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Why Open Source for the Smart Grid Needs a Kick-Start: Berkeley Labs has been working on an open source version of a system for demand response services for the power grid for more than five years. But only one company in that time has commercialized a […]

Why Open Source for the Smart Grid Needs a Kick-Start: Berkeley Labs has been working on an open source version of a system for demand response services for the power grid for more than five years. But only one company in that time has commercialized a version of the open source platform — a sign that utilities are very far from embracing open source for the smart grid.

Explosion!: Lithium Battery Safety Still a Problem: Multiple explosions and a major fire at Toxco’s Trail, British Columbia recycling facility this week added fresh fuel to smoldering fears about the safety of lithium-ion batteries for use in the upcoming generation of plug-in vehicles, as well as for recycling and disposal of the devices.

For Xcel Energy Customers, Microsoft’s Hohm is Now Live!: Microsoft’s energy management online tool Hohm is now live and available to utility Xcel Energy’s 3.4 million customers — a big step for the computing company’s energy tool and a sign of how companies are building ways for customers to start monitoring and managing energy consumption before smart meters get installed in larger numbers.

5 Reasons Wi-Fi Will Take a Back Seat for the Smart Grid: Despite attempts by companies and industry groups to paint the wireless standard Wi-Fi (the one commonly used within buildings for Internet connections) as a winner for smart grid rollouts, it’s looking like Wi-Fi will end up taking a back seat for the next generation of the digital power grid.

Former VC to Lead DOE Loan Guarantee & Green Car Loan Programs: The Obama administration has named a former VC, Jonathan Silver, to head up highly competitive loan programs that have awarded direct loans and guarantees to venture-backed companies including Tesla Motors, Fisker Automotive and Solyndra.

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  1. EV Start-ups Exceeding Expectations in Missouri.

    The big EV companies in California and efforts coming out of the auto OEMs with their fat wads of stimulus money have nothing over a couple of small Missouri companies working behind the scenes and starting to make big waves.

    ECOS Motors, Springfield, Mo., unveiled its ECOS Harbinger™, a new high‐performance, sports‐style, zero‐emissions electric vehicle during
    SEMA 2009, Nov. 3-6 in Las Vegas.

    Visit a shot video shot at SEMA on Nov. 5. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5w8Zezl8q6Q

    The Harbinger™—a two‐seat sports coupe—combines an enhanced lithium ion battery configuration and high‐output electric controller/engine for performance car power and acceleration. It also mixes an Italian‐inspired composite body design with German‐engineered aluminum frame and suspension system to provide exceptional handling and response on the road.

    The heart of the ECOS is the MiMod‐EV build by EVInstruments, LLC, Kansas City, Mo. It’s a relatively inexpensive minipc-based system that provides the EV driver with touchscreen controls and customizable functions for monitoring an EV’s battery usage and other vehicle functions including GPS, Satellite Radio, Infrared Back-up Camera, entertainment Systems, Wireless Internet and much more.

    ECOS Motors, a designer and manufacturer of electric vehicles, has been in business since 2008. The Harbinger ™is the first electric vehicle release by ECOS Motors who plan to release a second EV—a sports SUV—in 2010. Their Web address is http://www.ecosmotors.com.

    MiMod‐EV™ is a mini PC‐based electronic monitoring and control system for electric vehicles that provides complete battery monitoring and reporting as well as fully customizable touchscreen control of onboard vehicle systems. It is a product of EV Instruments, LLC, Kansas City, Mo. Their Web address is http://www.evinstruments.com.

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