk, we cover them all. It’s something of a “double-cheeseburger” episode, in that we stretched ourselves around four topics instead of the usual two.
Hyperloops, high-speed trains, battery-electric cars, and hydrogen-fuel-cell cars — how do they relate?
Hello again, listeners and readers. After a longer than expected off-season, Cleantech Talk is back! Season 3’s contributions should be a bit more regular than Season 2 was, given that I’ve moved -- “pivoted” in Silicon Valley lingo -- from his full-time engineering job to communications consulting, specifically to be able to dedicate more time to the podcast and related activities. Some pre-emptive apologies are in order for this week’s audio; I didn’t set my levels correctly, so there could be some hissing. I’ve also clearly forgotten the old Toastmasters rule about not using filler words like “um” and “uh”. Always room to improve, eh? We’ll also have time, now, to figure out how to improve the sound quality. Our two big stories related to summer’s big Tesla Model 3 announcement, and September’s new Nissan Leaf unveiling.
Nicolas started us off with his report from the San Diego Electric Bike Expo. Gocycle's use of lightweight magnesium for its bike frame is surely an expensive one, but on further reflection, it might be that for mass-market bicycles, as with mobile phones, there’s no such thing as “too light.” Easy disassembly should add greatly to the convenience factor, as well. ... + Uber: Goobered?
CleanTechnica's Nicolas Zart and Matthew Klippenstein talk Nick's amazing Lucid Air test ride, the deep history of Lucid Motors and its market potential, the early days of Tesla (Roadster and Model S development), GM's EV & self-driving car leaders, self-driving Chevy Bolts to be used by Lyft, and more!
Nicolas and Matthew kicked this week’s episode of CleanTech Talk off with the news that the Canadian government had committed to phasing coal out by 2030. Carlos Ghosn has continued his iconoclastic ways — at least by Japanese corporate standards — by having Nissan jettison its 41% stake in Calsonic, its biggest supplier. What can we say? VW’s diesel scandal is so bad, the company’s been forced to commit deeply to electric vehicles to rehabilitate its image. And while part of its plan involves expanding its presence in the United States, Volkswagen's never really been strong in North America.
After a longer-than-expected summer break, Cleantech Talk is back! With Zachary increasingly busy (alas, ever-expanding cleantech media empires don’t autonomously oversee themselves), this season’s co-hosting duties are now being shared by Matthew Klippenstein and Nicolas Zart. They chat Donald Trump and cleantech progress as well as Toyota, Volkswagen, and Ford electric vehicle announcements,
In this episode of Cleantech Talk, Matthew and I chat about Tesla's unique 18650 batteries, Tesla manufacturing and manufacturing in general, robots, Volkswagen's gigafactory plans, and more. Enjoy!
Given that we’ve been a bit electric vehicle-heavy in recent weeks, your podcast co-hosts decided to make this week’s Cleantech Talk an EV-free edition… only to see Tesla raise $1.4 billion in a secondary stock offering, about eighteen hours before we recorded the show! Well, at least when we get around to discussing it next episode, most of the background questions will have been answered…! This episode focused on the fastest-growing job in the United States -- the job of a wind turbine technician -- as well as drastic wildfires in Canada and various climate-related topics.
We start today’s podcast with Tom Moloughney’s excellent thought piece about how BMW could fend off the Model 3 -- and could in fact be the best-positioned carmaker to transition to electric propulsion. It is all about his vision for the BMW i5. We then delve into a fascinating recent acquisition -- Total's acquisition of Saft -- and the general topic of Total's apparent leadership among oil companies in the transition to clean energy.
In episode #25 of Cleantech Talk, Matthew and I tackled the recent Tesla financials conference call, Tesla Model 3 ramp plans, Ford's electrification plans, etc.