Although it's little more than a compliance car (which is why it's only being sold in California), the electric Fiat 500e actually offers some pretty impressive fuel economy numbers.
The official EPA numbers indicate 108 MPGe. This makes it the most efficient highway car in the marketplace. The range clocks in at around 87 miles, so that means it probably gets anywhere from 60 to 90 miles, depending on driving style and conditions. With a level 2 charger, you can juice it up in about 4 hours.
Although the patent was filed back in June, 2011, Apple's (NASDAQ:AAPL) media machine kicked into gear last week as it began to spread the news of the company's new wind turbine.
The technology, which allows for the generation of electricity by converting heat energy, instead of rotational energy, offers on-demand power by way of stored wind energy.
According to the patent, the new generation system can reduce costs associated with natural variations in wind supply. As well, it can be used as a replacement for conventional energy storage systems.
Of course, this isn't Apple's first investment in renewable energy. You may remember last year when Apple filed plans with the North Carolina Utilities Commission to double the number of fuel cells the company operates at its Maiden data center.
These fuel cells, which are manufactured by Bloom Energy, use methane from a nearby landfill as a feedstock. Apple also owns and operates a 20 megawatt solar farm in North Carolina for the same data center. That solar farm, by the way, is the largest end-user-owned onsite solar array in the nation.
Mitsubishi Corp. has recently announced that it has acquired a 50 percent stake in a solar power plant in France. This particular power plant boasts a capacity of 55 megawatts, and has been operational since June.
Interestingly, this news comes around the same time we learn that France has doubled the production capacity target for solar. The government intends to offer more financial support to small solar farms that use European-made panels.
Although I'm always happy to see the solar sector get some love in the policy arena, I have little faith in the ability of the new French government to avoid continued fiscal hardships. New regulations and extremely high tax rates for the wealthy are likely to accomplish little more than chasing out those who provide employment for French workers.
Of course, I could be wrong. I suppose we'll just have to wait and see. In the meantime, I expect we'll see a nice little bump in solar installations in France this year.